It Was Worth The Wait!!

curls  – Guess who finally showed up?

allgrownWas I surprised to see two, new, baby Killdeer. This year it seemed to take longer than normal for the eggs to hatch, so I thought maybe the eggs were bad. How excited I was to be proven wrong. Mama was covering her babies, while dad was drawing away potential predators by playing the wounded bird. Now to wait for number three to hatch. Look at the adorable babies. They really match the ground. Notice there really isn’t a “nest” the way we imagine one. Killdeer lay their eggs directly on the ground.

Day 2: I got up around 6 am to get a picture of the whole family. What a unpleasant surprise I had when all the birds were gone. I knew from past hatchings that they leave within 24 hours. There wasn’t any sign left that they had been nesting there. 😦

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Fun Times At Curls!

~Barb is supposed to be a part-time, substitute, mail carrier, but during the summer she has to cover for people on vacation so she works A LOT! This means we don’t get a chance to get together a heck of a lot. The same thing happens from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

Hurray! She was off on Wednesday so I went up and spent Tuesday and Wednesday night with her. We had a blast!

When I got up to her place Tuesday afternoon, we had a wonderful walk around looking at flowers, birds, butterflies, etc. Took pictures of butterflies and flowers. Some of the flower pictures have already been posted.

I brought up a surprise craft project for us to do and she had a surprise project too!

This is how we started Wednesday morning; tea, cherries, and birds! Beautiful, clear morning. The bevy of quail were having a grand time running all over. The mockingbirds were engorging themselves on Barb’s berries. I am so thankful that All She Wants To Do blogged about the Peterson Bird app sale. I’d been wanting it and $.99 was quite a deal. Whipped out the iPhone and turned on the app to check out several bird calls. It was so funny to hear the Gambel’s Quail call back when we played their audio. Tried to get the Kestrel to come back by for a visit and kept playing it’s call, alas, it was to no avail. Saw a new bird for my life list – a Canyon Wren. This beautiful song was floating down to us from the roof top right above, when we glanced up there was this small bird with a long beak. The Jimmy Durante of birds! It then flew to the rocks below putting on quite a show by climbing all over the rocks. Finally there was such a large ridicule of mockingbirds that all of the smaller birds were scared off.

After a few hours the sun was high, the birds were gone so we decided it was time for breakfast. Barb whipped up a special, delicious Breakfast Sandwich.

Barb’s Delicious Breakfast Sandwich

Whole Grain Bread – toasted
Cooked egg – break into hot pan, after the white is a bit solid, puncture the yolk so it spreads out and cooks.
Slice of cheese – Barb used American.
*Peach butter – Barb’s home-made

Toast the bread, top with the cheese slice, add cooked egg to the very top. Slather with Barb’s home-made Peach Butter! 😎 *You can still make the sandwich without peach butter.

I’ve been wanting to cover compositions books. That’s the project I brought up for us. This is the craft area, we pulled out Barb’s kitchen table. The table was set up so we could watch our British mysteries while working. Sent a pic to the hubs and he said it looked as if a bunch of Kindergarteners had taken up residence! We’ll have a separate blog for our altered composition books AND the crazy project Barb had us do. 😎 Staples has the graph paper composition books on sale now if you want to get one and try the instructions we’ll be posting.

Such a wonderful time! Blinked my eyes and it was Thursday time to go home. Barb had to head to work. Her husband was out of town for a few days so it was just Chick Time – no guys allowed! 😎

BLAME YOUR SISTER!

– It all started with my sister. She lent me some Birds & Blooms magazines. This magazine has some of the most interesting ideas to make. Now I can’t stop looking for new ideas for my garden. I see them every where. Oh I can use egg cartons for seed starters. I have made fire starters out of egg cartons, but I have never used them for seeds.

I went on line to order some safflower seeds that Q wanted to grow. The first batch of seeds I planted just one came up. I called Q and said something was eating my seeds and leaving the shell. She told me it was birds. I wasn’t aware that the birds would eat the seeds, so I put plastic over the top until they started to sprout.

