June 30, 2013

Well, this will be the last post for this section. I will start a new Portland House page for the second half of the year. I thought I would end the section with a picture I took this morning from upstairs out the skylight.

For July through Dec 2013 click here

June 29, 2013

After I got home, I went outside and rearranged my fence in the garden. The boys can now walk through the grass path. They already broke my little gate, so it seemed easier to just let them go through... so I had to blocks off both sides of the path with the fence instead. Fortunately, I had just enough fence to do that. LOL

Then, I fixed up the soaker hose that needed to be replaced and added the other sprinkler for the grapes and honeysuckle.

And, lo and behold, I turned around and there were 2 new Begonia plants! LMAO

I also got some ground cover that likes to grow in borders and walkways. I'm hoping it will choke out that nasty grass that keeps coming up between the bricks on my path. We'll see. Great part is, you can walk on it without killing it!

What's this? Appears that a cucumber is growing in the English Bells pot! Yes, I put it there... not the birds! LOL

That's it for my afternoon. Most of the stuff I did that took the longest wasn't going to be photogenic, so I didn't bother. LOL

June 28, 2013

When I got home mid-afternoon, was plenty hot outside and as I was walking to the front door from my car... a crow started caa'ing at me, so I looked up to the big maple tree and there were 5 huge crows in my tree and they all started yapping at me! Not really sure they were talking to me but they sure got noisy!
So, I left them and got into the house. The boys were happy to see me and greeted me at the door, tails wagging! (Yes, that makes me feel good! LOL) Once petted, Cody immediately retreated back to my bed in front of the air conditioner that I had left on low for them (yes, they are spoiled).

I sat down to check my email and Cody amused himself by gnawing on his football and eventually pulled most of the stuffing out of it,

Luke brought his food dish in and thought my bed would be a fine place to dine, LOL, and after a couple bites decided that my many pillows looked like a dandy place for a doggy to rest. So, I scolded him and made him get off my pillows....

He was less than happy. LOL What a look!

Finally, I went outside and finished planting the uprooted Iris. Had to trim the twirly tree so the branches would stop grabbing my hair or poking me when I walked on the rubbermat pathway.

Decided that was enough on this hot afternoon. In the morning I will swap out one of the soaker hoses for a new one and add a sprinkler by the honeysuckle. Then, off to the farm and to Canby and then back home. Yes, the boys will be left at home with the AC going. :)

June 27, 2013

Woke up early, about 5am I think. But, although awake, I wasn't in the mood to run outside and start working... coffee was necessary first! LOL
So, after a few cups of coffee, I ventured out to the gardens, determined to uproot and replant the purple Iris's. Seemed like such a simple task. Sigh.

With all the humidity and heat, by 9am, I had only managed to get half of them out of the ground. Plus, they had gotten so compacted it was a fight to get most of them out.

Lookin' good!

Finally finished getting them out and put them over here... the site of their future home.

After I got the Iris out, I moved the sunflower and the California Lilac to the now vacant Iris section. They were not doing very well in the Bird Garden so hopefully they will do better here.

After that got done, I mowed the lawn and revamped the watering system.

I did leave most of the birdseed sunflowers growing, but cut everything around them.

When I was going back out after eating some lunch. I noticed this crow sitting on the railing. He was eyeballing the remnants of dog food in the dog dish!

I kept watching and the one crow got down into the dish and took some dog food and then another joined him and they argued for a bit about who knows what! They both left with a dog food nugget! LOL

The day lilies had bloomed, with many more to come.

White wildflowers had also bloomed and amongst them are some really pretty "autumn colored" wildflowers... but that picture didn't turn out so all you get is the white ones! LOL

After an hour of planting, I was taking a break in the shade of the house and looked into the sky... thinking to myself... I wish I had a hammock... I would be SO asleep!!

Then I noticed my neighbors tree, which usually looks dead...and it was all green! Amazing! I don't think I've ever seen it look so green!

I got 2/3 of the Iris replanted and just had to give it up. Too hot/humid, too old, too broken down. LOL Perhaps, in the morning, early, I will lay the weed block to criss-cross the areas between the Iris that are planted. The rest I will plant when I get back home in the afternoon/evening.

The grapes are going crazy so I propped the many vines up on short shepherd's hooks so Cody can't lay on them and break them. They will still give him shade though.

So with Summer just a few days in and temps expected to reach the mid-90's in a few days, the watering system is working and the garden, in general, is looking pretty good.

June 26, 2013

Tonight I went out to look over my garden and determine where I am going to move the mess of Iris. They need to be separated a bit and I found some more under the Maple tree in the back that need to be moved where they will get some better light next year.

So this Iris mess and whatever stragglers I find,

will be moved to that area where the black plastic currently is.

These bushes are going to get a good trim Thursday, maybe Friday morning.

I think I should have planted the Mountain Bells closer together. I think they multiply so maybe they will fill in the blank spots! LOL

Begonia has some more flowers, but it isn't near as big as Mom's is.

Red Lily's are almost all in bloom. Just a few left that haven't.

The Diascia Cherry Star and the Diascia Barberae are doing very well.

Red Mum is getting with the program!

Grapes have grown quite a bit. They're filling in nicely.

Passion flower vine is finally starting to bloom.

Wiegela is starting to bloom it's little pink flowers too! I spherized the photo.

And I had to cut off 3 more artichokes because all this lovely humidity and rain has made them want to blossom. Even the smaller ones look like they may blossom before they even get big enough to eat!

June 23, 2013

Since the greenhouse was looking so messy inside because I had to put some of the stuff back in it. I decided that since I could stay dry and tidy it up, that would be one of my chores for the day. Didn't take that long and it was warm (80 deg) inside. It looks better now.

There's more room now... hmmmm... maybe I'll plant some veggie seeds in planters! LOL

Jasmine is blooming. (I like this camera... I was standing on the deck and zoomed in on the tiny Jasmine flowers)

Newest birdhouse

I got these solar butterflies in the mail yesterday so I thought I would test them out. (Of course, it would be nice if there had been more sun because almost none of my solar stuff lit up in the garden last night). Anyway, they were not impressive.

June 21, 2013

I decided that since, after researching it, I can't afford to do what I want to do on the deck, that I would move the greenhouse onto the deck and take down the bamboo etal.

So, I took it apart to two halves and built it around the tall cactus. No, can't see through the window any longer, but I never looked out it anyway, so it didn't seem like a big deal to put something in front of it.

Need to take the two small ones apart... later... I'm tired now! LOL

Left space big enough to walk between the house and the greenhouse... just in case I need to for some reason. And, there is space around the back side also to get to the plug in easily.

Now I have to find someplace to put this stuff that used to be in the greenhouse.

and clean this trash up... ie... haul to garbage next Tuesday for pickup

I just thought this was a neat crow picture! LOL

The volunteer yellow Viola and the Purple Viola's that were in a basket are really lovin' life and very healthy!

The Petunia's and the Osteospermum are doing very well too.

And, last but not least, yet another picture of the Red Lily's. They are so bright! LOL I just like taking pictures of it! LMAO

June 20, 2013

New Calla Lily

New Delphinium

New Gazinia, planted by the lamp post out front

New Vinca, planted by the lamp post out front

This is starting to look like an Echinacea (Cone Flower)

Red Lily's are popping out pretty good now!

Still not sure what this is. Now it has a yellow center in it. Doesn't look like my cousins' Zinnia, but it doesn't look like my other Dahlia's either. Need to go flower browsing at the store today! LOL UPDATE: This is a Dahlia.

June 19, 2013

Just a couple bird pictures for today.

June 18, 2013

First thing this morning, I spied this little squirrel on the lines. Cute little thing!

I also noticed this flower has bloomed. Not sure what it is but it is very pretty. Maybe a Zinnia?

Red Lily has opened a couple more blooms, too

First raspberry!

Yellow Dutch Lily has opened all the way up now.

Oriental Lily is getting ready to open, has about 5 blooms started.

Grapes are getting bigger!

Cody in his favorite spot.

Luke didn't like staying on the other side of the fence!

Side view of the cacti area.

June 17, 2013

Back to hillbilly heaven on the deck. Maybe I should put out some car parts or tires?? LOL It is at least functional until I get what I need to make it nice and the persnickety Cacti, Pineapple and Blue-Eyed Mary should all be happy.

Decided to just plant the Hosta and the Stonecrop around the lamp post out front... I can always move them later if I find another place I would rather have them.

Fed the birds and squirrels then decided that since the Hummingbirds are more attracted to my colored twirly beads than their food... I cleaned and refilled the feeder and wrapped a twirly around the feeder... maybe they will get the idea now???

Now it's time to make a Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp. Yummy!

June 16, 2013
Wandering around in the garden after mowing

White and red Mountain Bells

Orange Dahlia

Red Lily

Little white flowers... need to look them up for what they are, but they are very dainty UPDATE: The white flowers are Asylum.

Yellow Dutch Iris bloomed

Yellow Viola

Pretty Petunia

Pansies are still looking good... amazing!

This has bloomed, but I don't know what it is and doesn't look like something I would buy on purpose! LOL UPDATE: this is a cone flower.

Birdseed is growing! Birds planted it.


Most of the cacti are doing very well in their little houses. The Aloe Vera and one of the little cacti I got last year are probably not going to make it, but most of the rest are showing new growth!

This canvas has been in the garage for as long as I've been here... about 18 yrs! I decided to try it out as an awning to keep the sun off those plants that want light but don't want to get baked. I don't really like it where it is. I think I will put the bamboo back up for now. The colors are fine with my house color and I wouldn't mind having it over the slider door to keep the sun off there. I am taking it back down today. Maybe put it back in the garage for another 18yrs! LMAO

A couple of shots of the sign in the Bird Garden.

June 15, 2013

I was surprised to see that it looks like Echinopsis eyriesii is making babies! There are about a dozen of these growing on it!

