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Monday, April 22, 2013

Rosy, Just Rosy

Hello from the hills!

 We've already had daytime temperatures in the low 80s so the spring blooms continue popping out all over the yard.

 Our cabbages have begun to grow. Of course, the cabbage moths showed up soon after these were planted, but I have an old badminton racket that I use to take care of that problem. o.O

 A few days ago I spotted this gorgeous rose breasted grosbeak on the shepherd's hook that holds a feeder in the backyard. It was the first time I'd ever seen one. This is the only picture I was able to manage that day, but ....

I sat down at my kitchen window this morning to watch just in case he returned and was not disappointed. 

 Such a beautiful bird! He did enjoy some black oil sunflower seeds although the feeder was a bit small for his liking.

 I've started crocheting a rug for my kitchen and am taking pictures, but I'm not quite finished with it, yet. I hope to show you all about that in a week or so.

Until then, don't forget to stop and smell the lilacs!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Birds, Poison Ivy & Dinner

Greetings and Happy Spring from the foothills of the Smokies!

 This bluebird is taking a break from building a nest in a box that we put on this old tree along our pasture fence line. They're the first birds I've seen nesting so far this spring.

 The female was busy gathering straw from another spot in the pasture.

 As she gathered straw he kept watch for dangerous interlopers. O.o
 Bluebirds are my all-time favorite bird. If you'd like them to frequent your yard all you have to supply is water (birdbath) and a nesting box placed 5-6 ft high on a post, tree or side of a building. You don't have to feed them as they'll catch bugs on their own. 

  Behind our garage we have an area where we let whatever grow that wills. It's not a large area, but it's natural habitat for the birds that prefer thick undergrowth ... ( The white barrels catch rain water that runs off the garage roof for watering my raised beds.)
 Like this white-throated sparrow. It's easy to recognize this bird by the yellow spot in front of its eyebrow. (Click the picture to see it better.)

We have a row of  evergreen trees that provide year-round cover and nesting spots for several species of birds in nesting season.

 This dark-eyed junco searches the ground for seeds that the other birds drop from the feeder.

 In the same area is this bamboo stand, not for the birds, but to use as stakes in the garden when the trunks get big enough to support plants.

 Yesterday we made our annual trek to a family owned pharmacy in a nearby town for these little bottles of Rhus Tox. If you've never heard of it, it's a homeopathic inoculation for poison ivy, taken by mouth. It, actually, contains a bit of oil from the poison ivy plant. Goodman takes this each spring to prevent getting the dreaded rash from working near poison ivy. It works great!

What's for dinner ... fried swai, red beans, wilted lettuce and hush puppies. That. was. good. Have a great week, Y'all!

Shared at:  The Art of Home-Making Mondays, Roses of Inspiration