Blogging the Infinite Static


Sat, 08 Jul 2023

Partner's Mom passed away early this morning.




Tuesday 25 June 2024... Barn Swallow Babies and Flowers

There's a city worker at the Barn Swallow bridge, painting over graffiti (sighs!) when I stop to check out the nest today. The babies are growing up and our time together is growing short! So I've got to savor every moment!

heh... is that a tail? You are facing the wrong way for food, little one!

three Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

See what I mean?! *laughs*

Barn Swallow parent flies in and perches on the edge of the nest

Barn Swallow parent feeds a nestling in the nest

Aw! All five faces!

Five Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

Number Five is squirming around and sticks their tail out again!

blurry Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

Dang, they are so cute.

Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

Okay. Heading to the garden!

I've hand weeded a bit around the Lemon Cucumbers, and in the Sugar Snap Pea patch. Ugh, there's some crabgrass growing here and it's really hard to get out.

Snap Pea pod hanging from the vine

And then I water the heck out of everything since it's another hot day here.

Strawberry bloom

The plot behind ours grows Opium Poppies every year!

Pink and purple Breadseed Poppy blooms

Usually they are full of Honey Bees, but I hardly see even one today. That's concerning.

Purple Breadseed Poppy blooms

Plus the Climate Change Wind is blowing and frustrating me a bit.

Breadseed Poppy blooms

The different colours delight me!

Pink and Purple Breadseed Poppy blooms

But the dark purple is my favorite!

Purple Breadseed Poppy bloom

I've also finally put some supports around the Giant Marigolds at the edge of the Tofu Patch. They were flopping all over in the stupid wind, so hopefully they will be happier in a tomato cage!

Marigold blooms

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Monday 24 June 2024... Garden and Barn Swallow Babies

At the garden, I'm forking and weeding some more of the back of the front Garden Square.

I thought I was going to plant some Buckwheat here, as a summer cover crop. But I don't know. I'm dragging the hose thru here to get to the Eggplant and the Black Tomato. So maybe I'll just let that idea go.

The Spaghetti Squash in the front, that started as a transplant is already making things happen!

Tiny Spaghetti Squash fruit on the vine

And the Eggplant is looking great!

Eggplant growing in the garden

Lemon Cucumbers are growing.

Cucmber plants in the garden

Yay! The first fruit is growing on the Old German Tomato!!

Small green tomato growing on the vine

Old German is a new one for me, altho last year I had a Striped German which I assume is similar... but I learned with that one that I need to pick orange tomatoes WELL before they get dark orange! haha! I was letting the tomatoes sit far too long on the vine, waiting for more of the "stripes"! Don't do that!

The Buckwheats are getting their first adult leaves!

Buckwheat seedlings growing

They are growing fast. That makes me happy, even tho not many of them came up in the little space I planted. The seeds were old and I didn't expect much.

I am still eating one Sugar Snap Pea pod everyday, for weeks now. *laughs* at least it's consistent!

Snap Pea pod on the vine

A Seven Spot Ladybug on a volunteer Amaranth.

Ladybug walking on green leaves

I rather like the Amaranth. Like Borage, it's easy to pull up in the places I don't want it. And also like Borage, Amaranth will make a variety of pollinators happy. And then the birds will eat the seeds, tho they leave lots to reseed for next year!

Barn Swallow babies... Oh! Our little toes!!

four Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

And Number Five? Yeah, you can almost see them over there on the left!

Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

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Sunday 23 June 2024... Replanting the Tofu Patch

Squirrel standing on the steps

Oregon Grape fruits

The weather today does NOT look like summer at all!

foggy trees on the hill

It was 57° when I left the house! So nice! But the clouds will clear and we've got a high of 76° today. That temperature is right on normal for this time of year, but the clouds are definitely not normal!

Well! It's nice to see all five faces, first thing!

Five Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

*laughs* They're so squished in, the one must have had trouble stretching their wing! Their wrist is up over their head and that's flight feathers in front of the baby on the right! Awkward! hahah!

At the garden, the plot on the end of my row has these beautiful Hollyhocks!

Bright pink Hollyhock blooms

They are well over my head!

Bright pink Hollyhock blooms

Here I am an our garden plot. Looking at the plot from the front right... the Pissant Pot People side. That's the Lemon Cucumbers, front and center, with a lot of Borage and the Elephant Garlics behind!

garden plot

and from the front left... Mia's Kids side.

garden plot

The big Green Zucchini is thinking about doing great things!

Yellow flowers and a fruit on a zucchini plant

And lots of blooms on the Sugar Snap Peas that I planted from seed! I've still been eating about one pod every day from the transplants!

Snap Pea blooms on the vines

Buckwheat seedlings!

Buckwheat seedlings growing

But the stupid Soybeans...

Soybean seedling growing in the dirt

I've brought the bag of seeds, and I'm replanting the Tofu Patch for the third time today. Sheesh. I don't know what's wrong here, but only about 10 or so soybeans came up from the second replanting.

Maybe third time's the charm?

Four of the six Giant Marigolds have survived the slugs, and they are gearing up to be pretty!

Marigold just about to bloom

The couple of Giant Marigolds at the edge of the Tofu Patch are in serious need of support tho... they are top heavy and are flopping all over the place in the Climate Change Wind.

The volunteer Love in a Mist is flopping too.

Love in a Mist blooms

Okay! I've watered the newly planted Soybean seeds and I'm heading out.

We're down to four faces at the Barn Swallow nest again. But at least we can hold our wings properly!

Four Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

Oh! Is a parent on their way?

Four Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

No? False alarm? *laughs*

Barn Swallow nestling in the nest

The Himalayan Blackberries are doing their thing. Invasive but will be very tasty!

Black berry fruits and a flower

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Saturday 22 June 2024... Tofu Patch Assessment

Good Morning Mr Squirrel!

Close up of a squirrel holding a hazelnut

Oh my gosh, look at his little thumb nubbins! It's hard to see, but he is holding a bit of hazelnut shell between his thumbs, as well as the rest of the nut in his fingers.

Thumb Nubbins! Too Cute!

Good Morning Babies!

Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

Maybe today we will see Number Five?

But then a parent starts yelling, just outside! The babies hunker down again!

One visible Barn Swallow nestling in the nest

Is the Cowbird making another visit? I walk out and...

blurry black spot sitting on a blurry chainlink fence

Oh great. The camera is having one of those non-focusing days. That's just great.

But that's a crow, and the Barn Swallow parent was diving bombing her. Much further away than the Cowbird yesterday, but the Barn Swallow parents are more sensitive about potential dangers now!

I get to the garden and...

Who needs the correct focus anyway??! :Pbbbbttt

Blurry yellow spot with trees behind

*laughs*

Okay! Tofu Patch Assessment at the garden plot today!

Here I am, at the back of the plot, near the faucet, looking down the west side of the garden plot... The Tofu Patch.

Garden Plot

On the left, is my non-grassy pathway, on the right is the good neighbor Mia's Kids, and at the top the sticks are delineating the Supplementary Squash Square.

Goal is to clear the weeds out of the Tofu Patch and free up any soybean seedlings growing here. The Leeks are also in that bottom left corner, they will probably appreciate some space too!

Here is the AFTER pic:

garden plot

arg. There are maybe 10 or 12 Soybeans that have popped up. Dang it. I didn't have any trouble with the soybeans growing last year. It may have been too cold for the first round of Soybean seeds, but the second round should have done more. Maybe they don't like the dirt over on this side?

I don't know, but it's a bummer. I will bring the Soybean seeds again tomorrow and re-plant a third time.

I did leave a few wildflowers... There's a volunteer Sunflower growing in the middle of of Tofu Patch. And I left a little patch of Borage over there on the left. Gotta keep the bees happy!

Smartweed was making a mat around the Leeks, and they should be happy now that they are not being suffocated. But I also found two volunteer Beets! Haha!

Leeks and Beets

They are a little bit close to each other, but hopefully they will get along!

And I'm thrilled to see more happy Wax Beans popping up!

Bean seedlings growing

Okay. Good Work today! Yay Me!

Heading home. Hey, Hey! We've finally got a count of Five again!

Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

That's three beaks on the left, a head and eye, and then a whole face on the right! Five!

Hi Mama! Oh, you're missing some fur on your jaw? I hope you're okay!

Squirrel standing on a chain link fence

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Friday 21 June 2024... Excitement at the Barn Swallow Nest

Good Morning Little Ones! Well! This is a different configuration, today!

Two Barn Swallow nestlings perched at the edge of the nest

I realized, later, the babies are probably trying to escape each other's heat! The high today is 90° (32°C) and it's already overly warm this morning... and probably even warmer up there under the bridge. I'm not sure they even get any of the breeze!

Oh we got another itch?

Barn Swallow nestling preening

Barn Swallow nestling preening

Two Barn Swallow nestlings perched at the edge of the nest

Here's Mama!

Barn Swallow parent standing on the edge of the nest with nestling begging

But she's just here to check on the babies.

Barn Swallow parent flying away from the nest with nestlings

And the little one goes back to preening...

Barn Swallow nestling preening under her wing

*gasps* Little red dot... Is that your Belly Button???!

*Laughs* I'm not sure. And then I had to go look up to see if birds even have belly buttons!

They do!

Audubon Question: Do Birds Have Belly Buttons?

Inside the egg, the yolk sac is separate from the embryo. And, yep, there's an umbilical cord connecting them, in the same way that an umbilical cord connects mammal embryos with the placenta.

So, yeah, birds do have belly buttons! That's fun to learn!

Okay! I'm at the garden and Look! Yesterday there was basically nothing, and today we've got some 1 inch tall Wax Bean plant babies!

Bean seedlings growing

Ha! Amazing! They grow so fast!

Bean seedlings growing

On the other hand, it makes me despair about the stupid Soybeans. I replanted the Soybeans on Jun9, and there are a couple coming up. But nowhere near the 30+ plants I had last year. Maybe I should replant them a third time?

Everything else is happily growing...

The Squash Square:

Squash plants in the garden

The Lemon Cucumbers:

Cucumber plants in the garden

The Zucchinis. This is the biggest one:

Zucchini plant growing

Yep, it's got a fruit growing on it!

I've also got two Yellow Zucchinis, the Crookneck, and today I'm planting the last of the plants that have been hanging out in the porch room... A Yellow Patty Pan that I'm adding to the Squash Square! It's getting a little crowded with all the Spaghetti Squash seedlings coming up! HA!

Okay! Heading back home, and there's craziness at the Barn Swallow nest!!

I can't figure out what's going on... The parents are YELLING, just outside the bridge. The babies are hunkered down, instead of spread out like they were earlier...

Barn Swallow nestlings hunkered down in the nest

Barn Swallow nestlings hunkered down in the nest

I keep looking around, trying to figure out what's going on. The parents keep yelling and flying around! And finally, I see this one...

Cowbird standing on a twig

I don't recognize this bird, and I've never met them before.

But she's a Brown Head Cowbird!

Cowbirds are brood parasites and that's why the parents are so upset! Brood parasites lay their eggs in the nests of other birds.

She's too late for this nest, of course. But, now she knows there's a Barn Swallow nest here! She might just come back next year to lay an egg.

Book Cover: The Bird Way by Jennifer Ackerman

Brood parasites are really interesting and extremely smart. They have to be able to... be sneaky and undetected near the nests of multiple species of other birds, lay all their eggs in different nests, as well as remembering all the best parents thru the years! They really are quite incredible!

I learned a lot about brood parasites around the world while reading The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think by Jennifer Ackerman. It's a great book about how amazing birds are! Highly recommended!!

Cowbird standing on a twig

The babies are clueless about all the chaos going on just meters away! *laughs* But they have excellent parents taking care of them! They don't need to worry!

Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

I keep going and... oh, I think this is Henrietta!! Dang it, I can't get a decent angle. But I'm pretty sure it's him.

Great Blue Heron standing in the creek

So nice to see him again, it's been ages.

*Laughs* Everybody needs to preen, these days!

Great Blue Heron, standing in the creek, wing lifted to preen under it

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Thursday 20 June 2024... A Walk Past the Garden

Sweet Amber blooms

Magnolia bloom

Good Morning Little Ones!

Four Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

Is Number Five going to make an appearance today?

Four Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

Uuuh, gotta itch!

Four Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

Four Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

The fluff coming up, off their heads is so cute!

Four Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

I'm at the garden, but I'm just going to water today. I've done the work they required, I've been working hard for weeks. And today is my break!

Oh, this thing, growing under the first set of Sugar Snap Peas! The leaves look a bit like a Morning Glory, and it's definitely not our regular Bindweed...

Black Bindweed plant

Turns out it's Black Bindweed. Invasive from Europe and Asia, flowers are small and inconspicuous, spreads by seed not roots.

Okay... Keeping it for now to see what happens! But maybe I will pull it up before it makes seeds!

Yay! A couple Wax Beans have sprouted!

sprouting beans in the soil

The Eggplant almost looks like a healthy plant now!

Eggplant growing

It had been munched almost to death by the slugs... you can still see the leaf-less stems, and partial leaves! But it's definitely recovered! Yay, my first Eggplant plant in the garden!

Aubergine! A fun word to say! :)

The Lemon Cucumbers are happily growing.

Lemon Cuc patch

The other green in there is mostly Borage, a wildflower I love that makes the bees happy!

A couple of the Giant Marigolds are making a top-heavy come-back from the slug damage!

Marigold leaves and buds

Okay! On with my walk! Here's the Flicker Hole... mostly covered with leaves now. It's too bad I didn't get to see any babies born here, due to the crazy weather we've had.

Tree

Minnows! And their cute little shadows!

Minnows in the creek

Close up of two minnow in the creek

Pink Sweet Pea blooms with a daisy

These two are a little too far away... a Goldfinch and an Anna Hummingbird... how companionable!

Goldfinch and Anna Hummingbird standing on a bare branch

Female Anna hummingbird standing on a twig, blue sky behind her

Oh No! The Fallen Leaning Tree doesn't have any leaves!

Bare fallen oak tree

Little clumps of leaves are all that it's managed to grow. It must definitely be separated from it's roots.

Clumps of oak leaves on a fallen tree

Sighs....

Sign at the base of a fallen tree

The fine print says We are trying to rehabilitate it. But no, I don't think it's possible. It's nice that they left it to try, tho!

Violet Green Swallow standing on a power cable, blue sky behind

I stop to drink my water under a shade tree!

Looking past leaves to a grassy field

Willow tree with a large cut stump

Sighs. Poor Girl. Her two kids are nearby, they are getting towards grown up.

Female Mallard standing on a rock with a droopy wing

Barn Swallow babies are re-arranged and so sleepy!

Two Barn Swallow nestlings, sleeping in the nest

Oh! Mama makes a surprise appearance! Nobody heard her coming!!

Barn Swallow parent flies up the the nest

A couple wake up, and a couple continue to sleep!

Barn Swallow parent perched on the edge of the nest, looking at the nestlings

Barn Swallow parent perched on the edge of the nest, looking at the nestlings

Nope, sorry! Just checking on you all!

Barn Swallow parent turns away from the nest

Awwww, Mooooom!

Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

Random shoulders everywhere!

Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

Oh, wait. I guess that part of their wing is actually their wrists, huh?

