Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sunflower Disaster Zone

Unfortunately, while I was on my trip, something broke the stems on my sunflowers. It might have been a storm, but I'm betting it was some kind of hungry animal. So, I had to cut my losses, literally. The yellow sunflower was done in completely, but the red one still had one of the "branchings" upright. There are at least two flowers and a seed head on that one. Spend flowers were left on the ground for the birds, but the flowers that remained were tucked into a vase.

The only problem with putting sunflowers in a vase, are that they insist on pointing downward. So, I solved this, but sticking them on the refridgerator. Now they are pointed at me. ;)

Still waiting to see if we get more than a sprinkle today. There were supposed to be a couple of fronts move through, but it looks like they went south. It might just be up to Ernesto to bring rain to the region. Kinda worried about that though, he fizzled over Florida.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Garden Vacations

I did the annual trek to Hersheypark and hence, Hershey Gardens. Wonderful place to visit. I saw lots of butterflies and even a few monarch caterpillars on the milkweed. I also came home with a pocket full of milkweed seeds. They were about to float off.... *grin*

They finally had a book for sale about the Gardens. I've been waiting for one. I'm surprised there wasn't one for the Park, either. I mean, it is about to be a century for the amusement park.

But the Gardens were as beautiful as ever.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Brown Grass, Green Grass

So, I went out today and mowed my lawn for the first time in weeks. In my defense, first it was too stinking hot, then my dandelions died. Yep, that's right, it was so hot and dry that even the weeds gave up the ghost. But the weeds and long grass seeds have been staging a comeback, and I had to mow today. At least the front lawn. But I knuckled down and mowed the back as well. Or at least significant portions of the back. There are still areas that have yet to grow since the last trimming. So, I cheated and left them be.

My fancy petunia that survived started blooming and is doing wonderfully. Pictures will follow.

I opened up a new bag of birdseed yesterday. I bit longer than normal, but then I had a lot of stale bread and buns to go through. So, the birds have been glutting on treats. Not that they didn't still fight over sunflower seeds. At least until the squirrel showed up and stuffed them all in his cheeks.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Floriday Trip -- 6

Just two pictures this time, I've been running short on blogging time. It really is too beautiful out. However, we kinda need a rainy day or three....

Still at the extension center, there's lantana in the foreground and a little purple mexican petunia in the back.

And I'm not sure what this is. But it was pretty. Edit: It's pink porterweed.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Happy Anniversary Little Blue House!

Wow, I almost forgot. A year ago today, I got the keys to this place and started moving my stuff in. The movers did their stuff on the 20th, and I got the last of the stuff out on the 31st. Just in time to turn in the keys! :)

The actual blogoversary is the 7th of Septmeber. Why the gap? Because it took me awhile to decide to start up this blog. *wink*

Bird Bonanza!

Lots of bird spotting, of late. The blue jays are acting like roosters in the mornings. One starts getting anxious that I'll get up and put bird seed out, then the rest giving territorial calls.

Yesterday, I spotted two goldfinches in the wetlands. I went to get the binoculars to get a positive id, but they were no where to be seen. But a little small buzzy thing caught my eye. It was a hummingbird. A juvenille hummingbird! He was all fuzzy and adorable. I stood there and watched him for the longest time. He played with his tongue and his tail feathers. And even did some flapping of his wings, before he somersaulted off of the tree limb he was sitting on.

Later on, I did spot and id a goldfinch. This one was hanging upside down from a spent sunflower head eating the seeds. Positively charming.

As for the garden, I took Zeppe out and did a bit of weeding. Real shame I can't mulch the iris, the grass and clover keep trying to take over.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Glorious Weather

We are enjoying unseasonably fine weather. Which is cooly refreshing after that heat wave. My windows are open again, and I usually find myself rushing to the thermostat to remind the AC not to run. It's too nice and no need to waste electricity. I'm even cozying up under blankets at night because it get that chilly!

Now if only I could convince myself to mow the lawn in this gorgeous weather. But it really looks to brown to touch out front. Even the dandelions are looking parched out there. The back is looking better, but that also means that it needs mowed, as opposed to being something I should do. *sigh* I'd rather stick to weeding and watering.

Monday, August 07, 2006

A Sunflower of a Different Color

My second sunflower opened today. Despite them both being from the same seed packet (Velvet Queen from Parks), the two plants are totally different. The second one is a reddish brown, as opposed to the bright yellow of the first.

Can you believe that these are only two plants? I wonder if they were supposed to be like this.

And this is my little lily tuff that is getting ready to bloom.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Yuck -or- Death Comes to a Garden

So, yesterday morning I looked out and saw that the birdbath was flipped over and on the ground. Other than idly wondering what could have done that, (remember, I've got a privacy fence, so it is a bit of a mystery) it slipped my mind. This morning, I went out to do a bit of watering and tidying up, including righting the birdbath. Now, here's where it gets curious. There was a little brown bird dead beside the top of the birdbath. Eww. It kinda looked like it might have gotten knocked on the head when the birdbath got toppled. But what would leave a dead bird there? I mean, a cat might have gotten over or around the fence and knocked the top off, but to leave the bird? Anyway, I dumped the bird in the woods behind the house and tried to straighten up the plants that got smooshed. They don't seem to have broken stems, so they should survive.

My lily tuffs are starting to bloom. The black-eyed susans are attracting all sorts of pollenators. Including a Silvery Checkerspot that had a bird bite shaped hole in his wing. While I was weeding, a tiger swallowtail floated through the garden.

The weathermen claim the heat wave has broken for at least the weekend, but it is still hot out there. I was roasting in the sun. Hopefully it will be more lawn mowing friendly tomorrow. Hopefully.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Florida Trip -- 5

More from the extension center. They had a very lovely garden. And fortunately, we were there when it was in bloom.

Another view of the garden.


And crape myrtle. I like crape myrtle.

And to join the daylily gang, here's one, even if it isn't in my garden. ;) Ignore the ants.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I'm Wilting

Well, add me to the chorus of agonies raised against this heat wave. While the official temperatures haven't broken 100 yet, the heat index is a good 10 degrees hotter than the air temp. Youch! It is only getting down into the high 70s at night, mostly 80 by the time to head into work. Not that work is a refuge from the heat. AC is turned off nights and weekends, and it isn't working very well in the office I'm shoved into anyway. *sigh* I did take in one of my snake plant cuttings in an attempt to at least improve the air quality. I named this one Louis.

Spot watering and adding to the compost pile is about all that is going on in the yard. Too hot to do anything else. Even the plants are taking a break.

100 degrees is predicted for tomorrow. :(