Category: On Our Property
Our Garden/Yard In Mid-May 2023 (3)
1) Privet; 2) Wild Raspberry Blossom; 3) Buttercup; 4) Dame’s Violet;
Our Garden/Yard In Mid-May 2023 (2)
1) Japanese Honeysuckle; 2) Eastern Red Columbine; 3) Wild Strawberry Blossom; 4) Japanese Honeysuckle; 5) Dandelion; 6) Buttercup; 7) Greater Celandine; 8) Fleabane Daisy; 9) Tulip; 10) Pink Honeysuckle;
11) Maple Leaves; 12) White-tailed Deer
Our Garden/Yard In Mid-May 2023 (1)
1) Winterberry Holly Blossoms; 2) Fleabane Daisy; 3) Lily-of-the-Valley;
4) Grass Lilies
Question Mark Butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis)
The Question Mark butterfly is a North American nymphalid butterfly. It lives in wooded areas, city parks, and areas with trees and open space. The color and textured appearance of the underside of its wings combines to provide camouflage that resembles a dead leaf. Its flight period is from May to September. “The silver mark on the underside of the hindwing is broken into two parts, a curved line, and a dot, creating a ?-shaped mark that gives the species its common name.”
Our Yard In Early May 2023 (3)
1) Grass Lilies; 2) Garlic Mustard; 3) Darwin Hybrid Tulip; 4) Dandelion
National Herb Day 2023
It is National Herb Day on May 6! It is usually celebrated annually on the first Saturday of May. The HerbDay Coalition, an organization of five non-profit groups, started National Herb Day to raise awareness about the useful properties and importance of herbs in daily life. They also work towards encouraging people to learn more about herbs and provide a better understanding of the extensive uses of herbs in daily life. Herbs are extensively used in food, medicines, and cosmetics. They also served as the first medicines ever used by humans to cure various ailments.
Our Yard In Early May 2023 (2)
1) Wild Blackberry; 2) Bridal Wreath; 3) Lily-of-the-Valley; 4) Darwin Hybrid Tulip; 5) Juvenile American Robin; 6) Eastern Redbud; 7) Greater Celandine; 8) Morning in the Naugatuck River Valley; 9) Our Forest
Our Yard In Early May 2023 (1)
Our Greenhouse/Yard In Early May 2013 (1)
Spring In Texas 2013
Common Green Bottle Fly (Lucilia sericata)
The common green bottle fly (Lucilia sericata) is a blowfly found in most areas of the world and is the most well-known of the numerous green bottle fly species. Its body is 10–14 mm (0.39–0.55 in) in length – slightly larger than a house fly – and has brilliant, metallic, blue-green, or golden coloration with black markings. It has short, sparse, black bristles (setae) and three cross grooves on the thorax. The wings are transparent with light brown veins, and the legs and antennae are black. The fly’s larvae may be used for maggot therapy, are commonly used in forensic entomology, and can cause myiasis in livestock and pets. The common green bottle fly emerges in the spring for mating.
Lucilia sericata is common all over the temperate and tropical regions of the planet, including Europe, Africa, and Australia. It prefers warm and moist climates, so it is especially common in coastal regions, but can also be found in arid areas.[The female lays her eggs in carrion of all kinds, sometimes in the skin or hair of live animals, causing myiasis. The larvae feed on decaying organic tissue. The fly favors host species of the genus Ovis, domestic sheep in particular, and sometimes lays eggs in the wet wool of living sheep. This can lead to a blowfly strike, causing problems for sheep farmers. L. sericata has been known to prefer lower elevations relative to other Calliphoridae species, such as Calliphora vomitoria.
Fog In The Naugatuck River Valley (6)
Our property is encased in a fog this morning.