Random Wrists Everywhere!

Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

*laughs*

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Wednesday 19 June 2024... Adorable Babies

I don't know what these yellow flowers are, in with the Poison Hemlock. They are probably invasive too, but pretty!

Yellow flowers with blooming Poison Hemlock

Sleepy babies.

Barn Swallow nestlings sleeping in the nest

Dear Sweet Seven Spot, could you do me a favor? Could you eat whoever is munching holes in the leaves of the Sunflower that I bought and paid for? Thanks!

Ladybug in the center of a growing sunflower

Okay! Here is the last section of grass that I need to hoe before the deadline, tomorrow!

garden plot

I was going to jump right into hoeing... but ugh I feel weak today even tho I slept well and the back doesn't hurt much.

I hand weed some, in the path and around the sunflower patch. It's is slower, but more satisfying because I'm able to pull up long grass roots! I have to stab most of the area with the hand fork and then hoeing is easier.

I get it done...

garden plot

phew. And ya know... you'd think I'd be proud, getting all that work done? But, no. Definitely not proud... I worked hard, but this was to someone else's expectations.

But the garden plot is up to code, now, and in compliance with the Community Garden rules. And I just feel relieved.

Strawberry blossom and leaves

The Sugar Snap Peas that I planted as seeds are coming right along! And I've been eating a couple Snap Pea pods every day this week, from the plants that I transplanted!

Snap Pea blooms

OH! Finally! Some Soybeans are coming up!

Soybean seedling

huh. I don't remember that the soybeans came up all shiny like that. weird.

Soybean seedling and a bug

And in the Squash Square... Spaghetti Squash seedlings Galore!

Squash seedlings growing in the dirt

Heading home... Aw! Happy to see an older duckling. Look at her little leg splayed out behind her!

Mama Mallard and duckling sitting on a rock

The sun is hot, Mama!

Mama Mallard standing and duckling is moving into her shadow

haha, she doesn't quite fit into Mama's shadow!

Mama Mallard standing and duckling is moving into her shadow

A bit more awake, this time!

Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

But is Number Five going to show her face today?

Oh! Hey! Mama swoops in!

Parent Barn Swallow feeding nestlings in the nest

Parent Barn Swallow has fed a baby and is flying away from the nest

Aw, the looks of disappointment.

Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

Just be patient little ones!

Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

Oh, wow. Mama must have found a pile of bugs to feed, very close by!

Barn Swallow parent coming in to feed another baby in the nest

(and yeah, I was fiddling with the exposure. sheesh!)

No, sorry! I've got nothing for you!

Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

My gosh they are just so cute!

Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

Oh hey! Here's all five babies, finally!!

Parent Barn Swallow flying away from the babies in the nest

So demanding!

Five Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

Barn Swallow nestling in the nest

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Tuesday 18 June 2024... Barn Swallow Babies and Childrens Books

Chilly days and it was another night when it got so cold that I had to close the windows! Ha! It makes me laugh that it's June and I'm still using my quilts on my bed!!

But I think it's going to be summer now... Forecast says 74° today (23°C) and mid-80s thru Saturday!

I walk past a Little Free Library, and notice a book I want!

Squirrels book in a Little Free Library

*laughs* I reluctantly push it back in. Hopefully the book will make some kid happy. But, oh, Squirrels? And beautiful Art? (Yeah, I really wish I had nabbed it!)

And where's Number Five?

Four Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

Scrub Jay standing on a wood fence

Okay. Here I am at the garden plot, and I'm taking a break from the hoeing to give my poor back a rest.

I'm going to kill some Comfrey today! It's gotten as big as the Zucchini plant!!

Comfrey leaves and a zucchini plant

I dig as deep as I can and get some good roots out...

A bucket of Comfrey leaves and roots

That one is a good inch in diameter! But you can see where most of the roots broke off! Ha. I wonder how many years I'll be battling this thing, before I kill it off for good?! Or maybe I won't ever kill it! :)

I've got some time left, so I decide to fork and weed more of the front Garden Square. I'm thinking about putting in another section of Buckwheat here, just to have some more green, living alive stuff... All the dead dirt they are requiring of me for the Community Garden Rules, is depressing.

But look, I've dug up something weird, plus a sleeping slug...

Weird roots with a slug curled up in the dirt

Oh my gosh! It's the Sunchoke roots that I buried last autumn...

Root in the dirt, very munched by slugs

Apparently it was pure slug food! I guess that's why it never came up this spring!

Love in a Mist bloom with a Dandelion bloom in the background

Squirrel standing on a wood fence

Back at the Barn Swallows bridge... Okay, good! We've got all five showing their faces again!

Five Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

Five Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

The kid on the end must be hungry! And apparently thinks I'm going to feed her. *laughs* It doesn't hurt to ask, I guess! Bahaha!

Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest, one begs for food

Their sweet sleepy faces.

Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

Oregon Grapes, in the process of ripening.

Green Oregon Grapes on the vine

Back at home, the Pansies continue to grow.

Small Pansy plants in a pot

I'm happily surprised that they are doing okay with the limited amount of sunlight here in the porch room! Usually seedlings that I grow here get tall and lanky with the lack of light.


One of my favorite YouTubers is a new Childrens Book author! And I'm so thrilled that he's reading it and showing the art in a video...

The Pengrooms, Read Aloud by Paul Castle

This is just SO Sweet! And Lovely drawings!

OH! And his partner Matthew is playing violin in the background?! So Awesome!!

I just love it! And there's Unicorns!!!

Point of Interest: Paul is blind.

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Monday 17 June 2024... Definately Five Barn Swallow Babies!!

Its almost chilly this morning, with the bit of climate change wind. And the forecast says Zero% chance of rain, but I think I heard it sprinkling this morning before I got up, so I decided to take the rain jacket once more!

Clouds over the trees

There's hot weather on the way -- mid and upper 80s starting on Wednesday -- so I enjoy the coolness to the fullest!

Oh the scraggly cuteness!!

Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

Okay! I'm at the garden, and I need to do some serious hoeing today, despite the couple of twinges coming from my back muscles.

I've decided to hoe all down the right side of the plot, the Pissant Pot People side. I had already ripped this grass out, by hand, right after I got the Non-Compliance notice, but... it's grown back... as grass is wont to do!

Before:

Garden plot

And After:

Garden Plot

That stupid board is actually on the other side of the border, but I weeded under it anyway because I need the front of my plot to look way above average!

(And don't get me started about jerks who refuse to control the weeds on their own borders! I've been picking up the slack for that type of neighbor the entire time I've been at the Community Garden!)

AND THEN... I hoed all down the right side, all the way to the back, AND around the corner along the back of the plot. (Again, weeding well into the neighboring plot)...

Garden plot

The bit of green in the pathway, is grass that has been hoed and is laying there, on the surface dying... It'll fade to tan in a day, but I realize that I probably should be done with the hoeing the day before the deadline because of this! So there isn't anything green left in the pathways on the day of inspection!

This is the last section of grass in the pathway that needs to be removed...

garden pathway

This will probably be the toughest bit to do... because I have never bothered to hack at this area around the taps, so this grass is very well established. The ground is almost solid grass roots, and I won't be able to Just hoe it. I'll have to break up the top with the hand fork.

I hope me and my back survive!

I take a bit of Joy from the garden, before I go.

Green tomatoes and bloom on the vine

The Barn Swallow babies have re-arranged themselves, and all five are visible... Or... heh, I assume there's not actually six in there! *laughs*

Five Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

Oh my gosh! Mama swoops in! But she's so fast, and unexpected, I don't get a single pic of her! haha!

Five Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest, one is begging for food!

And back to napping...

Five Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

Except one or another keeps thinking they hear a parent coming, so they look up to see...

Five Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest, one is looking up

Too Cute!

Hawthorn pomes starting to grow.

Hawthorn berries growing on the tree

Squirrel sitting on a wood fence

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Sunday 16 June 2024... Sunday Flowers

It's cloudy this morning and just the slightest chance of rain, so I stuff the rain jacket into the backpack. Taking it is a pain, and if I actually have to put it on to protect the camera, well, that would be annoying too... It's a nice day -- 55° when I leave the house -- but the rain jacket would turn into sauna!

Barn Swallow babies!

Barn Swallow nestlings resting their chins on the edge of the nest

Their eyes look like they are getting more open!

The slightest sound sets them off, asking for food!

Barn Swallow nestling begging for food

My back muscles were giving me some twinges from yesterday's hard work. So I'm taking it easy again today, just hand weeding a little section at the front.

There is still significant areas of grass, and I'm starting to wonder if I'll be able to finish hoeing it all by the deadline on June20. We're getting down to the wire! And in the meantime, this comfrey that I want to kill is getting bigger by the day:

Comfrey leaves coming up next to a zucchini plant

Oh my gosh! This must be the Buckwheat! I planted it last Sunday, and it's already coming up!

Buckwheat seedling coming up

Awesome... The Buckwheat seeds were old and I wasn't sure I'd get anything! And there are four seedlings that have popped up so far!

There's no one else at the Community Garden right now, so I have a wander...

I love all the colours of the Bachelor Buttons...

Blue and white Bachelor Button blooms

White and purple Bachelor Button bloom

White and purple Bachelor Button bloom

Honey Bee on a purple Bachelor Button bloom

(haha, I couldn't decide which Honey Bee photo I liked better!)

Honey Bee on a purple Bachelor Button bloom

These Dahlia's are in my left-side neighbor's plot, and I just love the pop of colour!

Pink Dahlia blooms

*laughs* I try to get artsy!

Pink Dahlia blooms

Pink Dahlia blooms

Pink Dahlia blooms

Okay. I know, I obsess! Moving on!

A couple young Nutrias, just outside the Community Garden. All but one ran away!

Nutria standing in the grass

Oh! Oh-oh-oh!!! Is that a 5th baby beak over there on the side??!

Barn Swallow nestling beaks poking out of the nest

I think it is!! Confirmation of Five Barn Swallow Babies!!!

Yay!

And then I came across the Mama duck with the droopy wing... and it's worse. Ugh. It must be so painful, she can't lift up her arm enough and her wing is dragging on the ground.

She's still got her two kids with her... and it's good that she knows that her efforts to protect her children were successful. But, ugh, her poor wing.

Sighs. I love Nature's abundance, but I hate the abundance of pain and suffering, too. Sighs.

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Saturday 15 June 2024... Day of Hard Hoeing

We had about 20mins of rain around 5:30 this morning! (And some sprinkles after that, unless that was just the wind rustling the leaves to sound like sprinkles!) But, Wow! It is really unusual for us to get rain after about May, so this weather this year is so crazy!

Forecast says 60% rain until 11am so I'm loading up the rain jacket in the backpack! Crazy! The clouds are moving around and its a lovely 55° when I leave the house!! (13°C)

Oh! The new stray kitty lets me get a decent portrait of her! But still, not quite looking up into my face.

Long haired tortishell cat, sitting on the ground

She is so beautiful! She lets me crouch down, but avoids my outstretched hand. No pets yet.

Clouds over some trees

The Climate Change Wind today is VERY gusty.. The weather page said 12mph, but seems like more. (heh! Not that I know a thing about it! The every day wind is new here, so I have zero experience with guessimating the speed of the wind!)

Clouds over some trees

The Cherries are ripening!

Cherries on the tree, in various stages of ripeness

Here's a female Common Whitetail Skimmer!

Dragonfly standing on the sidewalk

There are a bunch of homeless people under the Barn Swallows bridge. So I don't stop to take photos of the nest.

And at the garden... my back muscles feel strong again today, so I'm going to JAM with the hoe! Here is the BEFORE photo.

Garden Plot

And here is the AFTER, where I've hoed the rectangle to the left of the stake:

Garden plot

I also stabbed and hoed this area behind the front Garden Square:

Garden plot

Oh yeah! Gettin' It Done!

*laughs*

I don't have to water much because of the bit of rain we got this morning, and so I enjoy the garden for a few...

The Primary SunGold is doing things!

small green tomato on the vine

Blooms on a tomato plant

The blooms on the Old German tomato look quite a bit different!

Blooms on a tomato plant

This is the Crookneck in the Squash Square...

Squash plant with some yellow leaves

Yellow leaves like that mean I'm over watering the thing. Unfortunatly, the extra water is necessary for the squash seedlings coming up all around it!

A couple of the transplanted Sugar Snap Peas are dying already. They've hardly even grown. Did I get too close to the roots with my weeding? I didn't think so, at the time. But I'm not sure what else would make them die.

Snap Peas with a dead vine

That's okay... the Sugar Snap Peas that I planted from seed are doing really well! The first bloom on them!

Snap pea bloom, with vines in the background

Okay. I'm out!

There are still a couple of homeless people at the Barn Swallow bridge, but they are sleeping at the other end. I don't want to disturb them, so I only take a couple pics.

There's just one baby beak, poked up over the edge of the nest.

Barn Swallow nestling beak

The Poison Hemlock looks pretty with the sky.

Poison Hemlock blooms with blue sky

And further on... WOW! The Colour!

Cherry tree and blooming Ocean Spray wtih the blue sky

The dark red is a Cherry Tree and I think the white is a cultivated Ocean Spray!

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Friday 14 June 2024... All Kinds of Barn Swallows. And Garden!

Those Barn Swallow fledglings near my home are still here this morning!

two Barn Swallow fledglings standing on a power line

Barn Swallow fledgling standing on a power line

Three kids, and as I mentioned yesterday, I'm too far away and can't get a good angle, so the pics are terrible. But they are still fun to watch!

Here's one of the parents!

Barn Swallow standing on a power line

Parent flies away, and hungry baby tries to get attention... Wait! Wait! Don't forget to feed me! *laughs*... and incidentally getting some flying practice in, as well! :)

Barn Swallows flying from the power line

And wow, you can def tell the difference between parent and child in their tail feathers! The adult has the beautiful long forked tail and the kids just have stubby tails!

Fledgling coming back to land on the power line

Barn Swallow fledgling standing on a power line

Yay! Older ducklings!

Five Mallard ducklings with Mama, paddling on the water

A beautiful day... last weekend's overly warm mid-80s have cooled to a lovely 72° day, today! (22°C)

Sky with cirrus clouds over trees and grassland

Yay! A dragonfly sits for me!

Dragonfly standing on the sidewalk

This is a Pacific Clubtail. I've been seeing dragonflies now and then, especially walking home when it's a little bit warmer... the big Black Saddlebag Skimmers mostly. But they are always flying above the bike path, busy hunting.

And at the Barn Swallow nest? Just a couple of baby beaks poking up!

Baby beaks poking up over the rim of the nest

I finally get to the garden... I take one look at it and immediately my back starts spasming!

Oh gah! Hoeing two days in a row was a major mistake!

Up until this point my back had been sore but in a building muscle way, not in a over did it way.

So this is concerning. I will take it easy today and then figure out what I can do tomorrow. Because there is still a lot of hoeing left to do before the June20 deadline!

Okay. Well. I brought the Black Tomato to put in the ground today...

Tomato plant hanging out of a backpack

I decided to put it with the SunGold and the Old German, on the right side of the plot...

Garden Plot

Behind these tomato plants is the newly set up big trellis which will support some Wax Beans. And behind that is the Squash Square...

