Sunday, May 25, 2008

The END of MAY

The end of May... where has it gone?????
As we get ready to finish this month, I have been asked about Snuffy who had surgery for a tumor on the underside of his tongue. He is still eating baby food (at a buck a jar!) and is finally gaining back a bit of weight (at 3 jars a day!) He still has trouble getting the cat food down, even when it is in his specially elevated dish. But, he is happy and still with us, 10 years longer than we ever expected.

Out in the yard, a new peony has opened. I am real excited because I have not had much luck with red peonies here in Virginia. We have TONS of peonies at the house in PA, but I will miss them this year as we will not get up there in time. I will be studying with the Dalai Lama in July and so will wait to go to the Poconos after I have finished at the University. So I am thrilled that this one opened!

The shed is done. I still need to find a latch for the doors, but am not going to drive 60 miles for that! It will wait. The Mountain Laurel is open. The climbing rose is blooming as is the Peace rose. The clemetis is beautiful this year. That is St Fwankie behind the clemetis. The robins have fledged. Look carefully. How many do you see? There were 3 of them in this tiny nest! You can see 2 of them in this picture. I scared them yesterday when I went out to fill the feeders. They blasted out of the camellia, one went up into the tree, one ran to a bush, and one ran out into the road. Now most of you know I can barely walk, let alone run! But I went out in the road after the littlest robin. OMG! Have you ever tried to catch a baby robin? But, I kept going finally scooping him up about a mile away. Well, that is what my knees and back said... and put him safely back in the nest. The feeders remain empty. sigh.

It is Memorial Day week-end. Pray for Peace. Pray for healing. Pray someone will find a way to bring our troops home. Pray the killing will end. Pray for healing, for all of us. Have a safe and thoughtful week-end.

Sunday, May 18, 2008



First, let me start with trying to get another picture of the “arm in the tree!”
I took my trusty little Nikon outside to get the picture while the sun was right and looked around to see what else was in bloom so I could get a few more flower shots. As I was focusing on an iris out front, there was a sound I have learned only too well living on this street – metal on blacktop. My road is a narrow, bumpy turtle back road. People drive by here much too fast, many of them hauling boats. If you are a regular on this blog, you have seen pictures of boats that have come loose and jumped the drainage ditch, slid up the bank, and have landed up in my yard. I am trying to understand why people forget to put the pins in or fasten the chains or in some way secure their boats – but it seems many of them do not. Anyway, I heard the metal on road sound and looked up in time to see a boat dragging on the road, the truck stopping, and the boat run into the truck. Smack! If you look closely, you can see the tree with the “arm” right behind the boat. After they got the truck and boat out of there and on its way, I ventured out in the road to get a closer pic of the “arm.” Good thing as it is now covered with leaves and tiny white flowers.
Meanwhile, in the rest of the yard, the plants are struggling to recover from a heavy rain and lots of wind. The iris took a beating, but a couple of new ones have managed to come out and are upright. The Siberian iris is amazing this year. This all started with just one plant. They are tiny but ever so sweet.
I am watching the mountain laurel slowly open. I think I enjoy the buds as much as the blooms!
Two years ago my underground oil tank started to take in water. We put in an above ground system, hating the appearance of this huge tank sitting out back, and it cost a fortune to fill it the first time. Little did I know what a fortune it would take to keep it full! Then, some of the residents on this fine shore got the idea of going around to people’s homes and liberating their fuel oil. Locks on the tanks mean nothing if you have the strength to wield a pipe wrench. So, a few members of the community went to Wal-Mart where you can buy big 10 gallon plastic tanks with long siphon hoses on them, and at $4 a gallon, discovered a new business venture. So, for the cost of a full tank of oil, many people are building sheds to cover their oil tanks. Hopefully mine will be finished this week. Out of sight, out of mind. At least that is the plan.
You all have a good week! Take time to tell your flowers you love them! And maybe a person or two...............


It has been a while since we visited our bird families on the blog. Thought you might like an update. The baby eagles are in the branching stage, which means, for those of you not into bird watching, they are venturing to the edges of the nest and even out on a supporting branch, and engaging in a bit of wing flapping. The camera is not set up to show them away from the nest, but this shot shows how big the wings have grown on the older chick.

The ospreys have not done so well. We had quite a storm last week-end, I know I got over 4 inches of rain. It was very cool and windy. As you can see from this picture, there was a lot of tidal flooding, and there still is a lot of high water in places. Well, at the peak of the storm, Mama left her nest. I guess it was too much for her. She was gone over an hour. The eggs got chilled and then a crow spotted them and had lunch. She and Papa are still mating. He is still feeding her. She sat for a while on the broken shells but finally figured out there were no eggs there anymore. Sitting and wishing would not bring them back. It is doubtful they will have another clutch as it is late in the season, and they got off to a late start. At first I thought there was a new egg, bottom left corner of the nest, but she has ignored it and it, too, has disappeared.

