Sunday, August 07, 2005

Cassandra Seedlings

The garden and several pots were sprinkled three times with Cassandra Flower Seeds back in the spring. Just when i had given up on them here they are,,little bright shiny green plants. Three pots of them!

The pots were moved to the shade and the Cassandras are happier. The blooms will be peach colored and against that wonderful shiny green they are a beautiful sight.

A Humminbird perches in the tree above them,,hoping these flowers become a favorite.


Early in the summer a young Argiope Spider made a good sized web by the butterfly bush. He disappeared and the web was in disrepair, so my thought was a bird had eaten him. A second web appeared with bundles lined up down the middle, but there never seemed to be a spider near it.

This morning a third good and sturdy web with a Zipper down the middle has appeared with a very large Argiope Spider on it all dressed in bright yellow and black. My thoughts are he is the young one i saw early on and has been well hidden. Maybe morning is a good time to catch a look at him.


This morning as I was spreading Cypress Bark around a Butterly Bush I rounded a corner and collided with something that was making alot of humming noise like Hummingbird wings. We both jumped back and i could feel the air from its wings on my face. Wow,,the hugest Bumblebee i have ever seen was my first thought.

I froze so it wouldn't fly away and discovered it was a Hummingbird/Hawk Moth. It spent alot of time going from one tiny purple flower to the next on the bush. It's head was fuzzy yellow with moth markings and he had short fat and stubby black antennae, black wings and a black body. His tongue was long like a butterflys.

I've only seen these at night on the front porch, so this was exciting.

Saturday, June 11, 2005




Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Butterfly Nectar Recipe

1 part White cane Sugar
20 parts Water

Boil Water several minutes before adding Sugar.
Cool and fill feeder.
Store excess in fridge about 2 weeks.

Clean feeder with hot tap water and change nectar every 3-4 days.


Sunday, May 01, 2005


Talk about so tired you are "sleeping on your feet". 3:42AM and checking on the owls at and see Frida has moved away and the little guys are STANDING and dozing off. their little fluffyheads are nodding nodding nodding,,,their beaks almost touching their toes. dreamingdreamingdreaming,,,mousemousemouse.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Woodpeckers, Nuthatches & Wrens

The warmer weather brought the May flowers, but also melted the suet. The cages were washed and stored under the sink. I really miss hearing and seeing those suet lovers.

This morning I bounced the truck over to Wild Birds Unlimited and pounced on two blocks of Woodpecker Picnic and No-melt Dough for nut-eating friends.

What a great store. i hurried out,,the grocery money was burning a hole in my pocket,,how to justify spending it on the birds!! I will have to save up a nest egg for another trip there.

I can hardly wait for morning coffee and loading up those cages then sit back and watch. Hope the string tether on the Red-headed's leg was short enough,,,that fence needs to be higher,,,,with net,,,,

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


For the past week on my Sister's Iowa Farm it unfolded like this:

Something has dug a pile of dirt at the Big Shed Door. We're puzzled. Badgers??
Two large brown birds in the Birdbath. Run for the Binoculars. It's Rats!! Bathing!!
Next day Rats are in the Big Shed Rafters looking down singing "nah-nah-nahnahnah".
They ate all the Field Corn including the Cobs. Burp
Five packets of Rid-a-Rat are placed tenderly in the middle of the Big Shed.
No results. P-nut Butter is added to the packets and given a shake. No results.

Yesterday the Packets were moved behind things and along the walls. One was being dropped behind the Recycle Barrel. Behold, a Rat in the Barrel in "freeze and stare" position and looking up.
Today it's time to clean up the Garden and Rake the Yard. Every WorkGlove taken from the Wooden Box in the Big Shed has the Thumb chewed off. Rats!
Not to worry,,
All is quiet in the Big Shed.
Oh No! What is that under the John Deere? Why it's DirtyRat I and DirtyRat II.
There they goooooo up to the Rafters! You DirtyRats!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Nest Time

We were hearing a riot of birdsong here in the mornings. This week Pairs are appearing at the feeders. Yesterday I observed a female House Finch hungrily pulling Niger from the feeder. Her mate finished eating and rested on a branch to watch her. They were followed by a pair of Nut Hatches and Wow,,,a pair of Carolina Wrens at the Suet. First time ever a House Sparrow has appeared and he sat a while on the birdhouse. Black Capped Chickadees flew like passengers on a Roller Coaster to the new Seed Block. Little cuties.

