ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This made me laugh, because people are surprised  by it.  Guys, this is nothing more than natural selection of a typically varied population.  It's what always happens when predators whack the individuals with a certain trait -- it drops out.  Like the silent crickets of Kauai.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today is partly sunny and warm.

Round 1, I watered the potted plants on the porch and trimmed grass around the telephone pole.

The mourning dove eggs have hatched into two tiny, fuzzy squabs.  I found a video of one online. 

Raspberries are beginning to turn pink in a few places.  Many of the mulberries are pink.

EDIT 5/26/17 -- Round 2, I pulled weeds around the forest garden.

Also the last shipment of plants arrived today.

EDIT 5/26/17 -- Round 3, I planted three windflowers, two stargazer lilies, and three balloon flowers around the barrel garden; and one White Feather hosta in the purple-and-white garden.

A cool breeze has blown up, downdraft from a storm some distance away.

EDIT 5/26/17 -- Round 4, I planted a white lilac and a black hollyhock.

EDIT 5/26/17 -- Round 5, I sowed more grass in the streetside yard.

It's getting dark, so I'm done for tonight.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I heard rustling and scratching outside my office window.  There in the bushes were a pair of cardinals, fluttering around and courting.  The male had a mouthful of something which he passed to the female.  Aww!  <3

EDIT 5/24/17:  Also today I spotted an indigo bunting perched on the pot hanger above the barrel garden.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today has been sunny and very warm.

Round 1, I planted another sedum in the septic garden, a Red Dragon penstemon (which is actually blooming pink) in the wildflower garden, and potted up some moss roses.

Round 2, I planted another penstemon (probably white) and a wild white indigo in the wildflower garden.

Mosquitoes everywhere today, inevitable after a couple weeks of rain.  I wish the toads would stop fornicating in the puddles long enough to eat something.  More toadlings later will be lovely, but no help for the buggy air right now.

My irises are blooming.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today is sunny, warm, and breezy.

Round 1, I potted up the last of the purple-and-white petunias.

I also startled the mourning dove off her nest when I went back to the porch, so it's still active. 

I've posted a picture of the native plants that I bought on Saturday.

Round 2, I potted up the last of the snapdragons, verbena, and gazania.  I put one gazania in the septic garden to see if it would survive the herbivores.

Round 3, I potted up two ice plants, one yellow and one amber.  I also planted a four-pack of pinks in the prairie garden, and bronze fennel in the strip garden.
ysabetwordsmith: Text -- three weeks for dreamwidth, in pink (three weeks for dreamwidth)
Here are a handful of trees and shrubs native to my area that I don't have and would like to acquire. I'm always watching for ways to improve my habitat.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Text -- three weeks for dreamwidth, in pink (three weeks for dreamwidth)
[personal profile] ari_the_dodecahedron found the link to the Plant Finder.

These are the trees and shrubs that I currently have growing in my yard here at Fieldhaven. We're in central Illinois, which used to be Zone 5b and is now Zone 6a. The tree that attracts the most species insects, I have several of: oak. If I remember right, we planted red oak, white oak, bur oak, and pin oak. That means my yard is hospitable to at least 342 species of winged peoples. :D I feel accomplished now!

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
There's a lovely little e-newsletter with links to new articles about gardening for wildlife

"Growing a Better Birdfeeder" discusses the importance of using native species of caterpillar host plants, not just to benefit the insects, but also to attract more birds.  Someone is building a database to list plants by the number of caterpillars they host. This is a level of sophistication that not even I had thought of, which doesn't happen much anymore, so I am really geeking out about it.  :D  I waaaaaant that list.  I looooove not having to make the damn thing myself.  And they're building to run on your zipcode so the plants will automatically be local-to-you.

EDIT 5/3/17: [personal profile] ari_the_dodecahedron found the image-hidden link to the plant database.  \o/  You can look up plants to see what butterflies and moths they host, or look up insects to see their host plants.

Be a Butterfly Hero!  Because butterflies need saving too.  And these ones don't sting.  ;)

"Weedy to Wonderful" has ideas for making a wildlife garden look nicer.  Yes, we bought a sign for exactly the reason listed.  Also my favorite tip is to put your caterpillar host plants in a less-visible spot if people will be annoyed rather than excited by holes in the leaves.  Me, I see chewed plants and think, "Aww baby butterflies!"  But then I am weird.  When planting herbs beloved of the winged peoples, I plant extra parsley or dill for them and just move the caterpillars there.

Art

Apr. 28th, 2017 02:46 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 These owl paintings are awesome.  Look at how the brush strokes turn the paint into a sculpture medium to show the feather texture, especially around the faces.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
A male cardinal was engaged in trying to peck my window open, for reasons best known to him.  Not wishing to have my window pecked open, I gave him a territorial whistle in his own language.  He looked up and cocked his head in a listening way.  I whistled again.  He flew off.  This is quite different than a bird's feather-ruffling startle flight.  I have successfully communicated "You should not be doing that in my territory" to a bird.  \o/ 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (neutral)
These pictures were taken yesterday, I just didn't have time to post them then.

Walk with me ... )
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. 

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