Monday, April 30, 2012


My honeysuckle has buds forming that should become flowers one of these days. 

The arrow points to a flower bud.

I bought a honeysuckle a couple years ago on the premise that it smells good and is reputed to attract hummingbirds. Two years ago, the plant suffered a dreadful aphid infestation which I tried to cure first with ladybugs and then with insecticidal soap. I ended up just cutting off all the infested branches, leaving basically the main stem.

Last summer, the plant regrew some branches but didn't bloom. I think it needed to recover from the severe pruning. Now there are these buds, but I was also concerned to see some leaves touched with brown:

The arrows point to brown ends of the leaves.

I examined the plant closely but didn't see any aphids, so I hope the brown edges are due to something like the soil in the pot getting a bit dry. Container plants need lots of watering because they dry out fast. I haven't been watering yet this spring because we've had lots of rain, but I hear it was sunny and warm while I was out of town a couple weeks ago.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Time out

Blogging will be light or nil for the next week and a half. I'll be back.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Two of my ferns have fiddleheads, which are the new fern leaves tightly curled up like a scroll.

On this one you can see the fiddleheads quite
plainly at the heart of the plant.

On this fern, the fiddleheads are bigger, browner, hairier than
on the first one.

My third fern looks dead, but I seem to recall it looked dead last spring but then surprised me with a comeback.

Doesn't look promising, but I think it will come back.

Monday, April 9, 2012


I saw Mr. and Mrs. Duck again on Saturday. In the picture below, you can see Mr. Duck's green head in the stream, and then to the left and down a little on the bank stands Mrs. Duck.

I like to see harmless wild animals while I'm just out walking my dog.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It walks like a duck

My dog and I saw a duck couple this morning while we were taking our walk. Ducks are amusing just because of the way they walk. And quacking is also kind of funny.

By the way, this is the 1,000th post on this blog. I posted for the first time on December 18, 2006. For the first four years of this blog, I blogged intermittently and irregularly, but in late 2010 I started blogging daily--except when I don't. I blog most days.

I made the change because I read Ten Important Things I've Learned About Blogging, by The Pioneer Woman. I think I first found The Pioneer Woman when The Anchoress linked over to her Tres Leches cake recipe, but the post that won my loyal readership was Monday Morning Cow.

More blooms

More and more magnolia blooms are opening on our neighbor's tree. That's yesterday's sky; today is a bit more overcast.

Here's closer look at a not-yet-fully open magnolia bloom.

The first bulb flowers to bloom were crocus, then daffodils, now hyacinth are starting. This is grape hyacinth, so called because the flowerets don't open into bell shapes like other hyacinths; they stay a little sphere and the whole bloom resembles a bunch of grapes.

I can never talk about hyacinths without remembering the incomparable Hyacinth Bucket of "Keeping Up Appearances."

The Boo-KAY residence, the lady of the house speaking.

Bob-bob-bobbin' along

Mr. Robin Redbreast is continuing to flutter around my deck with bits of grass and things in his mouth. I took another look at his nest-in-progress this morning.

It's a fixer-upper.

Dude, that's not very impressive. You've got a lot more work to do before you'll convince any little ladybird to move in with you.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


You know how when people give you a greeting for a special day, you're likely to give the same one back? Like if someone says, "Merry Christmas to you!" you might reply, "Merry Christmas to you!"

Okay, so my sister called me recently with a greeting for a special day. She said, "Happy birthday to you!" and I replied, "Happy birthday to you!" She said, "No." Oh, yeah. It was my birthday, not hers.

That's my name on that cake
because it's my birthday.
Not my sister's birthday.

Next thing you know, I'll be eating Easter candy before it's even Easter. Oh, yeah. That already happened.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The nesting instinct

Robins abound in our yard and neighborhood lately. The weather may not be warm, but they don't let that stop them. I don't know if it's the same one I keep seeing on the wall around my deck, or several different ones.

Yesterday, I saw one with big hunks of grass in his beak. I went out to see where he was building a nest--it was on the drainpipe under the upstairs deck.

Possibly my hanging around outside a while looking at it will have scared him away. I'll have to check back and see if he completed his construction project.