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
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
Northern Mockingbird In Spring 2013
Texas State Bird: the Northern Mockingbird
Spring Equinox/Ostara 2023
Happy 1st Day of Spring! 🌸🌷🌺 Blessed Ostara!
Beautiful Colors of Spring (3)
Springtime in our Texas neighborhood ~ 2008
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.
Beautiful Colors of Spring (2)
Springtime in Bill Allen Memorial Park, The Colony, Texas ~ 2008
Our Indoor Garden In Mid-March 2023
Since I’m used to Spring starting in late February/early March in Texas, it seems to be forever until the warmer weather arrives in New England. And we still expect more snow to come in the next few days. I began to get some Spring flowers for indoors. I did the same last year. This seems to help tremendously to overcome the Winter depression. Kevin and I discussed the insolation of the sunroom. That way, we could have a green room year around. And Sara has a party room. But this won’t be happening very soon. It needs some planning and time to get it done. In the meantime, I keep my flowers near the living room window during Winter.
Begin of Daylight Saving Time 2023 (Spring Forward)
Luis wants to remind y’all, that tonight begins Daylight Saving Time in the US. He’s excited because we all can enjoy longer daylight in the evenings. “Oh boy, oh boy! Am I excited about tomorrow?! Mommy and Daddy are talking about Daylight Saving. I have no clue, what that means. But Mom told Daddy not to forget to change his clocks one hour forward tonight!”
Texas Spring In March 2013 (1)
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.
A Sunny February Afternoon In Texas ~ 2013
Birds Spring Conference In Texas ~ 2013
It is almost that time of year again when all the grackles, starlings, and cowbirds meet in all the trees for a “Spring Conference”. During Wintertime, they usually hang out in the trees of the shopping parking lots. When the days become visibly longer, it’s time to spread out for mating, building nests, finding food, and raising offspring.
Winter Wonderland (4)
Spring Equinox 2010
Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Florida 2011 (1)
While our family waited for the parade to begin, we all took a stroll through Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Kevin, our sister-in-law, and the kids rode Splash Mountain. Sara and I sat on a bench and waited for them. Later, we all went to the Haunted Mansion because it is a much slower ride. Due to the warmer weather, I also noticed that the trees began to bud and bloom.
… to be continued …
Daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus)
Pink Fairy Duster Mimosa
Pink Fairy Duster Mimosa (Calliandra eriophylla)
A Morning Stroll Through Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Florida 2011
After breakfast at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, we made our way over to Disney’s Magic Kingdom for a couple of hours. Sara seemed much happier with a full tummy. And so, it didn’t take long, until she fell asleep on Kevin’s shoulder. While the rest of the family waited in line for a ride, I let Sara nap in the stroller. Meanwhile, I watched Mickey and Minnie taking photos with other families. By the time, everyone came back Sara awoke from her nap. This was perfect timing for taking a photo with Mickey and Minnie before we went back to change into change clothes and rest for a little bit in Disney’s Pop Century Resort. Because the afternoon and evening were busy.
… to be continued …
Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Florida 2011 (1)
After meeting with our family and having breakfast in Ocala, we drove toward Orlando to get to Walt Disney World in Buena Vista. We had rooms next to each other in the Pop Century Resort. Once settled in, we spent the afternoon in Disney’s Animal Kingdom to meet several Disney characters, take photos with them, and get their autographs, before we watched “Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade”. We went on the Kali River Rapids ride, where I got completely soaked. Therefore, I had to get some clothes to change. It was March. And the evenings were cool. I didn’t want to catch a cold while we were on vacation. In the evening, we’ve noticed the ibises getting a spot on the trees to spend the night there. That was the sign that it was time to leave the park.
… to be continued …
Joshua’s Relaxing Noontime In Texas
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
Bright red with a pointed head crest and black bib, male cardinals are always a welcome sight at bird feeders. Cardinals are year-round residents in the eastern two-thirds of Texas. They prefer thick underbrush for nesting. Cardinals have been expanding their range northward.
