Wednesday, January 30, 2008

January to February

I have packed up the January decorations.
Just beginning to set out the February things.

We drink Turkish coffees in February
and read stories from the Arabian Nights.
We listen to the sitar
and dream of the nightingale.

We celebrate Valentine's Day.
We watch for the ground hog's shadow.

We have a bit of Mardi Gras.

This year we get to leap.


For the last couple of years our daughter has been encouraging us to join Netflix.
Over the past weekend we did.
Our first movie arrived yesterday.

My husband asked me to keep a log of the movies we see.

I heard Blog.
Our "Q" is filling up.
What's in your queue?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Here one minute gone the next

The snow stopped as quickly as it started.
The wind kept blowing.
The sun came out.
It stayed cold.

An inch of powdery snow covers the ground.

I tried out the silk balaclava and glove liners.
I was warm in the 14 degrees and wind.

The birds sunned.

As I gather up January I am taking breaks.
One minute I am cleaning and the next I am outside
with the birds.

Blowing snow

When I went to feed the birds at 7am
it was 53 degrees Fahrenheit.
By noon the temperatures had dropped to 15 degrees
and blowing snow was coming down sideways, from the west.
This is not yet a blizzard.
Not a white out.
Not yet.

Swirls of snow blowing off roof tops kept visibility low.
I drove home from class.

Grateful to be home.
I checked on the birds.

They are finding food and shelter.
I am packing up January.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Listen to that wind!

A strong southern wind blew warm
gulf air into the gardens.

Twenty-five mph winds with gusts to 40 mph
toppled deck furniture and sent temperatures into the 60's.

The birds struggled in the wind.

I watched as they fought the gusts.

I put seed in protected spots.
I want the birds to be successful.
I will do everything I can to help them.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


The American Robin
over winters in my area,
as long as they can find food.

It warmed to above freezing.

The Robins were out eating berries.

Not a sign of Spring

but certainly a sign of hope.


Last week my husband folded me a butterfly.

She is resting on the stem of a one of my birthday roses.
I am drying the rose.

Last night another butterfly appeared.
She is resting on the candle on my desk.
I light my candle every morning and send blessings to Anna.
In my bedroom a mobile of
origami Cranes float in the air.
These were folded by my son and a friend.

An origami Penguin sits on the mantel.

The Japanese art of paper folding is fun and so pretty.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Blue Jay Way

There are two pairs of Blue Jays
that come into the garden.

It is very cold this morning, 6 degrees.
The sun makes it possible for me to be outside.

I refilled all the feeders and bundled up.

Wrapped in my blankets and sipping my coffeee

I was comfortable for half an hour.

I placed an order for a silk balaclava
and silk glove liners.
I do not like to be cold.
I want to be outside for at least an hour!

Full Wolf Moon

The Full Wolf Moon
set this morning.

I sat on the front porch wrapped in my blanket.

It is cold, six degrees.
The Cardinals are feeding.
The sun has begun to rise.
Happy Full Wolf Moon.

Monday, January 21, 2008


The sun sign has changed.
We are in the days of Aquarius.

The southeast wind is keeping me inside
even though the temperatures are in the upper twenties.
Freezing drizzle is to fall this afternoon.

Seed catalogs have been arriving all month.
I brought out my order book from last year.
It is time for me to decide what I will plant in 2008.

I have been asking myself the hard question,
"Why do I garden?"
I have written a list.
Last year's early Spring
followed by the heavy April freeze changed me.
Mother Nature taught me to plant native.
She showed how to plant for the butterflies and for the birds.
She gave me a new reason to garden.

I must be honest with myself.
I still want tomatoes and zucchini for my dinner table.
I still want spinach and lettuces.

As I think and plan the gardens I can give up the desire for the blue ribbon, sterile flowers. I can help maintain the bio-diversity of my native plants. I can replace some lost habitat for the butterflies and birds. There is still room for the vegetables and some lawn can be planted with little bluestem, Savannah Sparrows would like that.

I may not be able to bring back the prairie or the Bison but I can plant Paw-paw for the Zebra Swallowtails and a Prickly Ash for the Giant Swallowtails. Even though the books say they are unattractive bushes.

I can be a different kind of steward.
The dandelions reseed. I do not need to buy seed.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Juncos are good

Juncos are good.


I was in and out all morning.
I would warm up and go right back outside.
Wrapped in blankets and sipping my tea I stayed on the deck
as long as possible.

I put peanuts out for the Blue Jays and
fresh suet with bugs for the Woodpeckers and Wrens.
I bought a new Finch feeder.
Something a little easier for them to feed from.

Increasing clouds brought a few flurries.
Without the sun I became cold.

I am watching for the Northern Flickers and the Brown Creeper.
I read Eastern Towhees are in my area all year long.
I have never seen one.
It would be very fun to take pictures of the Eastern Towhees.
Their call is, "drink-your-tea".


I awoke before dawn.
I knew there would be snow on the ground.
I knew it would be bitterly cold.

I knew the birds would be hungry.

I knew the morning light would be divine.

I watched the sunrise.

Mockingbird sat with me.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I was excited to get up this morning.
Our forecast is for rain changing to snow.
A weather event brings lots of birds to the feeders.

All day it drizzled.
Almost too dark for photos.

I decided to put some seed on the table near my chair.

The seed would stay dry and
maybe a Cardinal would come near.

The female Cardinal did come up close.
I could use some snow.
I need more light!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sharp-shinned Hawk

After walking this afternoon, I sat on the deck.
It was too quiet.
I looked about for Cooper's Hawk.

I was very surprised
to see a Sharp-shinned Hawk.

Much smaller than Cooper's.
Sharp-shinned is about the size of a large Robin.

I have seen this Hawk in the woods near my house.
Never have I seen him in my garden.

There are plenty of raptors hunting in the backyard.
Should help with the Sparrow and Starling populations.
I have not seen many rabbits about lately.
Maybe I can plant lettuce and spinach again this spring,
and have some for my dinner.