Monday, January 24, 2011

Oh, So Hardy!


There is a lot going on in the so-called dead of winter.  My January garden is a tiny thing.  Although it looks lush and tender, the fern moss is hardy to -5° F. It is completely happy outside in this 3"x 4" bonsai pot. I brought it inside to photograph because I'm not completely happy outside in the cold!  A high fired pot is impervious to freezing temps as well.

Fern Moss

Mosses are non vascular and reproduce by spores. You can read more about moss here.

Other Mosses


Lichen on Wood

A woodpecker probably dislodged this little piece of wood with a lichen growing on it.  I found it on the ground and added it to a bed of moss.  The little shiny black bug near the top (I only noticed when processing the photo) may have been his target. 

Lichen and Sedum

A lichen is a symbiotic relationship between a fungus for structure and algae for photosynthesis. More about lichens here.


It is quite common to see beautiful cardinals at the feeders but the mockingbird usually hangs out in the front where there is a utility pole, one of their favorite haunts. However, freezing temperatures and snow-covered conditions brings him to the feeders. Most all the birds love the sunflower hearts and pieces. I've added chopped dried cranberries to their diet as well.


The red-bellied woodpecker does have a red belly though it  cannot compare with his head. They are fond of the suet formulated for woodpeckers.  All the birds love it.  

Red-bellied Woodpecker

The feeders have been brought closer to the house for convenience but they will not remain. Too messy!  I'm always amazed how the birds endure the harsh winter.

Front View

Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing but to turn it into glory.  William Barclay


  1. I love moss and lichen. I never thought of putting them in a pot. It is a great way to appreciate their beauty up close. Great idea.

  2. Thank you for your eye for beauty. I recently discovered your pictures and poetry page. The most recent post is a wonderful gift for the start of my day!

  3. Hi Donna, Today is the perfect time to get in the garden! I so wish I could be there but have some errands and some other things going on. I know you'll have fun. The birds are so pretty! I love that quote at the end. I too often wonder how the little birds survive. They are amazing. Have a great day in the garden! Going to the lawn and garden show? It's 3-6 March.

  4. Hi Donna, thanks so much for your visit to my blog :)

    I love the photos of the birds, I'd never seen a mockingbird before! And the woodpecker too. Such well-known birds, but we don't have them here. Isn't the woodpecker pretty?

  5. Hi Donna from another Donna. Funny thing is our last names are very similar too. Thanks for leaving the link so I could see your lovely photos.

  6. Thanks for looking at my Ruby throated hummindbird.
    You do have a nice selection of birds and mosses on this post. It is most interesting. All of the green stuff we normally have is under snow and has been most of this winter season. Though it sometimes melts down to next to nothing only to be covered again. It is a tough life for the rabbits who depend on green things to eat or twigs on some bushes. Yesterday a large rabbit appeared outback and was eating sunflower chips and pieces and some shelled raw peanuts. Times are tough for this rabbit so it came in to eat something.

  7. Hi Donna, Blogger ate my comment... Anyhow--it was good to hear from you. Hope you are making it through this hard winter..

    Your pictures are great. I especially love the bird pictures... I have my feeders close to the house just so I can watch them. I love it---even if it does get messy... All of that clean-up is good exercise... ha ha


  8. Great photos - the birds are so lovely. Moss is good too!

  9. Our woods are filled with Lichen, Moss and all kinds of fun things. Good shot of the Redbelly's belly! I have yet to capture their red belly's...