Here's one of the Butternut plants, with baby Spaghetti Squashes coming up all around it!

Butternut plant growing

And on the other side of the plot... Aw, the poor Yellow Zuc that I planted yesterday. Wind damage. The other two adult leaves look perky, tho. Maybe it will live?

small Zucchini plant with two broken leaf stems

And here's looking down the small trellis at the growing Lemon Cucumbers!

Small cucumber plants growing

That bigger plant at the top, there, is a Spaghetti Squash!

Heading home. And just some baby beaks again...

Barn Swallow baby beaks poking above the edge of the nest

You hear somebody coming?

Barn Swallow baby in the nest

Oh! It's Mama!

Barn Swallow flies into the nest

Hungry, hungry babies!

Barn Swallow parent feeding a baby in the nest

Hmm. Maybe just three babies? I thought for sure there were four or five in there.

Oh! Look again! There's a fourth beak in there, under the middle child! Ha!

Barn Swallow parent feeding a baby in the nest

Mama flies away to get more food... the babies are so hungry!

Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

But the babies quickly calm down and go back to napping. Growing up is hard work!

Barn Swallow nestlings in the nest

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Thursday 13 June 2024... Todays Happenings

*laughs* I crack myself up!

Shadow of a person on the sidewalk

That's the Sunflower sticking out of the backpack, and I've also got a Yellow Zucchini in there as well!

Oh look! Papa is at the nest today! And one baby is making an appearance!

Barn Swallow standing on the edge of the nest

Barn Swallow standing on the edge of the nest

*laughs* I wonder what set her off?

Barn Swallow standing on the edge of the nest, with a baby popping up

Papa is not sure either. Get back down there, kid!

Barn Swallow standing on the edge of the nest

Barn Swallow stands at the edge of the nest

I get to the garden, and I've startled a squirrel out of one of the front plots. She stares me down from the fence!

Squirrel sitting on a fence post

Since the backpack was full, I carried the water bottle in this cute little satchel that came from Partner's Mom's estate.

Backpack on the ground at the garden

Before I get to work, I notice a meeting is happening.

A dozen crows standing in a tree

I'm sure they have important things to talk about!

A dozen crows standing in a tree

I am breaking my rule of hoeing every other day, because I'm feeling strong and tough today!

Here's the Before pic:

Garden plot

And here's the After, where I've hoed a bit of that square just above the stake in the middle:

Garden plot

Ha, I wish the pic could be more dramatic to present. Maybe I should photoshop it with neon colours or something.

I planted the sunflower in between the Snap Pea Patch and the Squash Square, at the edge of the little Buckwheat section.

Garden plot

And Look! Some of the Spaghetti Squash seeds are coming up!!

Squash seedlings coming up in the dirt

Yay! Planting seeds in the garden is pretty iffy, so I'm thrilled that we've got some life here!

I planted the Yellow Zuc next to the other zucs at the front of the Tofu Patch. Poor thing... I bent one stem accidentally in transport, and then the stupid Climage Change wind bent a second stem.

Small Zuchinni plants

I ate another Sugar Snap Pea!

Snap Pea hanging from the vine

This thing is growing at the base of the transplanted Snap Peas...

Morning Glory plant

I did have the Sweet Potatoes here, last year. But these leaves are more delicate than Sweet Potatoes. More likely, it's a Morning Glory... the leaves are much bigger than the standard Bindweed we have around here. So I'm going to keep it and see what colour the flowers are!

I had a wander around the Comm Garden... This is a new art installation in the back corner. It's a bird bath!

Art in the garden

I suppose the nearby plot neighbors are keeping the flowers watered and changing out the water in the bird baths! That's nice, and it's really a lovely spot!

Pink and white Cosmos blooms

Cabbage White. A very important player in the ecosystem... I have seen so many of these caterpillars in the beaks of Bluebirds, to be fed to their babies!

Cabbage White Butterfly

I am almost all the way home when I notice a couple of Barn Swallow fledglings up on the power lines!!

Barn Swallow fledglings up on a power line, blue sky

I'm too far away, and can't get a good angle, so that's a bummer. But there are three fledglings altogether, and they are watching their parents fly around! Super cute!

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Wednesday 12 June 2024... Babies!!! and Beans

This is Sweet Amber, a common landscaping plant here, a low, spreading shrub, just 2feet tall. It's not native, but pretty -- I think the blooms look like little fireworks!

Sweet Amber blooms

I get to the Barn Swallow nest, and Mama swoops in and dang it, I am NOT ready!

Barn Swallow standing on the edge of the nest, with babies poking their heads up

Barn Swallow standing on the edge of the nest, with babies poking their heads up

Barn Swallow standing on the edge of the nest, with babies poking their heads up

And then she flew away, and the babies disappeared into the nest again. Foo.

But that's at least three babies, in the top photo, and I'm positive there's more in there!

I get to the garden...

Ripe strawberry fruit hanging from the plant

I turn it over, and it's not quite ripe. But it hasn't been munched by the slugs, either. So I ate it! Yum!

Okay! Garden work!

I planted the Wax Beans!! I have been forking and weeding this spot in front of the Squash Square for ages!

Garden plot with trellis

I've got several seed packets, so I planted the ones I just bought on the outside of the trellis. Sunshine Wax Beans. And then on the inside I planted last year's dwarf wax beans, mixed with 2022 wax beans.

I'm so happy the beans are finally in the ground. It's late in the season for this, but it couldn't be helped with the Non-Compliance thing I have to deal with. And maybe the slugs won't bother the seedlings so much, now that summer is drying things out? I can hope! ha.

I'm hoeing some more down the middle pathway. It's hard work and slow going, but I think I am mostly on track to be Compliant by the June20 deadline.

Garden Plot

I've also forked and weeded a bit more of the front Garden Square.

I ate a couple of Sugar Snap Peas today!

snap pea on the plant, with the blue sky

And then I tried to get artsy!

Snap Pea tendrils and the blue sky

The volunteer Sunflower patch...

small Sunflower plants growing

These don't seem like typical sunflowers... I wonder what kinds of blooms I will end up with!

Heading home. and a typical Chickadee! *laughs*

blurry underparts of a chickadee

They have been working, in bits and pieces, on the bike path for months...

Bike path

It's been pretty ridiculous... they'd set out construction signs, and just leave them up even tho they would show up about once a month to do work.

Those damn pylons -- I guess they are called Delineator Posts -- became toys for the homeless people. They would be pushed over, moved around... broken apart, torn apart, and then thrown in the creek.

And does the city fish them out of the creek? No, of course not. Even tho the base of the posts are made from recycled tires, and it's proven that the toxic chemicals coming off tires kill fish!

ARG!

So anyway. Now we have some concrete platforms for the lamp posts that will be going up here. Great, huh?

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Tuesday 11 June 2024... Happy Barn Swallow Parents. And Garden Work.

Here's Mama Barn Swallow at the nest full of babies, born on Saturday!

Barn Swallow standing on the edge of the nest

Barn Swallow standing on the edge of the nest

She makes sure I'm being good...

Barn Swallow standing on the edge of the nest

But she is checking on all the babies!

Barn Swallow standing on the edge of the nest, looking into the nest

Barn Swallow standing on the edge of the nest, poking her head into the nest

Barn Swallow standing on the edge of the nest, looking down

And then she flies off for more food! Hungry Babies!

Barn Swallow nest

Dang, but I wish I could see them or even hear them. But nope. I must be patient! They will grow!

I arrive at the garden. There's a cute lil Seven Spot Ladybug walking on one of the small Lemon Cucumber plants... Eat all the bugs you find, please!! :)

Ladybuy walking on a cucumber leaf

Today I am cutting some Elephant Garlic Scapes to eat! The first garden harvest of the year!!

Elephant Garlics going to seed

You cut them a few inches above the top leaf. And then you can chop them up and use them like onions. You can even eat the flower bud! They are very very mild, just a hint of garlicy flavor.

I only cut the small ones, like five or six. I want the big ones to flower and seed and make the pollinators happy!

I've brought the last four Lemon Cucumber starts and planted them under the small trellis in the front garden square. There's 10 plants here now! (and a couple that are technically still green, but too slug munched to live.)

Garden Plot

The Spaghetti Squash I planted yesterday is looking good. And you can't quite see them but the plants on the left, just under the hose are the 2nd SunGold and the precious Brandywine.

I forked and weeded another row at the future Wax Bean patch... and I moved stuff around and dragged the big trellis to it's permanent spot! Yay! There's plenty of forked ground for it!

I stomped it down and made sure it was stable. And I will bring the Wax Beans to plant tomorrow!!!

Lavender blooms

Love in a Mist

Oh! Papa is at the nest!

Barn Swallow standing on the edge of the nest

He is making sure the babies are okay, as well!

Barn Swallow standing on the edge of the nest

Barn Swallow standing on the edge of the nest, poking his head into the nest

Barn Swallow standing on the edge of the nest

So thrilled I got to see both parents today! and So glad I can still tell them apart, from where they stand on the nest!

And I get home, and I'm finally able to get a pic of this kitty...

Long haired, tortishell cat

A stray, she's been hanging around the apartments for the last few weeks.

She Refuses to look up into my face, always staring at my feet. She comes close, especially if I turn my back. But doesn't trust enough for pets.

But isn't she so beautiful!

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Monday 10 June 2024... Garden Work

As I'm loading up my backpack this morning in the porch room, I notice how cute the little Pansies are!

small Pansy plants growing in a clay pot

And then I'm out the door. Some ducklings, and the creek water is gross. It gets like that sometimes, I don't know what gets dumped but it should be illegal!

Ducklings paddling on the water

And Papa is sitting at the nest today.

Barn Swallow sitting in the nest

And I'm at the garden! I've brought a big Spaghetti Squash start in the backpack today!

Backpack on the ground with green leaves coming out the top

I plant it in the front Garden Square, next to the trellis for the Lemon Cucmbers.

And then I get to work! Hoeing more grass down the middle pathway. And then I fork and weed for the big trellis. I keep going with the hard work for just over an hour, and then I water.

Garden Plot

The baby Lemon Cucs had gotten sunburned when I planted them, but they are putting on new leaves and growing happily now that they aren't harrassed by the slugs!

Garden Plot

There's some Amaranth coming up on the left side of that pic. It's a weedy plant at the Community Garden and the birds will be happy with the seeds, so I don't mind about that growing. And Borage on the right... it's flowers brings in the bees and other pollinators, so it's very welcome!

Aww! This one landed right next to me as I was admiring the Lemon Cucs! A new damselfly, I will have to look him up!

Damselfly standing on a stick on the ground

And I discover he's a newborn Tule Bluet! His colours will darken to sky blue as the blood flows! How cool is that!

Behind the Lemon Cucumbers is the poor Eggplant. Just a single leaf survived the slugs...

Eggplant with a pathetic leaf

But there's new growth at the base! I think it's decided to live!

Eggplant

That's exciting. I've never been able to keep an Eggplant alive!

And blooms on the Old German tomato plant!

Tomato bloom on the plant

Yay Garden!

But this evening, my back is pretty sore from the hoeing. I think hoeing every other day is a good idea... I just hope I can keep it up! There's still lots to go!

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Sunday 9 June 2024... Barn Swallows are Born!

Walking to the garden today, and when I got to the bridge there was no one sitting at the nest. For a split second I was terrified!

But then Mama flies in! *phew* She gives me the barest glance...

Barn Swallow standing on the edge of the nest

And then...

Barn Swallow standing on the edge of the nest, poking her head down into the nest

Oh my gosh! We have babies!!!

Barn Swallow standing on the edge of the nest, looking down into the nest

She makes sure I'm not doing anything weird...

Barn Swallow standing on the edge of the nest

But she is looking hard at her babies!

Barn Swallow standing at the edge of the nest, looking down into the nest

Barn Swallow standing at the edge of the nest

I'm wondering if I can tell how many babies there are, just from where she's looking in the nest. I'm gonna guess there's at least four in there. Maybe five.

Barn Swallow standing on the edge of the nest, looking down

Okay! Let's sit!

Barn Swallow sits in the nest

Everybody okay down there?

Barn Swallow in the nest, looking down

Yep!

Barn Swallow sitting in the nest

So that's super exciting!!

But there's work to be done. Today I've brought seeds...

I've hand forked the Tofu Patch to kill the weeds and re-sowed the Soybeans. I didn't find a single soybean growing here! I'm not sure what's wrong, but hopefully this second round of seeds will do something.

garden plot

And I'm going to experiment with a summer cover crop to maybe help keep the weeds down. I had bought some Buckwheat seeds ages ago... But when I got it, I realized it was a summer cover crop, would not survive a cold night, and I actually wanted a winter cover crop. Haha, silly me... you should do the research before you buy!!

So anyway. The seeds are old, but we'll see what happens. The internets told me Buckwheat should be soaked for 20mins before planting... so I threw a handful of seeds in a ziplock bag with some water, right before I left the house.

I put them in the ground here, between the Snap Pea Patch and the Squash Square at the back.

Garden plot with a purple square indicating where seeds are planted!

I'm starting small, just to see what happens. But supposedly, Buckwheat grows very quickly. So I can plant it basically any time during the summer, and it'll take just 6 or 7 weeks to get to flowering!

Okay! There's still lots of grass to hoe before June20. But I'm not hoeing today, to give my muscles a chance to catch up with the heavy work I did yesterday.

Garden Plot

Couple more Sugar Snap Peas on the way. *laughs* I try to get artsy!

Snap peas on the plant with blue sky

And the Strawberries.

Strawberry plants with fruit

I head out, but these pink Lupines catch my eye!

Pink Lupine blooms

Mama's still on nesting duty.

Barn Swallow sitting in the nest

Barn Swallow in the nest, looking down

Barn Swallow sittin in the nest

So Sweet!

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Monday 1 July 2024... With fear for our democracy, I dissent.

Democracy died here, today, with the SCOTUS decision granting un-constitutional immunity to Trump and presidents.

Trump v. United States (23-939)
The nature of Presidential power entitles a former President to absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for actions within his conclusive and preclusive constitutional authority; he is also entitled to at least presumptive immunity from prosecution for all his official acts; there is no immunity for unofficial acts.

Justices rule Trump has [some] immunity from prosecution

King Trump. The very thing the writers of the Constitution wanted to prevent. It's disgusting.

I'm not going to type about it. I'm just marking the day.

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Saturday 8 June 2024... Stirrup Hoe!

Put the new stirrup hoe in the car to take to the garden! and I'm going to Saturday Market this morning to buy some more veggie starts from my favorite farmer!

Veggie starts in small pots

The big leaves belong to a Sunflower. I like the rusty red ones, but this will be just a plain bright yellow flower. A Black Tomato, something new! And then four more Lemon Cucumbers, because I'm crazy for them. There's also a Yellow Patty Pan.

But I'm kind of feeling the heat today. That rain at the beginning of the week kept things blissfully cool, the highs were 62° on Sunday and 64° Monday... But now the highs are mid-80s, and I'm struggling to adjust so quickly!

So I decide to forego planting any of the veggie starts and focus on the hoeing. That's what actually needs to happen anyway!