Our Garden/Neighborhood In Late April 2023
Spring Colors in our neighborhood
Spring Colors in our yard
Our Garden/Yard In Late April 2023 (1)
1) Wild Violet; 2) Bugleweed; 3) Wild Violet; 4) Eastern Red Bud;
5) Song Sparrow; 6&7) Contrail; 8) Lilac; 9) Bluets; 10) Garlic Mustard;
11) Dandelion; 12) Wild Violet
National Garlic Day 2023 🧄
This stinking rose is a member of the lily family. This family also includes the flavorful onions, leeks, and shallots we use in some of our favorite dishes. Garlic originated in Asia over 7,000 years ago, so it’s no surprise that cuisines worldwide incorporate it into favored recipes. Garlic is quite versatile as illustrated by its many medicinal purposes. The mighty bulb is considered an herbal remedy for colds and may reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. Modern science has also proven garlic’s antibiotic properties.
Our Garden/Yard In Mid-April 2023
1) Garlic Mustard; 2) Norway Maple Blossoms; 3) Dandelion; 4) Cupped Daffodil; 5) Wild Violet; 6) Ground Ivy; 7) Bridal Wreath; 8) Chewbacca;
9 & 10) Forsythia; 11) Joshua; 12) Common Periwinkle;
13) Eastern Redbud Blossoms
A Rainy Day In Connecticut (9)
After a warm Spring Break, the rain is very welcome in New England. Kevin and Katelynn drive to Queen, New York, where he drops her off at LaGuardia Airport. It rains, but it shouldn’t interfere with the time of her departure. This evening, Katelynn will be back in Dallas, Texas again.
R.I.P. Mimosa Tree ~ 2013
Our Mimosa started to die and eventually needed to be cut down. One day in early April 2013 the tree service came over and chopped. We were actually glad, the tree was done. Mimosas make a big mess. They look pretty only for two to three weeks. But the rest of the time they drop sticky sap and their seeds make a mess. However, Ranger loved the tree. It provided a lot of shade for him.
Beautiful Colors of Spring (6)
Spring In Our & The Neighbor’s Garden ~ 2010
Happy Easter! Blessed Eostre!
Our Garden/Yard In Early April 2023
It gets warmer. The daffodils begin to bloom right in time for Easter. By mid-next-week, there might be a chance, we get temperatures in the low 80s (22℃). That will also be when I can finally plant my peas in the greenhouse.
World Rat Day 2023
Rats are so smart that some people keep them as pets. Besides being easy to care for, rats are easily tamed. Rats are also very curious, social, and full of personality. These characteristics make these rodents excellent pets. Rat owners should know that like most pets, these animals need their exercise. Owners should take them out of the cage at least once a day for about an hour.
Happy World Rat Day!
Our Indoor Garden In Early April 2023
It is still a little bit too cold for all the seeds to germinate. So far, dill, snap peas, tomatillos, and yellow pear tomatoes have sprouted. Tonight the temperatures are supposed to be 25℉/-3℃. So, we still won’t turn on the water for the garden hose. But the peas are big enough to be planted in the greenhouse beds. The rest has to wait until May.
National Garden Month 2023
Spring is coming on strong and, according to the calendar, is technically already here by the time this month rolls around. And for those who have not already begun looking at planting this year’s garden–it’s time to get a move on right away! The changing weather promises good growing seasons very soon and National Garden Month encourages people in the northern hemisphere to get out and start preparing that soil. Those who haven’t been able to find the motivation should take a moment to let the smell and taste of freshly grown tomatoes tempt, or the sweet taste that can’t be seen from anything other than homegrown cucumbers, and strawberries. Depending on the particular location in the world, National Garden Month is the perfect chance to get out and start preparing the garden, tilling the soil, or planting seeds for everything that will be growing this year!
North Texas Backyard Wildlife In March 2013
1) White-winged Dove; 2) House Sparrow; 3) Brown-headed Cowbird;
4) Blue Jay; 5) Great-tailed Grackle; 6) Northern Mockingbird;
7) Brown-headed Cowbird
National Weed Appreciation Day 2023
National Weed Appreciation Day on March 28th each year reminds us that some weeds are beneficial to us and our ecosystem. Humans have used weeds for food and herbs for much of recorded history. Some are edible and nutritious, while other weeds have medicinal value.
