Tuesday, May 22, 2007

the squirrels were busy

Whew. Spent a weekend away birding, and that was good, although very cold. Came back to find my peppers all wilty and my rhubarb bed dug into, not to mention many of the beans. But a bunch of the shallots popped up while we were away, and the tomatoes are looking good, if a little sulky.

I also spent some time Friday deadheading and weeding through the giant spirea in the front bed. It is huge. I'm thinking that next spring I will have to do a major cutback; it's dying in the centre, but I don't think it's beyond hope yet.

New birds for the backyard are a chestnut-sided warbler, redstart and red-eyed vireo. I really think we need to plant a thicket in the back of the yard, even just for this month.

Also, the first visitor to the birdbath was... a squirrel. Drinking. Meh. At least someone's using it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

the tree was from two doors down

More bird additions (this will slow down as spring finishes):
  • house wren
  • white-breasted nuthatch
  • hairy woodpecker
  • grey catbird
I bought a giant plastic fake-terra-cotta saucer to use as a birdbath this year, for seven dollars. I might get up enough energy to go set it up today; but if not, I'll do it tomorrow. Or Friday.

We've been working a lot in the garden. I made the mistake of planting my lovely tomato seedlings out on Monday. Yesterday there was a hell of a storm, which left the front yard looking like this:

Despite my stupidity at planting the tomatoes immediately before this storm, they all survived except one, which actually snapped off the night before. The shallots and onions are starting to grow, and the rhubarb is looking spectacular. One of the things I did Monday was mulch the raspberries on one side of the yard, and trim them up so they're not too crowded. Looking good. I still have beans, carrots, beets, cilantro, and fennel to plant, and then I think I'm good for a little while. May do a later planting of fall veggies, and this fall I want to dig the fourth and final veggie bed so I have it for next spring.

We're getting a lovely Lee Valley reel mower second hand, to take care of the grass; that comes tomorrow. And I have the tools I need to prune the forsythia so it's a little bit under control.

Things are coming along.

Friday, May 11, 2007

more birds

Let's add:
  • nashville warbler
  • chimney swifts
  • wood thrush
  • great-crested flycatcher
The brown thrasher was singing like a madman again this morning. It was a lovely morning to be in the backyard.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

the birds

And here's where we start the overlapping thing. But, lists of the birds etc. I see in my backyard naturally belong here, so let's have one, shall we?
  • starlings, house sparrows
  • house finches
  • goldfinches
  • robins
  • crows, grackles
  • juncos
  • chickadees
  • cardinals (nesting pair hanging out next door)
  • blue jays
  • mourning doves
  • sparrows: chipping, song, and white-throated
  • flickers
  • brown thrasher
  • warblers: black-throated green and pine
and new this morning, a female rose-breasted grosbeak was squeaking away. Every time I go out there and see or hear a new bird, I get this stupid grin on my face. I love it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

entry the first

This may end up being a very bad decision, to give bluepixie a sisterblog. I may end up never posting on bp again. Or, I may end up never posting on either of these again. But I've been hankering after a way to post things specifically for my backyard and so here we go. Let's call it an experiment. Also, I have to figure out how to post stuff here so that I like it, so it's like a double guinea pig. As such, I'm not actually telling anyone this site exists yet. If you've joined me from the vast sea of the internet, welcome, and yikes.

Let's see how the image engine works here:

Okay, sweet. That was easy. Also, the above is a tulip from my garden. They're done now, but were beautiful about a week ago.

Here's the thing -- I know a fair bit about gardening, I think, but it's all book learning and a few small things I've picked up from my grandmother over the years. This is the first time, now that we have a house, that I get to test my knowledge and see how it works in the real world. It's going to be a grand adventure and I'm really quite excited. The fact that the excitement has stayed with me since we moved in is a good sign.

And that's it for now. Soon I'll be posting about the vegetable garden, which is my big project for this year and which I'm really, really pleased with so far.