25 May 2005

Bevy of Birds

What with the weather finally becoming Spring-ish and the new bird feeder array and all, we've been inundated with birds. So far, I've seen:
  • downy woodpeckers
  • hairy woodpeckers
  • red-bellied woodpeckers
  • monstrously huge blue jays (possibly a nesting pair)
  • northern cardinals (ditto the above)
  • mourning doves
  • black-capped chickadees (a veritable mob)
  • white-breasted nuthatches
  • tufted titmouses
  • american goldfinches
  • house finches
  • chipping sparrows
While this may not be a list to make an ornithologist cheer, I'm pretty chuffed.
And, yes, some people do say "titmice." You can argue it either way, but I'm going with "titmouses," because it makes my mouth happy.

titmousestitmousestitmouses ... hairy woodpecker ...


15 May 2005

For This I Went To Grad School

I'm in the bathroom, staring blindly out the window, and trying not to be awake when I think "Oh! The Husband bought me a finial!" Then, I think that doesn't make any sense. A finial won't fit on our bird feeder pole. Then, I realize it's a different pole. Someone schlepped off to Wild Birds Unlimited, bought me a new double arch pole system with bird-shaped finial, squirrel baffle, and leaf branch and then installed it in the night. I'm wondering who it's from, but it's only six thirty in the morning. I couldn't possibly wake up The Husband to find out, could I?

I could. He says The Parents came and installed it while I was at work. It is the other graduation present my mother kept hinting about so madly.

It's so nifty! I could stand by the back windows all morning, watching the squirrels breeze up the pole and then shit themselves when they realize there is no access to the sweet sweet gourmet birdseed blend. There is only the Death Star of a squirrel baffle looming over them, eclipsing the sun and all hope of easy living.

12 May 2005

Celebratory Cherry Tree

Last Saturday, I came home from work and there was a tree sitting next to my driveway where no tree had been before. It was a beautiful little cherry tree about six feet tall and covered with clusters of tight pink blossoms.

My parents had dropped off my graduation present.

I cajoled my dad into coming over later that evening and planting it for me between the hammock and the black walnut. It's the perfect spot -- I can see the tree from all of the back windows and there's plenty of room for it to grow.

Also, finished planting and mulching the rose bed. Of course, after I mulched it, I went to the garden center for ... who knows what. (It's not as if I need a reason this time of year. I gravitate toward them without thought or hope of escape). Anyway, they had corn seedlings at the garden center and corn seedlings sounded kind of interesting ... Hmmm ... could possibly squeeze them in between the pickling cukes and the bush beans ...

Anyway, dug out the last third of the bed in the end of the driveway. Yes, the bed is in the driveway -- the driveway forks for the last five or six feet and there's another black walnut planted in the middle of the fork. It can make backing out a bit of a bitch in the winter, but I like having another shade tree in the front. The previous owners had left the plot around it as grass, but it seemed a pain in the ass to mow it so I have been slowly converting it to a day lily and daffs bed. I started with the best of intentions when we moved in four years ago, but ran out of steam two-thirds in and the last third has been weedy and horrible for too long. I'm edging the curbside with a star- shaped fragrant white phlox and then filling in with more lilies.

The problem is that I had been buying a fifty plant assortment of day lilies from the Whiteflower people -- an assortment no longer being offered. Had it offered last year, when I had no time to plant bulbs, but don't have it this year when I do. So I'm buying quart pots from different garden centers around the area, trying to build the biggest assortment I can while keeping with the colors found in the rest of the bed. More expensive this way, but I want to get it over with. Plant it, mulch it, and stamp it with a big ol' "done" stamp by next Friday.

I can always hope.