These darker furry things should be blooms later on.

June 14, 2013

After my trip to the farm and running around after, I was kinda out of the mood to do alot at the Portland house. I almost have it figured out in my head how I want to make what I need on the back deck, so I will be reducing that to the written page, with measurements so I can get materials sooner than later.

I moved the Ornamental grass to the lamppost out front. Hopefully, it will find that accommodation more suitable.

I put the Fourth of July flowers in a small raised bed, I will plant it later or tomorrow.

June 13, 2013
Early this morning I looked out back and saw a squirrel having a quiet breakfast.

Just as I snapped my picture, the buggar turned and jumped down from the seed catcher it was raiding

Then, it got a drink from the little mushroom and jumped up on the mushroom, eyeing the suet holders.

Made it to the top of the shepherds hook.

Hung upside down and enjoyed some suet.

After taking a few bites of the suet, it jumped down from there and skittered off into the lilac bushes.

My new sign. I think I will hang it on the birdhouse tree after I lacquer it up

Art E Choke is outdoing herself with making babies this year!

Begonia is getting a flower on it. My Begonia is about half the size of Mom's.

Blue-Eyed Mary has made a new sprout!

Cherry bushes in the back are looking good. The Blueberry plants in the front both have blueberries on them, but I bet the birds will get to them before I do! LOL

Jasmine has one vine that is really climbing up the trellis, I hope more of the vine will start climbing.

Passion Flower has a mind of her own and wants to clump and grow wildly. LOL I keep putting the vines where I want them to go and then it sends out new shoots to where IT wants to go! LOL

The Petunias that I got from Mom's house and originally planted by my light post in the front, is much happier in the backyard with the other flowers.

Red Lily is looking pretty, has lots of blossoms getting ready to burst!

Red Mum is filling out nicely

Rhubarb decided to grow again.

Orange and Scarlet Dahlia's are looking pretty again. (Dog or dogs got into the garden and trampled them a while ago).

Widow's Tears are still blooming

A yellow Dutch Iris is getting ready to bloom where the purple, white, and white and purple Iris have bloomed.

Hmmm...looks like rain is coming... I better go inside, I might melt in the rain. LOL

June 10, 2013

Another day in the backyard garden, what to do, what to do? LOL

Planted the new Dahlia's here with the others.

Transplanted the Petunia's here behind the Columbine.

Planted the new Snapdragon and transplanted my old Snapdragon here

I've decided to plant the new Hosta in the partial shade of the Grapes and move the old Hosta here too... but the will be on the side of the fence that Cody can't lay on them! LOL

Stonecrops are going to go live at the farm with the other groundcover.

Almost all the potted plants that grew from seed are doing very well. But that one ornamental tall grass is not doing well. I think it doesn't like all that water it gets there so I am going to move it to the front where the Petunia's were, it will get ignored out there and be happy again! LOL

Mountain Bells bloomed more. The white ones are taller and just starting to bloom

Pretty Bachelor Button. I was messing around with the "effects" on my editing program.

More Bachelor Buttons! Still messing with the "effects". These are Spherized.

Watering should be done, so I will run out and turn off the water and get busy with other stuff.

June 8, 2013

When it first started to bloom, May 18, there was a nice purple Dutch Iris that appeared. It died off a week or so later.

Imagine my surprise when this snowy white Dutch Iris bloomed from the taller stem around June 5! Just beautiful!

When I walked out this morning, I noticed a new bloom had appeared in the group! It's Purple AND White! LOL

When I get my tools back from the farm, I will plant these two new Hosta Wide Brim and the one that Debbie gave me years ago, in between the large root divets of the Maple tree out front. They will get shade and sun so I think they will be happy there AND hopefully it will choke out any grass/weeds that tries to grow there since I can't mow between the roots that are raised up above the ground. Should be pretty.

On the less sunny side of the same tree, I will plant these Stonecrop Cape Blanco plants. They are a ground cover, native to the Pacific Northwest, that require little water. I need to bring a bag of rocks back from the farm tomorrow because they like gravelly soil to live in. They get tiny little yellow flowers on them when in bloom. Should, also, be pretty in the root divets. (Not in the same divet as the Hosta).

I may move some of the Lamb's Ear out to a divet of it's own too.

June 5, 2013

Yoga Frog is now living with the Echinopsis eyriesii and small Optunia

The Brick red mum is starting to bloom

Beard Tongue is looking pretty!

White Dutch Iris bloomed!

and, surprisingly, a couple little Mountain Bells bloomed!

June 2, 2013

The day started out cloudy and a bit on the cool side. Sure looked like it was going to rain, but it didn't. While I was waiting for 9am to roll around so I could make noise with the lawn mower or weed eater, I amused myself with moving cacti around. LOL

First, I planted the little viola in the Iris section. Cute!

Then,I put together the other little greenhouse and then I moved all the indoor cacti to it. I think they will like it there.

Cute little pot frogs that Mom gave me. I put them with the cactus. Adorable!

And, I squeezed both of the larger ones into one little greenhouse. Although, I may move that one paddle cactus to the other greenhouse. The indoor paddle cactus that is planted with the tall cactus has 5 new paddles growing, so I think it is happy where it is.

Re-potted Ms Pineapple into a bigger pot and moved Blue Eyed Mary to the opposite side. They both want "filtered" sun, so they should be happy where they are. I am going to buy or make a gardening table to replace the shelf that is currently there.. just not today. LOL

Blue Eyed Mary II, also on the deck under "filtered sun" isn't showing any life yet,but I keep hoping.

Looking better! It's getting there.

Since the birds don't seem real thrilled with the store suet, I put out one of my Peanut Butter suets for them. They definitely like it best! LOL

MINE! Go away!! (If you look closely, you can see one bird on the suet and one with its wings spread to retreat having been chewed out by the first one! LOL)

Cody was enjoying having the extra space I gave him by the grapes when I moved the fence around yesterday.

But, then he decided to go for a dip in his pool, got out, turned around and got a big drink out of it. Ewwwwww! LOL

By the time the neighborhood seemed to be waking up, I was already ready to go to the farm. I knew it would be bad... and it was... still is. Plus, the lawn tractor's battery was totally dead... it's now on the charger, so I will be going back tomorrow to (hopefully) get the mowing accomplished out there. Sigh. Packed up the boys and came back to Portland. Will go out after taking Luke to the vet, and take my weed eater and a few more things with me... LOTS of work to do out there.

Got back to Portland, mowed the front yard, did some edging and lost interest in doing any more. LMAO

Instead, I planted the California Lilac where it would get full sun all day... in the bird garden.

I've seen this plant all over the place, gets pretty large and has these pretty purple flowers on the ends of the branches.

The CD Eason Heather, on the other hand, prefers partial shade, so I put it with the other shrubs.


Okay, that was my day today. Time to turn the water off in the gardens and get myself cleaned up.

Tomorrow, the farm!

June 1, 2013

Ugh! I'm bushed. Everything I did took much longer than it seemed like it should have. But, things got done so I shouldn't complain.

After I got back from my two errands, I put some of those "pound in" borders in the planting area that the light stand is in. Added more dirt and properly replanted the petunia's that I brought from Mom's yesterday. Trimmed off the hyacinths and trimmed off the Daffodil that stubbornly continues to grow through my brick work year after year. LOL

Forgot to mention yesterday that the new solar bird bath has a frog on it. LOL

While I was taking a break from doing the border around the gardens, I kept hearing these noisy birds talking back and forth and I could see them in the top of the Fir tree, but I couldn't see what they were. So I had to use the zoom on the camera to figure out there were two Flicker's up there arguing about something. LOL

I finally finished the border around the garden and one of the two places that needed some on both sides to deter the grass. Took forever with all the grass pulling and then the plastic and then the border material. But it got done and then I got the mower out to cut the grass. That went pretty well except the two times that the grass got wrapped up around the axle for the front wheels and made them not work... but the linoleum cutting knife worked very well for cutting the grass away so I could free it and keep going. (You use what's available right? LOL) Got 90% of the weed eating done before I just couldn't stand the thought of trying to make it work for more than 10 minutes at a time. But most of that also got done.

Path to the dog yard through the gardens.

Finished laying the plastic down to kill the grass where the fruit stuff is. Yes, the plants can still get water.... not to worry! LOL

Okay, need taller chairs on the deck, can't see over the stupid rail very well from my current chair. LOL

This pretty little flower is blooming, but, I can't find it in my "flowers" folder so I still don't know what it is. UPDATE: This is a Pikes Peak Purple Penstemon.

This little Viola was a volunteer plant at Mom's house. Had to have been seeded from a bird or the wind though because she has never had yellow Viola's! Anyway, I took it home and put it in a jar with water because I didn't feel like planting it at the time I remembered I had it. It was looking pretty sad last night, but this morning it was all perked up and, yes, it is still in the jar because I forgot about it again. I will plant it tomorrow.... maybe... LOL

May 31, 2013

Finally, dry weather is prevailing. Everything, weeds and grass particularly, have grown quite a bit. Can't wait to see how tall things are out at the farm on Sunday. Sigh.

When I got home, I discovered that the sun is higher in the sky now instead of lounging on the southern exposure so much. So, the cactus were in the sun. Sigh. Not really wanting to deal with that issue today, I attached one of the old bamboo "fences" to the nails that hold the gutter up and now everyone is under the shade. It is a VERY temporary solution and I will deal with it next week to make a permanent solution. That fencing on the side can come down now.

I put out fresh store-bought suet for the feathered friends. One Scrub Jay came down after I left. I watched it as it went to a suet feeder. It took a "bite" and then turned around and looked at me like "WHAT did you do?" It was pretty funny at the time.

I did a few things around the garden, nothing spectacular.