I am going to put a dent in the grass!! Here's before:

Garden Plot

And here's After:

Garden Plot

The hoeing needs to be a precise balancing act... long enough for me to build new muscles, but not so long to kill myself. I've just got 12days left for the deadline on removing the grass and I need to be able to keep working, and not be in any kind of extreme pain!

Along with that big chunk that I hoed up the middle of the plot, I also hit the pathway along the back of the plot, next to back neighbor's raised bed.

I've done great work today, and I am pleased!

And Look! The first of the Sugar Snap Peas!!! Yay!

Snap Peas on the vine

I ate them and they were wonderful!!

There's strawberries coming along as well, but I ignore them today.

Strawberry plant with a blossom and fruits under the leaves

I'm going to leave the new hoe at the back of the plot with my other junk. I don't think anyone will steal it, but there's no sense in leaving it out. Especially since it looks like a normal Community Garden tool! I've marked it with our names and our plot designation and I've hidden the hoe part under the 5gal bucket, which also contains the hand hoe.

Garden plot junk

I've got some short stakes, and heavy bricks. I use the planter pot to gather trash before I pull out a trash bag to haul it out. A small grid, I've used in the past to support plants, and under that is a section of row cover.

I probably should have tidied things up before I took the picture, laughs! But that's how it is, stuff just thrown down there in a pile!

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Friday 7 June 2024... Garden Work

The garden is kind of drying out from the decent rain we got at the beginning of the week. I've decided to bring the new stirrup hoe tomorrow, since I'll be driving to Saturday Market.

I will have to hoe like crazy, to get all the grass gone by the June20 deadline. But I think I can do it!

Today, I'm walking to the garden.

Hey, Papa!

Barn Swallow sitting in the nest

Are you still sitting? Still? I thought for sure some babies would be born this week!

Barn Swallow sitting in the nest

[oh, oop! I review the numbers, and actually today was the earliest the babies would be born! So I don't need to freak out yet!!]

Okay! I'm at the garden... and oh crud! Both of the heavy digging forks are out of the shed, being used by other people. Shoot! That kind of kills my plan of forking and weeding and expanding the trellis area.

Okay, switching gears! This little spot in between the Snap Pea Patch on the left and the Squash Square, is bugging me.

Garden plot

So let's take care of that today...

Garden plot

I've freed up the Strawberries which were back there. And I'm thinking about experimenting with a summer cover crop... maybe that would be a good place to start.

Behind the Tofu Patch, there are some volunteer Sunflowers coming up! That makes me happy except the slugs are doing a number on them.

Small sunflower plants coming up

The Lemon Cucumbers seem to be doing well, except for that one droopy one.

Small cucumber plants under a wire trellis

And ya know... the Eggplant looks like it might be trying to make some buds. The slugs have chewed it all to pieces, but it might just live after all!

This is the little Love in a Mist that I almost pulled out when I was weeding the Lemon Cucs the other week... I'm glad it lived!!

Love in a Mist bloom

That's a lot of grass to deal with! Reving my engines to start hoeing tomorrow!

Garden plot

Ha, that tiny orange thing right in the middle of the above pic is one of the Giant Marigolds... The slugs ate all the leaves so it's just a 2foot stick with a bloom at the top! haha!

Heading home. Papa is still taking his turn at the nest.

Barn Swallow sitting in the nest

There's a Steller Jay, bouncing around on the bank of the creek... Oh! She's a fledgling! You see the bit of gape, the pink part at the edge of her mouth?

Steller Jay standing on the ground

I realize I'm trying to photo thru a bit of grass. *laughs* Stupid grass!

Grass

Steller Jay standing on the ground

So Cute!

Steller Jay standing on the ground

Blurry Steller Jay bouncing on the ground

Once they get some knowlegde, Steller Jays become a lot more shy and careful around humans... but as kids, they are still just figuring everything out!

Steller Jay standing on the ground, looking down

Steller Jay standing on the ground

And then she flies away... probably going to find a parent to harass about some food!

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Thursday 6 June 2024... Squash Seeds and Barn Swallow Identification!

I woke up at 4:40 this morning. I had opened up my bedroom window as wide as it would go last night, and I delighted in the cold air coming down on me. Of course, I also had all the blankets and quilts on top of me too... 55° is pretty cold!

The morning chorus began with a Robin singing in the distance. And then a crow... Close, probably in a tree in the parking lot, but not right outside the window. She Caws 5 times in a row, steady, with no pauses. The Crow the other day said 5 caws as well, but said it like, Caw, Caw, Caw, *pause* Caw, Caw. And then my current 5 Caw friend decided that 4 Caws was fine.

After she flies away, I'm listening to the Robin again... and I realize that's not a Robin! Similar tone, but the actual song is very different, and a bit faster than a Robin's song as well.

I remembered looking up a bird and the page said they had a song similar to a Robin... but who were they?

Me: Hello? Brain? You got anything for me?

Brain: GAH! It's Five O'Clock in the Stupid morning! Leave me Alone!

*Laughs* oh fine then!


Heading to the garden. Same parent in the nest as yesterday.

Barn Swallow in the nest

I get to the garden plot and start accessing today's work. I've brought a second Butternut start to plant in the Squash Square, and some Spaghetti Squash seeds. And I will continue forking and weeding the area for the big trellis.

Garden Plot

But then I hear a Swallow singing. I look around and see a Barn Swallow...

Barn Swallow standing on a wire trellis, singing

Oh my gosh, he is so beautiful in the sun!

And this has to be the Papa, right? Singing about his territory while Mama sits on the eggs!

He knows me, so he lets me get really close!

Barn Swallow

So cool!

And now I'm getting some work done!!

I've put the Butternut in the Squash Square...

Garden plot

That thing with the big yellow leaf is the Crookneck. I think I've watered it too much!

and never mind the Zuchinni with no leaves, the slugs did that. And there's a Spaghetti Squash in there as well, in the same condition.

That's okay, because today I've brought my saved seeds! When I ate last year's Spaghetti squashes, I cleaned some of the seeds and dried them out.

I don't know if they will grow. And I don't know if the slugs will munch them. But I've giving it a try. I've also got some old Crookneck seeds, and I throw them in the mix as well.

I forked and weeded a bit. And this part of the plot is looking... well. Pretty Grass-less I guess. ugh. That's what they want. But Ugh!

garden plot

I've still not forked enough to fit the big trellis, so I've moved it over to the pathway. I just got tired of moving it around every time I fork there!

The slugs are so hungry they've even been eating the Giant Marigolds! This one has a bit of green at the top, yet, but most of them are becoming two foot sticks, of the main stem with no green leaves at all.

Marigold plant

Heading home. And now I can say Hi Mama!

Barn Swallow in the nest

The Papa is still out singing, but when he's here he sits with his tail sticking out of the nest.

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Wednesday 5 June 2024... More Lemon Cucumbers!

Aw, I love it when I get to meet the wildlife right outside the door!

Squirrel standing on the ground

Hello Dear Heart!

Barn Swallow sitting in the nest

I brought four more Lemon Cucumber starts to plant in the front Garden Square...

small cucumber plants growing

Lemon Cucumbers are my absolute favorite, and I like to have a LOT of plants! I decide to separate the four plants I've got today, and I plant two in the Supplementary Squash Square...

Garden plot

So that's the Green Zuchinni, top left.
Today's two Lemon Cucs, top right.
A Yellow Zuc, bottom right.
And the very small Columbine, which finished blooming a while ago.
And some stupid grass and a Dandelion! *laughs*

I fork and weed some more for the big trellis. And I rip out some more grass in the front.

Garden Plot

And then the left side neighbor shows up. Oh my gosh, it's been ages since I've seen Mia and we chat for a while. Well. That would be me, mostly just complaining about the non-compliance notice I got about the grass in the pathways!

She was nice about it and said my plot was not a problem, but what are you going to say, right to someones face! :)

But I also complained to her about the double standard, that guy with raised beds and grass in his pathways is fine, but my grass in the pathways is out of order.

And she told me about the guy with the Lesser Celandine plot...

He let the Celandine get totally out of control, the last couple of early springs his plot is completely covered with it.

And they are giving him a new plot, while they try to rehabilitate the Lesser Celandine plot.

I am flabbergasted. So you LET the invasives get totally out of control, and they just give you a new plot? Yep.

Like I said, I need to learn new cuss words.

And unfortunately, I'm noticing a pattern here... The guy with raised beds and grass in his pathways, and the Lesser Celandine plot guy? They are bending the rules for the white men.

sighs.

Well. I'm pleased with the work I've done today. I've only worked 1h10m today but that wide spot at the front where I've ripped out grass... is noticeable progress. So I head out.

The same parent is sitting in the nest.

Barn Swallow sitting in the nest

Underneath the bridge, there's two older ducklings...

Ducklings walking on the creek bank

But their Mama has a droopy wing. :(

Female Mallard

I pause a moment to collect myself.

Poison Hemlock blooms against blue sky

And then keep walking home.

Tag:



Tuesday 4 June 2024... Back at the Garden

Okay! Yesterday's great walk at the river has renewed my spirit and I am ready to tackle the problems at the garden!

It sprinkled thru the night again... which is mildly concerning. I won't be able to hoe until the dirt dries out again: You can't hoe mud! Well. The new hoe doesn't arrive until Wed, so I don't need to concern myself yet.

This morning, it's cloudy, but nothing is coming out of the sky. I take the rain jacket with me, but I don't need it.

Squirrel standing on the sidewalk

Okay... Here's what I'm working with...

Garden Plot

The black dirt areas are the places where I've forked and weeded for beds, and there's some stuff planted here and there.

On the left side is the Tofu Patch and the new Supplementary Squash Square. On the right side of the pic is the Front Garden Square with Lemon Cucs and two tomato plants. oh, and that tall bunch of green is volunteer Elephant Garlics! And then, back right corner of the plot is the main Squash Square and the future big trellis area for the Wax Beans. You can't see the Sugar Snap Pea Patch, because it's as green as the grass, but it's back there at the end of the grassy path going down the middle.

I've been forking the dirt over a month now. It's hard, slow work because I'm trying to do a really good job of sifting out ALL the grass roots!

But! My mission, now is to get rid of all the grass in between those forked spaces. I've got until June20, just a bit over 2 weeks.

And I'm planting some Lemon Cucs, today, too!

Backpack sitting on the ground with squash leaves coming out

Okay, here's where I'm working today. I've got a couple tomato plants in front of the big trellis area I'm forking... Before:

Garden plot

I'm just ripping up grass with my hands. It's too wet to do anything else, and forking to get at the roots just takes too long!

And After:

garden plot

And, yep. I'm leaving the Dandelions! Because, seriously, I hate that dead dirt look, in between the plants. That's what they are requiring, but I NEED a little bit of wild in my space!

And that tall grass in the top of the photo above, is technically over the border, in the Pissant Pot People's plot. I will prob be ripping up their grass, in order for my plot to look better. Sighs. oh how I love to do other people's work.

And the Lemon Cucumbers are planted. They were in small seedling pots, and I was able to fit all four in the backpack.

Cucumber plants in the ground

Okay. I've been hard at work for 1.5 hours. Ordinarily, I could be here for 45mins or an hour, so I def did more work today than usual. But I think I need to aim for closer to 2 hours of work to get this all sorted, in the time frame I've got. SIGHS.

Garden Plot

Hmm. I wonder where the Bluebirds are nesting this year? Nobody's using the nesting boxes at the Comm Garden.

Bluebird standing on a post

The poisonous Sweet Peas.

Sweet Pea blooms in pink and lavender

All the different colours are certainly a delight. Supposedly they smell lovely as well... but I don't have much of a sense of smell, so that part is lost on me!

Sweet Pea blooms in different colours

As I was finishing up in the garden, this one was having an argument with one of the Flickers who hangs out occasionally. Well, honestly, I think the Flicker was just teasing our furry friend.

Squirrel sitting on a tree branch

She was still mad about it, even tho the Flicker flew away five or ten minutes ago!

Oh good, the homeless people have cleared out from under the bridge. So I get to spend a moment at the Barn Swallow nest! Hello My Dear!

Barn Swallow sitting in the nest

*laughs* You got an itch?

Barn Swallow wing and tail sticking out of the nest

Squirming around, trying to get comfortable.

blurry Barn Swallow moving aroud in the nest

Blurry Barn Swallow moving around in the nest

Is that better?

Barn Swallow in the nest with just his head showing

Not really?

Barn Swallow in the nest with just his head showing

Barn Swallow moving around in the nest

Oh, this is better, after all? *Laughs*

Barn Swallow sitting in the nest

Tag:



Friday 28 June 2024... Debate

Yep, I watched it.

Well. When I say I watched it, what I mean is I clicked on the stream seven or eight times, watched for a minute, and then stopped it to scream for a little while!

*laughs*

So! what I was expecting: Trump would lie for a while like the lying pos he is, hopefully his dementia would show a bit, and then he would stomp off the stage in a huff, well before the debate was supposed to end. President Biden would be the voice of reason and everyone would live happily ever after!

Yeah. so that didn't happen, obviously.

well, Trump did lie. Bigly. Nothing new there, except he's getting more brazen about it.

But Biden? There was something wrong, and it was painful -- horrifyingly painful -- to watch him talk. His voice was gruff and he was speaking softly. But also speaking so fast... his mouth couldn't keep up with his brain and he stumbled over words a bit. I think that's normal for him, since much has been said about his stutter...

But since I don't watch politics very often, I didn't realize how very not normal this performance was for Biden. And I was just, well, shocked!

But it turns out... he had a cold. And oh my goodness, that explains everything! His weird soft and gruff voice. He probably felt like crap, especially since he had to fly into Atlanta earlier that evening. (Flying with a cold is the worst, let me tell you. Almost, I would rather die!) And he couldn't call it off or delay, even tho there wasn't an audience, because it's so important that he shows up... [tho if Trump had cancelled, that's just par for the course and what everyone expected, right?] [Double standards. You know I love them. /s]

So, like I said, I didn't actually watch very much of it. And I think I watched just as much of the pre game show as the debate... but this was so despicable I could barely leave it on...

Many people are concerned about Biden's age... The format of the debate, which the Biden administration insisted on, will help Trump... look more presidential... Donald Trump has been preparing his WHOLE LIFE !!78 years!! for THIS debate.

What? *shakes head* WTF??? It was all so stupidly pro-trump that I kind of despise CNN right now. What is wrong with them? Why the obvious bias? There were real questions they could have been asking people... Are you concerned about the retribution Trump will take, if he's elected? Have you noticed the doctors commenting online about Trump's mental decline and dementia? What do you think will happen to democracy if King Trump is elected?

See? I'm not a reporter, but there's some good questions I came up with off the top of my head and I'm already better than those fucking morons at CNN! *rift is brilliant*

And in the tiny fraction of minutes that I actually saw of the debates, Biden did make me laugh once... Speaking to Trump, re: Stormy Daniels and E Jean Carroll: You have the morals of an alley cat! *laughs* Srsly.

So. For me, this was just ... a sick day for Biden that was a momentary annoying thing that no one will care about next week!

Some other reactions...

