Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Flutter By - Red-Spotted Purple

At least that's what I think this is. My more-loverly-by-the-day garden is attracting butterflies. Gosh, so happy I did this. The rewards are fun. I bought a Butterfly field guide and this looks to be the Red-Spotted Purple, although I haven't examined this guide as closely as the 15 or so Bird field guides I have. My getting-older brain can only absorb so much, and I think I've had my quota for the year trying to learn about the native plants!

Sunday, August 26, 2007


The path is built, 130 plants are in the ground. I knew I could do this when I started, although I lost confidence early on. Here it is almost 6 months later. This weekend I did a major weed removal and mulched the entire area. I'm looking forward to next spring to see how all the plants have faired. AND BLOOMING! I want to see lots of flowers!! I'll post pictures later to show you how it is shaping up.

Had a couple of interesting sightings today. I believe I've seen a Hairy Woodpecker in the past but could never confirm. Today I had a definite sighting, with blurry picture, but a definite picture! New addition to the life list.

Later in the afternoon I was cleaning the bird bath, tilted it up to dump the old water and found this cute little frog/toad? hiding underneath. Don't know how it got there, or why. Maybe to get out of the heat? Anyway, it finally scurried off after a long time and I was able to complete the chore. First time I have ever seen an amphibian in the yard.

UPDATE: Tree Frog

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Record-breaking temp today: 104 degrees

I bought 19 more plants last weekend and have all but 5 in the ground. Planting may have to wait til the weekend when the temps drop to below 90, hopefully. Once they are in, there will be a total of 130! Some of them are either destroyed by tree rats, unless they are just dormant, but that will be it for this summer. Looking forward to the spring when things really start to bloom.

I actually broke out of my "Type A" behavior mode. I had no list of plants in hand when I went to the nursery and bought whatever looked good, as long as it was native. Of course as I plant, I do update the plan. But geez, give me a break. There are 130 plants and I'm not getting any younger. I can't be expected to remember every single one without some assistance.

Keep Cool!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Hot forecasted, and delivered as promised

YIKES has it been hot. 90's up to the 100+ degree level. And no relief in sight. It won't be below 92 during the day for the next 10 days. I gripe about this as if it is my own personal problem! I'm sure many of you are sweltering as well.

Too hot to take pictures, so here's my written account. Sprinkler on to keep my plants growing and/or sustaining. Squirrels still showing their destructive behavior. I keep the babies planted and mulched the best I can, and check on them twice a day. The tomatoes continue to be vandalized just as they ripen (GRRRR).

Bird life is definitely down. Other than the three (count them, 3!!! high number in my yard) hummingbirds that show up, activity is way down. A month ago, I had to fill the feeders three times a day. Now it's once every three days. Prevalent birds are house sparrows, house finches, robins, cardinals, hummers, mourning doves. Occassional visitors: chickadee, goldfinch, grackle, starling, carolina wren.

To all, keep cool!

Sunday, August 5, 2007


10-Day Forecast Calendar Send this Forecast Daily to your E-mail Free »
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Isolated Thunderstorms
Isolated Thunderstorms

Isolated Thunderstorms
Isolated Thunderstorms
96° 76°
Mostly Sunny
Mostly Sunny
99° 76°
Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy
99° 77°
Mostly Sunny
Mostly Sunny
100° 76°
97° 71°
99° 68°
93° 67°
Mostly Sunny
Mostly Sunny
91° 69°
Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy
92° 67°

Birds Absent

We spent the weekend visiting friends in Columbus, OH. Before I left, I filled three feeders with BOSS, one with Thistle, and made sure the sugar water was fresh. Usually if I go away for 24-hours, the feeders would be emptied. Not a one this time. Saw lots of feathers on the ground, so I wonder if the Coopers Hawk was prowling around and disturbing them?

The male Robin did notice that I had returned and quickly flew down for a few raisins. A male RTHummer was buzzing around the sugar water (I have only seen females until just last week.) And a few House Finches and Cardinals came around for seed. Other than that, VERY quiet at the feeders.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Links to plant descriptions

My earlier post listed all of the plants I have planted to date. I just added links to the descriptions of these plants if you are interested. The links under "Common Name" are from the GrowNative website. Under the "Botanical Name" column are links to the Missouri Botanical Gardens database.

Both websites have provided a great deal of inspiration as I have gone forward with "Birdscapes."

List of plants in the ground to date

Common Name Botanical Name
Maidenhair Fern Adiantum pedatum
Lady Fern Athyrium filix-femina
Christmas Fern Polystichum acrostichoides
Goat's Beard Aruncus dioicus
Celandine Poppy Stylophorum diphyllum
Jacob's Ladder Polemonium reptans
Wild Hydrangea Hydrangea arborescens
Strawberry Bush Euonymus americanus
Wild Geranium Geranium maculatum
Solomon's Seal Polygonatum biflorum
Wild Sweet William Phlox divaricata
Cardinal Flower Lobelia cardinalis
Crested Iris Iris cristata
Columbine Aquilegia canadensis
Rose Turtlehead Chelone obliqua, v speciosa
Golden Seal Hydrastis canadensis
Great St. John's Wort Hypericum pyramidatum
Short-stemmed Iris Iris brevicaulis
Garden/Summer Phlox Phlox paniculata
Downy Skullcap Scutellaria incana
Wide-leaved Spiderwort Tradescantia subaspera
Pussytoes Antennaria parlinii
Lead Plant Amorpha canescens
Shrubby St. John's-wort Hypericum prolificum
Scarlet Elder Sambucus racemosa
Orange Coneflower Rudbeckia fulgida
Foxglove Beard-tongue Penstemon digitalis
Rose Verbena, reg color Glandularia canadensis
Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea
Robin's Plantain Erigeron pulchellus
False Solomon's Seal Maianthermum racemosum

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

August already???

I feel like I just got started, yet here we are well into summer. Happy to report that there are now 111 plants in the ground! And most of them are in the shady area. I have to start planting in the sunny area. There's still lots of work to do before Fall arrives. Definitely more plants, tend to the stray green stuff that constantly pops up, and raise areas of the stone path that have sunk.

This week a long lost bird returned with fledgling in tow. I haven't seen the Carolina Wren in months. S/he was a welcome sight.

And I also saw my first Brown-headed Cowbird fledgling of the season. As usual in my yard, it was with a Cardinal. It seems to be past the demanding stage that runs the Cardinal ragged. Surprised this is the first I've seen of it.