Monthly Archives: May 2010

Visting Mom and Dad

Howdee all,

We arrived in CT and are now parked in the driveway of the home I grew up in from the age of three.

My parents have been in this home for over 50 years. Ct_051

My Dad is a keen gardener…one of his passions…

Ct_049

There are nesting Chickadees, Baltimore Orioles and a nest of Robins.

My mother showed me where the Robins chickies are…

Ct_005 Only about three feet off the ground..I was surprised to see the nest that low.

One chick fledged this morning..I expect they will all leave today.

Ct_020

Yesterday we had our annual Family Picnic…Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Sisters and brother.Ct_009  Our daughter Samarrah came to visit…:)

It was a wonderful day with family that flew by too quickly…Ct_016And here is my Lovely muther…she will probably be mad I am showing a photo of her..She is over 80 and now the Matriarch of the family, since Grandma passed away.

Doesn’t she look awesome!  Ct_012So…

for the next month we will be busy here with gardening, taking muther shopping, Visiting sickstas and brother…watching the birds that come to the feeders…

Time for family…

And just enjoying Summer in New England..Ct_042

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On the Road again…..

Howdee all,

Its that time again…Moving on…

Going norther to visit more family….

We usually stop in NYC to visit our daughter but the Marina RV park that we stay in is full…..

So we will continue on to CT ..to Mom and Dads driveway.

So..see ya later birdies..Sicksta Dell will leave some seed for you…birds and big bloomers_010

If she has enough time…after watering her gardenaround the garden_011Or ..maybe… birds and big bloomers_026Ghetto Boy will put some seed out for the birdies..

After he is done with his Fish pond meditation.

arnd the garden_018

Ballie enjoyed his daily walks..

Always monitored I might add…

he is a bird watcher..no birds were harmed during his daily walk.

 arnd the garden_017 He just watched them…arnd the garden_026 So there were sat…..our Homey ..nestled in

for a month…

birds and big bloomers_025And here is the same spot after we pulled out..arnd the garden_036Sicksta will fill it up with plants, and benches…until the next time we visit..

Then she moves all the plants, benches, chairs again..arnd the garden_037 Kali wont have to move when I come in daily to make the bed…

You see, sicksta Dell leaves for work before Ghetto Boy…and Ghetto Boy doesn’t know how to make a bed, he just knows how to sleep in it.

slime and kali_005 So…life will be back to normal for Sicksta, Ghetto Boy and the pups..

and We move on….

arnd the garden_035

To Mom and Dads driveway..

New adventures..

Muther has already informed me that she has nice new brown gardening gloves and knee pads waiting for me…

How Exciting..I can hardly wait! 🙂

Rain droplets on purple

Howdee all,

Just a very short post

Had very sad news about a Lovely friend..who lost her husband recently.

I haven’t been able to put words together and many of us are feeling deep sadness for our friend.

So these raindrops are teardrops…

nursery_032Sadness for her pain and grief… nursery_033

Wishing her peace and healing…nursery_034

Flowers after the rain

Howdee all,

These photos were taken past Monday while on our shopping spree with Sicksta. We went to the Garden supply store and wandered around.

Raindrops from a recent rain were on the leaves and flowers.nursery_022More, much needed rain predicted for this AM.nursery_068 Possibly some hail.nursery_095We are hoping for a good rain for Sickstas flowers..nursery_069We leave here next Thursday.. nursery_074 We wont be stopping in NYC this time…we couldn’t get reservations for the weekend at Liberty harbor marina and rv park..

oh well..nursery_009 So instead, we go directly to CTnursery_076 Looking forward to seeing family in CT….

Though …………

Its always hard to leave my half assed Sicksta , Ghetto boy, the two pups, fish in the pond, birds on the nest, Whip-poor-will, Whip-poor-will, Flying squirrels, Red, white and blue Birds at the feeders, the chorus of tree frogs, swimming pool, lovely garden and all the rest of the creatures here.

But, that’s our life…

Parting is always such sweet sorrow.nursery_081

Water droplets on leaves

Howdee all,

This past week we had a few days of much needed rain here in the sand hills of North Carolina.

