Sunday, June 25, 2017

Bats, Birds, Bucks, and Baking...

I don't like to sit still.  I always have a project in the back of my mind.  This week I was able to cross a few projects off of my list.  I made a bat house, bird house, square foot templates, a butterfly feeder, and spray painted my plant supports.  Pinterest has helped me reach my goals. These are projects I have wanted to do for years.  With Pinterest I can find the project that best suits my needs.

I have always wanted to build a bat house. We have plenty of leftover lumber.  I found the plans at:  Of course, I adjusted them a bit.  I will stain it next weekend and put it up for my resident bat.  I have one little bat that lives in our shed. 

 I also used scraps to make a chickadee house.  It was my favorite project.  The plan was simple.  I used one board to make the whole birdhouse.  There really aren't any plans for it.  The was a picture with measurements and it didn't go to any specific link.  I 'winged' it.   The square foot planters is a questionable project.  I like the square foot method of planting, but am not very patient or precise.   When I saw these square foot templates I had to try it.  I cut the boards into perfect square feet, measured according to the templates, and then drilled screws into each board.  Then screwed on the many used corks that have been laying around.  I painted it and added handles.  I got the idea from a pin that is blocked.  The templates for spacing are at:

I also set up a makeshift spray painting booth to paint my tomato cages and rebar supports.  Then I spray painted a little jar lid and poked a hole in the lid to make this butterfly feeder.  After the paint dried, I stuffed a sponge in the hole and put sugar water in the jar.  I made a harness for it and hung it from a branch.  So far, I haven't seen a butterfly near it.  I was skeptical when I made it, but had to try.  I will let you know if it works.
 The birds are nesting everywhere.  They are in the paperbox and on the porch.  You have to be careful, because you never know where they are.  We had a pleasant surprise yesterday when our resident turkey hen wandered through with her seven poults.  It was so much fun watching the little ones speed around after bugs and seeds. 

 He is so cute.

 The bucks have been scarce as they are resting quietly while their antlers grow.  We were able to see a few here and there.

I also did a lot of baking this week.  My college friend, Jody, stopped by with her mother.  It was a great visit.   My only regret is that a cold wind blew the whole time they were here, thus, no coffee and Danish on the porch.  Of course, we did have it in the cabin.  Time flew while they were here.  It was great catching up with them both.  
 Well, the sun sets an a wonderful week.  I was happy to get so much accomplished and thankful for the time spent with my husband and friends.   I have wanted to try several of those projects for years.  Have you crossed off any projects this summer that have been on your to do list for a long time?  Is there one you would like to do before the summer is over?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A long slow summer...

I know, I know, your iris and columbine are long gone.  Well sorry, but mine are just starting.  So while we slowly swing into summer, I will help you relive spring.  I'm a little pokey posting as my older sister came out to visit for the weekend.
 These little spiderworts were in a load of topsoil.  They have thrived up here in our climate.
 This photo doesn't do justice to all of the blue iris blooming in front of the house.  It won't be long and my peony will be joining them.

 I make it a point to smell the yellow rose every day.  She only blooms once and I don't want to take it for granted.

 My wild little geranium just thrives despite all of the neglect I give her.  Below is a Hawaiian Coral peony I am peony sitting for my little sister.  Sooner or later it will go back to her.   Hopefully, leaving an eye or two.
 I just saw the name of this black iris, and now do you think I can find it?  After lots of searching in my garden journal, I found the name ~ Before the Storm.  
 My moss roses are stellar this year.  The colors are so vibrant.  Below is my favorite seat on the property.  The sun hits that spot perfectly.  After a long winter, I sit there and soak up the summer sun.  My sunflowers in the washtub are making good progress.

 My ever loving husband found another wheel for the vegetable garden fence.  All I need is one more large one that I can use as a gate.  You see old abandon wheels everywhere.  Nobody cares about them, until you mention you are interested.  Then suddenly they are like gold.  My greenhouse is thriving.  The pumpkin is almost out the top.  The peppers are amazing.  The lettuce is peaking.  I love having a greenhouse.  I like the shot below.  It is an angle I don't think I have ever used for a photo.

I have been eyeing this rust colored bird bath for awhile.  Finally, it went on sale and was the last one left.  I took the plunge and bought it.  Kelly and I took out as much of the old rotted pine stump as we could.  Then I set the bath on top of what was left.  It isn't going anywhere.  It looks a tad crooked.  Guess I will fix that tomorrow.

Etain Violas are my all time favorite flower.  I always have them potted up on the porch, so one can enjoy their beautiful scent.  If you look closely, you can see it is sharing it's pot with a moose.

I am enjoying every moment of this summer.  Like the inchworm above, I am taking it in a little at a time.  My friend from college is coming out to visit with her mother this week.  I am thankful for the time I am able to spend with friends and family.   There is nothing better than a long slow summer on the porch with my husband, family, and friends.  I hope your summer is as pleasant.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

More visitors and the yellow rose...

This week's visitor is more welcome than last week's visitor.  She wanders by once a day on her way to somewhere important.  I'm hoping she has a nest nearby and soon will parade by with some chicks.  
 The yellow rose is blooming.  It is so beautiful!  It is easy to take pictures of them.  I wish I could convey the fragrance.  It is too bad they only bloom once a year, but it is certainly worth the wait.
 These iris also have a strong smell.  I love the color as it matches many other flowers.
 I could take photos of these all day long.  I believe the true name is Harrison's Yellow.
 Ok, last one.  I probably have a hundred photos like this.  It is almost an addicition.
 This little fellow is a wild rose.  They are everywhere on our property.  They also have a wonderful scent.
 I got a nice close up of this moth.  I tried to get photos of the swallowtails, as they are everywhere.  They are too fast for me, but I haven't given up.
I'm afraid that is all that is happening.  It won't be long and my garden will be in full bloom.  Right now I just piddle around pulling weeds, fertilizing, and making a few tweeks.  What are you doing in your gardens?

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Always interesting...

For the first time in a few years, we heard a distant drumming this spring.  I love hearing the grouse drum.  One year we had a grouse that drummed night and day.  He was awesome.  He found love and my husband and I were lucky enough to see him find a mate and watch them dance.  Things had been pretty slow on the grouse front since the Atlas blizzard.   It is great to have them back again.  I made it a point to do a photo safari and get some photos of our forest musician.
  He is winding up for the drum roll.
 Here I am ladies.
 King of the forest.
 One more time, in case my music was missed.
I hope he finds a date, as he is a handsome fellow. 
 My iceland poppies are popping.
 Unfortunately, the weekend wasn't all summer fun.  While sitting on the porch enjoying the day, I caught sight of this fellow coming down the road.  
 I grabbed Ella's collar and tried to get a few photos with my phone.  I was shaking and afraid I would be like that guy that was killed by bears and the dummy took photos the whole time the bears came after him.  I texted my husband in the house and told him to look out the window.  The lion watched Ella and I for about five minutes before ambling off into the woods.  Ella didn't see it until it moved into the woods.  She hasn't left the yard without one of us right next to her.  It is always amazing to see these creatures, but it is also pretty unnerving.  I am again sidelined from jogging.  Luckily they tend to roam, so I'm sure it will move on in a week or two.  Hopefully, sooner as the does are about to drop their fawns any day.  

Are there any monsters in your woods? What was your scariest experience?  Do you have grouse?  Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.