Borage in Bloom

Borage is a great companion plant – especially with tomatoes to ward off the tomato hornworm!

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Little Miss Mischief

Doesn’t she just have the look of mischief?

She is a non-stop ball of fire and I have to admit she does make me laugh quite often.   Frankie is exhausted from the day, but little Miss Billie has the look that she will get up and going in a second!   The Purple Martins are busy tending to their young and I was able to capture one of the baby birds on film.   As soon as the mother saw me, she flew right at the baby bird and guided it quickly back into the bird house.

Then she sat glaring at me protecting her babies from the click of the camera!

This Red-headed Woodpecker was hopping around in the cucumber patch and stopped to give me a quick pose before flying off.

The Bluebird has to be one of my favorites – their color is so blue and they always make me think of “the bluebird of happiness” … a happy thought!

Now the cicadas are still out there humming along but their noise is not as intense as it was a few weeks back – thank goodness these guys don’t bite.   We have decided we need to obtain some Guineas to assist in bug control – that may not happen until next spring, but it needs to happen.   The weather has been very stormy both in Southern Illinois and Northern all week and I am hoping it will let up a bit.   Rain, rain go away … I need to do some serious weeding.

Summer is upon us

It sure seems Spring is shorter and shorter each year – this year we had frost one day and 2 weeks later 90 degree days!   The past 2 days have been scorchers outside and right now it is storming so the garden is getting a much-needed drink!   This was the first year I was able to sit and actually watch a pair of Purple Martins around their nest.    They make a clicking sound as they move about which I found quite amazing.

I was able to capture a turtle actually laying eggs (the video is 4 mins. in length and this is over the limit at Flickr so I need to shorten it or find another way to post it).   Frankie alerted us to the turtle’s presence and stood howling away at her as she calmly proceeded to do her duty.   I have the area marked off and hope we will be around when the baby turtles make their appearance.

The chickens love the warm weather and all the nice little bugs they find – the ticks are one of those bugs I could easily live without.

I find plenty of them down south and this year the locust are out, about and LOUD!

I harvested my first batch of Garlic Scapes and promptly made a nice pasta dish using them.   Also shared some with a local chef who was very appreciative.   These were from the Chrysalis Purple hardneck and I will have many more from the other varieties soon.   Along with all this summer activity, we have been busy getting our home in St. Charles ready for market.   Obviously, this is not a good time to sell a home …… but you never know!

Whirlwind of a Week

Yes, it has been a crazy week which just flew by – makes you step back and think …

“Life goes quick, better make sure to live it right and enjoy”!

We can’t control everything around us but we can make sure to stop and experience some wonderful events happening.   Little miracles that can go unnoticed if we let the whirlwind of life take hold.

This week the Swans have Returned!

Every year a pair of swans are placed in a nearby pond for the season.   The pond is located at a local hospital and the pair do a great job of protecting their piece of water from the many geese while at the same time adding their massive beauty for all to stop and enjoy!   They have a constructed nest placed for their convenience and each year they bring  a family of baby swans into the world.   Last year I was gone most of the summer and missed a lot of their daily life – if I remember correctly, there was only one swan baby.   A couple of summers back the family of baby swans totaled six and I captured many beautiful photos as they grew.   I anxiously await the arrival this year and hope for lots of babies!

They were out swimming and feeding when I arrived for my walk.   Once I stopped and started taking pictures they hurried over to the nest and checked to make sure all was well.   I am guessing they have eggs in there. 

After a short bit of time, as I rounded the corner of the walk and glanced back…there was Mama Swan sitting up top on the nest.   Nature at its best and even with the whirlwind of traffic flying by!

I do want to mention the Post A Day Group over on Facebook is still going strong!   Some of us have decided to cut back on daily posts and either post weekly or several times during the week.   If you are participating in the challenge, stop by and join the group … a wonderful bunch of bloggers!!   I will be posting here and also at Garden Dish where I mentioned a great Flavor Blast this week ….  stop over, see what it is and give it a try!

Don’t forget to step out of the busy whirlwind from time to time and enjoy the marvels surrounding you!

A Look at Little Plants

I thought I would share with you some new seedlings that are just pushing their way through the soil.   Many new gardeners like to see what happens – I remember how I would (and still do) stare at photos of something I was planning on growing.   It is amazing how a seed you bury in the soil will produce food you can eat in 60-80 days … a true wonder.

These are tomato seedlings which were planted March 9 … so this is their progress at just over a week.   I have them under heat lamps about 12-14 hours a day.   I did have them covered with Saran wrap to keep the moisture in, but have now removed it, since they are telling me it’s time by pushing it out of the way.   They want to Grow!

Next … more Dill and Basil which were planted March 10th and March 11th, respectively.

Basil

Next…Pepper plants of which I have bigger ones ready to plant outside (yes, it’s way too soon for that here).   These are Purple Pepper I started a few weeks ago.

And last but not least … Baby Lavender seedlings!   I have many well established plants growing down south and these little lavenders were started from seed that I obtained from those mature plants.   Lavender takes a good 2-3 years to produce flowers and will return year after year.

I hope this enticed you to start some seeds and grow a garden this year if you haven’t made that decision yet.   It really is a continual learning experience and it doesn’t always work as I plan, but I keep right on trying.   My new and different plant for this year is “Pumpkin on a Stick” … make sure to watch to see how that goes!

Thanks for stopping by!

Famous Crocus

Here is the crocus that made me famous on Freshly Pressed … blooming and smiling at the sun!

Here is my unfamous attempt at adding the watermark to the photo!   I could spend hours on one little detail in Photoshop and walk away exhausted!   I am finding that taking frequent breaks is a good idea and returning to the drawing board fresh.

I was able to spend some time outside cleaning the yard – what a fantastic day!   Warm sun shining and I even saw a bug or two – who would have thought a bug or two could actually make you happy!

Wearing your Green today?   Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all!

Weekly Photo Challenge – Abundance