We stopped at a nursery/garden center after the rain.

I had my little point and shoot camera with me…So..I took a few photos of water droplets.nursery_088On leaves….nursery_086I haven’t yet practiced enough with the macro settings.. nursery_092I used the macro zoom on a few of these… nursery_093 I have allot to learn…nursery_014 Any words of advice are welcome..nursery_015Luckily, my baby point and shoot does a decent job with macros.. nursery_016  When I look at some water droplet photos taken by professional photographers…nursery_041 I am amazed by what they can capture.. nursery_040 Check out this link for some real awesome

Water dropletsnursery_043

Magnolia Matchsticks

Howdee all,

Its Magnolia blossom time in North Carolina..

I fell in love with what I call, the matchsticks..

nursery_006nursery_018nursery_019

Bluebirds and the tractor

Howdee all,

While visiting Pee Dee NWR I had fun watching this Bluebird couple flying around this tractor..perching then flying ..perching and flying again…fluttering wings..

Were they a new couple scoping out some new digs?

Lets pretend…

His script is blue

Hers in pink

Where are you Cutie? Check out this awesome Tractor..perfect for the two of us…

Pee Dee NWR_001  Here I am Handsome..not sure I like this pad…besides don’t you see the writing on the seat? Scary!Pee Dee NWR_009I really do like this place..I can sit in the drivers seat…Imagine me in control of this vehicle…zoom zoom….and then..Pee Dee NWR_010I can sit on the top and look for bugs…Birds eye view here…This place is awesome!Pee Dee NWR_016 I don’t know about this..doesn’t seem very safe..what if those humans decide to drive it away..and I do want a family…Pee Dee NWR_004I’m not quite sure this tractor is a safe place to raise a family..Pee Dee NWR_018Where’d you go? I sorta like it…but..Pee Dee NWR_011 Oh..Glad you came back…Pee Dee NWR_012Listen Honey…

There’s  a real nice nest box across the street.

I think you should take a look at it.Pee Dee NWR_019 Lets go there and see it..Pee Dee NWR_020 Please…..Pee Dee NWR_021 I don’t see what you like about this tractor, its all rusty..and I just don’t think it a safe place to raise a family! Pee Dee NWR_022

Fine, You win!..Lets go check out that nest box…but..as soon as the kids are grown..I’m coming back here!Pee Dee NWR_024

Pee Dee NWR, NC

Howdee all,

Yesterday Jeff and I drove about an hour to Pee Dee National Wildlife Refugee.

National Park Overview:

Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge Situated along the Pee Dee River, Pee Dee NWR contains 8,443 acres in Anson and Richmond Counties, NC. The refuge was established to provide wintering habitat for migratory waterfowl.
Cooperative farming in field impoundments, water level management, and the bottomland hardwood forest along Brown Creek provide excellent habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife. Wintering waterfowl numbers fluctuate greatly, but can exceed 10,000 birds yearly. The refuge also supports a small population of wintering Southern James Bay Canada geese. Pee Dee Refuge is located a few hundred yards from the once famous “Lockhart Gaddy Wild Goose Refuge”. In the 1950’s, Gaddy’s pond wintered more than 10,000 Canada geese a year. Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge was established in October 1963 to provide additional habitat for these geese and other waterfowl. Local numbers of wintering migratory geese have dwindled in recent years, but the refuge remains an important wintering area for the remaining geese and thousands of ducks. via park website

……………………………………………………………………………….

We usually visit this refugee in the fall, when the water impoundments are full, and the weather is chilly.

Yesterday was quite different. It was very hot and steamy, and the water impoundments were just about dry.

There was still plenty of bird activity.

Some of the first birds to greet us were Eastern bluebirds….

Indigo buntings and Blue Grosbeaks were singing from the fields on either side of the road to the pond.

Pee Dee NWR_022

   Caterpillars had enclosed this small tree and leaves..

Pee Dee NWR_030

I looked on the top of the tree for caterpillars and saw none..just droppings, inside the cocoon of eaten leaves.

Pee Dee NWR_027

The leaves were stripped of their green with only the veins left.

