Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Cat


Who knows why I stopped by Pet Smart last Christmas Eve, noticed an openly loving, white cat with big blue eyes, and adopted him. I immediately, named him Christmas; since, Eve would not have been gender appropriate. Soon, he began to work his holiday magic and transform non-cat persons into cat lovers.

 Although Christmas is a mouser, he is very social and gentle with people. He made friends with the children next door and their Jack Russell terrier.  They all play chase; and, Christmas has a turn as IT, chasing after the kids and the dog.  He made friends with the military retiree to the east of us.  He goes in and watches TV with him and usually has a snack.

After a number of ear infections, Christmas had surgery to clear the problem. It took about three months for his hair to grow back.


All in all, Christmas has been good for us; and, I think we have been good for him, as well.

Jingle bell, jingle bells, jingle all the way.

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wildlife Fare

Everything is attracted to the screech owl box but the screech owl. The bluebirds are always checking it out, but the squirrels usually win the right to spend the night in it.

Mr. Squirrel is having supper. No need to sully the sleeping quarters. He lets the shells drop on the ground.

I was noticing all the food for wildlife while out taking a walk.  As well as the squirrels, deer come and eat the acorns.

Beautyberries are still available, and the birds will eat them when other things are depleted.

There are plenty of goldenrod seeds. Goldfinches eat those.  

Nandina berries remain for a long time and provide, if not food, a feast for the eyes  Nature provides bountifully and beautifully.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Is There Not Glory


Is there not glory enough in living the days given to us? You should know there is adventure in simply being among those we love and the things we love, and beauty, too. Lloyd Alexander

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Strawberry Bush/Euonymus americana

Growing in the fence row out back is another native, Euonymus americana/strawberry bush, with striking seed capsules. It is a sparse bush with green stems which spreads by stolons as well as seed. Check out the USDA distribution map to see if it is native to your area.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Crane Fly Orchid

If you go out in the woods today, you may find a native, terrestrial crane fly orchid/Tipularia discolor.  In autumn, the crane fly orchid corm sends up one leaf, a dark green, almost black leaf, puckered lengthwise, with a hint of purple midrib. 

If you check, the backside of the leaf is purple also. It is amazing how such a small thing stands out on the forest floor. They persist throughout winter taking advantage of the missing leaf canopy. Usually by late spring or early summer the leaves die back and in late summer a leafless, bottlebrush-like stalk of tiny flowers appears. Snuggled against the moss covered root of a tree, the ones in my garden survive no matter how much mowing or leaf removal or lack thereof.  I love finding natives in my garden. Have fun. Explore.

Friday, October 15, 2010

It's a Beautiful Morning

Each morning gets more color as the sun lights the leaves. I can't really capture it, but it's really beautiful. We are having a delightful fall with many pleasant days. I cleaned my front door today and dressed it with a basket of flowers (silk).

It is amazing how pink fits in with the scheme of things.

When the season changes there are special things to eat. Acorn squash with butter and maple syrup is a favorite.

Eeek! A mouse, if only a catnip mouse, in a cage to temp our feline this Halloween.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Halloween Ghost

Here is our big, bad Halloween ghost cat. You better watch out! He will rub all around your legs purring loudly.

Cool weather makes us want to cook. Today we are making beef stew and French bread. I'm hungry already just thinking about it. There is nothing better than being greeted with the aroma of bread baking in the oven unless it is a big smile and hug.

While Rachel was having her car serviced yesterday, we took off for the park with Noah. He loved the slide.

Noah has discovered he can entertain by making faces. He is delighted if you will join him.

On the way home, we stopped and picked up some pumpkins. 

I added white and soft buckskin colored pumpkins to our surroundings for a touch of Halloween.

It was a great, cool, sunny, October day.  Even the big kids had fun.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wonderful Wildflowers of Fall


Magnificent colonies of beautiful goldenrod and sprinklings of purple ironweed are blooming all along America's highways and byways at this time of year. I was delighted when ironweed/Veronia gigantea volunteered in the garden in contrast to the goldenrod. Thank you birdies, my most probable benefactors. 
Swamp Sunflower
You may also notice stands of Helianthus augustifolius, yellow daisy-like flowers, commonly called swamp sunflowers.

Wild Ageratum/Floss Flower
Floss flower is now in its prime also. 

There is some in my garden around the pool.

Sedum 'Autumn Joy'
Although it is not a wildflower but just as carefree, Sedum 'Autumn Joy' is making a show.

I moved the tender hibiscus and lantana to the sunniest, warmest location to encourage continued bloom.


Cypress Vine/Ipomea quamoclit

Hummingbirds passing through can continue to feed on the abundant cypress vine, a wild morning glory.

Perched on the pink turtlehead/Chelone lyonii   is a praying mantis ready to snap up a meal.

We seldom see or hear the barred owl, but about 4:30 this morning I heard him just outside my bedroom window in the dogwood tree. Once you watch the video and hear his call, he is easily recognized by call alone. I'm glad to know he is still out there somewhere.

May all your weeds be wildflowers.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Tersa Sphinx Moth Caterpillar

Marked with false eyes to emulate predator instead of prey, the Tersa sphinx moth caterpillar is well protected. His color blends with his surroundings making him almost invisible. Trying my best to remove them, I missed one and he kept munching away on the pentas and at this stage has turned gray. Retracting his head and mouth parts when disturbed, makes its false eyes appear even larger.

Without spinning a cocoon, it buries just beneath the loose soil and leaf litter to pupate. These moths are unusual in that they are day feeders of honeysuckle and four o'clocks for example.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hummingbird Moth

Do you shop for your hummers? I do. At this time of year I'm looking for something to fill out the season. I think they apprecaite something different just as we do.

I am always adding tubular flowers

 to the garden to entice them. 

Along with the hummers came the hummingbird moth.

They favor the Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender' with its dark stems, lavender flowers, and deep green leaves with maroon undersides.
They and the bees like Torenia/Wishbone Flower as well.