I use what Q calls “the sponge effect” to water. You water from the bottom. The water is soaked up by the carton and keeps the seeds and plants moist. Then I found another great idea, you guessed it, in another Birds & Blooms, to transfer my seedlings to.

Well you guessed it. Recycle your plastic juice or soda container.  I planted cosmos in four of the containers and have transplanted some of the safflower seedlings. I like the square juice jars. They fit great together. Here is how to change that juice or soda jar in to a planter.

Cut container in two.

Put the two together.

Place a rock in the bottom.

Fill with soil. Use “the sponge effect” here, also, to water.

This all start because of my wonderful sister giving me something to read!

It’s For The Birds!

 STOP!  Don’t throw those bits of yarn from knitting and fluff from spinning.  Put the no-longer-needed-because-it’s-Spring suet holders to use.  I packed mine full of fluff and yarn.  You can see that the birds have been having a great time pulling out the bits and using in their nests.  It’s fun to see a bird with a beak full of fluff!  This was full.  I have it right by the bird feeders.

A beautiful have-to-be-outside day!  You can see the blue skies in the background. 😎  The Texas Privet is abuzz with bees and giving off a heavenly smell.  Too bad it is so MESSY!  The scent is drawing me out! Time for birds, butterflies, and flowers!

The Dog Ate My Garden – Really!

q8Who me?  Yes, you!  This is Hans – who shows his appreciation for my garden in a very unique way.  He eats my plants!!! We’ve never had a large dog before, I didn’t have a clue as to how different they are from the small ones we’ve had.  Hans is still a pup – he was born in September.  He’s a wonderful Golden Doodle – very sweet temperament.  Definitely NOT a guard dog.  My husband fell in love with this breed when we saw one working as a therapy dog a few years ago.  I was just too dumb to tell him no. lol!  When I told Alan that I was going to write about our “bad” dog, Alan said I’d better not make the dog sound evil. 😎

So this is the damage.  He ate:  All of the pea plants, an orchid plant, a butterfly plant, the marigolds, the chives, all the various herbs, the Job’s Tears seedlings, salad lettuce mixture, just to name a few.  He also dug up the cabbage as well as huge holes around the yard. See some of the damage.

 

I have to admit I was really getting upset. Solution so that I can keep my sanity?  I moved a large part of the potted plants to one side of the yard and put up that orange barrier tape so Pup can’t get to them.  Look how attractive. This is the new dog’s-eye-view.

It’s been a few days and the dog hasn’t beat the barrier yet!!  Hurrah!  So, today I planted tomatoes, banana peppers, basil, chives and onions.   The tape cuts off half the yard which includes my seedling area.  He ate all of the coconut seedling pots.  May not be an attractive addition to the yard, but at least I feel calmer knowing my plants will be ok!  Old friends visited me in the garden today:  a Monarch butterfly, a Gulf Fritillary (our home’s totem butterfly), and a Cabbage Butterfly.  Take that Hans! 😎

Just got this text from Barb aka Curls:

“Me bird watching.”

Of course I’m a bird watcher too and was glad she called to share the birds she’s seen so far: Northern Oriole, Western Kingbird, House Finch, and another flycatcher that wouldn’t land.  See how she still is resting that swollen ankle and bruised knees from Sunday’s biking incident.

Since both of us write in the blog, it can be confusing for readers to know who writes what.  Maybe you noticed that we tried “Q” and “Curls”- didn’t look really great.  While surfing blogs, I saw that another shared blog used tags so readers could tell the author.  So our new tags:

curls =  This means that Barbara aka Curls wrote the post.  She has her nickname because she has wonderful curly hair.

= This means that Susan aka Susie Q aka Q wrote the post.  In the 4th grade there were seven Susans and seven Stevens.  We had to come up with nicknames.  Since my family called me Susie Q I went with that.  Barb has always called me “Q” or “Q-bers”.