Pee Dee NWR_028

As i investigated further I found the caterpillars in the bottom of the tree still eating what green was left.

Pee Dee NWR_032

   We continued our walk to the woods..

Upon approaching the first pond we heard..a strange crowing coming from the area..

We couldn’t figure out what it was, Wild turkey?

I searched the area from where the nonstop crowing was coming from.

This is the critter that was shouting his presence.

What was he doing in a Nature preserve…

Did frustrated owners drop him off?

He was crowing constantly…and extremely loud.

He was quite handsome.Pee Dee NWR_036

It was still early morning, but becoming hot very quickly…we went into the woods to see what birds we could find. Pee Dee_004

Ahh…much cooler….Pee Dee_006

The forest was alive with birds calling..

  Vireos…Chickadees and warblers.

I found this non bird goodie on the ground…

Chicken of the Woods

 I usually find this growing on wood in the fall. I didn’t excavate the area to find out what it was growing on.

Pee Dee NWR_044I just enjoyed its beauty …

I would normally pick this and eat it, depending upon what type of dead tree it is growing on.

But because this was a NWR I wouldn’t pick it.Pee Dee NWR_059  We continued our walk identifying the bird calls we were hearing and then finding the birds.

This little frog was crossing the pathway.

He stood frozen as I took photos…Pee Dee NWR_064We heard Ovenbirds throughout the woods..and watched one family of Ovenbirds, parents feeding the young.

I was able to snatch this not so good photo of an Ovenbird.Pee Dee NWR_067Acadian Flycatcher…ID by call Pee Dee NWR_099Female Summer TanagerPee Dee NWR_101 Lots of Butterflies aroundPee Dee NWR_068

I believe this to be a Mourning CloakPee Dee NWR_082Because they have drained the water containment areas there were very few water birds…We did see some Canada Geese and Wood ducks.

This mother stands watch over her young.Pee Dee NWR_076 She looks like a stern mother.. Pee Dee NWR_080I noticed this Lily deep in the woods…I didn’t feel like walking into the woods to get a better shot. 

I had already found a few ticks on me..and didn’t want any more.Pee Dee NWR_089I tried keying it out this morning..but so far don’t know what kind. Pee Dee NWR_091 We saw several Yellow-billed Cuckoo..

Best photo I could get…too far away for my lens..

Pee Dee NWR_092Below you can see the containment pond…not much water this time of year..

The water is drained for the summer months and filled again for winter waterfowl migrants.   Pee Dee_010Another small pond filled with duckweed…Pee Dee_013I am still trying to ID this butterfly..

  So far it looks similar to Painted Lady..anyone know?Pee Dee NWR_106      We had a great morning-afternoon birding..even though it was sooooo Hot.

It was nice to get home and take a dip in Sickstas Pool!

Birds of the day in order of being seen.  

Red-eyed vireo
Eastern Wood Pee wee
Eastern bluebird
Summer tanager
Brown headed cowbird
Indigo bunting
Great crested flycatcher
Mockingbird
Blue grosbeak
Carolina chickadee
Carolina wren
American crow
Blue jay
Acadian flycatcher
Tufted titmouse
Blue-gray gnatcatcher
Common yellowthroat
Barn swallow
Killdeer
Canada goose
Chipping sparrow
Eastern Phoebe
Northern parula
Yellow-throated vireo
Northern cardinal
Ovenbird
Yellow-throated warbler
Wood thrush
Acadian flycatcher
Pine warbler
Blue-headed Vireo
Red-bellied woodpecker
Downy woodpecker
Yellow-billed cuckoo
Prothonotary warbler
American redstart
Cedar waxwings
Wood duck  
Turkey vulture
Red-shouldered hawk

Garden goodies and cedar sculptures

Howdee all,

More Garden goodies from Sicksta Dells Garden.

Some real purdy Day lilies ..dells garden_012

I took a whiff but its not scented.dells garden_014Sicksta Dell wanted me to take a picture of this Hydrangea

dells garden_016  It has purple flowers

White turning to purple…dells garden_029Sicksta says she hasn’t seen many with purple flowers..dells garden_022Last year while visiting Sicksta, Dell and I took a walk down the street.