Both male and female cardinals sing almost year-round. Common calls include “cheer cheer cheer”, “whit-chew whit-chew whit-chew” and “purty purty purty”. Cardinals eat seeds, fruit, and insects, and are easily attracted to bird feeders, especially those containing sunflower seeds.
Male cardinals vigorously defend their territory. They have been known to attack their reflections in mirrors, windows and chrome. Sometimes they will even attack small red objects they mistake for other males. Females usually sing after males establish territory but before nesting starts. A cardinal’s nest consists of a tightly woven cup of roots, stems and twigs lined with fine grass and hair.
Cardinals are colorful, tolerant of people, have pleasant calls, and are easily attracted to bird feeders. That has made them a favorite of backyard birdwatchers all over the eastern half of the U.S. Cardinals may form winter flocks of 60-70 birds. Their bright plumage brings color to our yards during the winter when many other species have flown south.
My Garden Project: The New Greenhouse (Part V)
Today, Kevin and I worked on the upper level a little bit on the roof frame of the greenhouse. While Kevin installed the frames, I got all the smaller and more detailed work done to prepare the framework to go up in its place. Tons of screws and bolds had to be untightened in the framework and crossbeams had to be connected on the ground first to make it easier for installment.
While Kevin and I spent most of the day outside, we had the chance to see three Lockheed C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft flying over our property. If you are familiar with the Navy Blue Angels airplanes, the “Fat Albert” is also in the C-130 family. It was very cool to see this flyby.
Joshua is exhausted from watching Kevin and me building the greenhouse. I believe he had a picture of a greenhouse full with fresh catnip, grass and endless chicken meat with mashed potatoes on his mind. Not forgetting the place is full of life mice, shrews, and chipmunks to hunt and catch before he takes a nap on his cat hammock. Keep dreaming, Joshua! 😉
Clasping Venus’ Looking Glass
Clasping Venus’ Looking Glass (Triodanis perfoliata)
World Parrot Day 2022
Happy World Parrot Day!
My Garden Project: The New Greenhouse (Part IV)
Today, Kevin and I got some work done with the greenhouse. Now, the lower frame is installed and the panels are slid in place. There were so many screws for putting the frame together. Our backs began to hurt and we had to call it a day. But I’m glad we’ve got it this far. The next level had to be done with a ladder. The greenhouse is very tall.
A Rainy Day In Connecticut (5)
Since the early morning hours, we have had rainstorms passing through Connecticut. Due to the rain, the air feels so refreshing. It is cleaner from all these pollens flying around, which are causing us to have seasonal allergies. Here in New England our allergies are not as bad as in Texas. But we still get them. Mostly our throats are itching. Today, we can walk outside without any symptoms. It is nice having a break. I used this opportunity to capture photos of the rain on our back porch. And I filled a couple of milk containers with rain water from the gutter. At some point, we need to get one of those rain water barrels. we had in Texas. Fresh rain water for the garden and greenhouse is still the best.
Miss Trixie, The Neighbor’s Cat
Lisa has a beautiful black cat, Trixie, which likes to come to visit our yard. When Benny sees Trixie, his demeanor changes, and he becomes all silly at the front room window. He rubs his head and swirls his body on the cat tree, until he falls off of it. Trixie looks up in the window and probably laughs in her own way. Benny and Trixie need a meet-and-great at some point. She definitely has an admirer.
Lisa’s Garden In Late May 2022 🌼🌱🌺
Ms. Lisa is our neighbor across the street. She always loves to take care of her garden in Spring/Summer here in New England. I also learn a lot from her flower gardening skills. Lisa works in a flower company. Once the Spring and Autumn seasons are done, she comes home with plenty of flowers and herbs. At this moment, her Allium, Coral Honeysuckle, Wisteria and a few other plants are in bloom. Trixie, Benny’s ‘girlfriend’, loves to stroll in the garden. She’s such a cutie pie. Last year, Trixie was still shy. Yesterday, she came to me and let me pet her. Success! Animals do know if they deal with a good or a not-so-good person.
