Friday, May 22, 2015

Mallard

Well, I spent this past week making as many signs as I could....only 16, but I have no idea if they will sell or not, so sometimes it's good not to make too many until you're sure how they will be received! lol I did make one sign using my Susan K. Weckesser stamp, "What's Up Gnomey" and you can see it over on the {my sweet earth} blog post today. Would love for you to stop by and see it.

I have new "pets" to feed now, my Mallards! I've only seen them a couple of times in the creek last year, but they never came "ashore" before. The squirrels must have told them how easy I am to train to feed them cause now they are becoming regulars around here.

They heard there was food here along with great service....

Mr. Mallard keeping a close eye on his rival drake who was stalking them, making sure he doesn't get too close to the lady love. He is suspicious that they have already been too close....hmmm...he knew he shouldn't have left her alone in the woods last night.

 Mrs. Mallard has a decision to make....to stay in the relationship or dump him for that new drake...

We took a walk around the garden discussing marital fidelity and then the wife told him that she loved him...it had all been a horrible mistake. Would she please give her another chance?

Darn, Mr. Mallard says...he knew it all along.

Birding Life List:
1. Crow
2. Eastern Bluebird
3. Common Grackle
4. Red Belly Woodpecker
5. Mallard Duck

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Don't mess with a gardener:

 Soooooo....I live in an apartment complex and pretty much have taken over the back area...and now I have expanded my "territory" to include the creek area and a small patch that I have designated for native wildflowers (for the butterflies and bee population). I actually shooed away the yard guys who had orders to clear my wildflower area....lol....I'm pretty sure they think I'm crazy. I don't care.

 I went and confirmed to the apartment complex my intentions for that area, and they are just fine with whatever I want to do. I've asked for help clearing some trees....figured I might as well while I was there, lol AND I want an old bench that's in the "junkyard" so I can make a planter out of it...He said he would get it for me. ( He did, as you can see!! )
 Here's a picture of the "before", hopefully, I'll have an "after" picture sometime soon. Now I need ideas on how to create this, any help is appreciated!! Have you made one? Love it, hate it...anything you would do differently? Let me know! I've already removed the seat slats, and plan on stapling some screen wire to form the base to hold the plants...after that, not sure!

I feel a need to have some pictures, so here is a bird to add to my birding list.

Red Belly Woodpecker
A lot of people confuse him with a Red Headed Woodpecker, but they really aren't even close in comparison! He comes to my feeders all the time, however, he is always angled so that I cannot get a good picture of him. So far, these are the best I have of him.

 Favorite shot....I'm sure he is after something! I wonder what he saw...
 
He did give me one decent pose before flying off.




Birding Life List:

1. Crow
2. Eastern Bluebird
3. Common Grackle
4. Red Belly Woodpecker

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Making signs

Either I am out working in the garden or painting...and, in this case, combining both passions. Making garden signs! I'm getting ready for our big event downtown called Garden Jubilee. I've taken over another room in my apartment, the balcony!! lol 






Only one sign has been attached to a stake since it is my Design Team post up over on Sin City Stamps. Can you guess which one? Would love for you to pop over and check it out.  I hope you like it, I'm really enjoying using my stamps on them. Sure makes it easy to create.

I got the wood from Home Depot, it was in their scrap bin and the young man even cut it down for me for FREE...so the only thing I had to pay for were the stakes. Just loved that...nothing beats cheap, lol

Still lots more to make and varnish and attach to stakes, all before Saturday!!





I have another post up over on the Arnold Grummer blog too...first time using pressed flowers on a card. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

My backyard monthly review

After working on my backyard for 4 years I think I am finally beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel. It's still a ongoing battle with poison ivy, wild grapevine and Japanese pachysandra, however the battles are a little less each year, but living next to the woods probably means they will never go away completely. Anyway...I am going to try and remember to take a picture on the same day of each month so I can really compare the changes in my garden.

April 18th

 May 18

Well, the first thing you really notice is the color changes. The bright azalea colors are gone replaced with a green palette. As I sit here looking at this I have 2 thoughts...
1. Going from spring to summer is like the day after you remove your Christmas decorations. The house looks bland compared to all the sparkly decorations, same here void of all the pretty spring colors. It looks so boring.
2. I wonder if this is why I don't use the color green very much, I think I OD on it here in the mountains....I mean, it's just everywhere!!

