outdoor randoms…

view out the window

A few outdoor randoms :  That’s the  view from my dining room window at the moment.  The barberry bush is full of thorns and a pain ( literally ) to trim when needed but for the rest of the year, I enjoy the various hues. In the winter it has tiny red berries. The bush next to it is a Rose of Sharon that will display purple blooms later on. Between the two is a little rose bush.

barberry closeup

The first daylily, sweet alyssum finally starting to bloom, and spirea.

flowers collage June 11

While they are not blooming yet, the seeds that I started in pots and placed in the garden cart ( a bargain buy at a used items sale ) are coming up nicely.

garden cart side view

Not too far behind me, from where I took this shot, a family of sparrows is growing. See their nest HERE.   So while I compost other things,  if I am cutting up strawberries or cooking some corn, what I do with the strawberry tops and the cobs is….I leave a bit for the birds. I don’t compost those. I don’t want my dogs to get the cobs in the back yard, so I just throw them out in a small area in the front yard, right around where that cart is located. Within an hour or so the birds have all visited and had their corn on the cob and strawberry tops for dinner and picked it all clean.

If you have little squirrels in your neighborhood, you can do the same with stone fruit. Leave a bit and throw it out. I have to smile when I later see the peach pit completely cleaned off on my front porch step, meaning a squirrel brought it up there to eat and I suppose he left it for me to see as a ‘thank you’. : )

sparrow and corn collage

sparrow and corn

While the shots above show a few sparrows, there are also starling families nesting in my gutters and those parents soon joined in the feast.

Let’s talk about  VINES! I have so many weed-vines each year to deal with…some are pretty when they bloom but they must come out. This one has come up close to the area when I park my car every year, and I faithfully pull it out from amongst the Russian Sage and Daylilies.  I was mowing the grass the other day and noticed that half the privet bush in the back was blooming  a bit early and quite the wrong color. The vine was showing up there now.

Weed vine though the blooms are pretty

There is another vine on one side of the front of the house that’s been a menace for the last two years and prior to that I had bindweed take over and kill a beautiful clematis.  Yes at one point, I’d grown this here….but she’s no more.

In the back, the flowers and vegetables in pots and raised beds are doing well thus far. I mentioned in a previous post that I was quite happy to have a nice yield of strawberries from one of these beds. I’ve also had a few salads from the lettuce there.  One or two of the tomato plants actually have small tomatoes starting.

vegetables and flowers starting to grow June 11

When I think of summer tomatoes down the line…I can hardly wait :) And so far, it appears as if the cucumber plants are happy and I will have plenty of cukes for pickles down the line.

You might also enjoy : HOLLYHOCK UPDATE : 15.5 FEET or WANT SOME TOMATOES? :) 

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Feeding Family Including ‘all creatures great and small’

A late Saturday afternoon snow squall…after another band of snow moved through, covering whatever I had shoveled earlier : ( if you don’t live where it snows, this is not tinted..early morning or late afternoon snow looks as blue as these photos :)

Late afternoon snow squall collage Jan 25

Inside, some baking and soup making were going on.

Baking and soup collage

It’s all fair here …the critters outside are fed too :

soup cookies and squirrel collageAs well as the birds…even if you cannot set up bird feeders, in bitterly cold winter weather, scattering some seed, bread, cracked corn…under a sheltering shrub, tree, or vine is helpful to them..they love to ground feed and just need some shelter from hawks or predators. Or..the front porch is fine too :)

squirrels kanga and birds collage

The little squirrels appreciate cracked corn, sunflower seeds, and peanuts.

Blue Jays, Crows, and Woodpeckers love the peanut treats as well.  While I could not get any really good shots, the other day the crows came across some scattered peanuts prior to the Jays. They ‘Caw Caw Caw’ excitedly when they swoop down for a peanut and then take it two houses down the street to either bury it or wash it…not sure! :)

the crow

As to the others..they are just happy with seed and suet, whether on the ground or in a feeder:

Wren Jan 21

cardinal in snow

Closeup of back of sparrow

cardinal in snow 2

That soup and the cookies were not all for me :) On Sunday I will be baking a big pan of cornbread, and putting out some home made preserves from the summer, and having the family over in the afternoon after church. Other than the cornbread, I am all set and the morning will find me sewing for awhile…

Stay warm and safe! :)

ALSO related : Sewing, Shoveling, Shivering : the weekend forecast

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