Pink Evening Primrose
Pink Evening Primrose (Oenothera speciosa)
My Garden Project: The New Greenhouse (Part III)
Kevin and I reinforced the wood frame because the outer frame was too big. And I didn’t want to chop the original frame up. Once the wood frame was done, I built the aluminum bottom frame. We secured it by screwing it into the wood frame. Hopefully, this will prevent the greenhouse from falling over in high winds. Now, all the little detailed work has to be done, before I can build the outer upward frames, so I can slide the polycarbonate panels into place. Yep, this will take some time to get all done.
Our Garden/Yard In Late May 2022
1) Nessus Sphinx on Pink Rhododendron; 2) Dewberry Blossoms;
3) Dame’s Violet (purple); 4) Daisy Fleabane; 5) Carpenter Bee on
White Clover; 6) Dame’s Violet (white)
Differential Grasshopper (Melanoplus differentialis)
The differential grasshopper is found throughout most of the United States, except for the northwest. Within its range, it is most often found in heavily weeded areas and grasslands, and even in vacant lots and other urban areas. This species is not migratory, but can travel a few miles to search for food.
Our Rhododendron Are In Bloom
Every day, there is more color in our yard. Over the last weekend, the pink Rhododendron’s buds began to open up and started to blossom. Once the whole bushes are in full bloom their green leaves can barely be seen anymore. There will be pink half globes all over the shrubs.
World Turtle Day 2022
Rarely is there an animal more beloved by humanity than the turtle. These shelled creatures can be found in virtually all corners of the globe and have found their way into parables, mythology and all forms of popular media. Each year, May 23rd is dedicated to our friends, the turtle, and tortoise. World Turtle Day is not only about showing love and adoration towards turtles but also making sure we can protect them as well as their various habitats.
It’s important to know what the difference between a turtle and a tortoise is. Although they both belong to the same family, turtles spend their time near or in the water while tortoises are primarily land creatures. Both turtles and tortoises are creatures who play tremendous roles in their respective ecosystems. Whether it’s by digging holes that are habitable for other creatures or cleaning up dead fish from beaches, there are more than enough reasons to ensure their protection.
Happy World Turtle Day!
The Last Quarter Moon In May 2022
Our Amaryllis “Clown”
Amaryllis ‘Clown’ is the other plant my neighbor gave me several weeks ago. Today, the Amaryllis is finally in bloom. It took almost three weeks longer than the ‘Apple Blossom’. The heat in the sunroom seems to help. We’ve reached triple-digits there. As long as I keep the plants out of extreme sunlight, they are thriving.
My Garden Project: The New Greenhouse (Part II)
This morning we went to Home Depot early to get our materials before it would get too warm to work on the greenhouse. After I worked on paving the floor this whole last week, I filled the space with sand. Kevin helped me screw the wooden frame together. The frame will be great for higher raised beds and it keeps the aluminum frame of the greenhouse sturdier. Later, we will add stairs by the front doors to have easier access inside the greenhouse. Now, we just have to wait for the temperatures to cool off before I can get more work done.
Chewbacca, The Garden Helper
Chewbacca always comes running, when I call him while I work on a garden project. He has to make sure I’m doing everything right. In the meantime, he eats some grass and pukes on the ground. Lovely! When I’m fast enough, I can move him away from the greenhouse flooring, before he leaves me a present on the pavers. The joy of having cats as pets. But I wouldn’t want it any other way. I would rather have him gagging in the yard than in the house. Once he feels better, he makes sure I lay out the bricks in a square.