The birds are policing the yard and garden for stuff to stuff in their nests. The Grackle wanders the garden carrying flower leavings around and looks like a harvester sorting and putting them into piles. Some ends up in the Birdbath.

One year the Cocoa Doormat on the front porch was getting bald spots. We discovered a Chickadee twizzling at it and flying away with beakfuls. Another year I discovered a long plastic push-up Popsicle cover in a Brown Thrashers nest. I like the Owls nest cleaning routine,,,just push it all out the front door!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

No Snakes on The Emerald Isle

Fifth Century Legend has St.Patrick standing on a hill using a staff to herd the slithering cold-blooded creatures into the sea.

Cold-blooded? They become the temperature of their surroundings.

Why no Snakes in Ireland? The Ice Age. More than twenty times Glaciers advanced and retreated on Ireland and only let it thaw out 15,000 years ago. Those snakes reaching Ireland would have become Popsicles. Hence, Ireland has 12 miles of icy-cold water in the Northern Channel separating it from Scotland where several snake species abide today.

There are no snakes in Ireland for the simple reason that they can't get there.

Luck of The Irish!


Thursday, March 03, 2005

March Parades In

Yesterday found me working around in the front yard cleaning up and getting ready for Spring. The brisk March Wind made quick work of getting the debri into piles and out to the street. I was sweating Icicles. Raking around the Acuba Bush I found a Tunnel under the fence. My thoughts were on how I miss that little Black Dog, when a Mirage sprang up out on the street.

No Mirage, it was Black Dog, with his Curly Tail and Head held high leading a Parade. In his wake marched a Large Black Lab. I almost stepped to the Curb and joined in.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Black Dog Vanished

Yes he did. Black Dog vanished and no one saw him go. All is quiet. His new owner, our neighbor, informed us yesterday that "he doesn't have a dog!"

Well, we thought so didn't we. A closer inspection of the backyards found Tunnels. Black Dog was a tunneler. He had Tunnels into all the backyards. Bingo,,,now we know. He didn't fly but tunneled his way,,,,away.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

The Shortcut Down

Crowders Mountain State Park
Crowders Mountain, N.C. found four of us climbing up it's trail yesterday.
Intrepid Trio photographed by Mike
Passing fascinating rocks in size and sculpture,,,,we reached the top happy and hungry.
Gang enjoying view at top
Happy CarolinaTrekker AKA Mom
Happy CarolinaTrekker AKA Mom
While we ate lunch Black Vultures and Hawks drifted above us. You can see for 20 miles and are 1,625 feet up. Two in our group were brave and climbed the 150 foot vertical cliffs with ropes on an earlier visit. They still felt the horror of the rappel down.
Mike rappelling over Crowder's Mountain cliff

Srini climbing Crowder's Mountain
We looked out on a small nearby mountain called Booger Mountain and also Kings Pinnacle (1,705 ft. high).
We could see Charlotte, N.C. through the haze.
Hazy view of Charlotte skyline

So, we met a member of our groups Challenge to climb down the rocks instead of hiking the trail. He grew up in these parts and climbed down many times with his brother. What a climb down. It was exhilirating to stand out on an outcropping and look out and down.

Finding hand and footholds was like a game. These rocks were car size,,,house size!

Todd got us to climb down this!

We found "Garrett" written on some rocks. Garrett took " The Shortcut Down!"

Red&Green leaved Galax wildflowers were here with the variegated leaved Wintergreen. The Rhododendrons were crowned with large flower buds. Mosses, Funguses and Lichens clung to the ground, rocks and trees. One tree stump we named "The Fungus Tower."
The Fungus Tower

Crevices under rocks were like small Lost Worlds.
Lost World
When we reached the Forest below we waded through loose leaves in deep drifts.

