Thursday, July 31, 2008

Reading with Grandpa

video

I'm not sure she believes he knows what he's talking about. ;-) Maybe it's because when Grandma reads the book, she calls the "chicken" a rooster? (It is, really!) We'll have to get our stories straight. :-)

Peppers

I harvested our first bell peppers yesterday. This variety is "Better Bells". Maybe they should've been called "Bigger Bells", as they certainly were that! So we had stuffed peppers for supper... mmmm!

The little tool next to them is a scoop for getting the seeds out of... peppers! I got it from Santa last Christmas and have been waiting to give it a try. It works very nicely, Jess! :-)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Do you see what I see?

I also took this photo this morning. Do you notice anything unusual?

(Click on pic to enlarge if you need to.)

Mushrooms, anyone?

With all the rain and humidity we've had lately, mushrooms have begun springing up all over our lawn. I found a lot of these tiny ones this morning. They're only about a half inch across.

Then again, maybe they're toadstools. I did also notice a lot of tiny toads when I mowed on Monday. :-)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Out of the closet

This lucky child has NO lack of adorable outfits to choose from, thanks mainly to her two older cousins who have been very generous with their ever-so-cute, gently used clothing. I rarely see her in the same thing twice. :-)

Here she is, modeling a new outfit of her own. The trick is to get her to stand still long enough to get nice pics of it! I guess we didn't do too bad.





So cute, huh? The outfit, I mean. The model is a given. ;-)


Yeah, it's a bit big in the waist. Or maybe it's just the modern low-slung style? ;-)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Going shopping

And pretty serious about it, too!

video

Raindrops on dianthus




Sunday, July 27, 2008

Water fun, part IV

Grandpa's been teaching her tricks...

video

... drinking from a hose!


That's all our water fun for now (till we do it again someday!).

Moss roses

So pretty. So many colors. So easy to care for. They come up on their own every year... all I have to do is thin and weed them. They don't require watering, even in the driest conditions.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Water fun, part III

video

"More!"

Poll Results

The results of the poll "How many of the 50 United States have you been in?" are as follows:

  • 0 (1 vote)
  • 1-5 (0 votes)
  • 6-10 (1 vote)
  • 11-20 (1 vote)
  • 21-30 (4 votes)
  • 31-40 (0 votes)
  • 41-49 (0 votes)
  • All 50! (0 votes)

Wow, 4 voters have really done some traveling! Then again, I didn't think I'd been in very many states, but when I counted up, I figured out it was actually 15.

Thanks for voting, and special thanks to the one who's never been to the U.S.A. I hope you can come visit our country someday!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Correction

Oops! I've done it again. I've made another 'bird' mistake. The nest I showed you here and said it was a house finch nest turns out to not belong to finches. I checked the nest again this morning to see if the second egg had hatched (indeed it had), and both parents flew up to the deck railing, scolding like crazy. But, much to my surprise, they weren't finches! This was the first time I'd actually gotten a good look at them, because the mother had always slipped out of the nest and flown away in a brown blur prior to today. In my searching to figure out what kind of nest it was in the first place, I knew the eggs were brighter blue than the photos I found online, but the black markings looked right, and having seen the finches, I decided it had to be right. WRONG!

The little birds scolding me from the deck were actually chipping sparrows. Here is a nice photo of one if you don't know what they look like. I did some more online searching and found photos of chipping sparrows' nests and babies, nearly identical to mine. I also found photos of newly hatched house finch babies that did NOT look like mine. So, I think I have it straight now. And I must say, I'm disappointed. I wanted them to be finches. ;-) Now to correct my original posts. *sigh* My apologies for any confusion!!

Water fun, part II

"With a couple pails of water"....

video

... who needs a swimming pool... or a bathtub?

And her shorts were already soaked from having dumped one of those pails down the front of herself. :-)

To be continued......

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Birth Announcement!

Talk about getting SIDETRACKED today! I went outside with a basket of hubby's dirty work clothes to empty pockets, etc., before washing them. As I was starting, I remembered the flowers on the south side of the house needed watering, so I decided to go hose them down and then let it soak in while I did the work clothes thing, so I could then go back and hose them some more. [On a side(tracked) note, if you've never used a water breaker (a.k.a. diffuser) for watering, you oughta get one. You can water really FAST that way without damaging the plants.] I dragged the hose over there, and then I noticed that I was already being scolded by the chipping sparrows and I hadn't even gotten close to their nest. Although I'd already checked it earlier this morning (and found 2 eggs... don't know what happened to the third... it was there yesterday), I decided to peek again. Lo and behold, one of the eggs had hatched! And O_M_G!!! I have never seen such a tiny bird in my life!!! Of course, sidetracked again, I had to run for the camera while the mom was off the nest. Here's what I saw. I think this photo is pretty close to actual size, if not a bit bigger. That baby couldn't have been an inch long, stretched out!! AMAZING!!!

Added note: This evening I checked the nest again to see if the other egg had hatched yet. It hadn't, but man, you shoulda seen that teensy eighth-inch beak open for food! So cute! And incredible!

Maybe I wasn't really getting scolded. Maybe they were just excitedly announcing their new arrival. ;-)

Well, since I had the camera out there, I figured I might as well head out to the wildflower bed and get some more pics. And I snapped a couple in the vegetable garden. And on the way back took some better ones of the moss roses, since the sky was clouded over but it was bright enough for them to be open. Somewhere along the line there, I did get the flowers by the house watered and the dirty clothes fit for the washer, washed and hung on the line to hopefully dry in this 70+% HUMIDITY.

