Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Second Look--May 20, 2015

We have been having very summer-like weather this past week with hot days cooled off by evening thunderstorms. Last night's was supposed to bring a cold front so we should have more spring like weather. I hope so. I also hope that last night's storm cleaned the air of pollen. Yard work has very difficult to impossible to do when with the pollen laden air and the sneezing and coughing it produces.

On the bird nest front, there continues to be action. I have seen a wren going in and out of two boxes continuing to work on nests. As far as I can tell, there are no eggs yet, but I can't see very well into the back on one of the boxes where they are building the cup for them. However, I can definitely see that all of the bluebird eggs have hatched. We have four newborns. I've been able to peek at them twice without the mother dive bombing me. However, if it's like other years, that will start soon as she protects her babies.

But I'm not the only one she has to protect her babies from. Saturday we saw a 4' long black snake in the backyard. Last year, a snake cleaned out three babies from a sparrows nest in a tree by our garage. That is definitely the way things work in nature, but hopefully the snake-proof design of our bird boxes will work and protect the newly hatched birds.

On the plant front, it has been the week of the iris. They started blooming and there are new ones every day. I love irises, not only because of their beautiful blooms, but also because the deer don't like them. :)

Here are a few things I saw this week 
during a Second Look.


Male Goldfinch, I have seen several pairs around but they usually don't nest until summer.

Asparagus. The story about my asparagus is this. I had wild asparagus growing in various places in the yard that I dug up and put it in one spot hoping for some to eat. So far, I only get one or two edible stalks per year, but I do get several plants of the beautiful airy foliage that asparagus has.

The rhododendron is in full bloom now.

The black snake as it is slithering its way to our wood pile.


Newly hatched bluebirds. Notice the one with it's mouth open. The gray bulges around the top of its mouth are its eyes, and its wings are stretched out to both sides under them.

Old leaves and new blossoms that have dropped from the holly tree.


  1. The baby bluebird picture is fascinating. It's fun to watch birds grow.

    Our irises seem to be thinning out over the past few years--yours are much prettier than ours. We have a rust/magenta color combination (they were inherited with the house) and it isn't my favorite color combo.

    My poor hubby isn't having good luck with his asparagus, either. I think he's gotten 2 or 3 stalks from them. Won't be feeding the family on that! ;)

    1. Does your husband pick the stalks he has? I just leave mine to go to seed--they are really pretty that way. Luckily, Uncle Billy shares his extra harvest with us.

    2. Oh yes, he definitely picks his "harvest". We got more last year so I think this was a disappointment to him. Our rhubarb is doing well, though.

    3. I don't like rhubarb well enough to grow it, but my grandmother had a patch that lasted for years and years. The big treat for the rest of the family every year was to have a rhubarb pie made with rhubarb from her patch.

  2. Lovely picture of the baby bluebirds. Hopefully you will see the cool down you hope for. We had storms here that cooled things down a bit too much for my taste. During the downpour I took my baby grandson to the door to watch the rain, which had him mesmerized, while sitting there all of a sudden a black snake, about the same length as yours, slithered its way out of the yard and up on to the porch. Unfortunately only myself and the baby enjoyed the sight.

    1. Today, the temperatures finally cooled down, a day later than I thought they should. Is your grandson old enough to appreciate seeing a snake?

  3. Lovely pictures again. That pink/peach iris is breathtaking!
    Hoping your weather cools down and mine heats up a little. I am ready for warmer nights!

    1. The peach iris is by itself in the far reaches of the yard planted there years ago by previous owners. And for several years, I never noticed. Then one day I was talking with a friend who said that she loved that color and wished that she had some irises like that. I agreed. Then I went home that night and saw that I did have one. Surprise! You can see why I really need to do these Second Looks.


What do you think?