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

Summer’s last notes

A chill has come on early. Our Septembers are usually hot. Not now. I wanna share a few last summer things before nobody cares anymore, me included.😊

If you read this blog awhile, you’ll know I’m a frequent salvager of roadside finds. Things seemed scarcer this year but I snagged a few items. Last month I came upon a big pile of stuff. I only picked around the edges but there I found a crazy lamp. I had no need for a turquoise Chinese Dragon lamp but I could imagine the ceramic statue as a free-standing decoration. I took it home, dismantled the lamp portion and made a spot for my find outside. About 15″ high, he certainly has a presence!

Originally, the metal lamp post went up behind his back and the shade was over his head. Um, no.


i don’t understand videos of dozens of happy hummingbirds cheerfully sharing a single feeder because all my hummingbirds – 2 or 3 max – do every year is fight over the feeder. Nonethless, I replaced the hummingbird feeder with a fresh one not long ago. The plastic on the old one got cruddy fast so I was cleaning it & making fresh sugar water frequently. Too frequently. After I put out the new one, I could see it looked clean and still had plenty of sweetened water in it, so I let it be. After a number of days I noticed that when a hummingbird would come along, it wouldn’t stay. I thought maybe they just didn’t like the new feeder.

When I brought the feeder in & dumped the old sugar water I about gagged. Although it and the feeder looked clean, the water REEKED, like when you’ve left flowers in a vase too long.😦 Now I knew what those hummingbirds had been thinking when they popped by and hastily left. Imagine the following in a high, squeaky, indignant voice:

This slop is disgusting! What, are you trying to KILL us?! I wouldn’t feed this swill to my worst enemy! Who was just here by the way! PETA is going to hear about this!

Hummingbird assessing fresh sugar water in new feeder


I grew a “Spanish flag” vine in a big pot from seed. I think flowering vines are great, especially when they grow fast, so fast you see daily changes. I thought it’d be a nice diversion this summer.

Just starting to grow Jul 12

It’s supposed to get great blooms in “late summer, early fall.” So far I’ve succeeded in growing a green vine on a 10′ bamboo stick, not a flower to be had.😐 I’ve faithfully kept it watered and everything.

Aug 20

Aug 29

Sep 14

Ah well. I can’t imagine my silly vine-on-a-stick will get any flowers at this point – the leaves are turning fall colors – but if it does, I’ll snap a picture. This vine is sort of like this summer, it went along but didn’t really get anywhere when all was done.

Today in the garden

It’s hard to fully tell you the pleasure the garden gives me. It is a living picture, a piece of art to gaze upon. Seriously! That’s how it feels. The years I’ve put into it pay dividends. Small but not miniscule, it draws me like any space indoors: What can I do here? How can I make it better? Would that look better moved over there? I rearrange just like inside, always tweaking details. It makes me happy. I spent nothing this year on plants or extras, things being what they are. I figured I’d work with what I have and then was fortunate that people gave me living things: tomato seedlings, seeds (basil, bean, okra), and just this week a hanging petunia with the palest shade of creamy yellow flowers. I gave away things too – about a dozen large hostas. I broke out my lovely chimes and my Dollar Tree decor 😁 (I thought to attach/tape my little spinners to a shepherd’s hook and bamboo stick so that they sit up off the ground and catch more wind – for such simple items they sure don’t lose my interest!).

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The garden in the early morning through the window

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The garden in the late afternoon through the window

Another skink friend

I saw this one today sitting very still smack in the middle of a public walk. I chatted to him/her a bit, fetched my tablet and took a few shots. It was an odd place to see a skink, in the shade no less. (Don’t they like to sun themselves?)
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Open space for one

On an unpleasantly humid but breezy day recently I spontaneously wandered into the middle of this ball field and stood. I was craving being alone outdoors in one spot if only for a little while. I had it to myself. The weather was too putrid to draw many people outside and I didn’t need to worry about anybody walking up on me unexpectedly in this wide open space.
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(Small) Happy things

A hummingbird turned up at the end of last week. This is early especially since it’s been chilly. I had pulled the feeder out of storage recently and it was sitting inside on tbe coffee table, so once I saw the little bird poking around outside I was ready to mix up its sugar drink and serve it. That they know to return to their former feeding territory, traveling hundreds or thousands of miles to do so, blows me away. Just the one has come so far. I don’t usually get many and the few that come around in season fight constantly. The early bird gets not worms here but the hummingbird feeder all to himself (males arrive first).


The Quince bloomed earlier in April. About two years ago I moved it roughly 2 or 3 feet from where it had been so it could have more room to grow. That’s worked out nicely. The thing I love about this shrub, in addition to how freaking gorgeous it is, is how consistent it is, always putting on a good show. It attracts bumblebees in particular although it’s always odd to see them in April – I don’t see them anywhere else that early in the season, just on the Quince. None of the bees really wanted to pose – I tried to get shots – so here’s the lovely blooms.

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