Saturday, April 27, 2019

Peonies, a pretty bird, and blooms . . . . . . . .

The peonies are budding, more blooms than former years, so perhaps at long last they
 are enjoying their spot in the garden and their roots are happy!
Looks like I may miss their fragrant blooms though - unless they hurry up and open
 this coming week. Traveling this time of year makes it hard to leave the garden when
 it's really at its prime.

A surprise visitor to the garden this week. . . . . . . just one, perhaps lost on his way
to the woods where he and his mate prefer deciduous forest for nesting. 
He was returning from winter migration to Mexico, Central or South America.
 This is the male Red-breasted grosbeak, such a handsome bird
and a joy to see.  A plump black and white bird with a large triangular rose patch
 in the center of chest, wing linings are rosy red and the large bill is ivory.
Female is completely different - heavily streaked brown and white, with large
 white eyebrows and orange yellow wing linings.

He stopped on the feeder, then took a drink, hardly more than a minute
 visit - couldn't believe how lucky I was to catch him and get a few photos
 from the dining room window!

I captured all these blooming beauties in the garden over the past few days.

Notice my beautiful first bumble bee, and we've seen a few butterflies.
Have decided not to do the 'mosquito spray' this year.  We did notice
 a definite lack of pollinating bees, butterflies, dragonflies etc. all last summer
with the spraying service coming every 3 weeks. Yes, I was only bitten 
a few times, which was a relief, but the garden seemed empty of beautiful
 flying creatures and I felt guilty!  This year I'll be back to spraying myself,
not my garden!

With several really warm days, then some good heavy showers yesterday, 
 everywhere is blooming.  April is certainly a colorful month in our area
of the southeast.

We have a perfect weekend weather forecast for here - hope you do too.


  1. Oh wow, you were indeed lucky to capture the bird's short visit on camera! I love especially the photo where his bright red "bib" is mirrored in the water.
    Lovely flowers, too.

  2. What a colourful variety of plants you have in the garden.

  3. What a beautiful bird visited your garden. Such great photos, too. Love all the colour in the garden these days. Peony buds are so full of promise. Ours are beginning to form, too. Happy weekend, Mary.

  4. My one peony bush is just now peeking out of the ground. And right now we have SNOW. Yes, another freak April snow storm. So tired of this! Seems like we'll never have any true spring weather. Knowing our weird weather, it'll probably be 90 next week. ;-) I have never seen a grosbeak - guess we don't have them around here. What a beautiful bird. Unfortunately, we have to have the mosquito spraying service here (every 3 weeks). We literally can't even step out the front door without being eaten alive. I even recall my mother and my aunt one summer coming to visit and they got out of their cars and were swinging their arms and trying to run into my house. It's so terrible here. We did have a lot of bees here last summer, so I'm glad the spray didn't affect them.

  5. A new bird I have never seen before! The grosbeak is a little stunner, a beautiful bird. Your garden certainly is rejoicing in the Springtime. I don't like the sound of those mosquitos though!

  6. If you must miss the peonies blooming, I hope that your granddaughter will take a beautiful photo for you. They are very robust! The grosbeak is a little charmer isn’t he with his head cocked just so...

  7. I haven't planted any peonies here. I wish I did now! You got some great shots of the grosbeak!


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