And the other photos I took will be for a later post. ;-)

Another note: This post has been updated to correct identification of the nest and eggs. My apologies for any confusion!

Water fun, part I

On her way into the house via the garage, Courtney discovered Grandma's supply of rain water that I'd caught and saved for plants.

video

I think she liked it, don't you? ;-)

Oh, yes... she eventually had her hands in the second watering can, too, which was also full.

Life is so full of delights when you're little! :-)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Current bloomers

Gee, after being over to Grace-land, my flowers don't impress me so much. ;-) But here's what's showing off these days.
Wild roses
Impatiens
The yellow nonstop begonia
Day lilies

And a few moss roses, that didn't photograph well in the bright sun.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Teasing Grandma

video

"Aren't you gonna tell me not to put it on the floor? Well, that's no fun. I guess I'll just have to eat it then."

"Oh, hi Willow."

Monday, July 21, 2008

Another go?

Remember the contemplators from way back when we were thinking spring would never get here? Here they are again, atop our TV antenna.

"Well, our first kids turned out pretty good, despite the cold. You think we should try another nestful and see how it goes in this heat?"

I thought the angle at which they were perched this morning was kind of interesting. ;-) Okay, so it's just an optical illusion. The rods are actually parallel to the ground.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Rock-a-bye babies

video

Saturday, July 19, 2008

More blue eggs

A few days ago, I checked the wren nest just to see if the egg was still in it, even though I knew it had been abandoned. The egg was gone, and it looked like something had partially dismantled the nest. Then I noticed I was being scolded, so I thought maybe the wrens had rebuilt their nest somewhere in the same bush. Of course, snoopy me had to start searching for it.

It didn't take me long to discover this new nest not far from the other one. It was a very neat little nest, similar to the original one (and I have to give the birds credit for practicality in using nest materials so readily available). However, looking into it, I was quite surprised to see that though these eggs were about the size of wren eggs, they were a different color!

Then I had to do some internet searching to figure out what kind of eggs they were. It turns out that they are chipping sparrow eggs. I have no idea when they will hatch but I'll keep peeking, and I will post a "birth announcement" and future photos.

Note: This post has been updated to correct identification of the nest and eggs. My apologies for any confusion!!

Poll Results

The results of the poll "Do you usually dream when you sleep?" are as follows:

  • Yes (5 votes)
  • No (1 vote)
  • I don't know/remember (2 votes)

Looks like the majority of us are dreamers. ;-) I hope they're sweet dreams!

Thanks for voting!

Friday, July 18, 2008

A tour of Grace-land

On Wednesday I had the privilege of going to Courtney's other grandma's home to take a tour of her flower beds. She apparently has a VERY green thumb, because her many, many flowers were absolutely gorgeous! Here is a sampling of the best. Be sure to click on the image to see the flowers larger. Oh, and take note of the little bloom in the upper left-hand corner. She was along for the tour, with Grandpa H. doing the towing.


"Grandma's not looking, is she?"

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Boom!

video

Nap time? Good grief!

Late yesterday morning, I came down the basement and noticed this scene in our window. Both were sleeping. Well, actually, Willow was fakin' it. (And forgive the dirty window... kitty noseprints!)

But this tom was definitely asleep!

He soon woke, though, and he...

... and his cohort...

...who had also been napping under the deck, ambled away to join the rest of the crew who were doing their resting in the shade of a tree on our lawn. They were so relaxed that they didn't even bother to move when I backed the car out of the garage right next to them.

Fortunately, they haven't been making a habit of this, and I rarely see the toms. There are, however, a couple of hens that I see nearly every day, and one of them has a baby following close behind her. Mom's pretty protective, though, and as soon as she sees me, they slip into the long grass before I can even think about going for the camera.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Night-night!


video

Milkweeds and milkweeds

Jess and Alex spent Memorial Day weekend in the Smoky Mountains, and while there they noticed a very pretty flower, but they didn't know what it was. Jess posted this photo of it on her blog...

...and one of her readers informed her that it's a milkweed plant. It's not quite like the ones we have around here, so I've been waiting to find one of ours blooming, just so I could satisfy my curiosity as to how different they really are. Finally, yesterday I happened to see this one, with all stages of blooms.

I'd never realized they were actually so pretty! :-)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New perennials

I bought some new perennials this year. This one is called clustered bellflower, and the tiny buds look like this.

They open up in... clusters, of course... and look like this. The tiny flowers are about a half inch across.

Below is a mini hollyhock. Its flowers are about an inch across.

I think both new perennials (and I got 3 plants of each) are going to be very pretty once they get established and start blooming profusely. I put them in front of the house where I'm getting tired of planting new annuals every year.

I also bought a weigela bush for the front yard. It's supposed to attract hummingbirds. It won't be attracting any this year, though. Unfortunately, it didn't survive for some reason. It will be replaced (free) in September.

Monday, July 14, 2008

From the wildflower bed

The pink baby's breath has now been pretty much taken over by the blue of the bachelor buttons.

Although there is getting to be quite a bit of the plains coreopsis now, too.

I've only found 2 clarkia plants that have come back from last year.

And there are a couple of coneflowers like this that I didn't even have last year. I don't know where they came from!

The vanilla ice sunflowers reseeded themselves from last year, too. I don't think they're quite as nice as last year's though. They're certainly not as tall. But they still are nice.

And that's what's out there for now, except for some white godetia that don't photograph well, and besides, the only ones that were blooming just got chewed off by... SOMETHING. Rabbit? Woodchuck? *sigh*