Moved the hummingbird feeder away from the "big bird" feeding stations and over to the honeysuckle. Maybe hummingbirds will come more often now that the big birds won't be so close. I was sitting on the deck after I moved the Shepherds Hook thing and saw a hummingbird over by it, but it didn't stay. Instead, it came to where I was sitting, fluttered in mid-air and then flew away. Was very pretty with a glistening red head. Well, dumb me, I forgot to hang the feeder on the hook, so the bird was probably ticked off at me! ha I did hang it up but didn't see any more hummingbirds yet.

Moved the one of the suet holder Shepherd's Hook to where the hummingbird feeder had been to make room for a new solar birdbath.

Then I started on the edging project that I wanted to do a few months ago. Pulled up sections of the flimsy fence, pulled out the grass, cut strips of black plastic and laid those down, but the fence back and laid the rubber edging down on the plastic and secured it all with lawn staples. Now the grass won't be able to grow around either side of the little fence, making my life a little easier. I ran out of edging in no time, so will have to go get more and finish that project tomorrow.

May 27, 2013

Room for one more?

hungry babies! LOL

Hey! Where'd ya'll go??

First Squirrel. There were 3 squirrels in the bird garden this morning!

Second Squirrel

3rd Squirrel

One squirrel decided that the suet holders would provide a much better bounty than the grass would. But when it got to the suet holder, it was empty. So,it scampered up to the top of the Shepard's hook to get to the other one.

Then it hung upside down and stretched as far as it could to get to the holder.


Later on, one of them figured out that sitting on the seed catcher was much more comfortable than hanging upside down!

Leftovers! Yummy! Hey.. this thing moves when you go to one side or the other!

May 26, 2013

Nice bird's eye view of the garden!

Hey! You down there... are you finished eating yet??

I've got my eyes on you!

and broken legs.... I think the bird mafia was making examples of my frogs.

May 25, 2013

Weather is being pretty good today! YAY! Made it outside to get a few garden things done.

Things are looking a bit bedraggled in the garden. Deadheading and weeding needed. So, I started with the Iris and moved around from there.

Looks like Morticia Addams helped with the flowers! Not one bloom left on those Iris or Daffodils.

Then, it was time to do some planting. The Aquilegia caerulea got the center position in the long raised bed:

Sunflower has a new home in the bird garden. While I was doing that, I noticed that there are a TON of small sunflower starts in that section. No doubt from the birdseed. I'm going to let that area grow and see what happens!

After I planted the new plants and finished all the deadheading and 90% of weed pulling. I was looking around... which seemed to be annoying to the local flocks.

They started gathering on the wires... one at a time! LOL

But, I didn't care... I continued on with what I was doing.

Jasmine has started to climb the trellis

Pink Mum is showing some color

This Tulip is so pathetic looking... even the frog is embarrassed and covering his eye! LOL

Passion Flower has tons of buds

Red lily has lots of buds

Someone or something broke one of Ruby Rhubarb's stalks. So, I went ahead and gathered up all the "dead" looking parts of the stalks that had seeds, saved those, and cut down the rest of the plant.

Still don't know what these are, but they look like they are getting ready to bloom:

Cody wanted to be outside to be with me, but it is just too hot for the down-laden boy, so he was trying to stay cool in the shade of the grapevines.

I finally moved some plants from under the Butterfly Bush, too. The Iris went to the Iris garden, the Day Lily's went into the Day Lily pots.

Lambs Ear. There was more over there than what I thought was there! LOL I put it where the Grecian Windflowers were supposed to be.

Spider Wort got a corner position in the same bed as the Lambs Ear

And, whatever this is went to the "unknown" garden.

I still need to move my fern, but haven't decided where it's going to go. There are also Sweet Peas over there but I didn't move those either yet.

Awhile back I noticed that the mushroom statue that had two birds on it, only had one and yesterday noticed that one of the wood birdhouses was falling apart.

Statue is now fixed

Whatever happened to pride in workmanship?

When I started to take the rest of the roof off the little birdhouse to fix it...

This is what I saw! Yikes! You can see the wasp's butt by the nest on the right side

Then, it turned around and smiled at me for the next picture! LOL

He should have just left peacefully... but he didn't and he scared me... so I killed him.

Then I fixed the birdhouse and put it back up in the tree

Final garden act was to add more twirly things to the Twirly Tree. Originally, I made them to scare the birds when they moved and keep them off my veggie garden. It didn't work. LOL I think they actually like the sparkly twirly things because I've seen the birds land on them or sit on the tree branches with the twirly things around them. So, now they have more. LOL

So, that was enough of digging, cutting, pulling and fixing for the day.

May 24, 2013

Later the same day:
I had put out more bread for everyone to enjoy and BOY did it bring the wildlife out! LOL Was cool!

First I noticed this little squirrel was looking around from the overhead line.

Then this bird came and seemed to be having some kind of conversation with the squirrel

Shortly after, another little squirrel arrived and seemed to annoy the first one. (you can see Squirrel #2's tail on the right side of the pole).

and they parted company

They didn't go very far and almost immediately retreated back to their former spots.

Next, all these little birds gathered on the line and the two squirrels didn't move. The birds weren't talking... maybe it was an intimidation attempt. I don't know. But those squirrels didn't budge.

More birds arrived, bigger ones, and stayed down by the food.

You would think with all the rain we have had of late, that no bird would need to bathe. You would be wrong! LOL

In retrospect, I think the birds must have been planning a TGIF party (after all, there was plenty of food and drink to be had! LOL) and were letting the squirrels know that they were not invited. Then, the birds bathed and flew away to wherever the party was going on, several took bread with them. The crow didn't even come back until after all the smaller birds left. Birds are weird! LOL

Earlier the same day:

I bought this little beauty at the store the other day. It reminds me of a cross between a honeysuckle flower, Clematis, and a Columbine! It is called Aquilegia Caerulea.

I also rescued this sunflower that was going to go in the trash next. I think once it is in the ground, it will do just fine. I will plant it in the "bird garden" section.

While I was waiting for the boys to get their baths finished, I wandered out once to see what was going on outside. I had tossed out some bread pieces earlier. There was a big ol' crow on the overhead line that was just giving "what for" to a young scrub jay. So, the jay left and went to the Fir tree. (I believe that the Jay may have cursed at the Crow as it was heading to the tree). Next thing, that Crow went to the tree and physically attacked the Jay! He didn't hurt the Jay, but he definitely let him know who was boss! LOL

Then the Crow swooped down to the ground and started gobbling up all the bread.

Scrub Jay retook his position on the overhead lines and kept his back to the crow.

Crow looked up and saw the Jay on the line again and took off after him!

Last I saw Crow and Jay were both on the line and Crow was inching his way over to where Jay was perched.

Then, I had to go inside again because I was supposed to be watching the clock for when it was time to rinse Cody... oops... so, I didn't see what ultimately happened with Crow and Jay. LOL

May 23, 2013

Today was a cooking day. Kinda dismal outside and cold, so warming the house with good smells of cooking and heat from the stove seemed like a perfect idea!

Cody also thought that cooking was a good idea and waited patiently for me to drop some tidbits! LOL

While things were cooking, I gandered outside a few times.

Blue Eyed Mary seems to have decided, once again, to grow. This plant so confuses me!

Bird came to visit

Yep, squirrel meandered in also

And, at the end of the day, I had a feast ready to eat!

Bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with almond; Crab stuffed avocado; Ham croissants topped with cheeses, served with spicy mustard; Kale salad with Broccoli and Carrot strings, black olives, Feta and red cabbage; Steak, medium, with sauteed mushrooms and celery in wine sauce; Shrimp, Asparagus and Penne Pasta; Al Dente broccoli, steamed; Wilted Spinach with almond slices and Bacon; Wild rice with broccoli strings, carrot strings, and white beans; Russet or Sweet potato, baked; and Cabernet Sauvignon (sp)

May 20, 2013
Started out as a gray day, but the sun did break through and it was beautiful out for the afternoon.

First, a few pictures from Mom's place.

The Fuchsia is doing great and will look awesome if all those buds open at the same time! LOL

Beard Tongue is doing very well and seems to like its new location. Honestly, sometimes I wonder where they come up with such disgusting sounding names for a beautiful plant!

Mary Rose, Mom's namesake, is looking very pretty! LOL

But, the red rose keeps showing up on Mary Rose's stem. It's pretty, but it's not supposed to be there! LOL

Petunia is looking pretty!

Raspberries are looking good and already forming berries!

Tilley Tomato is doing very well and its baby 'maters are already forming!

Tiger Lily's are just starting to bloom. And what a cute Turtle! Some very nice and thoughtful person must have given that as a Mother's Day gift! LOL

Neighbor's Rose

Another neighbors rose

And, so, now we turn our attention back to Debbie's Portland Garden... yes, it really IS all about ME! LOL

I took a few pictures before I left to go to Mom's house.

Bachelor Button - It's really more of a pretty Mauve color

Someone came for early breakfast


The Azalea from Mom's... it has fresh growth, so I think it will be okay.

Pansies from Mom's house.. looking good!

Viola's from Mom's house

Widow's Tears - such a dainty little flower. It's an interesting plant... the flowers bloom and last a day or so and drop off... a couple days later, new ones are there!

A few birds were looking for food that had been dropped!

Later, that same day! I came home and did some yard work, mowed, weed-eated and put down some black plastic to kill grass.

After I got things done, many feathered friends came to eat the Peanut Butter suet I had put out, peck around in the fresh mowed lawn and take a bath.

Crow was not invited to join the others

The Diascia Barberae "Pink Eye" had bloomed

Pretty little thing!

Phygelius Snow Queen.. glad it is alive and blooming, but not really the prettiest girl on the curb! LOL

The Unknown Iris continues to bloom and the blooms seem to be bigger everyday. It got so heavy with flower that I had to stake it up!

And plastic was laid down to kill off some grass. Later, I will make it pretty.

Last, but not least, the grapes are starting to fill out a bit. Can't wait till they are edible!

