Friday, December 23, 2022

The Holidays Are Here

 

The Holidays Are Here

So much has been happening through this year that it is often hard to get into the holiday spirit. But, fortunately, that doesn’t stop many of our neighbors from lighting up their homes to help lighten our emotional load. 

The lights don’t have to be flashing or overly elaborate to be appealing. One house in our neighborhood offers a simple light tree, which shines brightly as we pass on our walk. It helps to remind us to allow light into our lives and imagination.

I hope that this season brings joy to everyone.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Dandelion Landing

 


Dandelion Landing

It was a pleasant afternoon, sunny but not too hot. Just right for being out back on the patio reading a book. But then something took my attention away from what I was reading, a puffy seed flipping over my legs. I reached out for it but it slipped off my palm and hurried off. Then I noticed other seeds frolicking over the lawn, all determined to be on their way.

I scooped one up as it was flying over me and brought it inside where I could examine it more closely. How delicate it was and yet I knew it wasn’t fragile. It was a dandelion seed that would plant itself with the others and they would overtake the lawn if allowed to land.  

I heard of someone who was considering planting dandelion seeds instead of grass. No doubt it would be lovely to look out but not consistent with what is considered a proper lawn. Maybe it will start a fad and change our perspective about lawns. After all, there are many positives to dandelions, including vitamins.

Check this out:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324083#what-is-dandelion

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

 

    


 Butterfly on a Sunflower

Taking a walk in a local nature center om a hot day. It was pleasant walking along the dirt paths in the cool shade of the trees on another 90-degree day. Each step brought something else to observe. The birds were out in numbers, chirping and flitting from tree to tree. The leaves were starting to cover the walkway, adding crunch to our footsteps. The water from the creek was the lowest it has ever been; the hot summer and lack of rain was condensing its flow.  There were still some flowers blooming which added color to the scene.

Then we saw them – Monarch Butterflies flitting from flower to flower. They loved the sunflowers and we loved watching them. They like to winter in warmer places like Mexico and California but I wonder if that will change as our temperature rises. Maybe they’ll end up staying in my backyard. Meanwhile, they are appreciated whenever they appear and I wish them a safe trip to warmer climes.

https://monarchconservation.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/MBF-Fun-Facts-Feb-21.FINAL_.pdf

 

Sunday, July 3, 2022

 


Fireworks Galore!

We went to a neighboring town last night to see some pre-4th fireworks. Dusk came and the sky lit up with color! Everyone cheered. A little kid behind us kept pointing to one particular burst saying “That’s my favorite!”

I remember when I was a little kid, my mother and aunt took me, my sister and cousins to Coney Island to see the Fourth of July fireworks. We stood on the boardwalk eagerly waiting for the first burst to brighten up the sky.  It was something I looked forward to. I loved it. I still do.

These fireworks were on the early side. Tonight there will be more in a different local town. And then on the actual 4th, we’ll be able to see the official colorful celebration. I hope that this is all a reminder of the freedom that our country stands for. May politics be put aside. Let’s see all Americans, regardless of our differences, as one people. And may we all enjoy the brilliance of light and color and connectedness in America.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

A Nest!

 


A Nest!

Remember the robin that was knocking at our window? We had put a light plastic material on the glass to see if it would discourage the bird and it seemed to work but as soon as we took it down, the bird started again. I thought perhaps there was a nest in the bush outside the window, but I didn’t see one.

Oh, well, Spring is in full swing and there is more to do than worry about an annoying bird;  plant new flowering bushes, weed the vegetable garden, fertilize the cherry trees. And then one day, while trimming the bushes on the other side of the yard, a nest with blue eggs appeared! Was this robin protecting that nest even though it was away from the house? And were these eggs actually the robin’s eggs? Other birds lay blue eggs. Plus, within the bush was a different bird that was warning us to stay away.

I guess we will have to let nature take its course. If this nest is the robin’s, then when the birds hatch and eventually fly off, the aggressive window banging should stop. After all, parents need to protect their young.

But wait, did I just see another robin gathering bits of dry grass and bringing them to the bush by the window?  

Why do robins attack windows?

http://birding-world.com/robin-attacking-windows/

Why do robins lay blue eggs? Many birds lay blue eggs:

https://www.thespruce.com/why-robin-eggs-are-blue-4161031

Monday, April 11, 2022

Robin at the Window


 

Robin at the Window

A strange thing happened this weekend. I heard a banging at the window of our den. The room is  at the back of our house so no one should have been there to knock. I thought it might be a pebble tossed by the wind. Then it happened again – and again. When I looked out back I saw a robin on the branch of an evergreen bush near the window. And then I saw the bird fly off the branch and knock its beak against the glass! It did this multiple times.

Okay, I thought. Maybe the robin sees a reflection of the bush and wants to land on a different branch. But I would imagine that after a few tries it would get the hint and stop. It didn’t. I went outside to encourage it away. It left as I opened the door but soon returned to continue its jabbing at the window.

It stopped when night came and I hoped that it was finished with whatever prompted its action. No such luck. I was awakened in the morning by the now familiar thumps. The robin was back at it. I thought that maybe if I blocked off the window with a blanket it would discourage the robin. It continued anyway. I removed the blanket and looked straight at the bird, telling it to leave. It just stared at me but didn’t fly away.

I thought that perhaps it was seeing its own reflection and thought it was another bird that was threatening in some way. Then my husband got an idea. He taped some newspaper pages on the outside of the window to hide whatever it was that the bird was seeing. We sat down to breakfast and listened as we ate. We did not hear any knocking! As the morning continued, all was quiet.

We can’t leave the papers there forever and there is rain in the forecast for tomorrow which should destroy the papers. Will the robin be back then? Who knows? I just hope it has satisfied what prompted this strange action and I wish the robin well – just not at my den window.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Winter to Spring

  


Winter to Spring

Looking beyond the brittle stems of last year’s Giant Hibiscus plants, I can see the daffodils starting to bloom in my backyard. It is quite the reminder of how the seasons change.

They are beautiful flowers. Whether planted as a border or to brighten up a garden, daffodils are just the thing. They are hardy and prolific, too.

Seeing the daffodils perking up brings to mind the rest of my backyard. My weedy vegetable garden needs to be cleared for new plantings. I have cucumber seeds and tomato seeds and lots of herbs all waiting to be given their chance to thrive. I’ll remove the dead branches from the hibiscus plants when the new ones start to come up.

What a wonderful way to view the season. The daily temperatures may still be shifting but I am eager to start Spring planting.

Lots of things to know about daffodils:

https://www.almanac.com/plant/daffodils