Happy National Weed Appreciation Day!
Beautiful Colors of Spring (4)
Gardening in Texas ~ Spring 2008
Our Indoor Garden In Late March 2023
A few weeks ago, I began to sow herbs and vegetables for this Spring/Summer garden season. So far, we have dill, snap peas, snow peas, and tomatoes. The peppers seem to take a little bit longer. Yesterday, I have sown more vegetables: beef steak tomatoes, borage, fennel, spinach, etc. When it becomes warmer, and the plants are stable enough, I can plant them in the greenhouse.
A Rainy Day In Connecticut (8)
“March is a month of considerable frustration it
is so near spring and yet across a great deal of
the country, the weather is still so violent and
changeable that outdoor activity in our yards
seems light-years away.”
~ Thalassa Cruso ~
The Pileated Woodpeckers
This morning when I let Our pups outside, Zoey focused on something in our oak tree near our property border. When I looked up, I saw a Pileated Woodpecker in the tree. I ran inside, picked up my camera, and captured photos of the bird. Then a second Pileated Woodpecker joined the first one. They both pecked on the same branch. That branch is hanging on its last splinters, there must be a lot of goodies for the woodpeckers in there. They might stay around and peck a hole to build a nest and raise their offspring. That would be so much fun.
Our Yard In Late March 2023
1) American Robin; 2) Daffodils; 3) Ozzy; 4) Glory-of-the-Snow
Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens)
Downy Woodpeckers give a checkered black-and-white impression. The black upper parts are checked with white on the wings, the head is boldly striped, and the back has a broad white stripe down the center. Males have a small red patch on the back of the head. The outer tail feathers are typically white with a few black spots. Downy Woodpeckers hitch around tree limbs and trunks or drop into tall weeds to feed on galls, moving more acrobatically than larger woodpeckers. Their rising-and-falling flight style is distinctive of many woodpeckers. They make lots of noise in spring and summer, with their shrill whinnying call and drumming on trees. The woodpecker in open woodlands, particularly among deciduous trees, and brushy or weedy edges. They’re also at home in orchards, city parks, backyards, and vacant lots.
The Last Day of Winter 2023
❄ Happy Last Day of Winter! Tomorrow is Spring! 🌷
Spring’s Coming Soon To Your Neighborhood
It was so nice today: warm temperatures and lots of sunshine. The Harbinger-of-Winter, Crocus, and Periwinkle are blooming. The snowdrops should be done blooming, soon. Birds chase each other and sing the songs of reproduction. That sounds better and more kid-appropriate than calling it the “Screams of Sex”. Soon, we will have birds building nests and tenting for their offspring. The bears come out of their Winter dens after a long Winter of hibernation. Nature begins to wake up. I’m still waiting for my little chipmunks to appear in our yard. I haven’t seen them, yet. They might snooze for another couple of weeks.
The Greenhouse In Texas ~ 2013 (2)
Finally, the two pieces I had to reorder were arriving. And I could finish building the greenhouse. Once the frame was up, I slid the panels on the bottom, and installed the window, before I could slide the roof panels in place. The ground was already straightened, when I put the base together. Kevin had to help me to lift the greenhouse across the fence. The kit was light, so it was easy for us to get it from the porch to the garden, where I could fasten it to the base. The following morning, I built the door and installed it, before a Spring storm came through. The greenhouse made it successful through the storm.
Texas Gardening In March 2013 (1)
I started my garden in the early Spring of 2013 by sowing beans, bell peppers, corn, pumpkins, sunflowers, tomatoes, and other goodies. I also worked on some herbs. At least, I had something ready to grow in the greenhouse, once the parts arrived and I could finish building it. Joshua made sure, that I watered the seedlings every day. And Sara enjoyed the milder days on the back porch.
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
American Crows are familiar over much of the continent: large, intelligent, all-black birds with hoarse, cawing voices. They are common sights in treetops, fields, and roadsides, and in habitats ranging from open woods and empty beaches to town centers. They usually feed on the ground and eat almost anything—typically earthworms, insects, and other small animals, seeds, and fruit; also garbage, carrion, and chicks they rob from nests. Their flight style is unique, patient, and methodical flapping that is rarely broken up with glides.