Fog In The Naugatuck River Valley (1)
This morning, we had thick fog in the Naugatuck River Valley. The higher the elevation, the thicker the fog became. It was hard to see the school bus in the distance. Once I was back home, the fog cleared out fairly quickly and the sun came out.
National NASCAR Day 2022
That night was the qualification race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the following day. Chase Elliott, 18, won the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at the Texas Motor Speedway.
Happy National NASCAR Day!
Rosa ‘Knock Out’ Roses
A Rainy Day In Connecticut (4)
It began to rain in the early morning. And the rain lasted until the late morning hours. While I captured photos of droplets, a Northern Cardinal fledgling got confused and almost landed on me. Once it figured out, I wasn’t mommy or daddy it made a sharp turn and sat on the porch railing.
Today, it was a cool day. However, this weekend we are supposed to get temperatures in the mid-90s (35℃). It will feel just like Texas, before the weather cools down to the 70s on Monday.
A Refreshing Spring Rainstorm ~ May 2022
Earlier, when I laid out more bricks for the greenhouse floor it felt very humid outside. Later, it got breezy and the temperatures began to cool down a little bit. It started to get more comfortable. But with the breeze, the darker clouds and a storm front moved in. The rain was so refreshing. After the darkest clouds moved out, the sun began to shine again. Unfortunately, I didn’t see a rainbow.
My Garden Project: The New Greenhouse (Part I)
The greenhouse was ordered and picked up, and the materials for the greenhouse floor were ordered and delivered. And I have my vision put on paper. All I need is to focus and some elbow grease to turn this idea into a nice little garden oasis. The first mission will be the base to build that floor. This will be a backbreaking project. Let’s see how everything will turn out. I’ll keep y’all updated on this project.
I’ve got some work done with the flooring for the greenhouse. After I measured everything out, I put the stakes in place and span a rope around the perimeter. Once I had the edging installed, Kevin and I dumped a gravel mix on the ground. Then we covered it with landscape fabric. Now, we have bricks on the fabric temporarily.
Since the weather is beautiful, and I recovered from the surgeries I had last Winter, it is time to work on my project where I left off last Autumn. Last weekend, I spread out the leveling sand and started to work on the brick floor. While Kevin transported the bricks from the pallet to the spot where I wanted the greenhouse to be, I laid them out on the ground. Every other day, I work on the greenhouse floor, so I can get to the next step: Building a frame on the bottom of the greenhouse to get more raised bed space and prevent it from flying away in the high wind gusts. The bricks are not set perfectly. But in most areas, I’ll have raised beds anyway.
… to be continued …
Our Garden/Yard In Mid-May 2022
1) Common Periwinkle; 2) Wild Honeysuckle; 3) Dame’s Violet;
4) The Neighbor’s Flowering Dogwood; 5) Spanish Bluebells
OUCH! That Hurts! 🐿
Kevin and I did some yard work this afternoon, when he saw Joshua dragging something in his mouth. Since Joshua was right behind me, I grabbed the cat and told him to drop it. A young chipmunk lay there and didn’t move. Kevin took Joshua, while I checked out the little chipmunk. It was on its back in my hands, so I immediately turned it on its belly to check the back and sides. Other than some cat saliva it seemed to be okay. Within a few seconds the chipmunk began to wiggle and bite my finger. The more I tried to pull that darn rodent away, the more it dug in with its teeth. So, the best decision was to let it go. It unlatched and ran under the riding lawnmower. Now, it was Kevin’s turn to find the chipmunk, while I took Joshua inside the house. Enough rodent hunting for that cat in one day! Kevin could get the chipmunk to run from under the lawnmower to and climb up the nearest oak tree. From there, he looked and yelled at both of us. “I guess, that’s the thanks I get for saving him from our cat.”
Thank goodness, the little chipmunk is not rabid. And I have my tetanus shot up-to-date. Today, my finger looks like nothing ever happened. But that bite from that little $#@% hurt.
