"And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress and keep it". Genesis 2:15

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Birdie Story

This morning I was inspired to take another picture of this lovely pair - the Texas Red Bud and the white Daffodils - because they looked even prettier than a few days ago. The morning sun was making everything sparkle and shine so beautifully. I really wanted to capture the moment, but alas I am a terrible photographer. I point and click and hope for the best. Nothing ever looks as beautiful in the photograph as it did in my eyes.

Anyway, I took the picture, and was hoping for the best, when in flew a little Bedwrick's Wren wondering why I was standing so close to his birdhouse. I never expected birds to nest in these birdhouses. They are just for decoration really, they are too close to the house and the cats, but, for reasons known only to Wrens, the Wren chose the old dilapidate birdhouse closest to the Red Bud. We had provided a new certified Wren house (they have a tiny opening that keeps out Sparrows) in another, safer area of the yard, but the Wren has nested for four years now in the birdhouse that a squirrel chewed a very large opening in. The entrance hole is big enough to put your entire fist in. The cats could easily get these birds, especially as the Wren makes such a conspicuous production about protecting his nest, but somehow they survive. I have the privilege of watching this spectacle from the window you see in the picture. My desk sits right behind it.

Meanwhile, looking out the opposite window from the dining room, I see that the sparrows have been driven crazy trying to get into the wren house! It has stayed empty all this time, but every year a male sparrow will chose it and vainly sit calling out for a love to come inspect his chosen home. The sparrows cant get inside. The birdhouse is wedged up into a corner near the roof of the porch, so there is a little bitty space too small for a sparrow to stand up in on top of it and a little bitty space in the corner behind it. 

The male sits outside our dining room window calling and calling. The females come and look. They try to get in and can't. They try out the little bitty space on top, and with difficulty wedge themselves behind it. They reject it. This is our dining room dinner hour drama.

Well, I thought to myself recently, "You know I am tired of watching all this disappointment. I am sort of anti English Sparrow, but I can't take this poor male sparrow's frustration any longer. Wouldn't it be better for some bird to use the house if the Wrens wont? It would be kinda fun to watch, even if it is just sparrows." So, Garry got out the hole saw and sawed a bigger hole in the Wren (now sparrow) house, and the hapless male sparrow now has a lady love to share his home with. (It is fun to watch too.)

Back to the Wren that flew into my picture. Of course I panicked! I took a very crooked picture where the Wren is all blurry. He is hopping all over the Red Bud giving me a look. I am franticly fumbling with the camera, chanting ZOOM ZOOM dumb camera! but I did manage to get a picture of him even if it isn't the best. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

First Spring Flowers


Dandy Lions are the first flowers bees find in the spring and are very important for that reason. The low growing pretty ones like this I like to leave, but I chop the tall ugly purple ones.

Peach blossoms

Front walk. The purple flowers are grape hyacinth. I bought 50 bulbs wholesale and they have really filled in.

White daffodils under a baby Red-bud Tree. This is the tree that I kept having to save from the wood ants last summer.

Wild grape hyacinths under the peach tree in the front yard.

I planted one hundred day lilies and one hundred daffodils that I bought wholesale under the two Red Oak trees. The day lilies are doing great, but only 40 daffodils came up and bloomed this year. The daffodils come up first and bloom, then as their foliage dies they are hidden by the day lilies as they grow. The idea works well, but I did not buy the right kind of daffodils for Texas.

Grandmother's Iris blooming under another Red Bud tree. This is always the first iris to bloom. The rest of the flower bed looks pretty bare, but lots of things are sprouting up and soon it will be full.

Red Bud Blooms

Monday, March 8, 2010

First Garden Plantings

I finally got to get out in the garden last Thursday and get some planting done. Anna and Claire helped me plant all the onion sets, three packs of yellow onions and one pack of red onions, in the bed I had prepared earlier.

I am changing the garden from long rows to 8' by 4' blocks with narrow rows in between, so it has been necessary to move some dirt around. Also I am switching over from soaker hoses to subterranean waters, so that necessitated burying a few more milk cartons down the centers of the 8 x 4 beds.  I had prepared two such beds for the onions, and one more bed was needed to plant all the transplants I had raised in the kitchen. In this third bed we planted green cabbage, Chinese cabbage, swiss chard, and some lettuce.