At last we met up with the trail and found an interesting number of trees that had been hit by lightening. Some were upright black cinders. One in the middle of the trail had a long lightening split down it's length ending in two large holes near the bottom where we could picture a fire ball blasting its way up the trail.
One of the Lightening Trees

Passing "the almost "M" Tree" we volunteered our tallest hiker to reach high and complete the right leg of the "M" and took his picture. A Dogwood Tree has grown at odd angles creating an "almost M".

The 'M' Tree

There were a large menagerie of dogs hiking the trail,,,two with the bluest eyes and one that looked rather like a dog wearing a Hyena costume. All were having the time of their lives.
So did we! It was a fun hike.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Sumter National Forest

Today we hit the trail and hiked a long way to find the "Modoc Stash" hidden by Eric Stapleton in 2000. It was the very first GeoCache hidden in the state of South Carolina. Larry found it behind a fallen tree. We settled in to eat a nice snack and three mountain bikers dressed in bright colors sped by and on up the trail.

This part of South Carolina is high on a ridge. We were in "Ridge Country" where you can find popular Country Produce Stands. The drive home took us past Peach Farms with long rows of stately peach trees. A return trip when they bloom would be fun. We saw a Donkey with her new baby. The towns were full of handsome 1800's Houses with big porches and gingerbread trim. We stopped and took pictures of the historical cemetery monuments in the town of Ward. Our favorite? Bubba the Dog.

As we drove through the town of Lexington the trees were full of roosting Cedar Waxwings. There they are my brother Zeldamax,,,the Waxwings you are wishing for. Hope they read my Lips,,,MIAMI.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Rosemary's Babies

In my Search for Birdnests yesterday
at Riverbanks Botanical Garden
I came across something interesting
fastened onto a Rosemary Bush
by a few strands of silk thread.

It was the size & shape of a large plump Date
covered in soft white material and was just
dangling there & swinging in the wind.

I will keep watching and hoping it belongs to
ARGIOPE, who is an Orb Web Spider.
I have seen them the size of an Orange.
They have black and yellow striped legs
and put a Zipper in their Web.

Thursday, February 10, 2005


This afternoon I almost fell out of my car and got Roadrash.
There standing beside the road was a pair dressed in black,,,
very nonchalant,,,very large,,,elegant.
A large roadkill had their attention
and they were patiently waiting for a chance
to stroll over to it.

They were just up the road, so I stopped to watch.
It was a Pair of Black Vultures.
Sibleys Birdbook also named them
"Carrion Crows or just S.C. Buzzards. You pick."
After watching the little backyard songbirds at home
these guys looked enormous.

Monday, February 07, 2005

There are No Mistakes

Applying the theory "There are No Mistakes" we sat back and enjoyed the Scenery. We had missed our exit to Home and had to Backtrack. What would we have missed if we hadn't?

A Good Laugh (at ourselves)
A Glimpse of Winston/Salem, N.C. (tobacco country,then?)
Sunset that lit up the sky in brilliant fucia colors ,,, lighting up the windswept clouds&heavens.
A mindboggling cloud of lowflying Birds in Migration reeling back and forth to land for the night.
Very old and large Hardwood Trees dressed in black silouette against the Evening horizon.
Cows and Horses
and three Hawks Roosting for the Night.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Birthday Confetti for MBFS

It's time to toss Confetti in Chicago on South Cook Street. Happy Birthday Wishes to AnniePTigger!!!
Wishing you Sweet Wet Grandchildren Birthday Kisses, An Extra Cup of Coffee, something Sweet, maybe Cake, but a Cookie or Donut will do; Sunshine and Birds on the Feeder, songs on the Piano by Rich, and a Beautiful Sunset at the days end.
Happy Birthday!! Love, YBFS, Lynn

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Oranges, Ponchos & Welcome Thrasher

He's been gone all Winter. The Brown Thrasher. He's returned with the Robins. I first saw him yesterday scurrying to safety as the backyard Mockingbird gave chase. Glad he's back! Last summer he & Mrs.T. raised babies and they all hung out back running in and out of the Red Tip Bushes and chasing bugs.