May 19, 2013

I took a walk around the garden to see what was going on this morning out there.

Art E Choke has produced 7 babies now. Two look like they are almost ready to pick! Yummy! LOL

This Azalea is really more of a rusty color. It's doing very well considering I thought it was almost dead!

I think this will turn out to be the Beard Tongue. It's just starting to bloom.

Mom's Begonia's are looking good. I'll take the bigger one back to her house tomorrow.

Columbine is blooming like crazy! Pretty!

Close up of the Goldalia Scarlet Dahlia. Beautiful!

Heuchera Ruby Bells are lovin' life! LOL

Phygelius Snow Queen... another adopted plant, last year, scheduled for the garbage at the store. It's doing well, don't you think? LOL

Tulip is looking pretty...ummmm... not pretty! LOL Hope they will look better next year!

I couldn't find this Iris in the Breck's catalog that I bought it from... if it were blue and white in that configuration, I would guess it to be their Mariposa Skies Iris... but it is not blue!

It is very pretty, though, even though it isn't the one I bought.

Looking at the gardens from the North to the south

May 18, 2013

Well.... I am not a happy camper this morning. The "Can't Touch This" iris has finally bloomed. Yes, it is pretty, but it's not what I bought! Fortunately, Breck's has a no-hassle guarantee, so they should replace it with the right flower. I sent them an email about it this morning.

This is what I bought....

and this is what bloomed... they don't look like the same flower to me!

The Dutch Iris also bloomed. It's very dainty looking!

May 17, 2013

Not much to report today. So hard to get outside stuff done when the weather changes minute to minute. But, I did manage to get all the bird feeders, suet, and squirrel feeders replenished.

By 3pm, the Starlings, predominately, had already eaten everything from at least one of the suet holders. Boy, they are a hungry lot! LOL UPDATE: It is now 6:57pm and two of the suet holders are empty!

Most of the birds I see in the backyard are black, brown, and/or gray. Not a photogenic bunch!

So it was pretty neat to see this American Goldfinch and this Black-Headed Grosbeak are showing some color! Of course, the Goldfinch bent down for more food just as I shot the picture and then it flew away. The Grosbeak kept going from branch to branch trying to hide... but I found him anyway! LOL

And, once fed, several decided to get their Friday Night bath out of the way before venturing off. LOL

May 14, 2013

I planted the basket of flowers over in the front of the "unknowns garden". Looks nice there I think.

Now I need to figure out what the flowers are!

The other two newest flowers went amongst the bulbs that will hopefully bloom next Spring... to give the area some color. (I actually have planted them in the ground since the time of taking the picture).

So if you put all the views together, well, kind of together, this is what you see:

May 12, 2013

Newest flower additions:

This flower basket was at Mom's but she wanted a Fuschia instead so I brought it to my house. Not sure what 3 flowers are in there, I'll figure it out later. LOL

Flower Power Purple Osteospermum! LOL Yep, that's the name of it.

Phlox Divaricata "Chattahoochee" - Woodland Phlox

May 10, 2013

Newest flower additions:

Diascia Barberae "Pink Eye" (no blooms yet) and Calibrachoa hybrid "Cherry Star" on the right.

Dianthus by the Iris is now blooming!

And a couple close-ups:

Columbine Iris

May 9, 2013

After I got back from the country, made a couple stops on the way home and finally got home, I set about to get the weedeating done. This didn't go so well. I had to rewind the double spool twice because it wouldn't feed correctly and then it would just unwind completely. I was getting very very annoyed.

So, the second time this happened... I gave up... the front yard did not get done. But the backyard got finished.

Aarrgghh! Since I learned that the spools are made by Homelite and not Toro, I am sure I can find the prewound ones... and I will! LOL

I bought this dandy birdhouse yesterday, but I haven't put it up in the tree yet.

I bought these two flowers and will plant them tomorrow... I ran out of steam for today. LOL They are both Dahlia's. One is called Goldalia Orange and the other is Goldalia Scarlet. Pretty!

Orange Scarlet

While I was taking a break on the deck after the second bout with the weedeater.. a Scrub Jay landed with a thud (thought the dog dropped a bone!) on the deck and started hopping towards the opened slider door! I thought the buggar was going to actually go in the house! LOL "Hey, what are ya doin" I asked him. He looked at me for a minute like "Oh.. the giant is home" and then flew to the top of the fir tree where he bitched me out for about 15 minutes and finally shut up! LOL

Then, I decided that I was going to put the two Cherry Bushes and the two small Blueberry bushes into the ground... so I did that!

I put these cute little picket fences around the fledgling bushes.... mostly to protect them while I'm weedeating! LOL You can't see the bushes in the pictures, but they are definitely there in their little white picket fences!

I also rearrange the fencing. The boys have much less freedom now. Cody can still get under or behind the grape vine but no further than that and they can only get about 1/2 way down the path, they are cut off from travel at the point the fence is falling over. Yes, of course, they COULD still go through if they really wanted, but hopefully they will continue to respect that a fence is there and not go through it.

Then, it was time to redo the watering situation, so I got that done and will leave it that way for this year. Next year I will do it different, but, frankly, getting tired of the project... too many things going on. LOL

Whilst I was redoing the hoses so that everyone gets water, I noticed a few things...

First, Art E Choke has two babies growing

Biggest baby

The Spider Wort and Sweet Peas from last year are blooming! Spider Wort is such a pretty little white flower when its fully blooming... can't imagine why anyone would give it such a icky name!

The Lambs Ear and Sweet William are doing great. I like Lambs Ear.. it will grow anywhere under any circumstances and it's soooooooooo soft!

The Widows Tears bloomed... just one so far. Mom's is much taller than mine is and bloomed yesterday. But, mine is getting there! The Yellow Mum started blooming too, but when I first saw it, I thought it had a weed growing in it. Turns out that the small yellow flowers are the mum... funny looking thing! LOL I hope it fills in better than it is because it doesn't look like a mum to me.

The stuff in the Pot Garden is more easily seen now. Kinda exciting to see what is going to live and bloom! LOL The tulip hasn't bloomed but it is getting some color on it.

May 8, 2013

As I was leaving for work this morning, I happened to look at the yard and was shocked to see my red Azalea bushes laden with so many flowers! I guess getting the trees trimmed up and thinned was a good thing, because usually they only have a few scraggly looking flowers on them!

I may feel compelled to actually shape them so they look even better next year! LOL

After I got home from work, I mowed the backyard, except where the bird stuff is. I think I will weed eat it tomorrow when I get back from the country. But I was looking around after I watered everything and noticed that the Columbine had finally opened.

As did last year's rescued Azalea.

And the Heuchera Ruby Bells were completely opened,

Luke found that a hot doggy could get a good drink of fresh water where one of the hose connections is not quite right and was spewing water from it. LOL

I think I got bit by a spider, several times, on my tummy. I'm not happy.

May 6, 2013

Mom and I stopped at Shari's on our way home from her appointment. The Canadian Geese and the Mallard Ducks were out with their babies in the creek that flows behind the string of restaurants. The water looks pretty nasty... but the water fowl and other birds seem to be content with it. So cute!

The little goslings were herded by their Moms up onto the bank to enjoy some seed that someone had thrown out.

And, then, they were herded to go lay in the shade under some bushes to take a nap.


the much smaller ducklings, under their Moms watchful eyes, were busy paddling around in the water and getting ready to get up on the beach.

The Drakes were in the water also, but sitting on the other side of the creek in the shade, while the Hens were in the sun taking care of the children. Hmmmm.... MEN... LOL

While I was watching the ducklings and their moms, one hen was having a terrible time with one of her offspring.

This hen had 5 babies that appeared to be hers. Four were behaving and one was a handful... or beakful... LOL.... that little guy would jet off in an opposite direction in the water and the Mom would chase after, grab whatever part of it that she could, and toss it back over to where the other babies were! Never seen such a thing! LOL

Then, as soon as she would join her brood, that little sucker would take off again!! She would go chase and toss it again. (I should say that she wasn't tossing him up in the air, more like skimming him over the water! LOL) Yes, I've decided that it was probably a boy baby! LMAO

The one in the lead in the middle of the picture is the one that kept taking off. You can see that his "wake" in the water is turning a different direction than the others are.

Well, about the 4th time this happened, another hen intervened from the opposite side when the duckling took off... that little duckling stopped dead in the water... turned around and slowly paddled back to where it's Mom and siblings were waiting, fell in line, and they all swam to the beach.

I wonder if the intervening hen was Grandma? Honestly, you could almost see her standing in the water, tapping her webbed toes with her wings on her hips! LOL Okay, not really, but she certainly seemed to have a profound affect on the youngster! She waited in the middle of the creek until they were all on the beach and then she retired to the shaded water where the Mallards and a couple other hens were.

Clearly, the youngster is a rebel! I hope his impetuous recklessness will not cause him to become a snack for a hawk or the like!

Was very funny, and educational, to watch.

The way the sun was hitting the water made this a yucky looking photo. But they are all in line and following Mom to the beach.

Dropped Mom off at home and I came home. Looked at my flowers, filled Cody's pool with fresh water. Interesting thing about Cody and his pool.... if the water has gotten dirty and has been in the pool for 2 days... he won't get in it... until the water is fresh again. He and Luke will, however, drink the dirty water from it like it's a giant water bowl. LOL I don't understand dogs!

Anyway, the 3rd Giant Daffodil had opened and more of the Iris had opened.

May 5, 2013

Not much going on today. Breezy and gusty winds outside, but it is hot out. I woke up the first time at 4am and decided it was too early to be awake yet and crawled back into bed. Then I woke up at 5am and decided I must not be tired anymore so I got up. The sun was starting to come up by 6am so I was looking out the back door at my gardens. Everything seemed fine, nothing had changed, so I came back in, got some coffee, and settled down to do my remote work. Two hours later when I got done with that, I went to the back door again and was astonished to see the several of the Iris had bloomed in that two hour time that I was gone!!


