Eastern Sierra

Eastern Sierra
Eastern Sierra snow October 2010

Friday, April 27, 2018

Garden delights~Rambling Woods~April 27, 2018

I go out into my back yard now every morning to check out my sunflowers, sweet peas, and hollyhocks.   I have mature sunflowers which are dropping their pollen.   My hollyhocks have tons of buds on them and they are opening up new ones.   They are over 8' tall now.   My sweet peas, however, are on their last legs.   We've had too many days of near-triple digit temperatures and they simply cannot take that kind of heat.  I did have a nice crop of them, however, this year.   I could often just go out back and smell them from afar.   I have enjoyed them this year.

I find it restful to just wander around out back.  I listen to the birds.   I watch the hummingbirds come and go.   There is one female who seems to live year round in our yard and a couple of males.  I have sparrows, finches, and verdin.   The verdin seem to LOVE the pollen on the sunflowers and I catch them every afternoon poking around them.   I am glad to provide both food and shelter for the birds.

But it is my hollyhocks that truly amaze me.   I had a dismal crop of 3 of them last year.   Those 3 survived our brutal summer and I planted more seeds last fall.   Their cheerfulness, their gorgeous colors, and their tenacity delight me.  I often just wander out back with my camera in hand and marvel at them.

Here are some recent photos I took:

Rambling Woods for April 27, 2018.  Here's the link:   https://ramblingwoods.com/

Monday, April 23, 2018

Birds, birds, and more birds!

Here in the desert we do have a lot of different birds.   We don't have the same ones as cooler locations, but the desert DOES maintain a fairly diverse amount of birds.

We have hummingbirds, ravens, finches, sparrows,mockingbirds, and different kinds of doves.   Those all seem to stay here year round.   Ducks and geese fly down for the winter and can be seen in the parks and around golf course waterways.   Our daughter even has a duck couple that come to her neighborhood every spring, which delights the two grandkids.

Here in my yard, because I do feed the birds, I seem to get more species.   We've had about 7 grosbeaks for the last 10 days or so, although I do not see or hear them this morning.   They stop by every year, about this time.   I know this because I have documented their arrival on my blods and now I've done so in my personal journal too.   Alas, this morning, I don't see or HEAR them at all...

We also have attracted a family of Cooper's hawks who prey upon the doves.  Alas, I can often see them swoop through the yard.   I have actually stopped and chatted with one of them several times. 

We once had a hummingbird nest right outside my office window, but that was about 20 years ago and one of my collies ATE the nest!   Ugh.  Once in a while I do see a dove nest.   They are very messy and not well organized.   The verdin make their nests in the acacia trees and there was a nest out front, but during one of our horrible wind storms this spring, it fell apart and they haven't returned to it.  The verdin do, however, enjoy the Niger thistle seed that I put out in a feeder and I now see them devouring the pollen from my sunflowers out back.  I wish I could get a photo of them, but my windows are too dirty for a decent photo!   Alas...

The birds will probably thin out this week when we have temps of 100 degrees for 5 days.   I DID look out (looking for the grosbeaks this morning) and see a WOODPECKER with a beautiful red head on one of the orange, so I will continue to set them outside.  He was enjoying it until I moved...

Monday, April 16, 2018

We are having such amazing weather I went out front and cleaned off the porch!

The week after this week we will once again have temps in the 90's, but this coming week it will only be in the 80's and here in the desert, that is PERFECT!   We can still leave our windows open and allow the fresh air inside.  When it gets to the mid-90's, however, we close up the house and turn on the air conditioner (we set it to 79 degrees)...being in our mid-60's, both hubby and I feel and react to the higher temperatures much more than we used to...

But, for now, the weather is wonderful!

In fact, it was SO WONDERFUL that I went out this morning and cleaned off the boxes of books and STUFF that were sitting on the front porch!   I even swept it (I did not use the hose due to water restrictions).  And, the birds are all busy.   We have been visited for a week now by 4 grosbeaks who like to appear every afternoon at the feeder right outside my office window.

And, yesterday hubby and I brought in my new chair, threw out the OLD, USED, dog-smelling COUCH, and another chair.   They are awaiting pickup by the trash company today.  So, now hubby and I each have a recliner/rocker in the living room.   He has taken over his "MAN CORNER" and I'm next to the front door.  I like it there.   I can open that window and hear the birds.

I brought back some horse hair for the birds, but they haven't touched it yet.   Hmmmm....I know the birds up at the ranch LOVE IT for their nesting material.  I'll give it a few more days...

My hollyhocks are doing just fine.  I think next fall I will plant them along with my sweet peas all along my chain link fence.

That's all for now.
~~Cheryl Ann~   Well, SOMETHING isn't working so I can't post photos!    :-(

Saturday, April 14, 2018

A hollyhock and a busy bee...

I was out photographing my hollyhocks a couple of mornings ago and I did notice a bee in one of them.  And, it was a VERY BUSY BEE!   It was COVERED with pollen...

No other words necessary...

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

I went out into my garden and was lost in its beauty~Rambling Woods

Yesterday it was 99 degrees here and I wanted to get out this morning to take some photos before I lost my sweet peas to the heat.   Right now I have hollyhocks, sweet peas, lavender, and sunflowers.   I have sunflowers blooming and some just sprouting, so I hope to have them all summer (as long as I remember to water them!) My three lavender plants all survived last summer's heat and it was DREADFUL here last summer...some days were 120 and 122 degrees!   Ugh.

I am constantly amazed at the hollyhocks.  I tried them last year and only got 3 plants.  This year those 3 (which survived over the summer because I DID remember to water them every day!) are still with me and 4 more!   I have white, light pink, dark pink, and 2 more that haven't opened up yet.

My sweet peas are AMAZING this year.  Last year they got zapped EARLY with triple digit temps, but I just checked them and they all survived yesterday's heat.

The sunflowers just do their thing...grow and smile.

You know, it IS so relaxing just to go outside and marvel at this beauty.  I have finches and sparrows and verdin who now come to visit the sunflowers.  Bees come to the lavender and hollyhocks.  I set up 2 chairs to just sit and watch the birds, bees, and hummingbirds.  I seem to be down to just one male hummingbird right now.  There were 3 that over-summered here and were here, but they seem to have moved on.  This one is content to stay.

We have such a short spring here before the triple digit temperatures hit.  I am really enjoying watching everything right now!

~~Cheryl Ann~~

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