Wednesday, February 26, 2014

March Horticulture Report

Here are two pictures from the latest Horticulture Report for Norchester Garden Club which is on the subject of Verbenas. This is a picture of our white one on the cold morning of Feb 6, 2014.  A dusting of snow is on the deck.

 "Baby Verbena"  picture is just below.

 The link to the full report and past ones, is available just below the "Archives" section in the right hand column of the blog.

This month's report as well as any of the previous ones may be downloaded and viewed, printed, or saved from the index provided in the link.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Early Spring Cleaning

A water garden is a great attraction for a variety of plants and critters:  birds, herons, squirrels, frogs, turtles, coons... we have had all show up in addition to the few goldfish we provide to keep mosquitoes out.  Today we took advantage of the beautiful spring weather to tackle something that is very easy to put off... Otherwise known as a very "Dirty Job"...  

The first picture was a very early morning shot on Feb 6 to show the light dusting of snow on the deck behind the fish/lilly pond.   And the second is how the pond looked this afternoon about 5:00 pm.   Every few years we clean it totally... the worst part being the deep, fine, heavy, muck that accumulates on the bottom from years of decaying pine needles, and plant materials...   Would you believe a wet/dry shop vac sucks it up and then I have to figure what to do with gallons and gallons of slop.  I hope the compost piles like it.

Actually the dirty jobs guy stopped by with his TV crew to take a look and help, just as dear Master Gardner was ankle deep in the "mucking out" process... and he soon decided to leave after losing his lunch.

But we have enjoyed the pond, goldfish, and lilies for about 25 years and it doesn't require much else in the way of maintenance. So I think we are good for another 5 years or so.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Through Our Back Window

A cold (high 30's) cloudy day all day.  After filling the bird feeders,  the grocery store, and picking up the RV for it's monthly battery charge we have been sitting and reading in the chairs looking out at the back yard.

As you can see, the birds are enjoying our offering.... so I got my telephoto lens:

Well... they were enjoying themselves until THIS GUY showed up.

 I think it is a a crow sized accipiter called a Cooper's Hawk.  Which, if you are playing a trivia game, is almost identical to a "Sharp Shinned" Hawk.  See more HERE if you wish.

Well... the light was getting dim, but he looked guilty of something.   So I asked him to pose for some quick
mug shots...

What the...?????   Is that a small pile of feathers on the ground ?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

"Freezy Cold"

Throughout January and February we have had spells of "Freezy Cold" as our kids used to say.  The Polar Vortex swooped in (from the Left of course... make that from our West) several times and dropped the temps into the 20s for a few hours every week or so and this morning we even got some real snow. The birds don't seem to mind and find our feeders even more attractive.

These pictures were taken this morning between 6:30 and 7:30



This white Verbena on the patio is one Carol has had for a very long time and has done well, even though we did not cover it.

Of course, compared to our loved ones in the rest of the U.S. our cold snaps are very mild.  But they still close schools and snarl traffic to an amazing degree.