Texas Spring In March 2013 (1)
Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)
The great-tailed grackle or Mexican grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) is a medium-sized, highly social passerine bird native to North and South America. A member of the family Icteridae, it is one of 10 extant species of grackle and is closely related to the boat-tailed grackle and the extinct slender-billed grackle. In the southern United States, it is sometimes simply referred to as “blackbird” or (erroneously) “crow”] due to its glossy black plumage, and similarly, it is often called Cuervo (“raven”) in some parts of Mexico, although it is not a member of the crow genus Corvus, nor even of the family Corvidae.
Great-tailed grackles originated from the tropical lowlands of Central and South America, but historical evidence from Bernardino de Sahagún shows that the Aztecs, during the time of the emperor Ahuitzotl, introduced the great-tailed grackle from their homeland in the Mexican Gulf Coast to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan in the highland Valley of Mexico, most likely to use their iridescent feathers for decoration. In more recent times, great-tailed grackles expanded their breeding range by over 5,500% by moving north into North America between 1880 and 2000, following urban and agricultural corridors. Their current range stretches from northwestern Venezuela and western Colombia and Ecuador in the south to Minnesota in the north, to Oregon, Idaho, and California in the west, to Florida in the east, with vagrants occurring as far north as southern Canada. Their habitat for foraging is on the ground in clear areas such as pastures, wetlands, and mangroves, and chaparral. The grackles’ range has expanded with agricultural and urban settings.
Hello March 2023!
March Racing clouds and whistling winds,
Coats flapping in the breeze,
Bright kites circling in the skies,
The dance of swaying trees,
The cheerful sight of crocuses,
The first sweet breath of spring –
Just part of all the many moods
The month of March can bring.
Goodbye February, Hello March 2023
Two months into the new year: Today ends the meteorological Winter. Tomorrow begins the meteorological Spring. Some of the bigger bushes and small trees begin to bud in our front yard. But Spring needs another four to six weeks to make its way to Connecticut. We still expect snow in March. And the nights are bitterly cold. Spring is so close and still so far away.
Winter Storm “Anthony” ~ 2023
It began to snow at around 8 o’clock last night. When I looked out of the window at midnight, I could see the accumulation of snow for the last four hours. And it kept coming down heavily. This morning, Kevin used the snow blower for the first time this Winter season. He was so excited.
When I came out of the house, the snow fell off the trees and shrubs this afternoon. It was mild enough for the snow to melt from our house roof and off the greenhouse roof as well. The dogs and Joshua were the only pets going outside. Chewbacca and Ozzy wanted nothing to do with it. When Joshua’s paws were wet enough, he came the dogs back into the house. It’s no fun having snowy paws being a cat.
Winter Wonderland (13)
When two seasons collide … (Part III)
It’s Still Winter …
Since this Winter was very mild, we didn’t get much snow this season. Kevin was giving up on snow for this Winter. But, I warned him: “It might all come down in March and April until Easter. And we have snow. Well, it’s still February and Winter after all. However, soon this will get old. We need warm weather for gardening.
Icy Morning In The Valley (1)
Last night it got frosty. And we had some ice rain this morning.
The Greenhouse In Texas ~ 2013 (1)
My greenhouse arrived toward the end of February 2013. It was a Thursday. And on the following weekend, I began to build the greenhouse kit. To my dismay, I noticed two frame pieces were broken. I had to call the company the following Monday and wait for the pieces to arrive. UGH! That sucked.
In the meantime, Kevin fixed the chainlink fence and gate poles for the garden space. It’s an area to prevent the dogs from pooping in our garden. Katelynn and I cut a bush down and pulled its roots out as well as we could. Once she found a worm, she was too busy playing with it. So much about helping me with digging roots out of the ground, LOL.
