Thursday, June 17, 2010

Garden Friends

I love these little guys - anole lizards. They are all around the house and are so pretty when they turn green. It's tough to get pictures of them though, as they run when they see me. I was able to snap this little guy while he was still brown. He's on one of my porch posts that needs replacing (pressure treated lumber that rotted!!).

I was sad to discover that the beautiful mockingbird eggs have been abandoned. I've got resident mockingbirds, so not sure what happened. I want so badly to blow out these lovely eggs but don't know if they are partially formed or what.

I've also got an abandoned wren nest with three eggs next to my patio. They have definitely partially formed because I can see a dark spot through the shells, which would be the eye of the baby bird. Likely dingbat Zoe killed the mama :(

But, I did discover another nest - one I've never had in the yard before. Do you see mama woodthrush?

If I get an opportunity, I'm going to take some pictures of her eggs and babies when they hatch. The nest is up a little high for me though and I don't want to upset her.

My Princess insists on being by my side at all times, even outside in the horrible heat. Flies pestered her all day and she was hot but would bark and bark when I put her inside. So as not to upset her, I let her stay with me all day. We didn't come in till after 8 o'clock last night. Poor baby is exhausted and stiff; her arthritis is really showing these days. (I know just how she feels!)

Bee update: I was able to destroy the yellow jacket nest by the driveway, since there wasn't a lot of foliage around it. I used two cans of Spectracide wasp and hornet spray and bombarded them. They are gone! But the other nest on the patio will be taken care of by an exterminator next Wednesday. She'll have to wear a bee suit and will be here at 7:30 a.m. before the little buggers start buzzing around. I'll try to get some pictures, from a safe distance of course.

A special thanks to Marnie who figured out what my picture loading issues were. Somehow my loading preferences changed and I just didn't think to check them. Thanks, Marnie!!

It's going to be another horribly humid and hot day here today. I'm so thankful for air conditioners!!! Have a good day everybody!

Another Wierd Bird Encounter...and Bees!

Did I mention last week that I heard what sounded like a baby bird in the garage? That prompted me to clean out the garage on my day off last week and I never did find it. So...I thought it must have been outside. Well I found it yesterday. It was all tangled up in a vine near the eave of the garage and had died. It was a little fledgling finch and I felt horrible. If only I had looked outside. Poor little baby.

I've been working hard on the yards trying to make them look as tidy as I want them to look. I don't know why I try because I'll never accomplish it - not with this much to take care of. Still, I worked outside all day Tuesday in 98 degree heat and got a lot done. I broke down (finally) and bought several bags of nice, dark mulch and got most of one bed done. What a difference it makes! I bought enough to finish the rest of this bed.

I'm very pleased with my crepe myrtle. I planted it two years ago (?) and it's grown really fast just like I had hoped. The sunflower was planted by a kind bird.

This is my chaste tree, which has also gotten really big.

Here are a few of my daylillies. I have quite a few varieties, most of which I brought with me when I moved 10 years ago.

Note the outline of each petal with the burgundy color!

And this is my cart of begonias that sits to the right of the stairs going up my front porch. It's never looked as good as it does right now :)

I've been paying close attention to the bees. I've got tons of bumbles and I'm happy to report that I've also got several honeybees. There must be a hive somewhere nearby in the woods because they are always toward the back of my property.

I've gotten stung twice this week - two days in a row - by yellow jackets. I hate those things. They are down right MEAN! While watering, I discovered the hard way that there is a nest in one of the planters on the patio. I was watering and thought there was a horse fly buzzing around my head when all of a sudden there were several. One little b-----d landed right on my chest and stung me! They chased me in the house and were pounding on the storm door!

The night before that, I got a nasty sting near my waist while watering the bed next to the driveway. The venom from that creature has drifted across half my stomach and itches beyond bellief. I've been taking Benadryl and other antihistamines and it's easing up a bit, but I wake up several times a night scratching like crazy. Needless to say, I've called a professional exterminator who will be coming tomorrow to assess and destroy (I hope).

Once again my pictures are squished. Sharon, I tried loading the pics first but that didn't make a difference. I think I'll switch to the "new and improved" blogger editor for my next post. Hope I don't mess things up too much.