Later on, the gusty winds knocked over stuff on the deck, again. So, once again I had a mess to clean up. I have now secured things differently and if the winds are strong they will have to take the deck railing off to make things fall over. LOL

So, I went out to finish documenting what was where in the gardens and noticed that a Tulip was getting ready to bloom (this is not their blooming time) and one of the plants in the "unknown" garden had bloomed. The "unknown" plant is actually a Bachelor Button from last year. I thought they only lasted one year but boy this guy was pretty big and healthy!


Cody was already using his wading pool by 8am so I figured it was going to get pretty warm today... and it did. But with both overhead fans on, it's not bad in the house. Of course, the shade from the big maple and tulip tree against the afternoon sun helps alot. LOL
The boys are snoozing and snoring, enjoying the fan in my room and the coolness of the hardwoods. Gotta luv 'em!
Haven't seen any birds out and only one skinny squirrel was out this morning. I guess I will fill their food buckets again and if the suet I made (12 of them) is "set" I will fill the suets again... and, yes, the regular bird feeders no doubt need seed again. Hungry buggars! LOL

Two of the giant Daffodils bloomed by this afternoon. They are only about 4" tall and the blooms aren't unusually big. LOL I presume the Giants will be much taller next year when they grow and bloom during their normal season!

May 4, 2013

And to top off my day, I made a little tour around the gardens and discovered several things that are getting ready to bloom. Some are a surprise and didn't expect them to bloom until next year.
These were already blooming, there's just more now! LOL

Blue Grape Hyacinths and Sweet William:

Getting ready to bloom:
Columbine and "Can't Touch This" Iris

Widow's Tears and Purple Iris

Surprise getting ready to bloom:
Giant Daffodils

I thought that the Blue Eyed Mary vine had died, again, but when I pulled the root ball out of the dirt, there were 3 more starts coming off it! Maybe it will actually live! I have hope.

And, last, for now, but certainly not least... and not a flower! LOL
Concord Grape vine and little clusters of grapes!! I'm excited. Been waiting 3 years for it to have grapes (takes 3 years). When I planted it, it was only an 8" tall twig! It is has tons of these little clusters! woo hoo! LOL

April 30, 2013

This evening I happened to look out the back door to see what might be going on out there. What I saw was a big ol' Crow picking on the Scrub Jays and chasing them away.
Apparently, he was wanting to eat the peanut butter suet that was hanging out there and didn't want them around for the event.
He made a couple attempts to get a footing on the vine wreath so he could eat, but just couldn't seem to get the hang of it.
Frustrated, he got to the top of the birdhouse tree and started calling his buddies... I think that's what he was doing... I don't know, he was being noisy at any rate. LOL

So, he decided to make one more attempt but just couldn't do it... so he flew away. I'm sure he was hiding his face in shame when he got wherever he went.

But, the other birds came back as soon as he was out of sight and enjoyed their meals.. oh, and none went to the suet... so there was really no reason for him to have chased them away to begin with. LOL
Birds, animals, humans... they're just all goofy creatures to watch! LOL
Just for review and comparison purposes. This is what I started with on 03/15/13 and what there is today. I think it is an improvement!

I brought home a planter of Pansies and an Azalea from Mom's on Monday. The Azalea got planted, at least temporarily, in the Iris Section. You can't see it very well but it is beside the frog with the glass belly. The Pansies, I put in my short wood planter and ultimately it ended up by the short green trellis. I did manage to plant the Jasmine today too.

After I got things planted and mowed the lawn between rain showers, I started looking to see what was blooming or growing. Of course, didn't have to look too hard to see Larry and Lila Lilac getting gorgeous!

Larry Lila

Then, I noticed that this one has started blooming. I don't know what the shrub is, but I planted it a couple years after I moved in to the house, so it must be at least 15 yrs old.

Things seem to be growing pretty well in all the garden sections.

March 29


left side right side

Long bed Shrubs

March 30

Today (Most of the potted seeds have sprouted above ground, but it is really hard to see them!):

I was especially happy to see that the Begonia's have now broken ground and that Blue-Eyed Mary is not dead after all! A new sprout has shown up! (The new sprout is right in the center of the picture on the right).

Begonia Blue Eyed Mary

And, lastly, I kept hearing this ruckus overhead so I finally looked to see what was going on. There were about 5 medium/small dark birds and they seemed to be taking "pot shots" at the larger brown bird. Ultimately, the brown bird made all the others go away. I think it is a hawk but I don't know for sure, don't know what the smaller birds were either but they seemed to have some attitude! LOL

April 26, 2013

Just another day in Paradise! Beautiful morning! Much better time of the day to take pictures.

And while I enjoyed my morning coffee on the deck, the boys went for a walk around the grounds. (Looking for "just the right spot", I'm sure! LOL)

April 25, 2013

Got a little bit done today. I decided, after it cooled down, to go ahead and move the ornamental grasses. I looked and looked for where to put them and then suddenly it came to me! Grass should be in the Pot Garden! ROTFLMAO (Oh yes, I just tickle myself sometimes)! You get it right? Grass and Pot....

Up closer... I have no idea what each grass is, but they are pretty in their own rights. One is not doing very well, but I think it will perk up not being as crowded as it was and being able to get regular watering.

I rearranged these Day Lillies and the boy and girl frogs...

Awww, how cute are they??

to accommodate the pretty blue bell flowers and my newest acquisition, a Jasmine vine. It smells so good! Mmmmmmm, I love Jasmine. (and Honeysuckle and Gardenia). I will plant the Jasmine tomorrow morning probably.

I also managed to drag out the ladder and move the birdhouses around. That hippie bus needs to be moved down, or up, a little, I think.

Last, but not least, I did put up the bamboo shade thing again to protect my tempermental Cacti. Two were showing signs of sunburn!! Goodness me! A sunburned cactus and the sun isn't even boiling hot yet! So, now they will get filtered sun in the afternoon and in the heat of summer I can move that white shelf thing (with the bamboo) to protect the darlings from early morning sun if needed. Good grief! LOL Beautiful? No. Functional? Yes... for now.

April 24, 2013
After work, I went outside to see how the gardens were doing. These are the two Sweet Potato Vines. Should look nice with the added foliage if all those pots of flowers grow and bloom.

These dainty little flowers have bloomed, but I'm not sure what they are. UPDATE: These look most like English Blue Bells.

In the "Unknown Garden" area, there are two that are blooming. One I have identified, but still don't know what the other one is.

Heuchera Ruby Bells

If anyone knows what this might be, please tell me! LOL UPDATE: They are Sweet William

The Blue Grape Hyacinth are blooming, but I think their season is actually passed! Perhaps they are confused or maybe just showing appreciation for being released from their pot prison!

The Grape Vine is starting to leaf out nicely. It SHOULD give me some grapes this year. We'll see. LOL

Honeysuckle plant is also getting ready to bloom. I wish it were a fragrant one like the one at the farm, but it isn't. It is more colorful though.

I do believe that Ruby Rhubarb has gone to seed. Oh well, she had three good years, maybe four and produced alot of stalks. So, guess it is time for her.

The early purple lilac is blooming really well, even though I chopped off some of it's limbs last fall, it seems to be doing just fine.

I still have all this stuff to dig up and move to the "gardens", as well as a few things I saw growing in the back by the fence:

And these seem to have gotten out of control.

The cacti are doing pretty well.

And, Cody says hello to everyone! LOL

April 23, 2013

Well, I am a little tuckered out, but I did get a lot done. The ground is pure clay again. I need to buy a kiln so I can make some nice pots out of my yard! LOL

I have finished 95% of the planting. There are still a few things I want to move to the garden area, but they will wait for a different day, maybe tomorrow after work.

I planted the Minnow Daffodils, regular Daffodils, Crocus, Giant Crocus, something else and some more Iris in the front patch where the Iris already are and placed some wood stumps, frogs and a couple Toadstool in that patch.

The last two pots of bulbs, well, they are still in pots and will remain in pots! LOL I put them in front of the "unknown stuff" garden patch with a lump of wood in between them. Then, of course, put some more frogs out. LOL In the back, where the green short trellis is, I planted two vines. They don't flower and they are both Sweet Potato vines - no potatoes either! LOL One is planted to grow on the front and one on the back, but I neglected to take any pictures of them.

Rearranged some frogs and added some to the long raised bed, too. Planted the last two ground cover things in there, but I don't recall the names right now. I'll look at the signs tomorrow and write them down! LOL Cleaned the birdbath and filled all the bird feeders, suet containers, and squirrel feeders. So, everyone is happy now. I have to make more suet in the next couple weeks, that was the last of the peanut butter suet.

This morning I moved both large cacti outside again. I'm not dragging that tall one in again. I will buy it a blanket if it is going to get near freezing! LOL It is just too heavy to move in and out. I also decided that the Welcome Labrador can live on the front porch of the dog house... he looks cute there. And, emptied, cleaned and refilled Cody's pool which he was thrilled about and got in several times this afternoon. LOL


So, here's the overall picture, but it just doesn't do justice to how it really looks. I still have some odds and ends to finish up but the major stuff... except moving the Butterfly Bush...is done. If Home Depot ever gets the skinny longer EnviroTiles in, then I can finish my little paths. Anyway, as I said, the picture doesn't do it justice, you'll just have to come and see for yourself! LOL

April 21, 2013

Even though the day was not near as nice as the weatherman had said it would be a couple days ago, it wasn't too bad until this afternoon when it got colder. So I did get a couple things done.

First, I put out the birdbath ornament under the birdhouse tree.


And, I hung up the most recent birdhouse acquisitions (Toadstool, Hippie Van, and the one with the big flower on the front). I'll move them up higher later on.