Joe Biden showed up, despite being sick, and why Donald Trump sank his chances to win the election

Debate Nightmare, The candidates talked about golf more than abortion

Did Donald Trump Murder A Newborn Baby? Is That Why He Keeps Claiming It's Legal? At this point it's starting to seem like he's setting up a defense.

A Complete List of All of Trump's Debate Lies Trump lied 50 times during the debate

2024 presidential debate fact-check: How accurate were Joe Biden, Donald Trump?


Wow. I had a lot to say about that. huh.

well. You should go look at some photos now...

Tag:



Monday 3 June 2024... River

It rained most all night! It quit at some point this morning before the sun came up, but then started drizzling again around 9am.

I decided it would be a perfect opportunity to take a break from the garden.

Rose Garden! And maybe I can check on the Cliff Swallow nests I discovered last year!

Heritage Cherry Tree at the Rose Garden

Foliage

My favorite rose is Silver Lining...

pink rose bloom

pink rose bloom

yellow roses

yellow rose blooms

orange roses

Ha! Both our common squirrels! Our native Western Grey, and the non-native Eastern Fox Squirrel near the tree!

Two squirrels sitting in the grass

I can hear Ospreys yelling, as I'm walking along the river, but they haven't set up camp at the big platform nest across from the Rose Garden yet.

Osprey standing in a tree

Art Pavilion next to the river

I'm so glad they have left this beautiful sculpture...

Heron Sculpture made of chrome

It's called Naseem, which means breeze in Arabic, and it's made from salvaged chrome car bumpers and motorcycle parts. It was supposed to be a temporary art installation, but it fits here so well, with the Art Pavilion made of the same chrome stuff!

And the real thing! *laughs*

Great Blue Heron standing in the river

Some Camas Lilies are still blooming!

Dark blue Camas Lily blooming, surrounded by seed pods

Oh, there is an Osprey at this platform nest! ... and a lot of trash is up there too. bleh!

Barely seen Osprey sitting in a platform nest

Killdeer standing in a landscaped area

Killdeer standing in the grass

Song Sparrow standing on a thorny vine

Song Sparrow standing on a vine, singing

The bridge is 2miles from the Rose Garden and is usually the end of my usual loop. But today I'm going across and going out further.

Bridge over the river

As usual, I pause on the bridge to take in the sounds of the river! I love it here.

Looking down at the river flowing around rocks

Out past the pond, where the invasive Yellow Flag Iris is trying to take over. That's a shame.

Pond with yellow irises growing on the banks

There's bugs flying here, but I don't see any swallows swooping over the water. hm.

And here I am at the bridge with the Cliff Swallow nests. foo. They are all empty and cobwebby!

Empty Cliff Swallow nests

I wonder if I am too early... or if they don't return to their nests like the Barn Swallows do?? Humph!

Empty Cliff Swallow nests

red columbine bloom

Haha, the sun got a Suspish fish!

Yellow ball with faint graffiti

This mixed up Mallard has been in the area for years! It's good to see him now and then!

Mallard paddling on the water

And a rat?! Ha, that's unexpected! Hi Cutey!!

Rat, sniffing on the path

Towhee standing on a stick, forest behind

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Sunday 2 June 2024... Garden, more complainings

On Sundays I usually like to stroll to the Post Office to check my PO Box. But that's an extra 20mins of garden work I could be doing, sighs, so I'm heading straight to the garden today.

And I'm taking some veggie starts in the backpack! A Green Zuchinni and a Yellow Zuchinni. The green zuc doesn't quite fit!

Squash leaf sticking out of a backpack

I've bought so many veggie starts, there's LOTS left to plant. They are sitting in the porch room, and I'm hoping a little extra growing time before they meet the slugs in the garden will give them an edge!

Squirrel standing on the sidewalk

Once I get to the garden, I note how bad off the plants in the Squash Square are... the Butternut is fine, not munched at all, the slugs must not like that one. But the Zuc and Spagetti Squash are well on their way to dead, and the Crookneck doesn't look far behind them.

Shoot.

So okay. I'm going to start a Supplementary Squash Square! *laughs* I planted the zucs at the end of the Tofu Patch. That'll be less room for Soybeans, but it's a pretty big area. I think it'll work out.

I fork and weed another line for the big trellis, future home of Wax Beans.

It's been sprinkling... but it starts to rain while I'm working here. Usually I draw the line: I don't work in the garden in the rain. But I have a deadline for the non-compliance grass thing, and I need to plant things as well. There's too much work, and I cannot pause even tho it's uncomfortable and annoying to work in the rain! I keep forking!

And then I obsess about the Big Comfrey. The new Supplementary Squash Square is a little close to the root ball of comfrey I'm trying to kill.

Comfrey roots in the ground, with a leaf budding off one

It's nice that the Comfrey roots are easy to pick out. Unfortunately, they break very easily. And even small sections of roots left in the ground will come back to life. Killing this thing is a long term project.

BUT!

I really should be working on GRASS! They don't care about the stupid Comfrey. They want the grass in the pathways gone, not this thing.

Comfrey roots in a bucket

Well. There's a couple grass roots in there! ha.

There's no one else in the Comm Garden, which is nice, and I wander around.

Pink and red violet Snap Dragon blooms

Pink and red violet Snap Dragon blooms, with orange poppies in the background

Bachelor Button blooms in light and dark blue

Bachelor Button blooms in purple and light blue

And then I come around the corner and see this...

Raised garden beds

Grass in the pathways.

GRASS IN THE PATHWAYS.

And guess what? This guy's plot IS NOT on the non-compliance list. Even tho he has some serious, well established, lawn-looking GRASS IN THE PATHWAYS.

OMG. I fume!

The double standard.

I am so mad I could scream.

I'm beyond cuss words.

I need to learn new cuss words.

...

But I can't do anything about the unfairness.
Don't let the bastards get you down, and all that.

damn them.

lots of Bachelor Buttons in different colours

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Saturday 1 June 2024... Garden Complainings!

*deep breath* Yesterday I found out the garden plot was not in compliance and I've got until Jun20 to fix the problem.

So I ordered a stirrup hoe, it will be here on Wed afternoon.

So let's discuss the fact that I have to buy a hoe. *grr!*

The Community Garden should be providing everything gardeners need to succeed... with your plot rental you get access to the garden, your plot has a water faucet, and you get access to the tool shed which has wheel barrows, shovels, rakes, hoes, and various other garden tools, like the lawn mower and a post driver.

Except someone got into the garden over the winter, removed the gate padlocks and stole a bunch of stuff from our tool shed. The wheel barrows were replaced.

But we have zero garden hoes. None, Nada.

And if I'm going to remove grass in pathways I'm going to need a hoe.

Sighs.


Saturday Market today, to get ever more veggie starts. And then I have partner drop me off at the garden plot with the hand hoe and the Strawberry plant we got today!

gardening

The hand hoe is too big to fit in my backpack, and it will stay here at our plot. I hide it under the 5gallon bucket... I've never heard of any problems with people stealing things from the plots. (just outsiders stealing from the tool shed!)

So I don't worry about leaving it, except keeping it from the elements... the forecast says rain is due tomorrow!

And then I go down the east side of the plot and rip up grass with my hands...

Garden Plot

I am so angry that I have to do this! It's a ridiculous waste of time, when I should be forking the new area for the big trellis... I can't plant the Wax Beans until that's done and it's freaking June already!

Arg! Just Arg!

AND THEN! And then! I realize those pissant Pot People have left a digging fork IN MY PLOT...

garden plot

And it's not even leaning, they've stuck it in the ground, those fucking jerks using MY NON-COMPLIANT, GRASSY PATHWAYS to get around their stupid plot because they put their beds right up to the border and didn't save their own goddamn path.

On top of all that, there are only two good digging forks left in the tool shed, due to the theft I mentioned. And when you don't put the fork back, others can't use it! And I get it, they just forgot because they are stupid newbies, but GAH!

I hate them! I seriously hate them!

But really, I hate everyone and everything for the moment. I'm just frustrated.

I rage for a little while and then I get over it.

And anyway. Look at how happy the new Strawberry is!

strawberry plant in the ground

And I've taken an even better photo of the Love Mist with the Brandywine in the background!

Love in a Mist

And then I go wandering and look at someone else's Love in a Mist.

Love in a Mist blooms

White Love in a Mist bloom

Orange Dahlia bloom

And then I take the digging fork back to the shed... Since those jerks left it in my plot, it's like they were framing me for stealing it! Which makes me angry all over again. Pissants.

*Breathe*

I'm glad I get to walk home. That kind of exercise is good for my soul!

AND I get to check on the Barn Swallow nest!

Barn Swallow sitting in the nest

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Friday 31 May 2024... Garden Non-Compliance :(

Squirrel sitting on the sidewalk

I'm heading out to the garden. There's homeless people gathered under the bridge, so I just sneak a peek at the sitting Barn Swallow parent on the nest and don't stop to take any photos.

I've got the seed packet of Pansies with me today, and I'm going to put them down around the Giant Marigolds in the front. I highly doubt they will come up, since seeds mostly don't grow in the plot. But I'm going to give it a try since I'm watering there every day anyway!

When I wander around, I discover a beautiful looking strawberry fruit on the plant! But when I pick it up, I find the slugs have eaten a big hole in the bottom of it, and slimed it as well. gross!

*laughs* Let's focus on the pretty parts!

Strawberry blossom on the plant

Okay! I'm forking and weeding to expand this spot in front of the Squash Square, where I'm going to set up the new big trellis.

Garden Plot

I'm getting closer, but the work is going slower... I'm taking my time to do a really good job and getting out as many of the grass roots as I can!

I had been removing the flowers on the first SunGold because I wanted it to focus on making good roots after it was planted. But these flowers are new, and I'm letting the plant do what it wants now, even tho it's still pretty small.

Tomato blossom on the plant

The Love in a Mist by the front Garden Square is blooming!

Love in a Mist bloom

That's the Brandywine in the background. Well, and a big Dandelion! *laughs* I've been letting them grow, this year... I think they are pretty. And when there's just a few, like I have, that indicates good dirt! (When you have zillions in your lawn, that means you have problems!)

Plus, of course, Dandelions are edible. Not that I'm going to eat them, they're yucky! But they do have a place in a veggie garden! :)

Unlike these Sweet Peas, which are poisonous. *shakes head*

Sweet Pea blooms in lavender, white and pink

Heading home... oh my gosh! Some older ducklings!

Two older Mallard ducklings, paddling on the water

There's three of them, and sadly without a Mama... but they have survived H5N1 Avian flu that's killing all the babies!

Thank goodness.

Last year, the Mallards were having big batches of babies, and when they died, the Mamas kept trying and trying. Well over 100 babies died, just along the section of creek that I walk regularly. Terrible. And so hard on the Mamas, both physically and emotionally.

This year, there were a couple of big families in April, but since then the babies have come in much smaller batches. I think, five was the biggest batch of ducklings, this month. And there just haven't been as many families showing up either.

So they seem to be adapting. Tho it is concerning that I've seen two batches of babies without a Mama. Sighs.

I get home, and I see the email.

A warning that our garden plot is not in compliance with the Community Garden rules.

I'm upset because I've been working SO FREAKING HARD. And what's wrong with the plot anyway???! What the hell?

When I calm down enough to actually read the email... it says remove grass in the pathways. um. huh?

Yeah, there's grass in the pathways. but it's short, for the most part. mostly just covering the dirt. It's nowhere near the rule that says to keep the weeds under 18inches. So now I'm upset and confused.

As I go to find the Community Garden manual, online, I vaguely remember they changed it a couple years ago. Sure enough, the Keep weeds under 18inches rule is gone. The rule now says Keep your plot free of weeds, including grasses, throughout all seasons.

Oh Shit. Our new garden director. Grass in the pathways has never been an issue. But we got a new garden director this year. Damnit, she must be nit-picky about the rules.

Great. That's just great.

Tag:



Thursday 30 May 2024... Garden

Hello My Dear! How's it going up there?

Barn Swallow sitting in the nest

*Gasp* Oh my gosh... Are you looking down at SOMEONE??

Barn Swallow in nest, looking down

No. Okay. You just need to turn an egg or something?

Barn Swallow in the nest, looking down

*laughs* Okay, but why you gotta freak me out like that?!

Barn Swallow sitting in the nest

I'm at the garden, and I'm continuing to fork and weed the new area in front of the Squash Square in the back corner...

Garden Plot

I've laid the big trellis down here to give myself an idea of how much I need to fork and weed here. Still a ways to go!

Peas in the making, on the transplanted Sugar Snap Pea plants!

Snap Pea plant with a white bloom on it

Strawberry plant with gree fruits and a blooms

Bright red violet Peonies

Love in a Mist blooms with a Honey Bee on one

Honey Bee on a Love in a Mist bloom

Trump is guilty. Convicted by a jury of his peers. Not that anyone wants to be his peer: traitor and lying liar and pos. 34 counts of falsifying business records... And paying hush money to Stormy Daniels was election interferrance.

I had convinced myself Trump would never be convicted. I'm happy I was wrong. So rarely held to account, Trump has finally had a small taste of justice. This is a good day for American democracy.

Yellow Day Lily blooms

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Wednesday 29 May 2024... Barn Swallows, Changing of the Guard!

Internet problems this morning. At first I thought it was just my email being slow and annoying. But then we had zero connection, and lost the tv as well. I re-booted the box... to no effect.

Sighs.

We live in the city, and we never have problems with the internet. So it feels really weird to go about the day without it!

But I'm not going to worry about it for a couple hours! Heading out for my walk to the garden!

Good Morning My Dear.

Squirrel standing on the sidewalk

It's cloudy and so nice today!

Grey Clouds above the trees

And with the humidity, look who has come out to traverse the bike path. And she-hes got a jaunty flick of the tail!

Snail on the sidewalk

Okay. Here's the back of the garden plot...

garden plot

The middle front is the Pea Patch, where I've got transplanted starts AND some seed planted Sugar Snap Peas coming up!

In the middle is the Squash Square, and then the black landscaping cloth is the right side neighbor.

The plan is to fork and weed a new section in front of the Squash Square (to the right in the pic), where I will eventually set up the big trellis for the Wax Beans. It's big. 6feet long and 4feet high. But I think it will fit in there, with enough of a walkway between it and the tomato plants which are off screen to the right.

I am so happy with the Sugar Snap Peas...

Garden Plot

The second batch of transplanted starts never recovered from the shock of the hot day, when I stupidly put them in the ground. But the seeds I planted around it are outpacing the slugs! So I'm thinking I will have a beautiful Pea Patch here!

Okay, good forking done today, I'm heading out.

Squirrel walking along a wood fence

You know. It just occurred to me that the Barn Swallows have built up the wall of the nest so high... I'm not going to be able to SEE the babies! humph.

Barn Swallow sitting in the nest

The other parent is here too! That's nice!

Barn Swallow standing on a pipe under the bridge

The parent in the nest flies away, and Oh, the other parent was waiting to take over nesting duties!!

Barn Swallow standing on the edge of the nest, looking down

Barn Swallow standing on the edge of the nest, looking down

Barn Swallow going into the nest

Barn Swallow settling in the nest

And, Oh My GOSH! We've now got proof that each parent has a unique nest sitting style!!

