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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Please "Tail" Me....A Quiz

....What Kinda Bird do you think I am ?

Not sure if it's cabin fever or just an odd sense of humor...
Anyway since I keep getting tossable photos that look like this one below...
I figured... why not make use of them !

And maybe add some entertainment to this currently wet and chilly winter.
Thinking about doing a few more posts with a quiz called
"Please "Tail" Me ...." What Kinda Bird do you think I am. (HUH)?

I like getting "behind" my backyard friends whenever possible !

Answer is below...but DON'T look yet !

Are you sure?
Butt then again, could be ...
Give up?
Open the envelope for correct answer !


Friday, January 23, 2009

Bird Surveys and Song Sparrow

......................The Surveys...

The most popular bird survey from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is
Project Feeder Watch.
Weekly online bird count from November to April with instructions on how to count.
Contact Project Feeder Watch for instructions and Tally Sheets which will be mailed(postal)to you for submission online weekly.
Your past personal surveys can be obtained online.

Also a popular bird survey is from the Cornell Lab of Ornitholgy which is the
Great Backyard Bird Count.
Four days in February (13,14,15,16) with the same instructions on how to count.
Go on line and type in your zip code for a Printable Tally Sheet to submit online when finished.
Your past personal surveys can be obtained online.

Find some surveys too time consuming ?
Try The Great Backyard Bird Count... it's too easy to pass up.

Another survey from the The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds or
They are celebrating their 30th anniversary this weekend !
January (24,25) watch the birds in your garden for an hour and
record the maximum number of each species you see at one time.
Click on link for more details.

At GBBC you can get results for your town or nearby towns not just the state.
As a beginner bird watcher two years ago, I needed to know what birds could be expected at my backdoor. Seeing what was reported nearby was very helpful.
Last year I was the only participant for my zip code.
Try this Link to see what I mean.
Below is what it looks like.

Have to show you this little cutie who I finally captured today.
Want to hear him ?
Sound from Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Song Sparrow

Bird watching has been a little bit of a disappointment this seems I attracted large numbers of starlings who are intimidating the woodpeckers and other favorite birds. Still working on deterring them. I guess you can call me obsessed !
On a positive note...we do have some frequent visitors like this Warbler. I've shown him before...don't you just want to squeeze this little guy?
Too cute !

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Now and Then

Not too often do I wish to leave the comfort of our warm and toasty house but today decided to get outside and take a look see at what's happening in the yard.
Other than happy birds I discovered a few new shrubs budding.
At first got very worried, aware that come spring if my bulbs or trees flower too early...and then there is a freeze, it might mean trouble.
Was glad to hear however, this is normal for some garden plants, and it's a good thing !!

Red Tip, Photinia x fraseri


Camellia Japonica


Rhododendron (unknown)


PJM Rhododendron


Lonicera sempervirens


Waxed Privet


Lily Turf Liriope Muscari "big blue"


Finally got some SNOW !!
Just a dusting but still pretty to see.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Summer 2008 Inspiration

"Summer 2008 Inspiration" (January)Hosted by Shady at
Does Everything Grow Better in my Neighbors Yard

"January - What does your "2009 Wish List" look like? Is there anything there you plan to purchase and/or grow because of your 2008 Summer Inspiration (or even last Winter)? Please tell us about it!"

I've been inspired by just about everyone for one reason or another.
But for new plants in 2009,I just had to put a limit to it !
Will be trying some new flowers from seed after reading about many of Cameron's favorite plants/flowers that are in her garden.
Her discriptions,stories and photo's have me sold !
Take a look at the list of "Topics" on her blog at Defining Your Home if you haven't looked already.
My selections for seeds are Agastache, Nepeta x faassenii and Gaillardia.
Couldn't find all the exact one's Cameron grew,except for a few.
Since I decided to stay with Parks seeds(not plants),and not hop all over the place like I usually do,it did limit my selection.
Of course I've been known to buy more seeds untill mid April.
Also trying to keep the cost of shipping and handling down by ordering from one source. We'll see if I stick to that. :)
I think this selection is a good start.