Our Yard/Forest In Mid-May 2022
1) Nature’s Heart – Wild Grape Leaf Dew Droplets; 2) Morning Blue Jay;
3) Pusteblume; 4) Buttercup; 5) Wild Grape Leaves Dew Droplets;
6) Sugar Maple Leaves; 7) Forest Sunrays; 8) Dame’s Violet;
9) Pusteblume; 10) Sugar Maple Leaves
Happy Caturday! (3)
Ozzy loves to explore everything in our yard. He watches bumble bees, butterflies, and many other insects emerge from under dew-covered leaves. Birds catch some worms and larva for their offspring on the lawn. Chipmunks perk their little heads from their burrows. And squirrels chase each other around a tree trunk. There is so much to see and prowl on for Ozzy. Once it gets warm throughout the day, he will take a nap in the afternoon. He needs the energy to continue his adventures in the evening, again.
Our Yard/Forest In Early May 2022
1) Grass Lilies; 2) McIntosh Apple Blossoms; 3) Dandelion/”Pusteblume”; 4) Fern; 5) Canada Columbine
Naugatuck River Valley Backyard Wildlife In May (1)
1) American Robin; 2) Northern Flicker; 3) Eastern Phoebe
Mother’s Day ~ 2022
Happy Mother’s Day!
Our Garden/Yard In Early May 2022 (2)
1) Creeping Charlie/Ground Ivy; 2) Wild Strawberry Raindrop;
3) “Pusteblume”/Dandelion; 4) McIntosh Apple Blossoms;
5) Robin Feather; 6) Wild Violet Raindrops;
7) Blooming Eastern Redbud; 8) Carpet Bugleweed
Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii)
Our Amaryllis “Apple Blossom”
Several weeks ago, my neighbor gave us two amaryllis plants. A couple of days ago, our first plant started to bloom. Four of the six blossoms are open. The second plant needs a little bit longer. But it shouldn’t take too long. The weather is getting warmer. The amaryllis really seem to love the sunroom, as long as they are not in intense sunlight.
A Rainy Day In Connecticut (3)
Blah, it has been raining all day. And it will still be raining throughout the night.
Our Garden/Yard In Early May 2022
1) Rose of Sharon; 2) McIntosh Apple; 3) Eastern Red Bud; 4) Dandelion;
5) American Robin; 6) Greater Celandine; 7 & 8) Wood Anemone;
9 & 10) Norway Maple Leaves & Blossoms; 11 & 12) Wild Strawberry;
13) Garlic Mustard; 14) Eastern Chipmunk; 15) Pink Hyacinth;
16) Carpet Bugleweed*; 17) Japanese Cherry*; 18) Japanese Quince*
* Neighbor’s yard
Echo Lake Park In Late April 2022
Yesterday evening Kevin, Zoey and I took a little stroll in Echo Lake Park. Because there is a sign to walk in twos or bigger groups due to wildlife activity, I’ve never been on the backside of the lake. The weather was beautiful and we had to stretch our legs from driving back and forth to New York City. The Echo Lake Park Trail is approximately half a mile one way. While on the trail, we saw a turkey hiking up the hill, trying to get away from our curious dog. There are several benches to sit and relax by the water’s edge. On the backside of a boulder there are a couple of artwork drawings. A beaver left its own work close by the lake. Kevin wondered how long it would take a beaver to chew through a tree that size in the photo above. Since it gets warmer, more Canada Geese come back to Echo Lake, again. Zoey really wanted to chase them. But Kevin had a good grip on her, even when she jumped right off the bench. This girl is crazy, when it involves chasing wildlife. After all, she’s part Labrador and part Pity.
Beltane Blessings 2022
Blessed be the Maiden innocent and fresh,
Blessed be the Mother fertile and loving
Blessed be the Crone powerful and wise –
Blessed be the Lord gentle and kind,
Blessed be the Father protective and warm,
Blessed be the King forever reborn.
⛤ Blessed Beltane!⛤