We walked by a beat up old home that had a terrific garden with sculpted cedar trees.

The fella who created the garden was outside and we chatted for a bit.

He told us he used Red Cedars that he took out of side ditches and then shaped them into triangles, circles or squares…

We loved his sculpted trees.

So this year we thought we would try to make a few.

Being the Half ass sickstas, we didn’t research how to do the sculpture..we just did it!

I didn’t take a before picture..but below is the after…as the tree grows it will require more trimming.

Notice the three ball sections..dells garden_005  Today I thought I would try to make one myself…

Jeff trimmed off a few branches from the Hickory tree, that was shading the Cedar…

dells garden_035      Then…  I shaped the Cedar

Another three baller….

there are a few more Cedars in the yard that I will sculpt.

Its very easy and adds a bit of whimsy to the garden.

dells garden_041 While walking around the garden I found this interesting specimen..

Slime Mold

slime and kali_001

This particular slime mold seems to come back yearly on the same dead stump in the garden. I pushed it around a bit with a stick and it is indeed slimy.

Well that’s all for now…No big plans..maybe I can convince Jeff to take a trip to the coast to check out some shorebirds…or to Pee Dee NWR to see what birds are there.

In the meantime..I keep an eye on the yard birds…

The bluebirds in the nest box have fledged…Must have missed that the one day I was resting with a headache..boo hoo..I haven’t seen them around..but noticed a single blue egg still in the nest box…Guess it never hatched.

Chickadee and family have been seeing their reflection in our bathroom window and flying close to it and yelling at it..

Blue-gray gnatcatchers high up in the trees eating bugs.

First year Male Summer Tanager singing around the yard…so far no female has joined this poor lonely fella.

Haven’t seen the American redstart in a while.

Eastern wood-pee wee sings almost constantly around the yard.

A pair of Great-crested flycatchers sing and catch bugs high in the trees.

Titmice and Cardinal and American Goldfinch regulars to the feeders.

Indigo bunting sings from the nearby field..

Blue Grosbeak seen several times around the yard.

Carolina Wren sings too much..hee hee

Blue Jays building nest in tree in front yard.

Red-bellied Woodpecker couple fly in and out of treetop with dead wood collecting bugs to bring to nest across the street?

Ruby-throated hummingbird going to the garden flowers for food.

Cedar Waxwings come by in the evening for bugs..high in the trees

Brown-headed nuthatches come in the evening and go to the feeders.

and probably a few other birds I am forgetting..

I am compiling a yard list of birdies..

This below I could never forget

Whip-poor-will is always present at 5:30am outside the bedroom window telling us to wake up as it sings non stop for ten minutes…Still looking for the off switch on that noisy critter.

Followed by the Carolina Wren..and from then on a constant drone of birds..

Missing birds from last year…

Orioles..

Ruby crowned kinglet

must have missed Rose-throated Grosbeak migrate thru

White-throated sparrows left to go north before we arrived most likely.

Red-headed woodpecker..haven’t seen them this year.

Estero LLano Grande state park, Flowers

Howdee all,

I am nursing a headache and decided to go thru a few photos from our trip through Texas.

I thought i would post a few forgotten photos…

I took these photos while Birding at Estero LLano Grande State park.

Besides birds..Estero has some nice natural areas with Wildflowers.

fallout_030 There is also a former Camp ground, resident area with this very cool Tropical Flower.FALLOUT BIRDING_023

This looks to be some sort of Banana…but is it?FALLOUT BIRDING_022I thought the flower was intriguing FALLOUT BIRDING_020Orange glowing from inside purple…FALLOUT BIRDING_019estero llano_021      This was another flower from inside the former camping area..FALLOUT BIRDING_027??FALLOUT BIRDING_028estero llano_007I saw many different colored cactus flowers while in Texas..and they were all beautiful and intricate..estero llano_005This looks like a morning glory flower..but I don’t think it is.

Any Ideas? 

estero llano_004

That’s all for now..

Hoping my Sickstas can help with the flower IDs..for a special prize..direct from

Trader Joes!

See you in cyberspace…