Gathered up some empty pots and cleared out the area under the short trellis. Filled the pots with dirt, added seeds, and labeled all the pots. They are now all residing in the "pot garden" which, contrary to it's name, contains no marijuana.

Planted in the pots are Painted Daisy's, Snap Dragons, Sweet William, Bachelor Buttons, Sweet Peas, Zinnia's, Aster's, Dwarf Aster's, Cosmos, Red Poppy, and Coneflower/Wildflower Mix. In those brick things are Harlequin Columbine in the lower spaces and Blue Star Columbine in the upper spaces.

Then to top off the section, I added mushrooms and Rain Gauge Frog.

When I have time, I will look for a string of solar lights to outline the little trellis. I think that would look nice.

There were tons of these birds that would swoop down into the fresh pulled grass every time I left. I think this is a male Golden Crowned Sparrow.

Might go out and do some more but haven't decided yet! LOL

April 14, 2012

Got my lawnmower back on the 12th. Unfortunately, it's been mostly raining since then, so the lawn still grows. I'm kinda getting used to it looking that way. LOL

I did get out today, a couple times between hail and rain, to move some frogs out to the beds.

First I hung up the Welcome sign on the trellis


Then I added a couple frogs to the bed and in front of the bed in the ground cover area. You can see how much taller the grass is on the other side of the fence.

Close ups of the newest ones in the ground cover area.

And Mr and Mrs Frog overlooking the rest of them.

And, I added a new large blue toadstool to the toadstool collection.


April 12, 2012

Still waiting for word on my lawnmower. Perhaps I should bring the scythe down from the farm and use that. LOL Well, anyway, I plan on working on these two areas today.

But first I had to go get dirt (15 more bags) and I had to stop at Fred Meyers. So while I was at Fred Meyers I went to go see what climbing vines they might have because I need one. I found no climbers, but these were on sale 60% off and I thought they would make a lovely addition to my frog collection. tee hee I tried to cushion them well, but one of the nasty bags of dirt bumped the tall one and popped its head off. Fortunately, the tops are just glued onto the stems, so I just have to glue it back on.


And, last but not least... the boys were given a rawhide treat. No, they are not spoiled! LOL

Lunch break is now over so I will get out there and fill that box up with dirt!

Got 12 bags of dirt in the box and planted the Mountain Bells, Pickwick Crocus, Sparkler Allium, Blue Grape Hyacinths, 3 varieties of Tulips, and one that I have no idea what it is! Guard frogs were placed all around because I am pretty sure that the birds and squirrels thought I was fixing them a nice, easy to get to, buffet table for their dinner tonight. LOL When I had started working out there, all chirping in the area stopped and didn't start up again until I left!

I also moved the wire cat border that Mom got me several years ago to a space under the grapes... I think it looks good there. However, I am also sure that putting it there is going to be very annoying to Cody because he likes to sleep right there or behind there. LOL


April 11, 2013

Mom told me that they had a bunch of frogs on sale at Rite-Aid, so against my better judgement and not really needing more frogs... I went and looked at them! LOL

Ended up with a girl frog, boy frog, water gauge frog, solar lights frog, two toadstools and a toadstool birdhouse. But, it's okay because they were all 50% off! LOL

Pretty darned cute!

April 9, 2013

I just wasn't in the mood to do much of anything. So, I made a new Garden Sparkler and stuck it in Ruby Rhubarbs pot. Kind of cute, but useless! LOL

April 7, 2013

The weather has been somewhat unstable for a while. Rain, then sun, then rain, etc. Made it hard to get anything accomplished outside. Yep, that's going to get the grass growing! sigh.

April 1, 2013

Happy April Fool's Day!

When I went outside a little bit ago I saw this neat bird, actually there were two of them. I believe, as before, that they are probably Downy Woodpeckers, but they could be Hairy Woodpeckers, too. I didn't get a good look at the beaks but the birds were more the size of 6". I didn't get any shots of the female, I guess she was camera shy! But, I did get a couple of the male with the red on his head.

March 31, 2013

Kept forgetting to take a picture of the Easter gift from Mom. It is a Calandiva Kalanchoe (Succulent).


March 30, 2013

Started off with a clear, sunny, crisp morning! It was beautiful outside!


Even the grape is getting happy. Those little brown nubbins on the stems are leaves getting ready to come out. So, I guess I didn't damage it when I cut it back earlier. Hopefully, this year will bear fruit. What I've read says that it should produce fruit in its 3rd year and that would be this year. When I planted it, it was only about 6 or 7" tall and a cutting I took from a friends vine.

Okay, on with the business of the day. This will be my first task:

Worked on that area for about 4 or so hours. The grass was well rooted and took forever to get out. Plus found some bulbs that I don't know what they are so I put them in one of the boxes from yesterday. I was getting close to finishing this side, but allergies were becoming a problem, so I gave it up. I will finish the last 2' when I do the other side.

These are the 3 critters in the raised bed from yesterday. I just thought they were cute... Sheriff Frog and Iguana and Prairie Dog bad guys. LOL

Next event will be to finish what I started today, move the butterfly bush into the bird area, and clean-up and plant the front corner.

Okay, that's it! Go back to what you were doing and have a very Happy Easter tomorrow!

March 29, 2013

Back Front

I got a bit of work accomplished today. Moved small bushes and some flowers, so now they are out of my way to do "bird flowers" where they used to be. Filled the two front raised beds and put flowers and, yes, frogs, in those. Put the 4 bushes in the ground behind the boxes.

Back Front

These are pictures I took at Mom's yesterday. I know I only bought "double daffodils" to put with the other flowers in the big pots... however, there are 3 distinctly different types growing! LOL

And, this Daffodil only made it about 1" out of the soil before it bloomed!


The Pansy's are thoroughly enjoying the Spring weather!

March 23, 2013

The day started out pretty nippy outside, woke up to heavy frost. But by 1pm it was actually pretty nice out, clear skies, not terribly warm but not horrible either. So, off I went to do some yard clean up and work on the garden prep.

This squirrel, amazingly, let me get really close to it. They usually run away as soon as I open the door!


So, first I put the last two raised beds together, laid down some weed block, did some measuring and planted the two boxes where they will live. Whatever plants appreciate a little shade, will go in these boxes because they were already in the shade at 4pm.


Next, I decided to move this white branch that has been sitting in an old rodent hole for many years. I used to hang the birdhouses on it.
The birds seem to like it in its new space.


The two blueberry plants that are in pots by the new raised beds, I will plant over where the branch used to be. There is an older and bigger blueberry over there by the butterfly bush already.

While I was looking around, before moving the branch, I discovered that two pieces of board on that ratty old fence (is not my fence) have broken through (probably Luke did it chasing something) and that fence will have to be replaced very soon. I've got it blocked off for now. The people in that house have two large dogs, as do I, so that could be a really bad thing if the fence fell down or the dogs actually got into each other's yard! (My boys are not really that socialized).

SO, now I will have to move everything out of the way when it comes time for the fence to be built. Sigh. It never ends. And, I'm sure that my new neighbors are not going to want to spend any money to replace it, but I will ask them anyway. My backyard neighbor opted not to pay anything for our mutual fence (Luke broke through that one, too), so I'm sure this other one won't either. Oh well, it's just money! LOL

Things are slowly shaping up. I need to research my plants a little bit to decide where they are going to live and I need a bunch of dirt! LOL

March 18, 2013

Went to Les Schwab's down the street and had my snow tires taken off and regular tires put back on. I so do NOT miss the clickity-clickity noise of studded snow tires on pavement! Took almost 2 hours to get the change done, but it was SO quiet driving back home!! LOL
Wouldn't have probably taken that long normally, but there was an accident on I205 southbound at 4am wherein a large semi was driving northbound in the southbound lanes and creamed a car. Traffic was backed up for miles and hours.... so 3 of the workers hadn't made it in to work yet.

After I got home, I decided to fire up the lawn mower and get the front and side lawns mowed before the rain comes. So, I dragged the lawnmower out, checked the spark plug, checked the oil, added gas... but, the engine wouldn't turn over. I know it was charged up, but being the first attempt, it can be stubborn. So, I checked the undercarriage and cleaned that up, put more gas in, and tried it again, and again, and again. Left it alone, added more gas, tried it again several times and it just wasn't going to turn over for me. So I let it sit again and put yard trash in the barrel instead. Tried one last time and it almost turned over, but that was it's last gasp... the battery was now dead from all the start up attempts. Clearly, it was just not in the plans for me to mow today! So, it's back on the charger and if it won't start next time I'll have to take it to the shop and see if they can find anything wrong with it.

So, I decided that I would do some garden work, instead. It was still mostly sunny out and not bad temp wise except when the clouds came over, then it got really cold!

First thing I did was move the new seed catcher over to the "bird garden" because I had to duck everytime I needed to go through the trellis it was hanging on. So, I moved it.

I did notice that Ruby Rhubarb is growing very well! I was amazed how good it is growing now that it has awaken.

Next, I used two of the raised bed gardens that I bought last year and made one bed with them. I need to get more EnviroTiles (rubber mats) to finish behind and in front of the raised bed.
Then, I'll put down more weed block in front of the bed and that is where the 4 bushes will live. Only one of my bushes gets very big so they should be fine sitting in front of the box and not block light etc. One of the little bushes was in my way to finish the bed so it gets to live in that oak box until it's ready to go back in the ground.
In between the two brown strips that you see in the photo on the right, will probably leave that grass and that is going to be the path through the gardens to the "dog side" of the yard.

At the front of the area, will be another row of I don't know what and a box to match the one I just finished. It will go in the space to the right of the trellis, in line with the completed bed.

To the left of the first raised bed... I think that will all be wildflowers that the birds, bees, and butterflies like... no raised bed for them. Then to the left of where the second raised bed will be... I will let the Iris just go crazy and fill that in, plus I have some that I need to move over to there.

