Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Good Morning For Birdwatching!

Started off like a regular morning.... just looking out the window at the mulberry tree to see what might come by for a visit. Murphy is his usual alert self. Ronan was a little bit sleepy. That was about to change!

What was that flash of red?? Ronan snapped to attention!!!

That bird would grab a berry and fly off, then zip right back into the branches! I was trying to get a photograph through the window screen, but the cats kept blocking me! Had eight of them pushing and nudging each other so they could get a good view!! I should have just taken pictures of them! Then its mate showed up. Then another, different red colored bird showed up! Then a Baltimore Oriole flew in too! What a field day for the cats!

Never got a great picture of it, but this is definitely a Scarlet Tanager!!! And I looked up the solid red one too. It was a Summer Tanager. I don't ever remember seeing one of those before. It was gorgeous!
What a great morning for watching the birds!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I Wonder....

   I wonder what Ronan is watching? Most cats and some of the dogs I've had over the years seem to catch sight of things that my eyes can't see. And when their eyes "follow" something across the room, it always makes me ponder. Especially when two or three cats are all watching the same thing!      Whatever this was.... it took Ronan's attention away from the birds in the mulberry tree right outside the window. So it MUST be REALLY INTERESTING!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Now I'll Have To Wait!!!

When I posted the photo of these two Cherokee Purples the last time, I was SO looking forward to them ripening! That same night we had lots of heavy rain and some more the next day. So I was expecting to find this. Because of all the moisture, they split. I just wanted to cry!

Of course I had to pick them.
Now let me see, I had to thin out the eggplants also...Mmmmmm. Over there is a yellow crookneck squash, and a nice sized cubanelle pepper. Several varieties of basil and a little thyme. I have an onion and some garlic in the house. Problem solved!! Its so much easier to go through Life being in Harmony with what comes your way. So try and make the best of what you have on hand! You might be deliciously surprised.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I Can Hardly Wait!!!!!!

The Cherokee Purples are just starting to ripen. I'd better figure out how to thwart the birds! They seem to delight in unripe fruit.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Complimentary Colors

   One of the flowers I love is Blue Porterweed. The blossoms are so dainty! They bloom on long thin stems, only opening a few at a time. Its a perennial that dies back in the Winter, but has never failed to grow in the Spring. Not to mention all the seeds it produces that scatter closely around the parent plant. Its a favorite of butterflies, including this Gulf Fritillary. And Skippers seem to be especially fond of it a little later in the year.
   Used to be the honeybees and bumblebees would practically cover it! But our honeybee population is frighteningly sparse. They started thinning out about three years ago, then the 'bumbles' became very numerous. Last year their numbers were down considerably. This Spring I haven't seen a bumblebee yet. There is one bee that has that chunky shape, but its solid black. Perhaps a type I don't know about or a color mutation. I only see one though. Rarely see a honeybee, if I do there are only one or two. Its a sad and frightening thing to see.  
    I encourage everyone to plant flowers that the bees love, and not to use chemicals that can harm them. Contact local officials about county and state spraying programs, both agricultural and mosquito control, to see what they are using and to ask for more environmentally safe alternatives. We must keep our world safe. And WE NEED THE BEES!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Things Of Beauty: Agapanthus

   Things of Beauty. They're all around us, if we'll just take the time to look. If more folks would do that... and appreciate what they find.... the world would be a much better place.
   Read an article about a man that planted a whole forest. All by himself. Imagine his connection with that land! When he was a boy there was a flood that stranded snakes and other creatures on a piece of land with no trees. And they all died because there was no shade to shield them from the harsh sunlight. He decided then to start planting trees. And he has kept doing it all these years. The land and animals called out and touched his Heart. And he Answered. He made that Answering into his Purpose. If all of us would do that... just a little bit! Think of what a beautiful and peaceful world we could help make this. Yep, think about that.

Here is the article:

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Lesson Well Learned.

