Friday, September 16, 2011

What I've been up to lately

I've been teaching, which I do not have a picture of.  They take ones of me all the time, I'll bring home a few next week.

Then there's the gardening...
A chickadee and finch feeder

General Gardening

Two day haul of veggies:

Now, as anyone who has seen me cook, I am a very messy cook. Sometimes I forget to wear an apron, so I have a collection of Tshirt with olive oil splotches on them.  The splotches never come out.  I finally cleaned up the office so I can do crafts. Last week out came the fabric paints and I did one said shirt to match a pair of pajama pants I got a long time ago from a friend.

I got this plant as a STICK from my friend, neighbor, and coworker. I won a dollar.  Kermit said it wouldn't live.  If I overwinter it correctly, it will be 6' tall next year with BIG white blooms.  Can't remember the name right now, but it's in my garden journal.

So life has been very good lately!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hummingbirds PII

 It's gotten a little cooler, and the hummingbirds have not been frequenting the yard as much.  Here are some shots of solitary hummingbirds.

Feeder posturing...

One like this was in the yard the other day again.  When they display, you can see the red spot on the throat.

Got a pic of three of them at one time; that was lucky.

A big bumblebee visited while I drank my coffee out in the yard today.  It wasn't as big as Sasquatch, but I got some nice shots.  I'll post those another day.  It's beautiful out there, enjoy your day!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hummingbirds PI

Ok, it's not one day since the last post.  So I will never say that again.

On to more important matters.  I have watched a lot of hummingbirds this summer.  I have learned a LOT about them.  First, we have more than your standard Roofus hanging around. At one point, we had nine in our yard by our feeders and I could tell three different kinds.

Hummingbirds are not really animal savvy.  They would dive bomb me with the cat on my lap, go right by Penny's mouth, and get waaay to close to Pumpkin than I cared for.  They must be moving on, because I only count two or three these days.  

No wonder they have to eat constantly.  They wouldn't need so much energy if they'd quit chasing each other off the feeders.  Silly birds.

Birds and Bees sharing...

Coming in for a landing...looks like a duck.

My tailfeathers are bigger than yours...


I don't know if this was a juvenile, just floofing to keep warm, or dry off from something.

It has been a true gift this year.  I wasn't saying that when I was refilling the feeders and dumping sugar water on my head.  I miss my big group of hummingbirds now that I'm back at scheduled work.

Part II - until we meet again.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sasquatch, Loch Ness, have NOTHING on you Bumbler

We've all heard the term “fish story.” We've heard about Sasquatch and the Loch Ness Monster. Now you can add “Gargantuan Bumbler” to the list.

I have no photographic proof of it's bad ass self FOR NOW. It has now become the stuff of legends, and I will not rest until I can produce a picture of it. Of course, this hobby will be severely limited in Idaho between October and April. None the less, I will be searching.

This Gargantuan Bumbler was HUGE. No joke, its first segment (head) was as big as my pinky nail. I did the only reasonable thing and waited for it to alight onto a sunflower and pet it.

Hence, this gives rise to my other little hobby in the garden. Each year I pick out the biggest bumblebee I can, and I scritch its head. Just a little skerfluffle on the noggin. They don't seem to mind, and I find it quite fun. They are spiky/fuzzy, with a constant vibration. This year, I've done it to two bumblebees.

Since I was too busy petting this Gargantuan Bumbler, I did not get a picture. You will just have to suffice with regular, average bees and bumblebees.

All of the bee pictures were taken with the old Canon Rebel XTi with a 100mm/2.8 macro lens.  I have a picture of a wasp nest that is really cool, but I think I'll save that for Facebook so I can freak out the largest amount of people that I can. : )

Speaking of Gargantuan, I have a very large sunflower in my yard.  We measured it a week ago at 12'4".  This picture was taken a week before that when it was about 11'8".

Here are some more random sunflower pictures.  See you tomorrow, for a hummingbird safari installment!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Bugs and Bunnies


 There are bees on that sunflower - it counts!

Butterflies are bugs aren't they?

Not sure if this is a moth or a butterfly.

And Bunnies!

Pepper - He's a Rabbit I got from our local feed store for $10 6 years ago.  He was just a baby, so he's so easy to handle.  Quite the low maintenance fellow I might add.

This picture was taken in March. Only a few things planted in the new perennial border, and absolutely nothing up yet.

Compared to July!

My God Rabbits;  My sister Ellen had to move into an apartment when she relocated to Idaho.  So I got the rabbits.  I've really enjoyed them.  If she ever gets a house, I might get two more to fill the bunny gap in my heart they'll leave.

Herkemer P. Bunsworthy 
My husband gave him this name - he was previously going incognito as just "Bun" but we figured he was much more important than that.

This is Lucy - she is an old Rabbit, 9 years old.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Out and about in the Garden

The Dahlia I took a pic of last week is very large now.  It turned more of a pastel peach and lemon yellow.

I must say that taking pictures of the fish is really challenging.  Reflections, water movement, their movement. They turn out OK, but I'm still not thrilled with any of them.

Bees in the Lavender.  I go out front and brush my hands through them.  I think I'll harvest them soon and make a wreath.  I also adore the bumblebees.  I have not found a big fattie to pet yet this year.

This is such an interesting flower color.  A nice salmon pink.  I don't see this color a lot.  I am very pleased with how the Godieta have bloomed.  Very cheery.

My wonderful Rottweiler Hanna.  She's my gardening buddy.  She loves to be out in the yard, surveying her perimeter.  She's quite the veggie eater too.  Snow peas, lettuce, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes are her favorite.  She picks them right off the vine if I'm not watching.

I am truly blessed that I get to do something I like so much.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Why I love cooking shows

I'm an OK cook. Not great, not bad. I can do some things great, and try to avoid bad at all costs. In the last year, I've only had one disaster. I accidentally turned the lemon pepper upside down on my chicken, and it WAS NOT on the sprinkle side. Blech.  I have had freinds comment that I am a very "messy" cook.  That does not surprise me.

I mainly watch the Top Chef series. I think the dessert one is dumb. I adore No Reservations, but that's more of a travel/food show, not a cooking show. I get a kick out of Kitchen Nightmares and Hell's Kitchen. I can't believe I'm admitting this, but I even friended two contestants from Season 6 on Facebook. Amazingly, they accepted. I think the "contestants" are a hoot, and Gordon Ramsay cracks me up. Sometimes when I'm cooking I can hear him in my head giving his oh, so subtle input. "Don't burn the garlic you cow!"

All these shows post their recipes, but I've never made one. I'll do that sometime. Tonight is an excellent example of why I love cooking shows. I found a recipe for mini meatloaves, and it looked yummy and easy.  The recipe called for an indentation on the top to put ketchup in. Don't get me wrong, I really dig ketchup. But it just seemed so, blah. So I took a sliver of garlic, roasted red pepper strips and diced tomatoes and put them in instead. 15m until detante, so we'll see how that goes.

Hey, that was pretty good.  I'm going to add more spices next time, and not use as large a portion of wet ingredients that they did.  My idea for the top turned out great.  Here is my first food picture I think.  Produce doesn't count.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mixed Borders are where it's at.

There's no reason to separate your veggies from your flower borders.  Combining the two is good for all the plants, makes it so the pollinators can do their job easier, and it looks great.

Dahlia and Dill

Carrots, Cilantro, Annual flowers, and Daisies.

Now for just some random flowers.
Snapdragon with a critter on it.

A very fragrant Lily.  Thank goodness, because there is a dead deer up on our hill, and this helps mask the stink.

Hanna in the garden

I think I'll post pictures of the bunnies tomorrow.