Wednesday, June 30, 2004

These are not from my garden

Saddly these sweet animals were not found in my backyard, but they were so cute I wanted to share them. The pictures were taken while visiting Washington D.C. on a field trip with my two children. It is fun to take pictures of the wildlife downtown because you can get so much closer to them.

This mother duck and her ducklings were trying to figure out how to get into the fountain that is on the west face of the Capital (the one that is surrounded by the Capital steps). She had walked around and around trying to find a place that was low enough for her ducklings to climb in. Two soft hearted security guards that were going off duty went in search of a ramp. But, by the time they came back with something a few minutes later, she was just deciding to waddle away.

Writer's Block (or When In Doubt, Post Pictures)

If you hadn't noticed I have had a bit of writer's block lately. Well, perhaps more than a bit. All right, it has actually been pretty bad. This does not mean however that there hasn't been anything interesting going on, just that I haven't been able to figure out how to write about it. So, here I sit. A quiet evening is before me. The children are tucked sweetly in bed, and nothing is standing in the way of my making an entry in my blog.

June 15: Purchased and planted a coneflower plant, spread mulch, and installed bed edging. I feel like my hostas are putting on a rather amazing show this year. Each plant has at least six flower stocks on it. The tall plants on the left of the picture are sunflowers, and on the right you can see the purple coneflower.

June 20: I saw a rather surprising thing at the squirrel feeder.

All right, so it didn't start off surprising…

But, then I began to wonder…

And at last received enlightenment!

Of course he had to pop his head out just long enough to make sure I had seen how clever he was. :-)

June 20: Mother Robin, having gotten over her fear of us sitting on the front porch, fed her small babies.

Monday, June 14, 2004


In answer to Aunt Rilla's comment I must sadly admit that the blooms on this clematis are totally undeserved. I have done nothing to help it along other that cut it back in the fall and tie it up in the spring. It is planted in the no–man's–land of my garden. This area is totally overrun with irises. In fact you can barely see soil between the tubers. I'm not sure how the clematis manage to do so well under the circumstances. People keep telling me I need to thin out the irises, but they keep getting better each year. Perhaps both plants thrive on adversity.

Six Finches - Gold and House

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Trumpet Vine Visitors

The trumpet vine has finally attracted a hummingbird. I didn't get to my binoculars quickly enough to see what kind it was.

Also seen frequenting this bush are Tiger Swallowtail and Cabbage White butterflies.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Good Bye

Ronald Reagan passed away this weekend.

One thing I admired about him was that he was not afraid of hard work. Many people criticized the fact that he spent so much time at his ranch in Southern California during his presidency. But, he was not there to play, he actively ran his ranch. He found that the physical labor of cutting wood, digging holes for fence posts, or any number of other chores, made him more ready to face the tough decisions back in Washington.

I know I personally feel this way about working outside. There is something about working hard out in the sunshine that cleanses the mind, gives you time to put things into perspective, and listen for the promptings of God. Psalm 121:1-2 says: "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth." Maybe that is one reason why a ranch, or a garden can become such a dear place to a person.

To everyone today: "The Lord heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3

Bird updates

A male Goldfinch is now a regular. He spends a large amount of time at the feeders now. :)

Mrs. Robin is bringing her two youngsters to feast on the crawlies in the garden.

Mourning Dove is asking friends along on the visits.

House Finch is raising a Cowbird who is now bigger than she is.

I discovered {blush} that the wrens eat bugs, not seed. They like to sit on the fence so they can eat the ants attracted by the trumpet vine.

Mr. Cardinal, now brings Mrs. Cardinal along when he visits. Sometimes she comes on her own.

House Sparrow has started frequenting the garden as well.

Black squirrel is back!

The black squirrel has finally made another appearance, and this time it has discovered our feeders! He didn't even leave when our two junior squirrels came by to eat.

Friday, June 04, 2004

New feeder

I got a new feeder yesterday that is made especially for squirrels. It is screwed directly into the shed so that it doesn't spin around, and it has a nice squirrel sized platform for them to sit on. The squirrels get to lift a little hinged lid to get to the food. They haven't found it yet, but I put it up very late yesterday.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004


There is a very bright cardinal eating seeds off the ground in the backyard. He is almost shockingly bright red. Maybe it has just been a while since I have seen one, but really seems to me to have rather magnificent coloring.

One of the wrens is down there too! I guess it finally decided there must be something to all this commotion being raised by the house finches.

Gym, or amusement park?

Our neighbors have a young tree in their backyard, and it has become the playground of our two young squirrels. The tree's branches are not stiff yet, so when a squirrel jumps on one it dips nearly to the ground and then springs up past full height. As you can probably imagin, the sight of two squirrels racing around chasing each other on such a tree is quite hilarious. The tree is dipping and swooning, and birds are scattering everywhere! Every-so-often a squirrel goes flying through the air and grabs a branch on his way by, only to have the same action repeated by the other squirrel going in the other direction. :)

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Other visitors

Yesterday a chickadee dropped by for a short visit. The house finches show up in such great numbers now, that he had a hard time edging in a spot at the feeder. House finches look pretty small until you see a little chickadee beside them.

There has also been a mourning dove that has adopted us in recent days. She likes to pace around on the ground under the feeders working clean up crew. I am rather surprised she has taken such a liking to thistle seed. She seems to like it much better than the sunflower seed.

The wrens still haven't been to the feeder that I have seen, but they do like to sit on the fence and watch the antics of the other birds.