Saturday, June 30, 2018

House and Garden

Just a few more house and garden news items, because I once again barely left home yesterday!

First, I can't resist another picture of one of our young blackbirds, this time with one of its parents. The parent was scooping up bits of suet below the suet feeder and jamming them into the chick's mouth.

I kept hearing Pink Floyd: "If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding! How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?!"

This ladybird emerged from its pupa yesterday morning, and was hardening its new shell. I confess that I kidnapped it -- the leaf is from a tree on the street, but I plucked it and brought it into our garden, tying it to our aphid-ridden cardoon. The ladybird (which didn't budge during the move) will have plenty of nutrients and surely our garden is a better habitat than the road?

When I looked for it later in the afternoon, it was gone -- hopefully off doing its job.

Remember those purple poppy seeds I planted -- the ones that remained sprout-high for weeks and weeks? Well, they've finally gained a few inches in height, and this one sent up a lilliputian flower -- not even an inch across. I'm not sure why they didn't grow to normal size, except that I probably planted them way too densely. (I never imagined they would all germinate!)

Oh, and you know how I blamed the starlings for emptying our bird feeder of mealworms? Well...

...they may not have been the only culprits.

(They definitely ate a lot of them, though, because I watched them!)

I never knew a squirrel would eat mealworms, but I guess they'll eat almost anything, being rodents.

And here's Olga, hiding beneath the hostas and watching that squirrel, trying to decide when and how to catch it. (Spoiler: She didn't.)

Speaking of rodents, we caught a twelfth mouse in one of our kitchen traps yesterday. Just when I thought for sure we were finished with all that. Sigh.


  1. That bird photo looks like something out of a children's book -- it is fantastic!

  2. You might have stayed close to home but, you didn't lack for activity in the garden.
    I had a catastrophe yesterday. I worked on why blogs yesterday getting ready for the first of the month and posting ahead because I'll be gone a week in July. About 3 hours after ending the online session to do other things, I opened why computer to look up a recipe and BAM, I got a huge message that it had been infected by Zeus. At first I thought it was a hoax so I rebooted but, when it came back on, there was a voice telling me it was infected and to call Apple. Instead, I took it to the Apple store and had to make an appointment for today to have it looked at. Since it's 8 years old an running slow anyway, I bought a new one. Now I have to bite the bullet and learn all this new stuff. It was fairly easy to set up but, since all my photos are on an external drive that was hooked up to my old computer when it was infected, I'm afraid to plug it into this new one until it's been swept clean. I'm so glad I posted a few days ahead. At least the good news is, that this new computer is so much lighter that I think I'll take to California with me on my trip later in July.

  3. I agree with Elizabeth on the bird photo. It looks to me as if Dad is having a chat with Son, telling him what's what in this world.
    Squirrels. They breach the squirrel baffle on our bird feeder several times a day and I just sit here and look at them. I mean- what can you do? I bet they LOVE mealworms.
    You do seem to have a mouse problem. I wonder where in the world they're coming in.

  4. what a good eye you have spotting that lady bug emergent. I'd have brought it home too.

  5. Do you think the mice are coming in from the garden? And such a beautiful garden it is!

  6. I agree with 37paddington. You have a beautiful garden, Steve, and these photos are extraordinarily excellent. Perhaps you should think about a book of your best ones.

  7. You keep busy with house and garden.

  8. Love that bird photo. Such a sweet moment. We never could keep the squirrels off of our birdfeeders years ago. We tried all kinds of baffles and stuff. We finally gave up after the bears came (when we were living in the Sierra foothills) and knocked the feeders to the ground. All the wildlife are very smart and know all of our tricks. We've taught them well!

  9. Parents and children birds belong together...
    Your garden is a slice of heaven. Olga looks so threatening in her pounce position! About as threatening as a sock puppet!

  10. I love the squirrel photo!

    And Olga, silly girl, hiding . . . I bet the squirrel was fully aware of her presence :)

  11. Elizabeth: Thanks! It's a case of taking 30 pictures in order to have one good one. (I got two that weren't bad, actually.)

    Sharon: Sorry about your computer! Geez! I haven't even heard of Zeus -- I wonder how you contracted it? Anyway, I'd ask about your portable drive. Seems like the infection might have just been on your hard drive, in which case the portable should still be OK. (And hopefully a newer Apple OS would be immune to the virus, anyway.)

    Ms Moon: I really thought we were done with the mice. I couldn't even begin to guess how they're getting into the house. This place is so old and probably has so many chinks that sealing them would be impossible.

    Ellen: Thanks! For some reason, they love the lime trees on the street.

    37P: Well, they're definitely coming from outside, somewhere. I think, as Ms. Moon said, we must have a hole they're using to get in. But I'm not wiggling around under the house to find it.

    Catalyst: Thank you! It's all about the equipment. I invested in a good camera and good zoom and macro lenses, and they make all the difference.

    Red: There's always something to do!

    Robin: Well, at least I don't have to worry about bears! (I don't think.)

    Linda Sue: Yeah, that's about the size of it. Olga imagines herself a fierce hunter, but she literally never catches anything.

    Jenny-O: Absolutely! The squirrel was definitely keeping an eye on her.