Winter Wonderland (12)
When two seasons collide … (Part II)
National Cabbage Day 2023
National Cabbage Day on February 17th recognizes a delightful garden staple that provides some of the best recipes for the Celtic holidays coming up next month. It’s an excellent day to test your corned beef and cabbage skills alongside other delicious seasonal dishes.
Golden Yarrow (Eriophyllum confertiflorum)
A Sunny February Afternoon In Texas ~ 2013
Clouded Sulphur Butterfly (Colias philodice)
This species is a typical member of the genus. Both genders typically have pale yellow wings above with no traces of orange, unlike its close cousin the orange sulphur which may also be yellowish. Males have clean borders, while females have yellow dots within this region. Females sometimes exhibit a white form known as alba.
The underside of the male’s wings is yellow while the female’s is yellow or greenish white, and both have a doubled hindwing spot trimmed in brownish red. The hindwings show a series of four small red spots along the outer third portion, a trait that distinguishes the other North American species such as Colias interior, except for the orange sulphur which also shows them. Its wingspan is 32 to 54 mm.
This species has white form alba which can be very common in some populations, while rare in others. It can be confused with other white forms of Colias, particularly that of Colias eurytheme. It can often be distinguished by the border pattern of both wings, though some individuals are impossible to separate without the presence of other “normal” specimens. Though they differ in flight style, the white forms of Colias may be confused with other pierids such as Pieris rapae and Pontia protodice. White-form males are also known, but exceedingly rare in this species.
Winter Wonderland (11)
When two seasons collide … (Part I)
Naugatuck River Valley Backyard Wildlife In February (1)
1) Black-capped Chickadee; 2 & 3) Dark-eyed Junco; 4) Northern Cardinal;
5) Black-capped Chickadee; 6) Northern Cardinal; 7) Song Sparrow;
8) Red-bellied Woodpecker; 9) White-breasted Nuthatch;
10) Red-bellied Woodpecker Couple
Pre-gardening In February 2013
In February 2013, I purchased a 8 x 6 ft. greenhouse kit. While I was waiting for the kit to arrive at our house, I started some seeds with Katelynn and Sara. We also prepared some avocado pits and let a pineapple grow roots in a jar filled with water. The girls had a miniature greenhouse with colorful salad tomatoes.
Pearl Crescent Butterfly (Phyciodes tharos)
The Pearl Crescent is a butterfly of North America. It is found in all parts of the United States except the west coast, and throughout Mexico and parts of southern Canada, in particular Ontario. Its habitat is open areas such as pastures, road edges, vacant lots, fields, and open pine woods. Its pattern is quite variable. Males usually have black antenna knobs. Its upperside is orange with black borders; postmedian and submarginal areas are crossed by fine black marks. The underside of the hindwing has a dark marginal patch containing a light-colored crescent.
Dutch iris (Iris × hollandica) is a hybrid bulbous iris. Its name does not reflect its place of origin but rather the Dutch people who hybridized it. Iris xiphium, the parent species associated with the Dutch iris comes from Spain and Portugal. The 3- to 4-inch flowers are usually multi-colored. Blue, bluish-purple, white, bronze, rose, gold and yellow are the most common colors.
Squirrel Appreciation Day 2023
Originally a creation by Christy Hargrove, National Squirrel Appreciation Day on January 21 is a day to learn about and celebrate the world’s cutest rodents. Here’s the thing about squirrels: some people hate them and say that they’re an “invasive species.” But can those people leap across a space ten times the length of their body? Didn’t think so.
Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day!
Garden Pansy (Viola × wittrockiana)
The garden pansy (Viola ×wittrockiana) is a hybrid, one of whose parents is V. tricolor, which is a weed of European grainfields, the other parents being V. lutea and V. altaica. The tufted pansy, or horned viola (V. cornuta), is the parent of numerous forms of bedding pansies. The wild pansy (V. tricolor), also known as Johnny-jump-up, heartsease, and love-in-idleness, has been widely naturalized in North America. The flowers of this form are usually purple and yellow and less than 2 cm (0.8 inches) across.