Saturday, July 31, 2021

Welcome back to the garden -

The usual suspects were waiting!
Our return and activity in the garden doesn't seem to bother them one bit.

Robins and rabbits!
They obviously get along well.
There are dozens of robins, adults and juveniles (spotted breasts) all over
 the lawn visiting the fig tree, filling their faces and tummies with the now
 ripening figs from the gigantic Celeste fig tree. 
Fruits knocked to the ground are being gobbled by a mama rabbit and
 her baby who has grown quite a bit in the time we were away.  

Today we rehung the bird feeders - as always the cardinals arrived first followed 
by the squirrels! The weather is unbearably hot, heat index reached 105F 
yesterday, thankfully a little cooler today.
The garden is parched and much is very sad looking despite my kindly
 neighbor's watering efforts. After a week loving the gardens of cooler
New England, I'm wondering what the heck I'm doing here in the south
trying to be a 'gardener' in summertime!  It's just not worth the effort once
the heat and humidity arrives.
Heading to the farmers market this morning for fresh eggs and veggies.
Must admit that I truly enjoyed not having to cook for over a week. . . . . 
having done so almost every day since the pandemic reared its ugly head!

Have a wonderful weekend friends.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Home via Washington D.C. ----------

"The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool is the largest of the many reflecting
 pools in Washington, D.C., United States. It is a long and large rectangular
 pool located on the National Mall, directly east of the Lincoln Memorial, 
with the Washington Monument to the east of the reflecting pool."

My first home in Washington D.C. when I came to live in the USA was here
in this beautiful city.
The view from my bedroom window included the tip of the Washington 
Monument - at night the blinking lights were like a beacon in an 
unfamiliar sky.
The first time I ever laced up white leather boots - attached to shiny 
blades, and stepped gingerly onto ice - was on the rather
rough frozen Reflecting Pool. That was the severe winter of 1962, the
year when my life was about to change in many ways as I adventured
 forth headfirst!

All photos taken with iPhone 11 Pro from the plane.

Great to be home again - lots on that never ending 'to do' list.
Heat index here today will reach 105F!  Needless to say I will be
staying inside.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Time to return ----------

Lonesome gull - Hampton Beach, New Hampshire

We'll be flying south tomorrow after a really great trip.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Vacation worth waiting for..........


Yesterday afternoon at  Lake Massabesic, Manchester, New Hampshire 

Just so you know, we're fine and having a wonderful trip. . . . . .

. . . . . but staying so busy I have no time to blog!

More coming later.

Hugs -

Monday, July 19, 2021

Logistics. . . . . . .

Leaving home is somewhat scary these days.
Just getting organized - house and garden 'to do' list gets
longer by the day - takes time.
Because I haven't traveled in so long, just dragging out a
suitcase has become a roller coaster ride this past week.
Big one, small one, carry on. . . . . .black one, blue one,
which one etc.
Today I must pack.
Still do not feel 100% comfortable about traveling away from
 home mainly because of the airport/plane/hotel room situation.
We are vaccinated and we will continue to wear masks in public 
We are not going overseas - sorry friends who may be hoping for
photos from new, exciting places. We are going north to New England
 to Bob's home state, New Hampshire, which is lovely also. We missed
 last year's annual "going home" visit. . . . . . . and I did actually live
 there also for several years when we were first married.

Sunday morning breakfast guest!  She was busy siphoning off the
 bird seed - we didn't shoo her off because obviously she's hungry.

The bird feeders will be stored away in the potting shed whilst we're gone.

This mama White-tailed deer has two young spotted
 fawns but I've not had a chance to take their picture yet. 
Our neighbor saw her yesterday apparently trying to teach
 them to jump over his chain link fence but all they would do is
 run into it - somewhat worrisome and I hope they weren't injured!

I hope to write and add some photos from New England later
this week. Have a great week everyone.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Sizing up the cats -

These cute brothers recently moved in with my friend Vanessa - she went
 to adopt one and ended up with two - they are adorable and it's wonderful
 knowing they are staying together. 

I love all cats. On my first safari trip to Africa in 2010 I was amazed to get this
close to the leopard and took many photos of this beautiful boy in Botswana.
 Sitting quietly in the open vehicle I was able to watch him close by in the tree,
and when he climbed down and walked calmly away along the trail he wasn't
bothered by us at all, thankfully!

On a trip to Kenya in 2015, this young male leopard named Twig
 was seen often during our game drives. . . . . . .

. . . . . . . but this morning I'm with Nala, my neighbor's cat. I can tickle her ears, 
and perhaps have a cuddle, always nice!

We are preparing for our first travel away from home since
the start of the pandemic. It feels odd not having packed a suitcase
in so long. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Garden scare!


Yesterday I had one sunflower in bud - today it's gone!  
Deer passing through last night I guess.

A few days ago I shared the brown lizard on the front porch.
Today there's a green one - or perhaps he just changed clothes!

The yellow four o'clocks can't tell time - they opened at 7 AM today!
They do look pretty with the dill flowers sharing their plant pot.

Sage is all the rage in my cooking with such a pot full outside the door.
Lantana came back from last year - I love surprises. . . . . . . except
ones such as this. . . . . . .

