Sunday, March 29, 2009

The hummingbird feeders

Here's the hummingbird feeder I bought yesterday, with the sun behind it. How can any hummingbird resist that gorgeous red glow?

Here it is from the front. Isn't it pretty?

This is the one that my brother gave me, with most of the food leaked out of it. Like I said, I'm going to just keep the globe as a beautiful object,

The potted plants

The herb barrel. The tarragon, in the midddle, a survivor from last year, is doing fine, as is the thyme, lower left. The rosemary, upper left, looks dubious, and the parsley, lower right, obviously suffered too much trauma from sitting indoors with insufficient sunlight for a couple weeks followed by a transplant.

The pansies had some stems falling over and broken after the transplant, so I just cut off all the parts that suffered. They'll come back. Pansies are tougher plants than you might think.

I just love taking pictures of the contorted filbert because the branches are so pretty. Once it leafs out, the curls and twists will be less visible.


Spring progress report

Crocuses are in full bloom and now hyacinths are getting ready.

Magnolia blossoms are breaking out of their buds.

Sparkling Sunday Morning

The sun is coming and going this morning. When it comes out, the yard sparkles because the earlier mist has left crystal water drops on the grass and branches.

Look at the moss glow on that tree.

A copper watering can with mist drops on it.

Come hither, hummingbirds

I bought, filled, and hung up a hummingbird feeder on my deck yesterday. I also filled the one my brother gave me, but I think that one leaks the feed somewhat, so I may empty it out and wash it and just keep it as a pretty glass globe.

Meanwhile, I'm waiting for hummingbirds to discover the feeder. I wonder how long it will take. I hope not long.

It's a misty Sunday morning. I havne't been outside yet, so I don't know how cold it is. Misty mornings are often not as cold as clear ones.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dogs can tell time

When I live as I should, I go to bed at 9:00. Just now, at 9:00, my dog got up from the couch and came and looked at me.

Twilight: it ain't pretty

Last weekend I walked past a Blockbuster store and saw this picture in a movie poster, for the movie "Twilight":

I thought, Now there's a wholesome, fresh-faced lad--just the kind a mother hopes her daughter will bring home someday.

I suppose the appeal to young girls (and they say young girls are swooning for this character) is that he's not the kind a mother hopes you will bring home.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring cleaning

I did spring cleaning on the deck, but not in the sense of making things literally clean. I cleaned away old dead plants from last year, pulling them all out of the pots so they are mostly pots of dirt right now.

In my herb barrel everything looked dead, and most of it was, but when I pulled the dead stuff out there was some new little tarragon growing.

And I had two pots that had a few green peppermint leaves. I still was quite ruthless in tearing out the dead stuff, then I stuck the little green parts back in , more in the middle of the pot, whereas it had been at the edges.

Peppermint is actually quite difficult to kill, so we'll see if these come back. I've read, too, that it spreads like crazy, so it's good to grow it in a pot rather than a flower bed.

A little bit of ivy had also survived, which I pruned drastically and stuck it back under the stairs, where it usually is. As it grows, I train it over the tubes and plumbing of the manneken pis fountain to cover the works.

After pulling so many plants, I planted the ones I bought a few weeks ago, some pansies, some parsley, rosemary, and thyme. I forgot to take pictures of those. All have suffered from insufficient sun. I think most will survive, except the rosemary looks the least healthy. We'll see how it goes.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Signs of spring

It was really a beautiful day today, with lots of sunshine. In the morning, a rather chill east wind was blowing, but it has ceased. I missed some hours of sunshine because I fell asleep in the afternoon, a thing prone to happen to me on weekends. However I enjoyed much of it.

A little bird on the feeder.

These pods on the contorted filbert have opened up. I guess that's how the contorted filbert seeks to reproduce.

If you click on the above picture to enlarge it, you'll see lots of small, tender green leaves. Really the first leaves of spring for me. Use the back button on your browser to come back.

And here's a clip of birds flittering around the feeder and bird bath.

Animal antics

This morning I've been watching our birdfeeder. First I saw some sweet little finch-type birds. Later a big gray squirrel sitting on top of the feeder then crawling right inside it. Later a mourning dove and the little finchy birds again. Then, a black squirrel. I was thinking, how can I get rid of those squirrels?

Suddenly a yellow tabby cat that had apparently been on or near my deck dashed across the lawn toward the feeder. The two squirrels frantically leaped from the feeder into tree branches that rocked and swayed under them. The cat sat under the tree with its ears laid back and its tail switching. It stared angrily at the squirrels and licked its lips. Finally, it trotted away. Now little finchies are on the feeder again. And there's the mourning dove.

When I saw the cat chase the squirrels, I laughed and said, "Thank you, Mr. Kitty." That made my dog jump off the couch and run to a chair by the window to see what what going on. I guess he didn't see much, though, because he soon returned to the couch.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Make a wish . . .

And blow out the candle.

C'mon, Mom. Blow out the candle already. :-D


Sweets for the sweet.

A little giftie. A cake with white and dark chocolate sprinkles, and tulips--favorite flower of the birthday girl, as well as suitable flowers for a March celebration.

The birthday girl and her cake. She turned 77. We opted for understatement with the candle. Tasteful.

The birthday girl and her hubby.

The birthday girl, her hubby, and her daughter.

The Ides of March

Maybe Caesar had to beware the Ides of March, but for our family it's party time! Mom's birthday.

Seventy-seven years old and still looking good.

Mom's daughter-in-law and Mom's main squeeze.