Almost everything that I planted into the various pots is now showing signs of life. YAY!! And some things that I didn't expect would live, have started showing signs of life! Double YAY! LOL

I moved all the pots with living things in them to the first raised bed where they will live until I get dirt and the other bed up.. then things can be moved around and planted in the ground.

My next project for this afternoon will be to identify what has come to life in the garden from last year so I might now what they are when I move them out of where they are. So I am off to look at last years garden pictures and figure out what that stuff is! LOL

March 17, 2013

Since it wasn't raining, I decided to put out the new seed catcher that I made and put some seed and peanuts in it. So far, I haven't caught anyone in it, but did see it moving when there is no wind out there, so the Scrub Jays are probably taking the peanuts! LOL

The boys were feeling frisky in the cool morning.

And, Squirrel came down to the squirrel food bucket for breakfast.

March 15, 2013

After I got home and discovered that the lawn mower was not charged, so I couldn't mow. I decided to do some clean-up in the area I will be working in and put up a fence to let the boys know that they are not welcome in there. So, that's what I did. The entire center of the yard is now off limits to the boys.(Yeah, right! LOL)

And as I was fencing everything and making my two little gates, one on each side, it occurred to me that I have absolutely no way to get the lawn mower over to the side that will need to be mowed... sigh. So, I will have to make some adjustments somewhere to allow access. The grass was tall and still wet. The lawn mower would have been a big hassle to cut what was in the center, since that section has the thickest of the grass. So, I decided to weed-eat it instead in the fenced in part and will figure out the lawnmower thing tomorrow for the right side (if its not raining). Left side won't be a problem.

Then I sat down and pondered for a minute and decided I couldn't do anything else today until I decide on the lawnmower access issue. Besides, I was hot and sweaty... lovely pic don't you think? LOL

March 14, 2013

Well, I had planned on getting a lot more done today but I was having trouble staying focused on the tasks at hand. Then, I decided to change part of what I already had planned to do and now I will have to revamp my written plans to accommodate that. Oh well, keeps life interesting! LOL

First I decided to give the grape vine a trim. I researched it all but it was still confusing. But, the good part is that from what I read, you can't really hurt grapevines! Gotta love it!

Anyway, they were growing in a North-South direction and was in my way so I trimmed it and then turned everything so it is now growing East-West instead. I still will need to put a real arbor up but the white things will do for this year I think.

Next I cut back the Passion Flower vines. Again, from what I've read you can't really hurt them no matter how much or how little you trim them. So I cut them to about 2' tall, removed the old green short trellis and moved the tall black trellis over there for it to grow on.

Since I have to rethink what I'm going to do now, I spent the rest of the time outside yanking out and cutting down the dead stuff from last year out of the gardens. I noticed that a bunch of stuff is coming up in the back garden, but I have no idea what it is. I'll have to look at last years pictures and see what I planted! LOL Perhaps some signage this year would be a nice touch.

Then I checked out the little pots of bulbs to see how those were getting along. Only one appeared to have been gotten in to, however, most critters don't like Allium (onion family) so they left what they dug out behind! LOL

So, these are what are poking through in the pots... some you have to look really close! I don't expect they will amount to much this year but hopefully next year...

Sparkler Allium Minnow Daffodils

Blue Grape Hyacinth Daffodils

Tulips Dutch Iris

Can't Touch This Iris and Widow's Tears

Purple Cabbage 1 is doing very well, although I'm not sure what it's doing... definitely not making a head of cabbage! LOL But, it's different and making little flowers... seeds I would guess.

And, last but not least.... the newest of the Frog Family. It's... uh... well... it's just downright ugly!LOL

Ribbit ribbit

March 8, 2013

Today I ventured over to visit Mom and go to lunch. The little bulbs that I put in the pots for her are almost all above ground and blooming or getting there. One Hyacinth bulb hasn't come up yet. But, the weather has been so odd, they are probably confused about what they're supposed to be doing. LOL

Close up of the little orange crocus. They are very dainty and cute!

Her pansies are really loving the sun and warmth!

And, last but not least, Mary Rose is showing signs of life and leafing out!

After a short stop at the store, I got home and moved the potted bulbs that were sitting on the "steps to nowhere" over to the grass by the bird area so they could get some warm afternoon sun and hopefully dry out some before they drown. They did get a couple hours of sun at least and will get more tomorrow.

And put up the new feeding station. It has 4 hooks on it, but I'm only using two for right now... poor planning on my part. Got all the critter and bird stations filled up and everyone was quite pleased that I finally got around to it. Some water had pooled on the black plastic and I did see a couple birds in there taking a bath, but I wasn't fast enough to get a picture of it.

Yes, before you ask, those are twigs from the holly tree on top of the potted plants. Hopefully those squirrels and other creatures will not like getting poked by those sharp leaves and will leave my poor bulbs alone.

please also notice how lush and green my lawn has gotten. Keeps growing too. (Oh boy) I wish it would just grow to 3" and stay there but, as they say... wish in one hand.. LOL!

March 5, 2013

It's always fun to watch the birds while they're eating, bathing, playing with each other. They can be very amusing! I happened to look out and caught this Northern Flicker stopping by for a snack. Originally, when I looked up pictures for this bird, I thought he looked more like a Gilded Flicker but they are really close and since Gilded Flickers don't live here, or even come here to visit, he must be a Northern Flicker.

Next time I looked outside, I thought that something had happened to the Flicker and he was stuck in the vine or something. Nope, he was just laying on his side and eating away. Silly bird! Not sure if that European Starling knew what the Flicker was doing either!

March 1, 2013
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO CODY!! Cody turns 9 years old today!

I wanted to get some more prep work done and kill grass in the process so I don't have to pull it out or rent a machine to do it. So, I decided that I would lay black plastic down and more rubber mats.
Of course, I had to finish cleaning up the branches I had cut off. So, I filled the two barrels again and raked it up to get the small stuff and some leaves.


So, after I decided exactly what I was going to do I set about doing it. Laid down the plastic, secured and cut it. Hauled out the rest of the new EnviroTiles I got yesterday and laid those down. Dragged out the rest of the tall wire fence and put it up from the wood fence to the side of the first row of mats I put down and made a little gate to get in and out. Removed the fence from the east side of the original garden so now that is one large space.

You can barely see the black fencing and the green fencing is even less photogenic... but they are there

Hopefully the fence, flimsy though it is, will continue to deter the mutts from getting in.

AFTER views:

Then I refilled the feeders that needed filling and it was getting colder outside with darker clouds, so I decided it was a good time to stop for the day. Tomorrow, I go to the farm with the boys and do a little work in the morning out there.

February 27, 2013

Purple cabbage is growing like a weed!
But the growths at the nodules and on top look like broccoli! LOL

February 24, 2013

It was so nice out today that working in the yard seemed like just the thing to do. Most of the time there was a light overcast, but part of it was sunny. Not all that warm, but good for working.

So, off I went to cut up branches and put them into barrels for pickup on Wednesday. I swear I think that pile just multiplies during the night hours. I filled both barrels and I think next week two more barrels will get that mess cleaned up.

Before I got started on the branches, while walking with my rolling barrel down the walkway, I saw one of my birdhouses laying on the walk and, of course, no longer in one piece.

Looking around the yard I also saw that the squirrels must have gotten pretty rambunctious and knocked their food bucket off of the branch. Well, maybe they were letting me know it was empty! LOL

Since the sun was starting to come out more and more, I decided that since I knew my back would need a few breaks, I put out my deck chair so I could get some warmth from the sun. Was really nice!

One time when I was soaking up some rays, I saw this little bird patiently waiting for me to go away so it could eat! LOL

OKAY! OKAY!! Yes, I know! Stop babbling and get on with it! LOL

I gathered up the remaining birdhouses and put them up on their new home. I think they look nice. You're probably wondering, or not, why I keep that old ratty looking one,(the red and yellow one). I like it, it was the first one I ever bought and it was bought just outside of Leavenworth WA on an outing Mom and I embarked on.

Since I wanted to make sure that I stayed within my designated "bird garden" area, I decided it would be best for me to put up some boundries and the only thing available was a short cheapo fence, so I used that.

Of course, before doing anything much, I had to do some clean up because I got tired of trying to avoid Labrador landmines... yes, it was doggy doody duty time. (No, I didn't take pictures! LOL) So I cleaned up what was in my way as I moved to different areas effectively killing two birds (no pun intended) with one stone.

I moved all the bird feeder stations and the bird bath to the new area...well, all but one bird feeder.. but the rest got moved. Looks pretty decent, I think. It was a little more work than I thought it would be, but it's all in one place and that will be the "bird garden" area. I plan on pulling up the grass and planting wildflowers, like Cone Flowers and other stuff birds and butterflies are most fond of, in there but that is an event for later.

While I was working, I heard this terrible racket overhead. The pictures didn't turn out so well, but there was a TON of ducks going overhead towards the north.

And, so, I got finished with what I wanted to do with the Bird Garden... but something was missing....

OH... there now... NOW it's finished! Just needed that last birdhouse put up! LOL Incidentally, I'm not buying any more of those cutie houses made by that company, they don't seem to stay together very long and that gets really annoying. I will get the more rustic varieties or learn to make my own instead.

Oh... stop rolling your eyes... stop it right now! LOL

You thought that was the end of my story... didn't you? Silly person! LOL

This is what has to be cleaned out next. Parts of it will stay in place, parts will be moved and parts thrown out. (the plants, not the mutt). That is the next phase of my backyard makeover.

I also wanted to show you Art E Choke. He is quite happy in his home I made last year. It was the cheapest raised bed that I've ever made and it seems to be working very well for the artichoke plant.

And, for those of you who suffered through the birth and death of Cabbage I, Cabbage II, and Celery I last year.... we now have Purple Cabbage I growing quite well this year. It now has 1/2" roots and the top is about twice the height now as was in this picture from two days ago!

