Friday, December 21, 2012

Rhythm Of The Birds

I've noticed a definite rhythm to the activity at the feeders, starting with the Eurasian-collared doves at first light and a few sparrows and finches mixed in.  Around 9:00 AM, the lovebirds usually make an appearance and by mid-morning the doves are pretty much gone and have given way to House Sparrows and House Finches, with the occasional Lesser Goldfinch making an appearance.  By Noon, the Eurasian-collared Doves have rejoined the sparrows and finches, as have lots of Inca Doves and a few Mourning Doves; an Anna's Hummingbird usually pops over for a quick drink around this time.  By 1:00 PM the birds have all left and there are only sporadic visitors until 3:00 PM, when the doves, sparrows and finches return, often joined by Red-wing Blackbirds and one or two Curved-bill Thrashers.  By 4:00 PM only the sparrows and finches remain and by 4:30 PM, everyone has headed to their roosts for the night.

Lunchtime rush.

The feeders all filled and ready for diners.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Merry Christmas from Santa Larry and Mr. B's

The bum knee slowed me down, but it couldn't stop me from decorating inside and out for Christmas.  Larry got into the spirit of things by being the neighborhood Santa this year.

The yard decorations include lights on the house, a couple of inflatables and some classic plastic blow mold pieces.

Santa Larry with a stack of presents and one of his reindeer.
Inside the house there are four Christmas trees, a western village and a Christmas village, as well as a festive mantle piece.  The main tree is in the family room and is decorated in silver and gold with an initial for each family member and ornaments we picked up on our travels.

The 7.5' main tree where all the presents go.

All lit up and ready for presents.
The living room hosts 3 trees, of which two are themed; it also houses the Christmas village.

The 6.5' frog and gnome tree.

Kermit the Frog as Santa.

The "family tree" with ornaments for each family member.
The gnome butler with a tray full of goodies.
Here are pictures of the Christmas Village, going left to right; it's almost 8' long and includes 16 buildings, 18 trees and a cool billboard.

Back in the family room we find the 8' mantle and the western village.

The hotel was free Wi-Fi.
Santa Kermit in his sleigh.

Garden Update

Well I haven't been able to do much in the garden for the last 4-6 weeks, as I'm getting around with a cane thanks to a torn medial meniscus suffered while on vacation in Amsterdam back in May.  I'm waiting for surgery to get scheduled, hopefully soon, so I can get going on the backlog of projects awaiting me.  In the meantime, despite the benign neglect, the garden continues to produce food and blooms; I even noticed a couple of Anna apples that resulted from the spring-like weather we had until about a week ago.

The earliest I've ever seen apples on the tree.

The cannas continue to bloom and spread; I've collected several seeds.
The salvias are still thriving and blooming, especially the blue one.
Snow pea blossoms

Habaneros ripening

Takanotsume peppers

Poblano pepper

Mesclun lettuce mix

Mini roses

Climbing America Rose

Wheelbarrow succulent garden

Hen 'n chicks doing fine now that they have a gnome to watch over them.

Orbeopsis malanantha in bloom. This was a cutting I got at the Spring Swap this year.