Category Archives: Nature (because my favorite place is outdoors)

That’s not for you

Two days ago I saw a beautiful moth drinking from the hummingbird feeder. I’ve never seen that before. Yellow jackets and wasps, yes, but not larger, more appealing insects. I ran back inside to get my tablet to take a photo. To my surprise the black/orange/white colored moth was still there when I returned. However, I stupidly let the door slam behind me, spooking my winged friend who promptly took off, taking the photo opportunity with it.

Disappointed, I went back inside and only moments later saw this instead.

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The little birds, especially the male goldfinches, prefer to drink out of the dirty “ant moat” on the hummingbird feeder instead of one of two clean water dishes I maintain year-round for the birds’ and squirrels’ drinking pleasure. (This makes me think of dogs that drink out of toilets instead of their nice water bowls.) Mr. Squirrel here – acting out I daresay – no doubt thought perhaps the birds were getting something good that he too would like.

Today I looked out the window, saw the lovely moth at the hummingbird feeder, ran for my tablet, and watched as a bee of some sort scared it, causing the moth to again vacate the feeder. This time I saw it fly around the yard in a herky-jerky moth fashion for a bit before disappearing.

Update: Here’s the moth a day later (where it flew after I, quiet & tip-toeing, still managed to scare it from the feeder).

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Marigold surprise

Flowers are one of the best parts of summer. The gorgeous colors are so cheering. I’m a big fan of marigolds. Marigolds are annuals meaning you get one season out of them and have to buy new ones each year. In early summer I planted marigolds in pots because slugs munch holy hell out of them if I plant them in the ground and then they (the flowers) usually weaken and die. Some flower profit from “dead-heading” which is merely clipping or pinching off the dead blooms. I faithfully dead-headed my marigolds and threw the dead blossoms aimlessly to the ground.  This year, for the first time that I recall, seeds from those dead blooms germinated, and not only that but they did so in an attractive spot! (as if I intended it!).

I took these photos this morning.  How stunning are these?! And they did it all by themselves (and the slugs aren’t eating them! which probably means something is eating the slugs!). The colors don’t look real to me. While most everything else is fading, these marigolds look like they’re all ready for the summer season.

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Come on back in to my garden!

Two years ago in August I gave a photo show on the blog of my garden. I’m not going to repeat that, just a few updates. Some people drag out pictures of their kids, grandkids, or pets to show off; I trot out my plants.

The Silver Arrow grass plant gives me so much pleasure. I look at it every day. I posted earlier in the season how I’d stuffed the whole thing into a tomato cage to keep it from flopping over; that’s worked out quite well and for the first time in years I get to enjoy it upright. You can’t even really see the cage. My beloved butterfly bush died last year so the grass plant is now the clear star.

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Dollar Tree decor in the foreground😊

Here’s the four little Arborvitae trees two years ago. They are my “children” and I’m so very proud of them.😁

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Planted here (and helped by the curtain) to block a lousy view

And today. For reference the wood table (one blue, the other reddish) shown in each photo are roughly the same height.

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No more curtain; the middle trees are taller than me and blocking a bad view just fine all on their own

Nature delights

I saw a clematis (flowering vine) in someone’s post which reminded me I’d taken photos of an especially beautiful one earlier in the year. It’s not mine but it’s too pretty not to share. Look at how there’s two different colors on one plant.
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I’m a skink fan. At the end of June I saw this little guy while sitting in an outdoor patio. I was surprised because as you see there was concrete all around and no vegetation nearby. Skinks eat bugs not people food so I don’t know what he was up to.
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Green & White Grass Plant gets a little help

I really love my huge “Silver Arrow” grass plant and have posted photos in  2014 and in 2016. Since then, for whatever reason, people searching the term “Green and White Grass plant” regularly arrive at my blog – where I probably have not much useful to tell them.😐

Each successive year the plant has grown, enough so that two years ago I dug part of it out ( NOT easy) and planted it in a pot. Unfortunately that piece didn’t survive. Because the original plant has grown so much it routinely flops over which is why I started staking it with a perimeter of bamboo sticks and dental floss (as string). Nonetheless for the last two years I did this one or more of the stakes would eventually keel over & I’d return to wrestling with the plant to get it to stand up nicely. Let me tell you that although the plant looks innocent enough, the blades of grass are sharp. Last year I was sufficiently annoyed with the grass plant falling over that I prematurely cut part of it and then didn’t get to enjoy all its tall, striking rust-colored blooms late in the season.

All this is by way of saying I’ve solved my problem this year and forevermore! By stuffing the now-grown plant into a large, red tomato cage!

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You’ll stand up & you’ll like it!

 

 

Photo #2 of my found hydrangea (plus a little introspection)

I know I just posted about my free hydrangea blooming but I felt I had to show it to you again. The first photo was June 27. Here it is today after lots of rain this week. It”s so beautiful it doesn’t seem real. I am besotted. How does such a color exist??
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On June 27 the bloom looked like this. Nice, but clearly not at its peak.
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See, I never thought I could have such beautiful things. I know it’s a plant not a thing but it fits a larger theme in my life. Growing up, beauty wasn’t appreciated in my family, not really. The vibe for pretty much everything was good enough. In fact, I think beauty for its own sake would have been, or was, considered suspect, frivolous even. It wasn’t about money but attitude.I had to grow up – in every sense – and embrace beauty, most especially as something I deserve, which has been the hardest part, and is ongoing. Anyway, these are a few of the thoughts I’ve been having, spurred by the presence of my stunning hydrangea, that had been left curbside for dead.

My free hydrangea blooms

In March I found a potted hydrangea by the road.  It was the pot that attracted me; I only discovered a small, sad hydrangea surrounded by weeds in it when I got closer. I thought: who throws out a hydrangea?! (A plant that would not be cheap at the garden center.) Hydrangeas are early summer bloomers that basically look like ugly dead sticks in winter. In season, however, they have large colorful blooms of various hues (which depend on the soil makeup).  They don’t always bloom; a hard winter can kill off potential blossoms.  From one year to the next, I never know which of my hydrangeas – I have several – will put on a good show. There was no guarantee this free one would bloom but it did!

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And what it looked like in March. You can see why nobody else had bothered to snap it up.IMG_20190328_174726_kindlephoto-334240