Okay... NOW I'm done! Go back to what you were doing! LOL

February 17, 2013

Having discovered that my bulbs had actually started sprouting while hanging in the basement, I decided that it was time to get them into dirt and outside.

So, I braved the cold, gathered up containers and the dirt I had in the greenhouse and set to work.

Fortunately, most of the 300 bulbs I had to plant were of the type that liked to cuddle up with it's companions, so that was nice for me. I don't expect them all to bloom since I had them in the basement way too long. But most of them will.
It only took a couple hours to get them all planted and the birds were chattering away while I was working.

Then I made labels for the individual pots.

Arranged all the pots on the "stairs to nowhere".

And some of the frogs jumped on over to provide protection for the bulbs against squirrels, birds and whatever else is out there that may be looking for a different snack.

It keeps looking like its going to rain pretty good, so I won't bother watering the bulbs.

Since inquiring minds want to know.... these are the stock pictures of what has been put in the pots:
Alpine Rosy Bells, Early Snowglories, Early Stardrift

Giant Daffodils, Grape Hyacinth, Grecian Windflowers

Minnow Daffodils, Mountain Bells, Snow Crocus

Sparkler Allium and Tulips

Planted, but not pictured: King Edward Tulips, Beauty Dutch Iris, Giant Crocus, Showwinner Tulips, and PickWick Crocus.

Also in pots, but not in the pots picture:
Can't Touch This Iris, Pink Sundrops, Widow's Tears

Yellow Quill Mum and Bronze Daisy Mum

These ones should be arriving next month:
Blue-Eyed Mary and Giant Columbine

Hopefully, mine will turn out as pretty as the stock photos are!

And the little cactus babies are growing well, they are more than twice the size they were when I initially found them on January 18.

February 16, 2013

I did get most of the branches cleaned up yesterday or the day before. When you're retired the days can sort of melt all into one! LOL Anyway, the tree I cut down is to big around to go into the recycling barrel so I started taking the limbs off of it. Then, it occurred to me as I looked at my birdhouse branch that I could just as easily turn the cut tree into a birdfeeder tree in my garden-to-be! So, I think I will dig a hole for it and but gravel in around it to help hold it up straight.

But, we'll see how it works out!

February 12, 2013

It was a dry day today and not too bad temperature wise either. Good for yard working anyhow.

First on my list was to get some of the branches cleaned up from last weeks cutting. So, I faced these piles of branches and decided on the one on the left to start, as well as the cuttings from the raspberry patch.

Didn't take all that long to get that pile and the smaller pile cleaned up. Couple hours, maybe. But, that did completely fill up all three of my barrels, so I stopped working on branches.

I got it kind of raked up and looking tidy and called it good for the day. I can once again see the end of my brick pathway and hope to finish that this year across the back of the yard. I started it probably 10 years or more ago. Why rush, right?? LOL

Luke came over to inspect my work. sigh. LOL

I also put a new birdhouse that I got on sale onto the birdhouse tree. Its the one on the right towards the back. The birdhouse tree is actually a large branch that I stuck in a hole made by rodents during the great Norwegian Rat crisis in NE Portland a few years back. Those rodents also caused my brick path to sink thanks to their tunneling.

I also found this little frog planter that I bought several years ago. It will now join all the other ones that I've gotten and be put in the NEW garden area I'm going to create this year.

Last outdoor project was to fix two of the squirrel buckets that the squirrels broke and put feed/peanuts into all the buckets and hang them in the trees, refill all the bird feeders, put out one more suet and hang some dried corn cob.
So... everyone is good for awhile and I'm kinda tired, but a good tired.

February 1, 2013

A beautiful day after the fog burned off. Sun was shining brightly, although not warmly. About 1130am I decided to pick up the doggy doo in the back yard. Yeah, that's pretty special, right? LOL

Well, I also wanted to do some trimming on the trees/bushes in the back of the yard, so basically I only picked up that which I thought might be in my path.

I have been wanting to cut down a volunteer ornamental walnut tree. The original tree was cut down several years ago and the stump was ground. Unfortunately, the roots didn't die off and then I had two different Walnut trees. I keep the one in the front of the tree/bush line trimmed down, but that one in the back was always hidden by the bushes until it grew taller than them and was getting taller than the power line back there. SO, that was my mission.. get that tree!!

Unfortunately, the bushes in front of it were in the way so they got cut down to about a foot tall so I could get at the Walnut tree which now has about a 4" trunk.

Those Fiskar Titanium lopers are one of the best purchases I have made. They will cut a 2" branch with little effort on my part. Was worth the money! The branch that is hanging down on the right of the ladder was a little more than 2" but the lopers cut it just fine too. Since that one was on the opposite side of the wires, I decided to take it off so it wouldn't hit when I dropped the tree.

The target tree is just to the left of the ladder.

I started out cutting the tree with this old tree saw.

Then, I finally found the new one I had bought and never used. It worked much better! LOL

So, I made my cuts (wedge to the front, straight in the back), tied the tree off to the front so it wouldn't fall into the line, and kept sawing on the back until I heard that first "crack". YES!! Checked my line and the direction the tree had begun leaning... all looked good. Couple more swipes with the saw and down the tree came! I will maybe cut the rest of the stump out later but this was good for now.

Cody was nearby when the tree came down,

Mom? Mom? What happened??

Now, I have quite the mess to clean up. Oh, and did I mention that I sorta wish I had widened the area of doggie doo cleanup? Hind sight. No pun intended! LOL

Pile 1 Pile 2

There is still tons more trimming to be done. I got started on it but didn't come anywhere close to finishing it. There's also a pile of branches behind by the fence to be pulled out.

I decided to go ahead and move the bird feeders to their new home by the greenhouse. Looks kinda better with them being off to the side. OH, birds! Forgot... when I was trimming away on the bushes, those damn birds started dive bombing me!! Apparently, they are not happy that I was trimming! Couldn't believe it! I've half a mind not to feed them any more!


Then, when I turned to go into the house, I discovered that the garden frogs had gathered together and were having a "Pre-Spring" party!! No, I was not invited!

Frog Party

So that was today's adventure. I am very confident that tomorrow at the farm getting the vines off the power line will go well... but that is tomorrow's adventure. :)

I am now going to retire to a nice hot bath filled with Epsom Salts and probably sip a glass of wine to commemorate the day. :)

January 29, 2013

Wanting to get my house uncluttered I decided to use the white shelf thing that I had purchased several years ago, because I had no place to put it and I didn't want to throw it out either. Yes, I know... that is how clutter begins! LOL


There was no way it was going to "fit in" to the living room being such a stark white color, so I decided to paint it. I found what was left of the brown paint I had used in the bedroom and decided to use that to paint the shelf.
Unfortunately, I had no paint brush. sigh.
So, I got a soft rag and put on a rubber glove and that is how I painted the shelf!
Turned out pretty good. Its not the color I really wanted out there, but it looks better than being white amongst all my wood furniture!
When it finishes drying I can put stuff in and on it. Maybe get rid of that basket thing under the shelf, too.


Earlier today, I noticed that the suet was a hit with the birds, but, apparently, also a hit with the squirrel. I have named this squirrel Sneaky Pete. I watched him crawl up the post and onto the top of the pole. First he tried the suet in the wreath in the back and then immediately went to the suet that I made, where he dined until the dog ran outside and scared him off. LOL

Sneaky Pete

Shortly after that, the birds, mostly Starlings, finished off what was left of the suet so I put the new homemade one in and put squirrel food in the squirrel's bucket.
The squirrel stayed in his bucket for quite awhile chowing down and didn't even give up his position to the Scrub Jays like he usually does!

I will be making new suet bricks for the birds and some suet using "squirrel food" just for the squirrels today.

January 28, 2013

While I was at the store yesterday, they had some garden ornaments on sale so I bought one at 50% off. I thought it would look nice with my frogs!

New Toadstool

And then this morning the frogs I ordered arrived!

Frog Band Boy and Girl frogs

Welcome Frog and Frogs in Love

Wild West Frog and Lady Frog Birdseed holder

Pretty cute, huh? LOL

January 27, 2013

I was a little concerned that the birds would not like the suet that I made them, but they seem to like it. I put it out yesterday and saw some smaller birds eating on it, but this morning I saw the European Starling enjoying it and was able to get his/her picture. The rain doesn't seem to be "melting" it so that is also a good thing. I won't worry about the sun melting it since I don't put suet out in the summer anyway.

New Suet

I found the recipe in Birds and Blooms magazine. It's different than most of the suet recipes I've seen.
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 cup water
1 cup birdseed
1 cup peanut butter (I used chunk style)
1 cup raisins
Mix all the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl.
Microwave on high for 3 minutes and stir.
Pour half of the mix into a plastic container about the size of a square suet feeder. Press down firmly and put waxed paper on the top and add the rest of the mixture. Put a lid on the container and freeze until ready to use.

NOTE: I made half of the recipe and put it in two of the plastic trays that the store bought suet came in. It filled them almost as full as the original suet.
I also didn't use the wax paper, mostly because I forgot about it and just covered them with saran wrap before I froze them.

I think I will make more and make them into balls for the squirrels to eat!

January 22, 2013

After my trek to the foothills and having a nice lunch with Mom in town, I wandered back home and checked the squirrel feeder. Of course, it was in need of food, so I poured in more food, which included shelled peanuts. Long before any squirrels can get to the food... the scrub jay got to it. I had barely turned my back to head back to the house before this bird descended.

Scrub Jay

Then, I broke the ice in the bird bath and added hot water to it. It didn't remain hot either! LOL Soon after, some little birds stopped by for a drink.

Then I got cold and came in! That wind from the east is just bone-chilling.

January 18, 2013
Well, well, well! My big ol' Echinopsis eyreisii made 3 babies!! I was so excited! They are only the size of marbles right now, so I need to get some learnin' on how to grow them!

Cactus Babies

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