Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Second Look--May 31, 2017

We've been concentrating on the inside recently and I haven't been spending as much time working outside as I'd like. Besides an inside focus, poison ivy has been the other limiting factor. It's presence prohibits exploring and working in most of the back of our yard. However, I've contracted someone to come in and treat it. Now if he can only find time to do it. In the meantime, the poison ivy is very happy and growing like crazy.

Despite this, I have spent some time with my hands in the dirt. What can you do when a great friend shows up with plants, tools, and a suggestion for a perfect place plant them?  You can get down to work with her and be grateful that she got you away from your perfectionism of doing everything just so. If she hadn't initiated the planting, I may have spent a long time figuring out where they should go and made it a much larger production.

There has also been some bird drama going on. At the feeder, the house finches have been entertaining us with their mating rituals. The males perform, fight with each other while the female enjoys it all. Just like we're watching the Discovery Channel. In the back, something has been raiding nests. It's disappointing to see broken eggs, but such is life in the jungle.

I"m not taking as many pictures these days, but here are a few.

Yellow star flowers have joined the coral bells.

There are a few poppies blooming among the ground cover bed. Their bright color can be seen from far away.

My friend helped me plant Lilies of the Valley and Strawberry Begonias. Both of these plants can spread, so when they do, I plan for the lawn mower to help maintain them. The strawberry begonias took me back to my college days when I had them as houseplants.

I also planted marigolds, celosia, and a few herbs along the back of the house. Most of the plants are starting to take off, but the celosia still look a little anemic. Hopefully, that will turn around soon.

Cherries are forming on the cherry tree. Not sure what kind they are, but time will tell.

Apparently, pears are also forming. We had the apple and pear trees severely pruned a few weeks ago. They have leafed out well, but I hadn't seen any fruit forming on them. But then I found this small pear on the ground and concluded that maybe the fruit is just too small to see among the leaves. It will interesting to see how much is really there as it matures.

I don't have any pictures of the house finches doing their dances, but this goldfinch certainly is sporting his courting colors.

I was very excited when the bluebirds built a nest and laid 4 eggs.

The mother bluebird actually let me take her picture while she was sitting on the eggs. Unfortunately, the next day the nest was empty with no birds or eggs in sight. A couple of days after that we found a dead bluebird near the box. It looked to be a young juvenile and I don't think it had anything to do with this nest.

A few days later, we found this robin's nest on the ground with broken shells in and around it. One shell was about 20 yards away.

Then we started to question what happened to this nest we found on the ground a couple of weeks earlier. We thought if had been blown out of a tree on a windy day. Maybe or maybe not...
All of this needs more investigation. Unfortunately, it is in the poison ivy area which limits our access. Maybe we should just let nature take its course, but I did so want to see baby bluebirds.