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, 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! 💚

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Autumn is Here

The Catbird is back for the winter.  I love hearing his goofy calls.  He visits the birdbath every day.

The little Blue-Grey Gnatcatcher is so adorable!  He's just a little bitty guy and boy is he busy.  It's a definite challenge for me to capture him on camera.

They make the cutest little cheep-cheep noises too.  

The little downy woodpecker likes to visit around dusk and makes a big rat-a-tat-tat for such a little guy.  He's one of at least three species of woodpecker that we have in the yard.  (Actually, this is a female)

The Gulf Fritillary is the most frequent butterfly visitor to the yard this fall.

I just got my vegetable seeds started on November 1st.  I'm about a month behind, and I'm going to blame that on Hurricane Irma.  I haven't grown veggies since I was a kid in Wisconsin.  In other words, I really don't know what I'm doing.  

This is a week later.  I'm concerned they're getting a bit too spindly.  We'll see.  I'm attempting to grow heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, bush beans, poblano and banana peppers.  Oh, and carrots.  I haven't sowed the carrots yet, so I'd better do that pretty soon.  Wish me luck! 🌱🍅🌿

Sunday, September 24, 2017

After the Storm

Well, we pretty much took a direct hit.  

Obliterated the fence.  Although it was rather flimsy, so I'm not surprised.

Snapped the pine trees right off.  

I could smell the intense scent of pine there was so much breakage in the area.  It's now faded.

It stripped the pines of their needles and branches.

And now the woods seem battered and naked.

I had a favorite tree behind the mailbox.

He's not looking so good now, poor guy.

Happy to report my other fave made it okay though.

I really do like all the trees, but the above two I just mentioned happen to call to me a little louder than the rest :)

I've got absolutely nothing left blooming except this rogue Jatropha volunteer.  The three big Jatrophas on the side of the house are so tortured looking, I couldn't even take a photo of them.  They're going to need a lot of love...along with everything else.

We were extremely lucky.  We made it through okay.  And the house was hardly touched.  Local damage is pretty severe.  We didn't have power for a week afterwards.  I'm still dehydrated even though we had plenty of water.  We do have a small generator, but we didn't have gas to run it until three days afterwards and when we did get it going a fan just didn't make it in the 94 degree weather.  This is our third hurricane and we thought we were prepared.  Ha!  Irma was a bad, bad thing.

I'm very happy to find that all of my regular bird and squirrel families that visit are accounted for and seem to be in good health!   Be well!  ☮