You can't see my Blue Flag Iris very well from this distance since the color blue recedes into the background. But they look very pretty when you are ground level looking at them.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Fern lessons

I like to find plants out in the woods and transplant them to the front of my garden, there is nothing more satisfying than free plants....well, maybe finding plants the deer won't eat too is nice, lol I don't mind that the deer eat my Hosta as I LOVE seeing them out in my garden, but it is nice to have something growing that isn't eaten.  This is a picture of a Hosta that the deer have already demolished!

Now I can be kinda dopey sometimes, (stop laughing) and frankly I just amaze myself...sighs...So I have transplanted around 6 ferns in my woodland garden and just realized the other day that I have 2 different kinds....seriously, how can I handle something 6 times without realizing that? AND, I discovered it quite by accident too, which really makes it even worse...another sigh....I even gave myself an eye roll!! lol

I have a lot of plants that I don't know the name of and I will take a picture of them so I can come back and surf the internet. So I take a picture of this fern...which I think may be a Mountain Woodfern? I really won't know unless I check out their spores...it's just crazy how many types are out there that LOOK like this but their spores are all different.

Then as I was walking around in my garden I thought to myself that I should take a picture of the underside of the fern frond too since they use all sorts of things to identify plants with, so I reach down, flip over a frond and take this picture....

When I get back to the computer and pull up the pictures I am so confused, wondering what in the heck did I photograph? Surely it's not the same plant? It's sooooooooo ugly too!! This is in my garden?? and I touched it....ugh....
And yes, the next day I discover my second fern type....sighs again....I am such a doofus!!
..it's really hard to identify ferns in general that look so much alike, but because of the above picture, I was able to identify it as a Christmas Fern by it's spores which look really gross to me, but evidently they are like our fingerprints, and different ferns have different spores...still gross though...just saying, lol This fern is VERY fertile,,,lol

. It get's that name because it stays ever green over winter....will have to keep my eye out for that this winter to double verify I got it correct.

I love the fern fronds as they unfurl....or you might call them a fiddlehead...because of their striking resemblance to the head of a violin, start out tightly curled at the base of the root.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Baby Bluebirds

I could watch them all day....sometimes I do....yesterday morning was a good day for sitting out on the balcony, drinking my tea and playing with my camera. The mornings are still cool enough that drinking hot tea is welcomed.

  I set my camera to a shutter speed of 1000 trying to capture the white fluff floating through the air, not sure what tree it is coming off of, but it looks like it is snowing at times, the air is so thick with it. Can you see all the white dots? The picture doesn't do it justice, what I am seeing.

 And while my shutter speed was set on 1000, I thought I would try and capture some birds in actions and my favorite subject flew right in view. This little baby bluebird was hot on daddy bluebird's trail.

I can almost hear this baby screaming.."feed me, feed me! " Insistent little bugger...kids.....


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Appreciating Face Book

Some people say Face Book is worthless and they wouldn't be on there if their life depended on it. And there can be a lot of disturbing drama and mundane postings...BUT, there are also awesome groups that are filled with helpful people. Recently I joined a Plant Identification group (If you want to join, you must be a friend of mine from FB so I can add you to the closed group, just let me know.) and they have helped me to identify several plants. ( I searched online myself trying to figure what they were called to no avail...there are just too many out there to narrow down the searches when you don't know what you are looking for!!

A couple of posts ago I mentioned finally learning what this little guy is....

Then the other day they helped me to discover the name of my Iris...which really was nice...inheriting plants means I don't know exactly what is growing. I mean I knew it was a Iris but has such un-Iris like leaves...now, I know it is a native and considered semi aquatic, which is why it does so well in my mesic soil.


Then this little wild beauty (although this picture shows it in it's declining stages, so not the best picture) that is seen growing everywhere around here, yet no one knew it's name, (I know, cause I asked a LOT of locals) but the group did :) Have I mentioned how I love this group?


And today, I learned that this little guy will bear me some edible fruit, and even though it is not a native to the area, grows right well along the edges of forests....have I mentioned I live right by the woods? Not sure I'll get a chance to taste the fruit since I have an abundance of wildlife, but hey, as long as someone is happy!


I am having so much fun in woodland garden, it took 4 years of clearing brush, vines and weeds out of it, but the results are starting to show. Little plants are coming alive and popping out all over the place. I'm afraid to pull anything up because it might be a native or something useful. I'm having to relearn my plants since this isn't my usual flower garden I have grown up with and while some native plants aren't as showy, they are still beautiful...now that I am learning to appreciate them.