ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I saw two blue jays at the hopper feeder.  I've heard them in the yard, but this is the first I've actually seen any in months. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Yesterday we picked up a big box of plants from Mom and Dad.  Today I've started putting them out, starting with a pair of pawpaw trees.

The weather is warm and cloudy.  It rained a little yesterday.  I've been seeing bumblebees around.

EDIT 4/17/17:  Round 2, I planted a Moench purple aster and an Azure Fairy daisy in the wildflower garden.

EDIT 4/17/17: Round 3, I planted a mock orange in the forest garden and a ninebark in the hedge along the west edge of the savanna.  I also covered today's plantings with milk jugs and watered them.  I still need to mulch them, though.

Another wildflower is blooming in the forest garden, with a pendant yellow flower.  I think it's a largeflower bellflower.  I also found a black parrot tulip blooming in the garden beside the parking lot.

EDIT 4/17/17: Round 4, I planted the heather by the barrel garden and the red feather clover in the wildflower garden, and put milk jugs over both.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I saw a brown thrasher busily digging into the hopper feeder.  :D  They are cheerful singers and voracious insectivores, supplementing with seeds when insects are less plentiful. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I did some spring planting after it stopped raining.  I potted up a trench pot of johnny-jump-ups in solid purple, purple-and-yellow, solid yellow, and solid burgundy.  :D  I still have some left of everything but the yellow which was in a single pot.  The others were six-packs.

Lilacs are beginning to bloom, and cherry trees.  More tulips are blooming in the purple-and-white garden.

A mourning dove has now made a nest in the gutter above the back porch.  I am less pleased with this position.  :/ 

EDIT 4/10/17:

I finished planting the johnny-jump-ups and some Dusty Miller artemesia in pots.  The last couple of artemesias went into the white garden.

I also saw that the honeysuckles are beginning to bloom, serviceberry tree and gold currants are in full bloom, and in the wildflower garden the sky blue grape hyacinths are also blooming.  :D  Trilliums are sprouting in the forest garden.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (neutral)
Today I fed the birds. It's sunny and bright, but the feeders are quite active -- lots of grackles and sparrows.

I haven't seen the mourning dove on the nest for several days, although the eggs are still there. Apparently it's been abandoned. :/ But perhaps another dove will start a new batch. There are often several clutches a season in that location, it's very popular.

Walk with me ... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today we registered our yard as a Certified Wildlife Habitat. The National Wildlife Federation has a page on gardening for wildlife which lays out the components. I have boldfaced the ones I have.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
It was drizzling off and on earlier today, but cleared up for a while.  So I went outside and planted the Tricyrtis hirta and Tricyrtis 'Tojen' from yesterday.  They went into the purple-and-white garden where I put the Blue Wonder earlier.  :D

More blue grape hyacinths are blooming around the yard.  Echinacea and yellow coneflower are leafing out in the wildflower garden.  Newly blooming are paperwhite narcissus in the white garden.

Birds have been fluttering around the feeders today, mostly sparrows.  There are still two white eggs in the mourning dove nest.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today I saw a house finch at the fly-through feeder. :D They're pretty little things, like a sparrow with a reddish head and chest. Some years we have a whole flock, other times none for a while.

Walking outside, I saw that some of the new blue grape hyacinths beside the patio are budding. They're a bit later than the volunteers already there.

Thanks to the various folks who sang the praises of toad lilies, I picked up the other two colors available. I think they're Taipei Silk and Trycyrtis formosanna.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (neutral)
Today I fed the birds. There are still two white eggs in the mourning dove nest.

It is cool and mostly sunny, so the flowers are open. :D

Walk with me ... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (neutral)
Today I planted a pair of purple tricyrtis in the purple-and-white garden.

The weather is cool and cloudy.  There are still two white eggs in the mourning dove nest.

Walk with me... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 [personal profile] siliconshaman tipped me to this report about humpback whales forming superpods.  He's already working on a story about it.  :D

I figure, in Terramagne, they're either discussing "Should we all move to the Maldives?" or "That really romantic bay in Japan has stopped murdering everyone who goes there.  Who wants to go on a mating trip?"
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today I planted three Here Lies Butch daylilies beside the patio where the herb gardens are, and mulched around them.

Weather is warm but very blustery.

There are still two white eggs in the mourning dove nest by the kitchen window.

The barrel garden has a purple hyacinth budding beneath it.  The first of the purple grape hyacinths have opened near the patio.  Daffodils are budding in the inner ring around the maple tree, and a purple crocus is blooming there.  I saw the first blue-and-white violet blooming today. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Someone finally got around to fielding a study which indicates that milkweed is necessary but not sufficient for monarch butterfly survival.   Other factors contribute to their steep decline.  Sure, you can grow milkweed, that's a great thing to do.  But don't think it will "save the butterflies."  It just slows the loss a little.  Other factors lie outside what humans are willing to change, such as pesticides; or able to change, such as climate change.  Even on a national scale, responses are limited, because monarchs have transnational migration routes.  Serious conservation efforts would require collaboration between America and Mexico, which seems unlikely.
ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
This poem is spillover from the January 6, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] janetmiles and [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "first library card" square in my 12-30-14 card for the Rites of Passage Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Schrodinger's Heroes project.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Today I saw a northern flicker on the ground under the hopper feeder.  We used to have a lot of these.  They have since been largely replaced by red-bellied woodpeckers.  Read more about the woodpeckers of Illinois.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (neutral)
Today I planted most of the 25 Asiatic Lilies around the barrel garden and telephone pole.

Weather is sunny and warming.  I fed the birds too.  There are still two white eggs in the mourning dove nest.

Walk with me... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This is a favorite type of prairie grass.  I have little bluestem and big bluestem, a few bunches, in my prairie garden.  What I did not know it that this is a larval host plant for skipper butterflies.  We have lots of skippers, especially in the prairie garden. If their caterpillars are grass eaters, I guess now I know why.  :D

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