My great grandma's crazy quilt

      It was a morning of things from the past, wasn't it? The quilts are functional, comforting, sentimental and lovely to look at. A tradition passed down through the generations. I will carry all of that into my future with me.
      The tree stump I removed was something unexpected. It had been covered up for at least twenty years. It had not rotted away. It proved to be an obstruction. A hindrance to my plans for what I wanted the yard to become in the near future. So I made the decision to work at it a little at a time. Uncovered the layers of soil to expose the roots. Managed to disconnect the roots one by one... till I was left with the last one. Started fresh with a New Day. Used a bit of ancient technology and There!!! Obstacle removed. The physical form that it left behind can even be used for the sake of beauty. And therefore enjoyment. Its a Lesson Well Learned. My Thanks to the Universe for it.

The tale of the tree stump is at
"Thank Goodness Thats Done With"


Brings Back Memories.

 A nice breeze scented by roses, dappled sunlight and quilts airing out on the clothesline. A morning can't get much better than this.
   I used to air out my quilts and blankets every Spring, just like my Granny taught me. A gently washing if they needed it. But thats been something else that I've neglected the last few years.  So with the low humidity today, I seized the opportunity to pull a few out of the old cedar chest. Including some tops I'd pieced, but didn't get around to finishing.
    I see the "Broken Dishes" quilt that I made before my daughter was born needs a good washing! The muslin background is covered with that awful staining that seems to happen to fabrics when they've been packed away too long. Oh My!
      Its good to see the crazy quilt that my great-grandma made. That woman didn't waste any scrap of material!!! Well, for that matter, neither did her daughter.
    When Granny aired her quilts it was a family affair. Because she had LOTS of them! She'd pick a day, my mom and some of her sisters would show up, with their children of course. We didn't get out of working! But somehow it was always fun. They'd take the coverings out of the closet and Granny would inspect each one. Handwashing if they needed it. Seemed like a continual procession of quilts carried out to the line and hung. My, how we loved to run in and out and under all those coverings as they swayed in the breeze! And they really swung! She had this long clothesline! Tied to pine trees and propped up in between the trees by cypress poles that Granddad had cut. When that line got to moving, the poles would start swinging too. It was great fun to dart through a bunch of clothes or quilts when the wind was strong. And they lived near the mouth of the river, so the breezes were usually really good! What fun and wonderful memories on a beautiful day.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Intro To Purslane.

All right folks, here is an introduction to one of my favorite "weeds". I'll post some photos first to give everyone a chance to go out and look to see if this grows in your area. Its supposed to grow on most continents. I'll give more information and some food tips in the next post. Here in Florida,USA. it grows most everywhere! When mine blooms it has small pretty yellow flowers, occasionally they are more pinkish red. Leaves are a succulent type. You eat them and the stems too. I would think that the blooms are safe also. I first ate purslane when I was in Ohio visiting my Aunt Mae. We used to saute it with onions and a little bit of bacon. Now that was some "good eatin' "!

Here is a closer look. Those grassy looking leaves are called nut sedge. I weeded them out after I took this shot. As far as I know it has NO redeemable qualities. At least not in my yard and garden!
This is a specimen on the west side of my home. It gets more sunlight, and perhaps thats why the stems are more red, as are the edges of the leaves. I've found that purslane usually grows near, or with, spurge. Please don't confuse them. Spurge is supposed to be toxic! If you break the stem, it will ooze a white sap. I will include a photo of spurge next time. So get outside and take a look around. Its a vitamin packed green thats free for the harvesting. Unless you WANT to go to a fancy farmer's market and pay big bucks for it.
So check back in for the next purslane post.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Look At All Of Them!

       After a successful Easter egg hunt .... comes the counting of the eggs. Gotta make sure they were all found. Especially the hard boiled ones! Wyatt is now old enough to be really impressed by all the commotion. It was a beautiful morning for this kind of fun!  Hope everyone has a wonderful day!!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

It Needed A Home!

    Just too pretty not to share. I went to look at herbs this afternoon and saw this little rose bush in dire need of a home and some good care. Sooo... here it is. And it smells good too!  I don't see much "scents" in a rose that doesn't have a beautiful fragrance.   ( Sorry, couldn't help myself. ha ha ha)