Barn Swallow sitting in the nest

I don't know who's who, yet... Mama or Papa? Sitting with just their head poking up, or sitting with their tail out this way. But I'm excited to learn this about my Barn Swallow friends!

Back at home... sighs! The internet is intermittant. It connects for a few minutes, and then goes down for a few minutes. So irritating.

It's well into the afternoon before it connects for good.

But I guess absence makes the heart grow fonder, huh. I do love me some internet!

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Tuesday 28 May 2024... Day of Flowers and Fighting Flickers!

Hi Mama. um, or Papa! *laughs* You can't tell the difference with Barn Swallows, except by behavior.

Barn Swallow in the nest

White Wallflower blooms, surrounded by purple ones

Sweet Pea blooms in pinks and lavenders

Breadseed Poppy blooms with Honey Bees in them

Honey Bee pollinating a pink Poppy bloom

I love Poppies!

Pink Breadseed Poppy blooms

And Bees!

Three Honey Bees pollinating a Breadseed Poppy bloom

Can you tell?! *laughs*

Lavender coloured Breadseed Poppy blooms with a couple bees

Okay. I'm at my plot and checking on all the plants.

Slugs have about killed two of the four Lemon Cucumbers. And the Eggplant, tho it still has part of a green leaf left.

munched Eggplant leaves

All the Tomatoes are good, so that gives me happiness. But some of the Giant Marigolds I planted yesterday are still looking a bit pathetic.

Marigolds planted in the dirt

I get started forking and weeding more of the future Tofu Patch. But then these two distract me. Wikka Wikka Wikka! with a different tone than usual...

Two Flickers standing on top of a street lamp

Oh! Two males! They are displaying!

Two male Flickers staning on top of a street lamp

I wonder how they win the contest.

Oh their beautiful red shafts!

Flickers flying

(Yeah, actually, they are orange... but our western Flickers are called Red Shafted! The eastern Flickers are Yellow Shafted, and it's a serious, banana bright yellow!)

Flickers flying

The Winner?

Single Flicker standing on a street lamp

Yeah. This other one looks a little forlorn.

Flicker standing on a wood fence, head tilted to look up

Okay. Back to work! I've forked a good section...

Garden Plot

But I got a little too close to the Columbine.

Columbine next to forked dirt

I gave it a good watering to apologize!

And I'm done for the day. I stop by Roz's plot as I take the digging fork back to the shed.

Pink Peonies in a colourful garden plot

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Monday 27 May 2024... Day of Planting

Okay! Partner is driving me and a bunch of baby plants to the garden! We got a lot of veggie starts over the weekend at the Saturday Farmer's Market, and I want to get all the biggest ones in the ground.

I give Partner a quick tour of our garden plot... There are a few plants here, but the tour is mostly about plans for the future. The future Tofu Patch, where the Wax Beans will be, replanting the poor sad Lemon Cucumbers, who are fighting to live thru the slugs. Ha.

I get to work, and look how nice the Squash Square in the back is shaping up!

Garden plot

Well, okay. The green Zuc, top middle is probably not going to live thru the very hungry slugs. But the two Butternuts are happy, and that Crookneck, top left, is only slightly iffy with the slugs.

I had six Giant Marigolds to plant! I put three up at the front left of the plot.

Giant Marigolds with buds not blooming yet

And the other three are along the edge of the Tofu Patch.

Garden plot

These are unhappy here... I had bought these a while ago and they were extremely root bound and I had to be not-gentle trying to separate them from their seed tray. Hopefully they will get to live.

And then the Brandywine and a 2nd SunGold are rounding out the front Garden Square, with the volunteer Elephant Garlic and the Lemon Cucs on the other side.

Garden plot

Mmmm! Bradywine! They are my favorite tomatoes... but the plant needs such a long growing season, and the plants are never very productive, either. So I rarely get to eat any...

Brandywine tomato plant growing in the dirt

But I have high hopes this year. *laughs*

The strawberries in the back are making things happen... but the slugs love strawberry fruit as well, so this is another thing I probably won't get to eat much of.

strawberry blooms and small growing fruits

Okay! That's nine starts I put in the ground today, and I'm starting to feel like this is a veggie garden instead of just a place where I fork the grass! *laughs*

I'm packed up and walking home... and Oh My Gosh!

Metallic green bees on a purple thistle bloom

Virescent Green Metallic Bees!!!

Every website I look at says these beautiful bees are common... But this is only the second time I've ever seen any. So I'm not sure what their definition of common is!

Metallic green bees on a purple thistle bloom

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Sunday 26 May 2024... Sunday Stroll with Birds

Squirrel standing on a tree root on the ground

Violet Green Swallow standing on the edge of a building, blue sky behind

Wood Pewee, standing on a twig

♥ ...

Barn Swalling in the nest

Oh, wow. These Sweet Peas at the Garden are beautiful!

Purple and Pink Sweet Pea blooms

Altho I don't know why people would want them in their garden plot... Sweet Peas are poisonous!

Pink Sweet Pea blooms

I did a little bit of forking and hand weeding, to expand the future Tofu Patch.

Garden Plot

The other day I mentioned the new right side neighbor and called them Pot People. Seriously... Look at all their planter pots.

Garden Plot

It's crazy! There are dozens of pots, all with little plants growing in them. crazy! They bought so much dirt to fill those pots, and how will they keep the plants alive during our hot and dry summer? They'll have to be watered twice a day! *laughs*

Okay, heading home! I am kinda wondering if the Barn Swallow parents each sit a different way...

Barn Swallow sitting in the nest

This parent with their tail sticking out this way, and the other parent sitting with just their head visable?

Scrub Jay standing on a railing next to the bike path

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Saturday 25 May 2024... Garden

Partner is taking us to Saturday Market this morning, and I'm grateful for the help! I need to buy a lot of veggie starts from our favorite Farmer, and some extra arms to carry baby plants will be useful!

Our Farmer is happy to see Partner, There's two of you, today! :) and then she comments on my excessive Lemon Cucumber purchase, Didn't you buy cucumbers last time? ... Me nodding, enthusiastically. They didn't die, did they?

*laughs* I explain how Lemon Cucumbers are my favorite, and I try to have 10 plants every year!

Partner dropped me off at the garden. I sent most of the veggie starts home with him, because I wanted some extra time to murder some Horseradish.

The new neighbor (might not be evil, but we have yet to determine that) still has the landscaping fabric, covering most of the back of their plot. But of course, the Horseradish is growing around it.

I'm using the dandelion tool to get as deep as I can with the roots. As usual. But they'll be back, and so I pull up Horseradish several feet into the neighbor's plot.

And then I planted the two squashes I bought today! And all of a sudden the Squash Square is starting to live up to it's new name!

garden plot

Strawberries there on the left. The bottom squash is a Crookneck. The middle-ish squash is the Green Zuc that I planted the other day that's getting seriously munched by slugs. and right of top is a Spaghetti Squash... which makes the Square a mix of summer squash and winter squash!

And, as I mentioned yesterday, the first batch of Lemon Cucumbers aren't doing well. They are all in various stages of slug munched, and a couple def will not live.

Cucumber plant in the dirt

So the only thing that's giving me hope in the garden is the Sugar Snap Pea Patch...

Snap Pea Patch

When I transplanted the second batch of Snap Pea starts -- which is that droopy mess of mostly dead stems there, top middle -- I also planted a bunch of Snap Pea seeds which are coming up all over the place.

AND it seems like they are trying to out-grow the damage the slugs do! So I am def cheering these little guys on! Grow! Grow! Eye of the Tiger! Risin' up to the challenge of our rival!

*laughs*

Okay! Walking home, and looking at the Barn Swallow nest. There's homeless people sleeping under the bridge, here, so I only took a couple pics. I don't want to disturb anyone...

Barn Swallow sitting in the nest

But I have to check out our sitting Barn Swallow parent!

purple Salsify bloom

purple Salsify blooms

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Friday 24 May 2024... Garden

Oh ugh. I am having one of those mornings when nothing goes right!

I've overslept a little bit and that always makes me feel discombobulated.

I'm trying to get a first cup of coffee and I notice the bag of compost in the fridge has sprung a leak. No big deal, but today it has to be a whole grumpy thing.

Well, I'll feel better when I get some exercise!

Different coloured Pansies in a big planter

Steller Jay standing on a chain link fence

Oh! Are we sitting at last? I think we are! Yay!

Barn Swallow sitting in her nest, just her head visible over the wall of the nest

But then I get to the garden and most everything here is disappointing... The poor stupid Leeks are still laid out on the ground. It doesn't look like they are going to recover from transplant shock, not to mention all the abuse I heaped onto them.

Fallen leeks on the dirt

And the Green Zucchini is getting severely munched by slugs.

Zucchini plant in the ground

There are lots of Sugar Snap Peas sprouting...

Snap Pea Patch

But they are getting munched as well.

Small Snap Pea plants growing in the dirt

The Eggplant gets ever more pathetic each day.

Eggplant leaves with holes in them

The Lemon Cucs are getting slug munched as well, but I can't bare to look at them.

I do my work for the day... Murdering the Big Comfrey plant some more:

Comfrey leaves coming up through the mulch

And then continuing to fork and weed the future Tofu Patch.

Garden Plot

And the work did make me feel better.

Green Strawberry fruit on the plant

And on the way home... Yep! Sitting on the nest!

Barn Swallow sitting in the nest

I wonder if this is the same parent, who just re-arranged herself, or if this is the other Barn Swallow parent.

Anyway. I've looked up incubation times... 12 to 17 days...

We'll say 14 days, from last night, which puts us at the babies being born on June7 at the earliest.

I am excited and happy... but also worried and scared!

You know: Don't count your bird babies before they hatch!

Because the Flickers had a nest failure that I witnessed, earlier. And I desperately don't want that to happen to my Barn Swallow friends, who I have watched over the years!

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Thursday 23 May 2024... Neighborhood Walk with Flowers

Nootka Roses are blooming! Our native rose, used to stabilize the creek bank.

pink rose blooms

Honey Bee inside a partly open pink rose

Nobody at the nest again today. That's okay.

Nest on a pipe, under a bridge

Silhouette of a fallen tree with cloudy sky

There are some Starling youngsters up in the branches of the Fallen Leaning Tree!

Starlings standing on twigs

Spanish Lavender blooming next to the sidewalk

Spanish Lavender blooms

Columbine blooms

Pink Hibiscus blooms

Pale peach rose blooms

I've zig-zagged my way thru the neighborhood, looking at the flowers in everyone's yards! and now I've looped around, back to the Fallen Leaning Tree. Here's a view from the side, where you can see it's leaning on the ground.

Fallen Oak tree

It's leaves are growing, but so slowly. Is the trunk still attached to the roots?

Oak leaves on a mossy branch

I probably won't be able to walk out this way for a good long while, due to Garden work. So the question will have to remain a mystery!

Oak leaves on a mossy branch

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Wednesday 22 May 2024... Flowers out to Stewart Pond

Taking a break from the garden today, and I'm walking out in the other direction.

My gosh, the climate change wind is crazy today, very blustery. The weather page said 11mph, but I didn't believe it! And later it said 18mph. idk. It's starting to feel like we live in Kansas or something!

Orange Poppy blooms

Unknown yellow flower surrounded by Forget Me Nots

Purple and white Iris blooms

Purple Alliums with other purple flowers in the background

The same damselfly as yesterday, I think? A female Vivid Dancer.

Damselfly standing on the sidewalk

Another unknown flower... I am getting so lazy about looking up new flowers! haha.

Pale blue flower

Purple Salsify with Daisy blooms in the background

Oh hey! It's Knotty! Long time, no see!

Great Blue Heron, walking in shallow water

Here I am at Stewart Pond Park, and the Wet Prairie ponds have converted to their summer prairie stage! ... that's not water out there, that's flowers!

Grass land with swathes of white flowers, trees in the background

The swathes of different colours of flowers are so lovely.

Grass land with trees in the distance

And all the variety of grasses makes good bugs for the swallows!

Swallows swooping over the prairie

Huh. The swathes of white are some kind of Forget Me Nots!

white Forget Me Not Blooms

Clouds over the silhouette of trees

Camas Lily blooms with yellow flowers in the background

Yellow flower in the grass

A Common Whitetail Skimmer, an immature male. I don't know how long it takes for their tail to get white.

Dragonfly in the grass

When I was double checking the species of that dragonfly, I came across this website...

Dragonflies and Damselflies of Columbia County, Oregon

Oh, this is brilliant. Amazing and clear photos, of both males and females. Just excellent and I'm adding it to my bookmarks!

I finally got to the little bit of forest... and I totally tripped on the stupid tree root that I've been marking all year! Bahaha!

looking down at the trail

You can't see it! It's there, just left of center. and you can see the last board I placed too, but it's now useless and sunken into the mud.

Dang it. But there's nothing I can do. I've run out of white boards, and there's nothing else laying around to mark the spot.

Watching me as I contemplate tripping hazards...

Squirrel peeking around a tree trunk

*laughs*

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Tuesday 21 May 2024... I am a Terrible Gardener, but I see cool things!

This is a new cat who has been hanging around the last month or so. She's beautiful but suspicious of humans.

Longhair tortishell cat standing on the sidewalk behind some grass

Oh Yay! The first pic of a Damselfly this season! I've been seeing Dragonflies and Damselflies flying around for about a week now... pretty late, they usually start flying in April. But it's been chilly, except for a few short periods of record heat.

Tan and black Damselfly, standing on a metal pipe

I'm glad I finally found someone who was willing to sit for a photo! *laughs* I think she's a Vivid Dancer!

Damselflies hold their wings above their body, Dragonflies hold their wings out!

Oh Yay Some More!

Barn Swallow sitting in her nest

Both Mama and Papa are here!

Barn Swallow standing on a pipe

Thinking about laying some eggs?!

Barn Swallow sitting in her nest

I've brought a green Zucchini plant in the backpack today. It's planted and then I forked and weeded some more... I'm going to call this the Squash Square! (and that's the Pea Patch on the left.)

garden plot

Looking a bit pathetic.

Zucchini planted in the dirt

The Sugar Snap Peas I planted as seeds are pretty pathetic as well. Slug munched.

Pea seedlings coming up

And the poor Leeks I planted yesterday are really, really pathetic. Dang it. I'm not sure they will live!

Leek seedlings laying on the ground

Aww, and the fourth Lemon Cuc has gotten sunburned. I am a terrible gardener!

Sunburned leaves of a small cucumber plant

But, okay. Here's a success... The little Love Mist I tried to murder by accident is def perking up!

Cucumber plants

And the Strawberry plants never give me any trouble.

Strawberry plants with blooms

The Barn Swallow nest is empty on the way home. Birds lay their eggs in stages, so it'll take a few days, depending on how many eggs there are!

Empty nest on a pipe, under a bridge

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Monday 20 May 2024... Leeks to the Garden

Still nobody at the re-built Barn Swallow nest. When?! When will we lay eggs??!

Barn Swallow nest on a pipe under a bridge

Oh sheesh. Is it going to be one of Those days?

Blurry Scrub Jay standing on a railing that retreats into the distance

Today I brought the fourth Lemon Cucumber and the Leeks in my backpack to plant today.