Mom's grandson. He seems to fall asleep a lot at family get-togethers. It can't be that we're boring. The poor young man must be sleep-deprived.

Mom's granddog.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

March birthdays, especially Mom's

My sister-in-law and nephew. She had a birthday about two weeks ago.

Me and my sister-in-law.

My mom, the tomorrow birthday girl, and my dad.

We're at the Olive Garden in Bellingham. Good time had by all. Good food had by all.

Through a glass

My dog asks, "Why are you outside while I'm inside? Why am I alone? When will you come back to me?"

And perhaps also, "When's supper?"

Tiny rain movies

Here is a few seconds of rain on a little puddle on the deck.

And here is a few seconds of watercolor clouds moving slowly in the sky.

Return to normalcy

Well, after the freakish weather Monday morning, we had more normal weather. Some chilly temps but also some sun. Today is a good day for early spring. Not horribly cold; raining. Just a March day.

Rain drops on cedar needles.

Buds on the contorted filbert.

And I just love this majestic tree.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Changeable weather

This morning when I walked my dog it was cold and blowing out.

Later, when I drove to work, it was cold, blowing, and snowing. The road was so covered with packed snow and ice that when I braked for a red light my car slid. And when I started to drive from the red light it slid again. Traffic on the Hannegan slowed to 10 miles per hour and visibility was terrible. I became so distressed by the driving conditions that I turned around and came home. Not long after I was home, I took this video.

That weather lasted all morning. After lunch, I loaded my dishwasher and started it. Between the rhythmic swishing of the dishwasher and the after effects of "springing ahead" this weekend, I fell asleep. When I woke up, around 2:00 p.m., the sun was streaming in the windows. The snow was melting and dripping away. I looked on some online webcams and roads were clear, if wet. So I went into work in Bellingham for a few hours.

When I left work, towards 6:00 p.m., the sun was still shining in Bellingham, though the wind was cold. On the car radio, I heard predictions of nighttime lows in the teens and strong winds from the north during the night. As I got home in Lynden, the cloud cover increased. When I walked the dog after his supper, it was cold and blowing again.

So that's the story of today's weather. Chills, thrills, but mercifully no spills.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ooh la la

My dad and I went this afternoon the the Home and Garden Show at the Lynden fairgrounds. That's something I like to do most years. We went first to hear Ciscoe Morris, a Northwest celebrity of sorts who has a gardening show on TV, "Gardening with Ciscoe." He's kind of crazy, and funny, and he really knows a lot about plants and gardening.

His talk was a lot of fun, and then Dad and I strolled through the booths and the gardening displays before having dinner. Traditionally, we have bratwurst at the Home and Garden Show, and this year we upheld tradition. The brats were made by the Hilltop Restaurant, and were good, tasty brats.

As we arrived at the fairgrounds building, we ran into my sister-in-law's brother and his wife. They had come from Bellingham to hear Ciscoe, and we met them several times while browsing the show. As we were finishing our brats, they came and joined us to have their dinner, and we had a nice visit together. I also saw another couple from my church and a cousin of my dad's and his wife, and my dad met several people he knew from church and town, and we met a cousin of mine and her husband. That's a fun part of going to the Home and Garden Show.

Dual personality

When my dog and I were on our morning walk, a little dog across the street from where we were walking yipped at us. My dog instantly manifested what I think of as his outdoor personality.

He has two personalities, indoor dog and outdoor dog. His indoor dog is typified by this picture.

When he is living his indoor self, his general demeanor expresses: "I am a small dog with large eyes. I am warm and furry. I need love and affection. Also food would be nice."

I have no photos of his outdoor personality (because when it shows up, he's usually running ahead of me on his leash, and that's not the best angle for me to take a picture of him). But when he takes on his outdoor self, his attitude proclaims, "The curl of my tail over my back expresses my supreme dogliness. I snort in a challenging manner at joggers and other dogs. I chase cats to the fullest extent of my leash. I pee on all I survey."

Frozen mix

This morning when I got up, a light dusting of snow was on the ground. I looked at my favorite local weather site and saw that for the next two or three days they were predicting a "frozen mix" of precipitation. As far as I'm concerned, "frozen mix" should mean a daiquiri, not some lousy weather.

Later in the day, I was visiting my dad and he said, "Look at that," looking out the window. "That looks like snow," I said. He laughed, "It does have some of the characteristics." "It's white, it's wet, and it's falling from the sky," I said.

Shortly thereafter, we went outside and upon closer examination the matter looked more like hail than snow. :-p

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Spring fever

On the way home, I stopped at Haggens for some groceries, and even though it's still too early to buy flowers, I bought some anyway. I just love pansies and these colors tempted me beyond my resistance level. Now, I just have to keep them alive till I really can plant them outside. Maybe I can bring a pot in this weekend and keep them in the house till warm weather. So first on the agenda is keep them alive till the weekend, when I can transplant. It would be dreadful if I brought to little things home just to condemn them to a lingering death.

After the cold winter, my herb basket looks dead, too, so I also succumbed to buying some herbs: parsley, rosemary, and thyme. No sage, though some was there. But somehow I thought that would be harder to keep alive till warm weather.

So have to keep this guys going for the Scarborough Fair section of my herb barrel.

More phone camera pictures

Another spring evening when I came out of work, though chilly, so I took a couple pictures with my cell phone camera (what Dave Barry calls a crapcam). Definitely this one of Bellingham Bay does not do justice to what I saw. The foreground is much darker than reality, and the sunset colors washed out. Still.

That little white dot in the sky is the moon, no longer a crescent, almost a half moon. And the tree is budding.