Yikes, this 4-5 foot Black Rat snake scared the heck out of me this morning!
I heard the wrens screeching in the fig tree when picking up the
 morning paper. A couple of days ago I had a feeling there were hatchlings
 in the little wren nest box as a wren flew out when I tapped on it.
Guess I was right.
I went I to get Bob and when we returned half of those 4-5 feet had
 disappeared into the box. . . . . and the two wren parents were having a fit! 
We whacked at the box with a broom handle and the snake came back out
 and dropped to the ground, slithering away very quickly so we couldn't see
 if it had a takeout breakfast with it! 
This is a non-venomous snake thankfully, but can still bite, It is good to
 have in the garden to keep the rodent population in check. . . . . . . but
 they're just so darned big and I admit to being deathly afraid of any
 and all snakes!
As mentioned in my previous posts, the wildlife here is prolific and 
often times somewhat frightening. The bunnies can continue to nibble, but
 snakes please stay far away, preferably in neighbors' gardens.
I admit I have not checked the nest box because I don't want to know
 what happened - this day has not been the best of times!
Sweet Carolina wren - one of my favorite garden birds.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Run rabbit run. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . .or just stay and nibble in the garden!

This week we seem to have a family of rabbits, large, medium, and 
a cute as a button tiny baby appeared yesterday. All are rollicking across
 the lawn, hopping across the back deck, climbing up on flower pots
 and biting off leaves, nibbling the grass as in these photos from yesterday,
 and taking a shady break under one of the big hydrangea bushes in front
 of the porch as 90+ degrees return.

Note our grass is getting too long - rabbits like this I think.
Our neighbor borrowed our mower and accidentally damaged a wheel
 so it's out of commission until we can get it repaired. May have to hire a
 service to mow before we have a meadow rather than a lawn!

 I know they can become pests, however right now I'm enjoying them, would
 love to cuddle the baby. . . . . . . . but at least they don't jump on the feeders
 and gobble the birdseed like the darned squirrels!

There is nothing more delightful than a garden alive with butterflies, bees, 
birdsong, and small creatures. Natural habitats are often eroded and it 
seems our gardens, even those close to cities and highways, are now
 offering them much-needed refuge. With so much building going on in
 our neighborhood woodland has almost disappeared. Some wildlife
 can be dangerous that close to home, one has to be aware, but many
 creatures are delightful to see just outside the window. 
Nature really is wonderful.

Here I'm sharing my list of actual sightings recalled over the 35 years
 we've lived in this house (at last one, very often an entire family) - other
 than the many different birds and insects - seen in my garden, and we
 do not live in the countryside!

Grey Fox
Grey Squirrel
Feral Cat
Various Snakes 

So, who's "coming to dinner" in your garden?
Our property is only a quarter acre but sometimes I feel like I'm
 living on a farm. Actually it was a farm years ago!
Enjoy your Sunday. Very hot here with afternoon rain - as if
we didn't have enough on Thursday when Elsa went through.
Thankfully we survived - just a lot of water pooling in the 
low spots, but no wind gusts to cause damage.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Calm before the storm?

Good morning - and yes right now it is a beautiful day.
Later, who really knows.
Tropical Storm Elsa will pay us a visit late today and most of tomorrow.
High wind gusts, heavy rain, possible flooding.
Summertime in the south can be perfect one day, vicious the next!

A good morning to cut fresh snippets from the garden . . . . . and ponder over
things we cannot change.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

A July Morning -

This morning, with sunshine and calm outside the door, I thought I'd change
 my header - as I often do - only to find that Blogger must be messing with
 us again! Have you tried to upload a new header lately only to find your
 previous ones now upload in a much larger, blurred format?  
I've been playing about with this particular one above and have given up. 
It just doesn't look that great, so when I have time I may just try to create
 some new headers.
Also, Blogger needs to work on many things which could make posting a
 lot easier - like back in the good old days!

Meanwhile, thanks again for more birthday greetings for Bob, he was
 touched by your kind words.

This morning I need to water, at least the pots, as another day reaching into
 the 90's is promised. We will have to prepare for storm activity on Thursday,
it could be severe as the remnants of tropical storm Elsa move through the 

The fig tree continues to GROW!
Nothing stops this amazing tree - not even the severe pruning last winter.
It's loaded with fruit but of course we'll never get to pick at the top, just
too high.  Birds, insects and squirrels will be happy!

This is out latest visitor, a Carolina anole lizard - green at times, brown
 at others.  He lives somewhere on the front porch and will hopefully
 help with the unwanted insect population!

In the back garden today I noticed this juvenile Eastern bluebird - always
 exciting knowing there is a new generation of these once almost 
eradicated beautiful birds!  
We have a pair, maybe even two, who nest in the birdhouse. We have
 a real bluebird box affixed to the potting shed but they never use it, 
preferring the 'apartments' in the larger house.

The mourning doves, whom I love, are enjoying visits to the bird baths - we
 have three in the back garden now and I'm trying to keep them filled with
 clean water to keep mosquito larvae away.

Enjoy your day.
May the week be good.
Happy summer garden days.