Can't forget my plan on getting some rose bushes thanks to Katarina at Roses and Stuff.
Never seen so many beautiful roses in my life. Her photos are amazing !
My first attempt is just to try some hybrid roses.
Have to see what the garden marts have to offer before I make my selection.
Will have an expanded sunny bed planned for 2009 which will support full sun plants so roses and others are on the menu.
The reason I never had any before is mostly do to the lack of sun, but also thought of them as troublesome. Maybe I was wrong !!

As far as the seeds go....
have started more than this in past years.....but it became overwhelming to deadhead everything. This reduced selection should be easier to maintain.
All seeds are started indoors around mid March under lights.
Will post how we grow plants from seed in a few weeks.

This year should be very interesting !

The Seeds
Agastache Purple Pygmy-info
Agastache rupestris-info
Nepeta x faassenii Felix-info
Cosmos sulphureus Campus Mix-info
Gaillardia x grandiflora Painter's Palette-info

A surprise from Kim and Victoria at Living and gardening in Idaho.
I'm very thankful for the seeds they sent me and can't wait to see the results !

Helianthus annuus Teddy Bear Sunflower-info
Ricinus communis Red Castor Bean-info

Also have to start my Cardinal Climbers and Hyacinth Beans which I've saved seeds for.
Hyacinth Bean for privacy and Cardinal Climber for the Hummers.

Cardinal Climber

Hyacinth Bean

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Plan #2 and New Bird Pics

I'm sure many are tired of the birds but it's winter !
And observing them is a rewarding winter passion of mine..
You may remember plan #1 (plastic sheet on the inside)is not effective.
Suet and bird seed was gone after we returned home.

Ok...Plan #2 NO they're not flying saucers !

What is it, you ask? Well, let me tell you.
We went to home depot and found this plastic lid for a pale or bucket.
Cost for lid was 1.98, screw,nut and washer cost 3.00.

Double baffle for squirrels and irritation/difficulty for starlings.

Almost all of the starlings kept falling off after getting a couple brief bites.

This one lasted about 15 seconds.
I realize they will learn after awhile but if I can at least slow them down...

So glad to see this female Downy Woodpecker.

Then here came her mate.
This guy has no problems hanging upside down which is what feeder is intended for.

This feeder may be the final solution especially for home made suet
which falls apart easily compared to the hard store-bought stuff.
Even the woodpecker was on this cage today.

Kept looking at this one...knew I'd seen him before this year but didn't hang around for long. Today he was chasing off the starlings !! I like him :)
Northern Mockingbird

Poor dove...frozen water.
At least it comes out easily to be replaced with warm tap water.
High temps of only about 20F are forecast for next couple of days. Brrrr.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I'm Determined !

We had these Carolina Wrens nest in our shed last spring.
They found their way in and enjoyed the grass seed that was stored in there.
Trying to get the kids out was a little tricky since that was the only home they knew.
Know this is not the best cage to use but the squirrels and starlings get frustrated with it and give up.

This little Junco is sooo hard to photograph. Just won't stay still !
My vision isn't that great either :(

Suet cage turned side ways with plastic sheet on top.
The plan is to make it difficult for the starlings to feast. There is a plan 2 which may have to go into effect.

As you can see it's not fool proof...
Hmmm...plan 2 is in the works.

Wow,just realized...this is my 100th post !

Won't be able to visit for a few days.
Going north and hope to see some SNOW !
By the way.....if my speckled back on this blog makes it too hard to read let me know so it can be improved.Thanks !

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Friendship Award

Many thanks to Kim at Wishnik Woods for this award.

"It is a friendship award meant to be given to deserving fellow bloggers that reach out and touch other bloggers."
I am honored to have received this.

My responsibility now is to nominate 8 bloggers that I think also deserve this recognition.
So therefore I hope you will personally accept the same award from me !.

Chad and Brandy,
Kim and Victoria,

You are welcome to pass this award forward.