Friday, May 31, 2013

Just peeking in...

Just checking in.  Hope to get back to more regular posting soon -- the garden is growing and summer stories are taking shape.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ulani barks

Ulani and I were just sitting out this evening.  There was a light drizzle falling, all was peace except the birds.  My skills identifying birds by sight are improving a bit, but outside of the cardinal's sharp cheep-cheep-cheep, or the red-winged blackbird's equally sharp shriek, most of it is just gibberish to me.

Until I hear the whinny of the Eastern screech owl.  I'll always remember that sound after last spring's encounter!  And it's been back for the past week or two, maybe more. 

More than that, a few nights ago I think there was an owl flying lesson right outside my bedroom window!  It was nearly full dark, but there were definitely some birds larger than sparrows or blackbirds swooping up and down right by the big willow tree.  The next morning I moved my spy camera right out there.  Of course there's been no reappearance.

But back to me and Ulani sitting out.  She likes to bark at...something.  I'm not sure what it is, but it would seem that she hears something and barks in response to it.  Kind of breaks up my peace so I try to discourage her.  Tonight I found what looked to me like a good bone that maybe she'd forgotten about for a week or two.  I tossed it over and for a while she was happily gnawing away on the bone.  I just sit, camera in lap, waiting for something interesting.

Luckily I felt she might be about to be interesting.  Because when she threw her head back to bark, I was ready.  I love this picture.  It's exactly Ulani.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Around the place today

Inside I am enjoying a huge amaryllis' blooming.  Just look at the four blossoms on the stalk, and the extravagant reproductive parts!

This is the second of my five amaryllises to bloom in the past month.  The others don't show any sign of flower stalks.  I like to put the bulbs outside for the summer, then when I remember (which I did not this past fall) I put them in a dark place for about six weeks in the fall.  That will cue them all to send up stalks.


Outdoors in the front garden, spring flowers continue to beautify my space.  I absolutely adore bleeding hearts.  Look how the flowers on the top raceme, with the "legs" closed, then the one below has the legs spread to encourage insects.  Just fascinating!

 The hellebores fascinate me, too.  Look at all the different colors.

 This one appears to be forming seeds!

Another, backlit.

And the lilacs are almost ready to burst!

Many birds enjoy the birdfeeders and birdbath this time of year.  I just sit at my dining room table, sliding door open, and take photo after photo after photo!

I think this is a white crowned sparrow.  They shouldn't be around here now -- they're supposed to migrate farther north!

And this year I have about ten goldfinches swooping in and out.  Sometimes it's almost like lightening bugs, they are so flashy!

We're deep into spring, and it feels fantastic!