Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night. (Rainer Maria Rilke)

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Getting Back to Blogging

Hello everybody!  It's been a while since I've blogged.  And I'm sorry about that...I've no great excuse, just wasn't feeling much like it.  But, we've had some fun things going on in the yard this year, so I'll catch you up. Because I know how you've been waiting, hahahahaha!

So, earlier this year we had the wonderful surprise of having a Great Crested Flycatcher family nest near our lanai.  Isn't she just about the cutest little nest builder?!  

They were not frightened of us in any way.  They were busy all day long bringing all sorts of things to build their nest.  Even a snake skin - which I've learned is a very common thing for them to add.

The male and the female look alike, so it was hard to know which one was at the nest.  I've since read that it's mostly the female that is the nest builder.  Figures, haha!

I missed the kids leaving the nest, but they stay with the parents for a couple of weeks afterward and I was able to capture this photo.  It's one of two that I saw with the parents.  Next year I've gotta get a camera set up so I don't miss the fledglings taking off!  (I'm hoping they'll return)

We had the return of Foxy our Big Cypress Fox Squirrel.  They're a threatened species and I'm so happy to see him again.  We had seen him last, about the same time last year (April).

Then a month or so later we had another Big Cypress Fox Squirrel visit.  This one is female and we've named her Goldie.  You can guess that we're hoping there'll be miniature Fox Squirrels next!

Well, I haven't seen babies, but we did see Foxy the male back in the yard recently.  Looks like he's molting.  I'll keep you posted.

We had the great honor of being visited by the Red Headed Woodpecker!  So exciting!  I've only seen one here in southwest Florida once before.

We saw him several days in a row, then haven't seen him since.  So darn handsome!

I haven't seen many Butterflies this year.  I usually see tons!

This Black Swallowtail laid lots of eggs on the parsley plant.  But those little anoles sure gobble them up fast.  I did bring a few eggs inside hoping to hatch them, but that didn't work out.  Well, we keep on trying!

It's so hot here that not much is blooming. This cheery Black Eyed Susan vine is new for me to grow from seed.  It's cascading down the outdoor shelves, but it really needs a trellis and a bigger pot!

When we moved, I found two leftover seeds a gardening friend had sent me (thanks e!)  They were now almost 4 years old, but they both sprouted and have just started to bloom!  Hurray!  They're the most gorgeous blue in a flower that I've seen.  

I'm trying to get the Moonflower vine to climb this tree snag.  It's coming along.  This is the first flower I've added to what I hope to be the moon garden this fall :)

Well, I don't want to overwhelm you with too many pics.  I hope you're gearing up for autumn.  We certainly don't feel like fall, but I changed my meditation station up to reflect a bit of thanks for the small vegetable and flower harvests I've been gathering.  Peace all ☮🙏😊

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Happy Spring!

Well, these two black racers are happy!  They decided to use our backyard as their honeymoon hotel :)

Just the night before we had this gorgeous cornsnake visit us on the lanai.  Now, I don't know how she got in because I thought they patched all the holes in the screen after hurricane Irma.  But she was very docile and let me pick her up and put her outside.

I realize you probably didn't tune in to see my snake friends, so here's a cute pollinator on one of the Jatropha flowers.  

And I think I kinda promised to show you my vegetable garden last time - I probably shouldn't have done that as it's a rather sad tale.

But...here we go:  Everything started out great even though I got a late start because of hurricane Irma.  (That windy wench!)  Then that crazy super cold snap came and took out my cute little cucumbers.

Yeah, the tomatoes were next.  I should've tried harder to cover them or something - I don't know.

But I'll tell ya, those few little cherry tomatoes that were left hanging on were so very sweet!

Now don't laugh - Ha!  I know, I didn't do my green onions right.  And why didn't I read that they take FOREVER to grow from seed!  Well, the birds got to them, although there's still three left that I've put inside the lanai.  Moving on...

Two Poblano pepper plants survived.  I need to get them planted into a big pot pretty soon.

I'm actually quite happy with the carrots.  They seem to be growing well and are very sturdy.  They'll soon be ready.

And my one sure success - the bush beans!  Whoohoo!  I know they're like the kindergarten level of vegetable gardening, but that's very apparently where I'm at :)

I got a couple of nice little harvests from that bunch.

So, I did learn a few things.  I really need raised beds instead of containers, I need a cold weather plan and I need to - well - try a little harder.  

Squirrely says "Oh, that's okay lady - at least you're trying something new."

And Mrs. Cardinal says "Yeah, it's all right, you'll do better next time."

And on that note, I'll leave you with a harbinger of Spring in southwest Florida, the Swallow-tailed Kite.  
Green Blessings 🌱🙏☮

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Birds, Bees and Butterflies

Hello!  This robin was part of a large flock that showed up in the neighborhood this week. They were eating berries in the woods surrounding the house.

I'm so happy they discovered my birdbath, as it brought them in closer and I was able to get a few photos.

I rarely see robins down here.  This is the third time in eight years. 

What a goof!  They stayed for a couple of days and then went on their way.  

This little Prairie Warbler challenged me to get a shot of him.  It was an overcast day, and he stood out like a bright ornament in the trees.  

I don't see him as often as the Yellow Rumped or the Palm Warbler, and this is the first time I've been able to grab a couple of shots.

There's definite room for improvement, so I'll be on the lookout for this guy again.  

Here's an old pic of the Yellow Rumped Warbler or Butter Butt as he's affectionately called.

And this is the Palm Warbler (on that same overcast day).  You can see how these little warblers can be somewhat confusing to identify.

My favorite is the Yellow-Throated Warbler.  What a beauty.  And he's easy to ID! 


I also like how the Black and White Warbler creeps up and down the tree trunks like a nuthatch.  Gosh, I miss seeing the nuthatches!  My brother sends me photos of them from Wisconsin, so I won't complain too much :)

The Gulf Fritillary comes to visit a lot in the butterfly garden.  I had no idea butterflies liked marigolds.  I grew these from seed for the first time in years and they have such a strong, beautiful fragrance.

There's usually two that come in together, so I've named them Gully and Fritz.  

The Cloudless Sulphur butterfly has been visiting lately too.  I usually see them floating through the garden instead of visiting it.  I'm happy they're stopping to fill up at the Pentas!

The Long Tailed Skipper likes his picture taken too.  And he's absolutely gorgeous.  I love blue and brown together. 

I adore these beautiful Iridescent Green Bees!  

And this guy!  So darn cute!

Next time I'll tell you about my little vegetable garden that got a late start because of Hurricane Irma and then took a big hit because of the unusual cold snap we had.  But we keep on trying! 💚