The poor Leeks! I bought them at the Farmer's Market on Apr28, and had already brought them to the garden in my backpack once. I couldn't figure out where to plant them tho, and I hauled them back home in the backpack.

They are feeling much abused, and they all got droopy when I put them in the dirt!

Leeks planted in the dirt

I feel bad for the Leeks and water them to heck. It doesn't help at all.

I've put them at the faucet end of the future Tofu Patch, and then put in a stake to keep the hose away from them!

Garden Plot

Starlings have brought at least one child to the garden today! They are fun to watch. This one was just taking in the day! Maybe she is not a parent yet?

Starling standing on the back of a garden chair

Starling standing on the back of a garden chair

I planted the baby Lemon Cuc with it's friends in the front Garden Square.

Garden plot

I thought about moving the trellis further inside the plot, to have more walking space at the border... But Why? Everyone else is a jerk about going right up to the boundary lines. Why do I have to be the one to provide all the stupid walking paths along the borders?

Plus, I had to move one of the new neighbor's pots... it was right on the border and I bumped into it a couple times as I was working.

Annoying. I still haven't met them, and I'm still assuming they aren't evil. Even tho their stupid pots are all over the stupid place. Pot People. *laughs*

Four little Lemon Cucs... The beginning of this year's Lemon Cucumber Empire!

Small Cucumber plants growing in the dirt

That little scraggly mess of green in the bottom left is a baby Love-in-the-Mist plant that I accidentally dug up as I was weeding. They are pretty, and I like them, so I carefully re-planted it and watered it thoroughly. I don't know if it will live, but I'm giving it the chance.

And the poor Eggplant. Not looking good.

Eggplant, leaves have been munched by slugs

I planted this Old German tomato the other day and I decided to put a heavy duty tomato cage around it...

Tomato plant

The internets tell me the fruits can be over 1pound, so that will need some support. But then I also found a couple people talking about how big the plant gets. 5 and even 7feet tall? Holy. I don't know how that will work out!

Back at home...

I am on the email list for The StoryGraph newsletter. So far I haven't done anything with my account there... but it's interesting looking at the progress made and the work put into it.

StoryGraph #172 | 20 May 2024 Morning Walk Thoughts

Nadia has been walking this year and was reminded about how important good ol' pure thinking time is!

I agree! Walking is the best!

It's good exercise. You get good nature time! You get hundreds of photos! *laughs*

And of course, you get thinking time. That's nice too!

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Sunday 19 May 2024... Today With Flowers

The weather has been absolutely reasonable the last few days. Highs are still a bit above normal of 63° for this time of year, but nice. And today we have pretty, puffy clouds!

Puffy Clouds with blue sky

Puffy Clouds with blue sky

Heading to the garden for some more work!

California Poppy blooms

I started forking and weeding a new section... That was last years Tofu Patch, and now I'm envisioning having some squashes growing in that corner. And I'll need a place to put the new big trellis for the Wax Beans, too. I'll have to think about it!

Garden Plot

I am thrilled to see a bunch of Sugar Snap Peas coming up from seed! The first attempt at seeds was completely munched to death by slugs.

Pea seedlings coming up out of the dirt

I'm really hoping these will survive the slugs... it's kind of terrible having to buy Snap Pea starts, six at a time, with the 50-50 chance of growing up! It's a lot cheaper to have 50-50 odds with seeds, except I can put plants in the ground much earlier than seeds.

And then I go on a wander around the Comm Garden, looking at everyone's plots!

This Lacy Phacelia is still growing in one of the back plots.

Lacy Phacelia blooms and a California Poppy Bloom

Lacy Phacelia blooms and a California Poppy Bloom

Iris blooms in purple and yellow

And these black Irises. Amazing!

Black Iris blooms

There's a tiny bit of colour coming thru, like subtle and quiet fireworks!

Close up of colours on black iris petals

Black Iris blooms

The new mud is starting to dry on the Barn Swallows nest, but no sign of the parents yet.

Barn Swallow nest on a pipe under a bridge

Steller Jay standing on a chain link fence, looking down

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Saturday 18 May 2024... A Beautiful Walk up Wild Iris Ridge

So. It's Saturday. And ordinarily I'd be going to Saturday Market to get the next batch of veggie starts from my favorite farmer.

But the car died last Saturday and it's still at the shop... I guess one of the important mechanics was out sick this week, and stuff isn't getting done at the normal pace. And they've not even looked at the car yet, to see what's wrong! Sighs.

So. I thought about taking the fast mass-transit bus to Saturday Market. But then I thought about all the people staring at me on the way home with a tray full of baby plants. Eeee. Nope, nevermind!

But I did think I deserved a break from the garden, tho... I've been working there every day for over a week! So I'm headed out to Wild Iris Ridge!

But first I gotta get there! It's 2.1miles to get to the trail, but at least the neighborhoods I walk thru are photogenic!

Lesser Goldfinch standing on a mossy branch

Pink flowers

Pink and white Peony bloom

Pink Rhododendrons

Oh, I didn't know that Salsify came in yellow!

Yellow Salsify bloom in the grass

Sal-suh-fee! and Sal like Sally!

Close up of Yellow Salsify bloom

Orange Opium Poppy with Garden Pinks in the background

Garden Pinks

Brown sheep standing in the grass

Black and white polka dot goat eating grass

Heading up the hiking trail!

The tree trunk in the middle of this photo is the Acorn Woodpeckers granary tree...

Forest

From this angle, it's probably 50feet from the path. The path curves around on the right, going up the hill, and it's a better view from that side.

Hello!

Acorn Woodpecker standing on the side of the granary tree trunk

The guard today is bouncing around too quickly and the pictures aren't great.

Acorn Woodpecker standing on the side of the granary tree trunk

And then he flies away! What? HEY! Get back here, you! I came all this way!

*laughs* I saw two of them, far away, probably checking on their other granary trees in the forest. But they didn't come back to this close one. foo.

I look around more carefully than I did last time, and I scope out two other snags being used as granaries.

Close up of a granary tree

This Acorn Woodpecker territory is nothing like the one at the top of Hidden Trail, where there are a bunch of dead fir trees, all together. Here in the forest, the dead trees are more random and far apart. More natural, but probably more work for the Woodpeckers trying to guard them!

I go on up the hill. As I'm taking pics of this pretty Mallow, a guy passes by on his way down the hill.

Pink Mallow blooms

Admiring the Poison Oak? he asks. I look up and notice a lot of Leaves Of Three, Let Them Be right in front of me!

Poison Oak leaves

I laugh and say, oh! Is that what this is? He chats about the Poison Oak in his yard, climbing up other trees so high and he doesn't want to mess with it. And I point out the happy Mallow plants that I was actually looking at. :)

Just a few Oregon Irises left blooming. Their time is almost up, already.

Purple Iris

I just love the cool old trees here.

Trees in the forest

But it's time to head back... as much as I would love to wander around in the forest all day, I do have other things to do!

white Rhododendron blooms

I make sure I walk at a leisurely pace on the way home... I do not want to overwork my poor back again like I did that one time when I speed walked home! heh.

Blue and purple flowers in the grass

Calendulas and Garden Pinks

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Friday 17 May 2024... Today with a Mobbed Heron

It's cooler today, and Partner complained that I left the window in the kitchen open all night. It's Freezing, he says. Haha, I think it feels nice!

It does feel so nice after last weekend's 85° and record breaking 88° / 31°C.

Still with the new, climate change wind. Today we've got 12mph. And it still annoys me even tho I've been dealing with it most all spring.

Trees on the hill and clouds in the sky

My friend Roz's plot is so lovely... He says since he's a single guy, he doesn't need to plant so many veggies and so he fills his garden plot with flowers!

Roses and other flowers

House Finch...

Female House Finch standing on a wire trellis

And def not a Purple Finch! I wondered if I would remember how to tell them apart... The female Purple Finches have a lighter coloured eyebrow on their face.

Okay, at the plot to do some work... and oh foo, I forgot I need to grab a new pair of garden gloves...

hand holding a garden glove with a hole in it

That hole is letting mud in, plus there's a tiny stone that has settled in the tip of the pinky. Really, Really Annoying!

I love this type of garden glove... these are a little snug and the fingers aren't long enough. Tho that's normal, I have long fingers and no gloves fit me properly. But the rubber palms on these things are brilliant and -- so far -- I've not had any blisters when I wear them, and the grip on garden tools is perfect!

So, yeah, I asked, and my Mom got me a whole stack of these gloves!! ♥!

Forking and weeding in the future Tofu Patch again today. Slowly, slowly it gets bigger!

Garden plot

Purple Columbine bloom

And here's the plot from the front left corner. Lots of grass to take care of out there...

Garden Plot

I'm thinking about buying a stirrup hoe.

The Community Garden is SUPPOSED to provide all tools for gardening, but last winter the locks on the gates got stolen and then a bunch of stuff from the tool shed got stolen.

They did bring us some extra wheelbarrows a couple days ago, so that was nice. But we've still only got two heavy digging forks, one regular hoe, and one stirrup hoe which is broken and useless.

I don't really want to own a stirrup hoe. sighs. we'll see.

I'm heading home... and Oh My Gosh!! A Crow mobbing a Heron??!

Crow mobbing a Great Blue Heron who is standing at the top of a fir tree

Haha, I've never seen that before!

Great Blue Heron standing at the top of a fir tree

Hmm... is that Henrietta? Maybe. I think so. And the stupid wind is messing with his hairdo! *laughs*

Duck Henrietta!

Crow mobbing a Great Blue Heron who is standing at the top of a fir tree

Whoa!

Crow mobbing a Great Blue Heron who is standing at the top of a fir tree

Kinda Annoyed! Bahahaha!

Great Blue Heron with his neck stretched out, annoyed!

Oh my gosh, this is just cracking me up!

Crow mobbing a Great Blue Heron who is standing at the top of a fir tree

Crow mobbing a Great Blue Heron who is standing at the top of a fir tree

Poor Henrietta! That look is saying Why?! Why do I have to put up with this ridiculousness?

Great Blue Heron standing at the top of a fir tree

Okay, back at home. And look at all the tiny Pansies that are coming up!

Tiny sprouts coming up from potting soil in a terra cotta pot

I thought I was going to put this pot outside, once things got started. But dang, these seedlings are so tiny and delicate looking. I think I'm going to keep them here in the porch room for a while longer.

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Thursday 16 May 2024... Gardening

Wow, look how much the Barn Swallows have built up their old nest!

Barn Swallow nest under a bridge

They aren't here today, and I'm wondering if they are going on one last adventure before laying eggs! :)

Rose and California Poppy

Rose bloom

I've forked and weeded a bit more of the future Tofu Patch.

Garden Plot

A pathetic little Sugar Snap Pea, coming up from seed, very munched by the slugs. sighs.

small Sugar Snap Pea growing in the dirt

As I'm packing up to leave, I hear Swallows talking and I look up and see the Barn Swallow parents swooping above the Community Garden! Yep, one last adventure!

Colourful Succulents

The Red Osier Dogwoods are blooming!

Red Osier Dogwood blooms and leaves and blue sky

Red Osier Dogwood blooms and leaves and blue sky

Yellow Day Lily blooms

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Wednesday 15 May 2024... Barn Swallow Show!!

Squirrel standing on the steps, holding something in his hands

Lesser Goldfinch standing in a tree surrounded by leaves

The Barn Swallows are still hard at work rebuilding their nest!

Barn Swallow standing on the rim of their nest

This one studies me for a moment...

Barn Swallow looks down from the pipe under the bridge

They fly and do a few swoops, and then land at the edge of the creek... RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!!!

Barn Swallow gathering mud in their beak at the edge of the creek

Oh my gosh! They take a minute to scoop up some mud and get back up to the nest.

Barn Swallow in the nest with mud in their beak

They work the mud into place.

Barn Swallow in the nest

And now they're asking Did you get all that?

Barn Swallow looking down from inside the nest

Because, OH MY GOSH! They let me see what they are doing. They SHOWED me!

They didn't have to gather mud right in front of me. I'm absolutely positive there's better mud elsewhere! But they wanted to show me!!

So I'm thrilled! Thrilled to bits!

And I've said they this whole time, because at first I assumed this was the female. The male has always been more nervous around me. (Haha, I am totally assuming I could tell them apart in the past!)

But what if that was the male, singing at the Garden the other day? He let me get so close! Maybe this was him, letting me know we are friends now.

well. Either way: Thrilling!

And now I'm getting stuff done at the garden plot. I've forked and weeded a bit more in the future Tofu Patch.

Garden Plot

I fork a section, and then go thru the dirt with my hands, breaking up clods of dirt, and pulling out grass roots and putting them in the bucket.

They say that squatting is the most natural form of sitting for human. ha, but eventually I need to sit on my butt. I usually grab that row cover to sit on.

Blooming strawberry plant in the garden

A cute lil ant! Hello my dear!

Ant walking on a strawberry bloom

The slugs have found the Eggplant.

Eggplant with holes in the leaves

So far, the slugs have only munched this one leaf of the three Lemon Cucumber plants...

small cucmber plant in the ground with one munched leaf

But these plants are so little. Maybe I should have let them grow a bit in the Porch Room before I planted them?

heh, there's a Buckeye tree growing near the Sugar Snap Pea Patch.

Buckeye

I will have to chop that down soon... woody plants are not allowed in the Community Garden. Lots of people break that rule with Roses and Grapes... but I think a line would be drawn with an actual tree! *laughs*

Bud of a Love In The Mist flower

I'm heading out, and Oh, Hey! Hello Again!

Barn Swallow singing on a wire trellis

*laughs* He? He let's me come around to the front, but then I realize the sun behind him is going to ruin this photo! :)

Barn Swallow sitting on a wire trellis

I have to walk around the outside of the Community Garden, on the way home. And I finally spot this one...

Anna Hummingbird standing on a wire trellis

I kept thinking I was hearing a hummer when I was working in the plot, but couldn't find the singer. If he was singing over at this end of the garden the entire time, he must have a powerful voice! (Humans can hardly hear Hummingbirds!)

It's been ages since I've had a Hummingbird supervising my garden visits. I miss having the company while I work.

Purple and white Wallflowers

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Tuesday 14 May 2024... Garden and Barn Swallows

Hello my cute lil neighbor!

Squirrel sitting on the sidewalk steps

And Hello, Mama, my cute lil Community Garden neighbor!

Squirrel standing at the edge of the path, near the grass

I am going to be expanding the front Garden Square today with some forking and weeding.

Garden plot

But let's talk about that marker on the left...

Flattened can on a stick in the garden

This is the marker for the rootball of Sunchoke that I buried last fall. (also called Jerusalem Artichoke.) There's nothing coming up. Maybe you're not supposed to plant in the fall? No, it should have been fine.

This was my 2nd attempt at getting Sunchoke. The first attempt, I didn't bury very well and the squirrels ate them! Haha! I found bits of Sunchoke roots with little teethmarks, all over the garden plot!

This rootball was pretty big, so I didn't think the squirrels would do much harm if they decided to chew on it. But I buried it deeper than the first set, anyway.

