Saturday, May 28, 2011

Eggs Gone Astray

A few weeks ago I thought it would be fun to place a little resin bird-in-nest figurine at the base of one of my large holly trees. The hand shaped hollow at the base of the holly seemed the perfect resting place for the nest. Within the nest I placed three wooden eggs painted blue, almost the same color as the nest and bird.

Two days ago I found one of the eggs laying outside the nest. I was pretty sure it had been moved by a squirrel. I placed the egg back in the nest.

This morning I found only one egg in the nest and the other two were no where in sight.

I walked around the yard a bit, not really expecting to find the missing eggs, not really looking for them, but there on the ground at the base of a tree lay one of the strays. Upon one end I found incriminating teeth marks. Of course they were left by some crazy squirrel who must have been quite surprised to learn this was no ordinary nut.

I placed this one, teethmarks and all, back in the nest. Finding this little stray gave me hope I might also find the third. There I was, the last weekend in May hunting eggs on the front lawn. I did a thorough examination of the front lawn and the raised bed surrounding the holly tree but there was no sign of the third missing egg. My guess is that the squirrel either carried it out of the yard or buried it. I may never know. I expect eventually, and probably much sooner than later, they will all disappear, buried or carried into another yard. It will be fun to see how long it takes.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

In All Her Glory

As per my usual routine when getting home from work each day, today I took Phoebe out into the backyard for a stroll. She scampered playfully in the grass, darting this way and that, while I had my eye on something else, something I'd been impatiently awaiting for several days. After last night's wind and hail storm I wasn't sure in what shape I'd find the fragile buds of the Arizona Grandiflora. I was delighted, and more than a bit surprised, to find the once tender buds now blossoming into tangerine, melon, yellow, and pink. There she stood, in all her glory glistening in the tapering sunlight.

The hail damage is slight and only noticeable along the delicate edges of the first layer of petals. I suppose the house and eave above shielded her from the brunt of the storm.

This one, a tiny bud just beginning to open.

Rich yellow tones are tucked away between petals, hidden near the flower's center.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Arizona Grandiflora Rose

The newly planted tea rose on the northeast corner of the house arrived exactly four weeks ago sporting a single peach colored bloom. Although it was evident the color was rich and vibrant, there were no other buds in sight. After buckets of rainfall, literally buckets since I planted her near the downspout, the lovely Arizona is now heavy laden with a profusion of enormous buds.

It will be incredible when the five of these bloom but there are more. On lower branches, buds half the size of these await their turn to shine.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Saucer of Beer

The two year old hosta put on quite a show this spring. She's a beauty, if I do say so myself.

But there is definitely a snail or slug problem. The damage, for the most part, is concentrated to one general area on upper and outward facing leaves.

I have small dogs and refuse to use pesticides in this area of the yard so I'm trying a few alternatives before I resort to actually going on a snail hunt. Last night I placed a saucer of beer under the affected area.

They took the bait, er beer, but not really. There was nary a snail or slug found in the saucer but there were 5 other bugs.

I'm open for pup-friendly suggestions on how to get rid of these pests.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Morning Dew

Morning sun filters through heavy cracks in the tired, weathered gray fence. Morning dewdrops dance like brilliant jewels in the bright sunlight weighing heavily on tender, spring leaves. Tiny droplets roll downward, nervously darting this way and that, bumping and drifting into other droplets, forming thick beaded strands until eventually they roll off and disappear into the thirsty red mulch.