Cute Squirrel has been enjoying nibbling away at the rind of half an orange the birds left behind when they ate the middle (my favorite part). he would turn it and turn it, nibbling, nibbling. It was cute.

Reminds me of the nice new Red Grill Cover we put on our BBQ sitting on the deck out back. One day I noticed teenie holes on the top. Maybe we put it back on when the grill was still too warm? Next day I noticed whole chunks missing.
This was a puzzle until one day I caught a Squirrel RED HANDED. Up the tree he went with a piece of our "new" grill cover. Eventually so many pieces were missing Mr.L. took the cover over and placed it at the base of "the squirrel tree" and said,,,there,,have it all. Our joke,,,,they were making rain coats for babies?

Last fall I saw a flash of bright blue go up the Neighbors tree. A Squirrel had removed a piece of tarp covering the top of their shed, jumped over onto a tree,,,,up the tree,,,,jumped over to another tree and up and gone. That was pretty ambitious!!! Bravo Bravo Squirrel!!

Conclusion: On the next Rainy Day will we see Squirrels dashing for Pnuts in Blue or Red Ponchos???

Getting to Know BlackDog

I call him BlackDog. On a recent blustery night he was yapping near hysteria inside my neighbors backyard gate. He wears a Blue Collar. Has a curly tail. Lucy the cat was getting wideyed and anxious listening to the yapping from her favorite rocking chair on the frontporch.

The next morning found BlackDog still trapped behind the gate,,,yapping. My Neighbor was out-of-town. He doesn't own a dog. Leaving to go run errands, I opened the gate and welcomed BlackDog to escape. He backed away. Leaving the gate open I left to give him "space" and time to venture out. When I returned later in the day to close the gate, BlackDog was still there. Oh my, welcome to the Neighborhood,,a new kid on the block!! My Mistake. Perhaps my neighbor had gotten a dog after all.

Today Black Dog had a new Adventure. He somehow trapped himself inbetween our chain link fence and his new owner's tall wooden fence. It creates a long narrow "run". He has done this before and I have never discovered how he escapes. Will keep you posted.

Sunday, January 30, 2005


This morning's Trekk around the National Zoo ( brought a nice surprise. The Flamingo LiveCam showed their Pond with quite alot of Snow around it. Something that looks like Rye Seeds are floating in the pond. Taking a closer look it's,,,,Migrating Wild Ducks cruising and splashing around. Ahh,,,a nice reststop.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Carolina Sunshine & Ice

Here in Carolina we have gone from what we call "Shirt Weather" to "Triple Coat Weather" in four days time. We wear Cotton year round, but are wishing for the fancy TripleTherma stuff we passed over in the Christmas Catalogs. So, we manage. Two pair of socks, pajamas under our clothes, a shirt, sweater and the cotton coat and ziplock bags over our sandals.

An Ice Storm moved in early this morning. A Neighborhood Transformer woke us as the lights blinked out then on, making the computer and printer chatter words I won't repeat. Everything's cancelled and we spent the day watching huge icicles creep longer along the eves.

A large flock of Migrating Cedar Waxwings spent the afternoon eating every berry and seed in our tall trees. They were dressed in Carolina Winter Dress,,,three pair of socks,,,pajamas under their feathers,,,ziplock,,,

This evening a new Rain Front has moved in and the ice is sliding off the house making a WHALLOPing Noise that makes the cats wild-eyed. A Pizza Delivery arrived at six. Wrong house. The Delivery person slipped and slid away into the dark Whalloping night.

So there it is. On Wednesday I spent the day Trekking at the Zoo. It was Seventy Degrees and everyone was enjoying Sun Puddles, even the Birdbath- size Turtles on the River. The Bees were doing the "Lost Bee" Dance all over a tall Flowering Apricot in the Botanical Garden. Blooming Helebores! Today it was "Freezing" and the Carolinabees were wearing ,,,,,,