Friday, October 19, 2018

Bathing Bluebirds

I was briefly entertained by a bluebird family as they bathed in the fresh, clean water in our birth bath.  There was a total of four bluebirds, probably the parents and two juveniles.  The younger birds flew around the bird bath and close to the water but instead of landing on the rim, they landed on the flower stems surrounding it.  I'm not sure why they didn't dip into the water with the others.  Maybe they haven't fully developed their landing skills.  I wish my camera had been set up to shoot a video of them.  They were so precious to watch!

"The air is crowded with birds; beautiful, tender, intelligent birds
to whom life is a song".

Friday, April 27, 2018

Back Yard Notes

The new flowers and plants are taking well in the flower garden.  The carpet roses are heavy laden with blooms.  The day lilies are close to making their spring appearance.  Their bed needs a coat of mulch before the summer heat sets in. 

Daddy Wren perched upon an old weathered tree stump just a few feet from me and began singing.  It was a perfect moment to snap a good photo.  I watched for a while as the wren parents made several trips around the brush in the back yard then in and out of the nest box.  I could hear the baby birds chirping when a parent approached the nest.

Piper likes to come out of the brush and play when I'm in the area.  She gets hyperactive and does all sorts of silly things that make me laugh.  She plays with pine cones and sticks and digs around in the dirt and piles of pine straw.  She runs and dashes about and sometimes takes an unpredictable notion to climb halfway up a tree.  On this day, she wanted to include Butters in her play but he displayed no interest in it.  He didn't have time for her nonsense because it was interfering with his cat nap.  

I enjoy the sights and sounds of my back yard.  I treasure the abundant signs of life in it.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Plant Bed Makeover

Remember the photo of the new plants that covered our lower deck on April 12th? 

Those plants, many of them hostas, are now planted in their new home beneath the pine and oak trees.  The varieties of hosta included in this plant bed are Christmas Tree, Diana Remembered, Paul's Glory, Halycon, Queen Josephine and Orange Marmalade.  

New plants added this year also include pink and purple calla lilies, bleeding hearts, autumn embers azaleas and pink asiatic lilies.  

It wouldn't have been possible to do this project makeover without my sister's help.  She did all the hard stuff while I watched her and supervised.  Great job!  I'm so grateful for her.  She was so proud of her accomplishment too- it shows in the photo of her below ;)

A recap of what this area of our back yard looked like in spring of 2015, about 6 months after we moved in.  The back yard mainly consisted of fallen pine straw, pine cones and dead leaves.  Good soil was plentiful in the area under this group of trees but had to be built up enough to add plants under them.  Most of the original plants have died.  Of those in the second photo, only the calla lilies and a couple of hostas remain to this day.  I'm not sure about the white caladiums- they looked good last year, but have not yet appeared this year.  It's still a little early for them.

I love how the back yard is looking- it's wonderful!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Hope Springs Forth

I'm feeling extra grateful for spring this year. The arrival of spring has given me hope and purpose. My mind has been focused on bird watching and back yard landscaping. Flower gardens are getting a makeover and new landscaping projects have begun. Migrating birds are passing through and resident birds are preparing their nests for offspring. There's been so much activity going on in my back yard and I'm enjoying it.

A pair of Carolina Wrens have claimed one of the bird houses in our back yard.  Each morning the male perches on the back deck railing and sings his little heart out.  He packs a powerful voice to be such a small squirt.  The past couple of days I've noticed the parents have been bringing insects to the nest and removing fecal sacs from it.  That lets me know there are nestlings in the bird house.  Hopefully I'll soon see little wren heads poking out of the hole.  

Carolina wrens have begun building nests in these bird houses each spring but have never completed the nests until this year.  I hope the young ones survive and fledge soon.  It will be exciting to watch!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Deck Flowers

A few of the flowers that add color to our lower back deck...

Notes about our back yard flowers:

I'm still not too happy about the lantana that's planted near the back deck.  It's not spreading like previous lantana planted there.  I may have to purchase a different variety to fill in the spaces.  I'll give it a little more time and see.

Since the hosta plants were going so fast at the garden centers, I purchased some extra ones and transferred them into better pots.  Hostas make excellent container plants and indoor plants.  When a spot is prepared to receive them, I'll transplant these to the ground.