Sunday, July 15, 2018

July...

I'm enjoying this July.  Time on the porch is well spent observing what is happening in the world around us.   I noticed this moth the other day.  It sat under this leaf for about an hour before it got sick of my attention and flew off.  

 This is my favorite book.  I have had to replace it twice.  I loan it out and it never comes back.  If you ever get a chance to read it, I highly recommend it.  Daniel Blajan does an excellent job of capturing how I feel about gardening.   The peas are going crazy.   My husband and I shuck them and Ella begs for the pods.  She thinks they are delicious.


My flowers are doing pretty good, all things considered.  The bees and butterflies are plentiful.  We are slowly recovering from hailstorm.  We have had 2 and a half inches of rain this July.  That is unheard of.  Usually we don't get any rain in July.  Everything is very green.  


I found a great deal on some metal chairs.  They are the perfect addition to the rose garden.  My greenhouse is flourishing.  The pumpkins are climbing out the top.   My sweet corn is much taller than knee high. The deer ate my lettuce and the leaves of my beans.  The beans seem to be recovering.  My peppers are doing wonderful.  I am very happy with the strawberry spinach.  It hasn't bolted and tastes delicious.  


 My hummingbird is back.  I am not certain if it is the same one from last fall.  It could be, as it is roosting in the same same tree as the one that stayed until late October.  I wish there was some way to know for sure.  


Today was foggy and cool.  While sitting on the porch a doe wandered by.  Can you see her in back?  July is moving along.  I wish it would slow down.  Next weekend I have the nieces.  I am excited about our upcoming adventures.   What are you looking forward to in July?

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Savoring the summer...

I finally have some flower photos.  Between the deer and the hail things were looking grim.  I didn't even have crop insurance.  Luckily, I have a few surviving blooms.  These planters along the sidewalk have managed to bloom despite deer decimation and direct hail hits.
Above is my husband's favorite peony and below is the ever fickle Topaz Rose.  The evening sun plays across the petals beautifully.

The William Bafflin rose is always a stellar performer.

My vegetable garden is holding tough.  I'm even getting a few strawberries.
We have had numerous butterflies this year.  Many different species, but all are hard to sneak up on.





Really all I have blooming are peonies and roses.  Not that I am complaining, just explaining why that is all the photos are of those two flowers.




Ella and I have made it a point to slow down and savor the summer.   Life is short and summers are even shorter.  We spend as much time on the porch as possible and putter around the garden in between sips of lemonade.  When it gets dark enough I sit in back and watch the fireflies float in and out of the Aspen trees.
How have you been savoring the summer?

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Well that wasn't much fun...

Mother Nature can sure be cantankerous.  Friday wasn't a good day for her and in turn it wasn't any better for us...
 That, my friends is some extremely large hail.  Not just a few here and there, but as you can see below we received a plethora of extremely large hail.

 We received quite a bit of damage.  There are holes in our garage roof and huge dents in the cabin and barn roofs.  The garage also sustained broken windows and shutters. My garden art did not fare well.  All of my bird feeders took a direct hit.  Anything that was wire and was hit by the hailstones, folded like a cheap suit.  The bird house I made lost it's roof.  Thankfully, nobody nested in it. If you look below, you can see it completely broke out 1/2 inch wood slats from my swing.  Just imagine if it had hit someone in the head.

 I am also thankful that my husband was home and Ella was in the cabin with him.  The photo above is the tarp that covers her kennel and it provided no protection.  My husband said it was terrifying.  He kept waiting for the stones to go through our cabin windows, there were tornado alarms going off on the cell phone, and he wasn't certain if a stone wouldn't actually go through the roof.

 Every plow truck in our little community looks like this.  Yesterday, when we drove to the store to get a new mailbox (ours took a direct hit and there isn't much left) we saw many vehicles that looked as bad or worse than this.  I couldn't imagine being caught in your vehicle during the this storm.  I should have been coming home about the time it hit.  Instead I was at work planting some cherry trees with the students, again I am thankful.  In many places there are two to three inch divots where the hail hit.
It doesn't matter where you live, Mother Nature has something to remind you she is in charge: Hail, tornadoes, volcanoes, blizzards, hurricanes, fire, or flood.  With her there is always a reminder that with the good there is also some bad.  I am just thankful nobody was badly hurt.  Things are replaceable, even my favorite bird bath.  To leave on a positive note, these little buggers are baby flycatchers.  Every year she nests in our paperbox.  Lucky for her, we don't get the paper anymore.  Flycatchers are notorious for nesting in bad spots, but these little fellas are safe and sound.   Hope the weather is a little nicer in your neck of the woods.  Let me know if you have ever been through a hail storm with hailstones that big or bigger.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Rain and birds...

I haven't shared many flower photos, because it has been raining like crazy.  I think we have had about 7 inches of rain in the last nine days.  My husband took these photos for me to enjoy while I was in the hot desert sun.




 Ella loves sitting on the porch as much as I do.  She is very content with the door open, so she can keep track of what is going on inside and outside.  

The two yearling deer came in last night and ate these geraniums.  I can't say I'm overly happy with them.  They specifically went after my delphiniums and ate every leaf.  They also decapitated my sunflowers.  Let's just say they aren't on my favorite animal list right now.  I will remember them come hunting season.



 I'm adding a few more birds to my list.  The Wood Duck was photographed at the Spearfish Fish Hatchery.  The Black Billed Magpie was seen at Devil's Tower.
 These little buggers are called Gambel's Quail.  I am thrilled I was able to capture them as they sped down the road ditch in Nevada.  I am super excited with this addition to my birding list.

I am pretty positive the bird above is a Cassin's Finch. He was very elusive, but after lots of time spent at the Hoover Dam I finally managed to get a photo.   I am not certain if the bird below is a Chihuahuan Raven or Common Raven.  I think it is a Common Raven.

Charlotte thought I was nuts taking a photo of this pigeon.  When I explained about my blog and she saw the blog, she then started taking photos of birds for me.  It was a running joke between us for the rest of the trip. The fellow below is a Brewer's Blackbird.  They were all around the hotel pool.  I enjoyed watching them, but found them quite elusive when attempting to take photos.
This little fellow playing in the creek is a Song Sparrow.  There wasn't much going on here this week.  I held a Christmas Party for the people I work with at the cabin.  It was great.  The sun was even shining, despite the fact the weather forecast said more rain.  The clouds are back today, but it gave me a reason to putter around the cabin and get things put back together after a busy couple of weeks.  What have you had for excitement?