Monday, May 12, 2008



First, I wanted to share a few um, slightly unusual pictures with you, and my blog kept translating everything to Hindi. Well, that is pretty to look at, but just a tad hard to read. Anyway, here are some strange little pictures that just don't fit in any particular category.This lovely lady was at the entrance to the motel at Smith Mountain Lake where we stayed when we celebrated Caleb's birthday. See her earring?
Washed my sneakers the other day, put them outside to dry. I long ago learned to check for critters before I brought any shoes back inside, and there was this little critter! See him? A Praying Mantis. In a Nike. Well, the cat tries to stick his head in there all the time, so why not a Praying Mantis? And then, there is the arm in the tree... can you see it? Sleeve rolled up almost to the shoulder, see the elbow, hand????? If it ever stops raining, I will take this shot again and get closer to it... Among my favorite creatures in the Hobbit series were the Ents, remember them? I am sure this is one of them!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I don't remember the peonies blooming this early... but what do I know? But they sure look nice with the azaleas beside them.The fringe tree is even prettier - hard to imagine. A new iris, strange colors... and the white iris could have its own blog this year - plus, it is so fragrant!
A lady stopped by today and said she loved my yard and the way everything looked so natural. Said she like formal gardens allright, but my gardens were "so comfortable, the kind of gardens you can dream in." Whatever that means. Mostly I dream about having all the weeds pulled... The grass cut... the mulch moved... no poison ivy (or piesin ivory as the old folks say.) She said my gardens smelled so sweet! Well, the holly is in bloom. I assume you know girl holly from boy holly. The boy holly smells real sweet right now. Then there are the Locust trees - super sweet!Sorry, it was real windy when I took these pictures, but you get the idea, and this was shooting up into the tree in the evening. The digitalis doesn't seem to have any fragrance but it sure is pretty. It just pops up wherever it feels like it. I just let it grow.. A number of years ago I found this old fashioned rose growing wild out in the woods behind my house. I moved it just before they cut all my pine trees down. It smells like roses used to smell at my Grandmother's house. The Columbine just pops up wherever it wants to also. Azaleas and Iris, iris, iris. This is a young magnolia tree my dear friend Jackie gave me. It is now taller than I am. They say it takes 15 years for them to bloom. I am counting. Spook is giving it a pep talk here. This was a shot of Spook, so it is not a great shot of the tree, but I decided to include it anyway. Also, in apology or explanation for the darkness of some of these shots, it was evening, and it was very windy. The cats followed me and my visitor all around the gardens. Great company, cats.

Saturday, May 03, 2008


I meant to get this done last week - obviously I didn't make it. To say I have been busy is such an understatement!

I consider April the MONTH OF MAGIC! And the month of May ain't too bad either! Let me share my yard with you! We have had enough rain to make the weeds grow and whatever that stuff is that passes for grass out there. Hey! It is green......... I have figured my body will not let me do all the cutting in one day, so I am working on it. The yard is looking awesome (from a distance) as the azaleas bloom away.
The lilacs were beautiful, the pansies have perked up and the late camellias are still looking good. The redbud has faded. The Lily-of –the Valley is blooming and the big peony has buds. The little peonies are up. I hope I live to see them bloom. The first iris has opened.People stop out in the road when they see me working out front and compliment my yard. Funny, none of them ever volunteer to to help weed or shovel mulch.
The geraniums and last year’s impatiens are out of the greenhouse and looking good.

In the veggie garden, the onions are up about 6 inches and peas about 3 inches. Apparently the frost did not hurt them! Frank came over on Thursday a week ago to redo the rest of the garden, turn the baby weeds under and get it ready for the string beans. I bought the tomato plants and a few squash and cucumber plants on Wednesday. By Thursday afternoon, I had all the seeds in the ground, 2 rows of Le France string beans, 2 rows of wax beans, a row of Ford Hook limas, a circle of pole beans, a row of carrots, 2 rows of flat Italian string beans, and 12 tomato plants. I also got some seeds started. On Friday, I planted the cucumbers, watermelon and squash. Believe it or not, several rows of beans are thru the ground and have a couple of leaves on them! Is that fast or what?
There are flowers on the blueberries and strawberries. Last year’s asparagus is up and alive, and I have noticed a couple new shoots from the new asparagus plants. Needless to say, I am exhausted, but excited to get it done. Now if I could only get control of the weeds.

The fringe tree is fringing... that is always so cool...
Buddha always loves this time of year... So do I.
To my fellow bloggers - I have been "lurking" while eating my lunch - just haven't had any breaks long enough to answer you. Sorry. Maybe we will get a nice rainy day and I can get some time on here!