But nothing. Two failed attempts at growing Sunchoke... I guess the universe is trying to tell me something! *laughs*

It's a bummer, because it's a native and very pretty.

Purple Columbine blooms on a small plant in the garden

Aw, somebody munched a hole in one of the cute little baby Lemon Cucs. Damn them!

Small Cucumber plant in the ground

Heading home, and this time both the Barn Swallows are at the nest!

Barn Swallow standing on a pipe under a bridge

And the other parent is working on the nest.

Barn Swallow working on the inside of the nest

So Cute! Mud on their beak!

Barn Swallow standing on a pipe under a bridge

And stuff to say!

Barn Swallow singing from the pipe

And the nest re-build is coming right along!

Barn Swallow nest

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Monday 13 May 2024... Nesting Birds

Woke up on the wrong side of the bed today... I'm just grumpy.

I would like to take a break from the garden... my back aches a little from the work I've been doing, and I had trouble getting to sleep last night because of it.

But! I've only just started! There's so much to do! And there's hardly anything growing yet because I've only planted a couple of veggies. And it's all nice and warm, finally, I can't be wasting this time!

Just a little bit of weeding today, okay? Please?
Sighs. Okay.

squirrel standing on the sidewalk

The work continues on the Barn Swallow nest... and on the other side of the bridge, I see the parents swooping over the garden with some Tree Swallows!

Barn Swallow nest with new addition

Okay, I think I am going to start with this mess. This is the Big Comfrey, trying to come back to life after I been hacking at it, a couple times over. Die, Comfrey, Die!

Comfrey leaves coming up in the garden

*laughs* It's not that I don't like you, Comfrey. I just don't want you in my plot anymore!

The leaves are coming up from small chunks of roots... nothing like the huge established roots I pulled out of here last time! ... But that's the problem. The roots break apart easily, and the bits left behind are eager to regrow.

holding a comfrey root with a small leaf coming out of it

And then I get distracted by this one!

Chickadee with fuzzy fibers in her beak, standing on a wood and twine trellis

She or he is so intent on getting more of this lovely nesting material!!

Chickadee working on some twine

Chickadee working on some twine

And then I hear a swallow singing, and I turn around! Ha, it's one of the nest builders!

Barn Swallow standing on a wire trellis

Just singing his heart out! Aw! I love him!

Barn Swallow singing from a wire trellis

He lets me get pretty close since he knows me, but then he's off!

Barn Swallow flying away from a wire trellis

And this one is still at it...

Chickadee standing on a wood trellis with twine in her beak

But that reminds me, I have my own work to do!

I'm going to dig up the small Comfrey as well. It's still really muddy here, under the leaves.

Comfrey leaves coming up

There were still some bigger roots to pull out with this one. The first time I dug it up, I was just using the hand spade, so I couldn't get very deep. I did a better job of it, this time with the heavy digging fork!

And then I start forking and weeding a new section... I'm going to plant Soybeans again this year, so this will be my Tofu Patch!

Here's the garden plot from the back corner...

garden plot

Strawberry plants with blooms

Bachlor Buttons

Immature apples growing on a tree

So.....

We are getting the poor dead car towed to the shop today. Partner seemed to be organizing that this morning, as I was heading out for my walk. And I asked him to try and start up the car, before he called for the tow truck...

Of course, there's all kinds of ... issues, if the car does start up. But I'm trying not to think about that!!

So, I head out for my walk and partner goes out to the car with the keys.

And the car starts right up.

And he's sitting there, thinking "Now what?"

And then the car dies.

In exactly the same manner that I described it. The engine just shuts down and all the warning lights on the dash come on.

And partner calls for the tow. And calls the mechanic shop. and everything is arranged.

And now we get to worry about what they say when they look at the poor old thing.

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Sunday 12 May 2024... Sunday Stroll with Garden Work

Yesterday, it got a bit warmer than forecast and we tied a record high for the day, 88°F (31°C) set in 1931!

The forecast for the next week is all over the place, low 70s and upper 70s... but any kind of 70s is way better than 88! *laughs*

Flowers in front of a tea shop

Oh Wow! You can see the new work they've done!

Barn Swallow nest with new mud at the top of it

I'm at the Garden, and oh yeah! I've finished forking up those big weeds in the front Garden Square!

Garden square

The Eggplant looks happy.

Eggplant planted in the garden

Grow! Grow! Grow!

baby cucumber plant

small tomato plant in the garden

Oh! Are you eating a slug?! Can you come to my garden plot next, if you are still hungry??!

Scrub Jay standing on a wood fence

Heading home.

Barn Swallow standing in the nest she is working on

Bittersweet Nightshade.

Bittersweet Nightshade blooms

Close up of Bittersweet Nightshade blooms

You've got a meal as well?

Scrub Jay standing on the top of a fir branch

Close up of a Scrub Jay, with a bugs green legs in their beak

Nootka Roses, our native species.

Pink rose blooms

In yesterday's news, I was vaguely interested to read this...

Native wildflowers in bloom at Dorris Ranch following ecological prescribed burns

The prescribe fire killed off several invasive and non-native grasses, blackberry bushes, thistle and more and now the prairie has been reborn with native wildflowers like camas and western buttercups.

Wait. Western Buttercups???

I didn't know we had a native buttercup!!!!

Huh! oh my gosh! I had assumed that all the buttercup flowers around here were the invasive Creeping Buttercup! And... hmm... yeah, it turns out, they are hard to tell apart.

But this is brilliant! I am so glad to learn that we have a native!

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Saturday 11 May 2024... Well, it started out fine...

The heat wave has arrived. Yesterday it was 85° (29°C) and the forecast is about the same for today. Can you believe that last Saturday the high was 53° (11°C)!!

I'm heading for Saturday Market to get more veggie starts and the morning is warming up fast... it's already 67° as I leave the house.

I buy a new-to-me variety, Old German, which is an heirloom that makes big, orange tomatoes! A green Zucchini, the first 4 Lemon Cucumbers.

And I'm looking for some beets, but don't see any, so I splurge on an Eggplant instead. Which is ridiculous... I plant an Eggplant every once in a while, but 100% they die. And if this one happens to live... I don't even like Eggplant! But, like my Dad said, They ARE pretty! *laughs* Aubergine! :)

I drive the haul to the garden...

Aw, the second set of Sugar Snap Peas has not recovered... Look at that poor droopy thing on the left.

Snap Peas at the garden

So that's a bummer. I get most everything planted...

The Lemon Cucumbers are so little and cute!

Small Cucumber plants in the garden

And that green thing is the new small trellis that got shared with the Community in January. They had cleared an abandoned plot, put some things up for grabs, and so I got a couple trellises for free!

Garden plot with labels

But it's starting to get very uncomfortably hot. So I get everything watered well and I'm taking the Zuc and one of the Lemon Cucs home with me.

I drive home without a problem... but as I turn into the apartment driveway, the engine just shuts off.

Huh. I look down at all the lights on the dash that have come on, and think, That's Weird! I stop the car, put it in park, crank the key... and the car turns over, but the engine doesn't catch.

I breathe for a few moments, then try again, but now the engine barely even wants to turn over.

Well. Crap.

I roll up the windows, grab the baby plants and walk home, which is just around the corner. I'm a little embarassed that I was taking a wide turn with the car as it died, and it's stopped rather in the middle of the driveway, def not in it's lane! There's just barely enough room for a car to get around it, and one does as I'm walking away.

I get Partner, and we push the car into a parking space... Cars are heavy! It looks so easy when some other guy is doing the pushing! But seriously, cars are heavy! Plus we have to roll it over a speed bump. We just barely got the back tires over. Around the corner is getting easier. But then the parking spaces are on a tiny incline. That took a couple of tries.

But the car is out of the way. And now we get to sit and worry, because our usual mechanic is closed for the weekend.

Sighs!

But I'm determined to get the car fixed, no matter the cost, even tho the old jalopy isn't even worth it... because it got me all the way home before it died!

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Friday 10 May 2024... Oh My Gosh! Barn Swallows!!!

I'm heading to the Community Garden again today, this time carrying the 2nd batch of Sugar Snap Peas in my backpack.

Along the walk to the garden, the bike path goes under a car bridge. And look who I found today!!!

Barn Swallow standing on a pipe, next to a nest

OH MY GOSH! They are repairing this nest!!

Barn Swallow flying away from nest, while other Barn Swallow brings a beak full of mud!

Barn Swallow flying away from nest, while other Barn Swallow brings a beak full of mud!

This is so cool!

Barn Swallow looks down from the nest

I wonder if they remember me. I think I've been watching them nest here for the last two seasons, at least!

Barn Swallow looks down

Barn Swallow crouched down in the nest, making repairs

Barn Swallow looking down from inside the nest

Very exciting!

Not nearly so exciting, here I am at the garden.

Pea plants poking out of a green backpack

This is the SunGold I planted yesterday. Apparently not bothered by the cooler temperatures last night.

Tomato plant in the garden

Oh dear! I watered these well, but the Snap Peas got really wilted with the transplanting and the harsh sun. Ya know... It may have been a mistake to plant peas right before hot weather. foo.

Snap peas planted in the garden

Well, I buried some Sugar Snap Pea seeds all around, as well. The first set of seeds that I planted around the first batch of Snap Pea transplants, aren't doing great, getting munched by the slugs.

Snap Pea seedling growing out of the dirt

Bachlor Button bloom

Bachlor Button bloom

Ha, kinda artsy...

Silhouette of a Scrub Jay standing on a post in the sun

Try again...

Scrub Jay standing on a post, looking at the ground

Looks like they'll be putting in some lamps along the bike path.

Stake with writing, Light Pole, in the grass with pink spray paint circle

It's probably a good idea... I never walk at night, but it's probably really dark here. I do worry about light pollution, tho.

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Thursday 9 May 2024... Garden Work

Okay! The sun shines and it's to be an uncomfortably warm 81° today. And I need to get going with the garden!

I'm in the porch room, getting the veggie starts organized into my backpack and I glance down... Oh my gosh! The Pansies are coming up! The directions said they wouldn't germinate until it was 75°!!!

Tiny seedlings in a clay pot of dirt

I've decided to take the Leeks and the SunGold to plant today. The nights in the forecast are still a bit chilly... That frost advisory last night got us down to 35°, brr! But SunGolds are pretty tough!

Tomatoe plant sticking up out of a backpack, leaning on a resin chair

The SunGold is too tall and I can't zip the backpack closed and go out with the tomato plant sticking up!

And I notice the people staring at me and the SunGold! One driver did such an obvious double take at me, it made me laugh out loud!

Shadow of a person

The sun is so stinkin' bright.

Scrub Jay standing on a wood nest box

I get into the garden and wow...

Black iris blooms

This black Iris is just stunning!

Close up of a black iris

Okay, here I am at my garden plot. I'm going to see how far I can get with clearing out the front Garden Square.

Garden plot

And the Big Comfrey is trying to come back... I'll have to give that another whack soon.

small comfrey leaves poking up out of the dirt

I plant the SunGold and then fork some of the Garden Square. I thought everything would just pull right up, but I had to fight with a big clump of grass. So this little section took longer than I thought it would.

Garden Plot

That's okay, we are just getting started here. But the day is getting on and I still don't have a clue where to plant the leeks. I put them back in the backpack to take home. I think they are small enough that they won't mind this terrible affront too much! :)

Strawberry bloom on a plant

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Wednesday 8 May 2024... Garden Assessment

It looks like this will be the last nice day before things start heating up for the weekend heat wave. But I notice the gusty wind even before I leave the house today.

I usually record the temperatures and forecasts in my journal. This climate changed wind, here this year, seems to be a permanent and annoying addition. So maybe I should also record the wind speed as well.

18mph gusts today.

Nootka Rose bloom surrounded by rose leaves

I go into the Community Garden to assess my plot... the coming heat wave will start drying stuff out and I will need to work fast to get everything organized...

Garden plot

Most of that is grass and weeds, coming up thru the leaf mulch I put down last autumn.

This is the front right of the plot... An area I named the Garden Square last year. I don't know what those weeds are but they will be an easy first project!

Garden plot

That clump of upright green, left of middle, is volunteer Elephant Garlic!

And that tilled black dirt at the top right is the new right side neighbor. Hopefully not Evil, but that remains to be seen!

The Sugar Snap Peas are still alive!

small Snap Pea vines on a tomato cage

There's just one little clump of Columbine that survived the winter, and it's blooming!

Dark purple Columbine bloom

I should think about getting some more Columbines to plant... I love them, and they usually live a couple years. They also try to propigate themselves with seeds but that hasn't been very dependable in my plot.

Someone else's pretty pretty Chives.

Chive blooms

Chive blooms

Ha... awkward angle for this bit of bright bird! But look! American Goldfinch! Mostly I just see Lesser Goldfinches, so it's nice to see someone different!

American Goldfinch standing on a willow twig

American Goldfinch standing on a twig with the sky behind

Pink Hawthorn tree blooms

The willows are starting to let their seeds go.

Willow catkins going to seed

Willow catkins going to seed

Willow tree branch stump

Oh My Gosh! Some Older Ducklings!!!

Five older ducklings paddling on the water

They don't seem to have a Mama... but they have survived their babyhood!!

H5N1 Avian Flu was killing all the babies last year, and I assume the same has been happening this year as well. So this is pretty amazing!

Three ducklings paddling on the water

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Tuesday 7 May 2024... Stewart Pond and Crazy for Clouds!

The sun is shining today, but the clouds are moving around so much, it's actually sprinkling for most of my walk out to the park! The wind is pushing it into my face again. Stupid climate change wind.

Ha. On top of that... we've got a frost advisory for tonight. Arg! It's May! Can we please get over the cold weather now??!

clouds and a blue sky

Purple Iris blooms

Some Spanish Lavender, out in the wild. This is a well established bush!

Spanish Lavender blooms

Spanish Lavender blooms

I'm just loving the clouds today!

Clouds over silhouette of trees and a blue sky

Clouds

I see a pair of Barn Swallows swooping over the ponds. But when I get into the park itself, there's a whole flock of Tree Swallows swooping!

9 Tree Swallows flying in front of clouds

Too bad no one will sit for a portrait!

And then I get to the little patch of forest, and oh my gosh, the birds are singing like mad!! The sunshine is making them happy!

Puddle in the grass, under trees

I'm taking my time here, surrounded by song, but wondering if I'll actually see any birds!

But then... Who is this??!

MacGillivray Warbler standing on a mossy stick

NEW BIRD!

Wow! And this little bird is such a bright yellow! I can see them clearly with my eyes... but trying to find them in the camera viewfinder? Good lord little bird just blends right in. It's crazy, and I just have to point and click in their general direction!! *laughs*

tree leaves with a MacGillivray Warbler

Anyway! This is a MacGillivray Warbler.

Gah, what a terrible name. I have to study the word closely to figure out how to pronounce it! That's somebody's name, so this lovely bird will be getting a new name in the next few years! Good. Because MacGillivray just does not cut it!

MacGillivray Warbler standing on a mossy stick

This is a male. The females have a warm grey head, and lack that little bit of black on their face.

And most of Oregon is their nesting range. So they are here for the summer!

Scrub jay standing on a stick

Scrub jay standing on a stick

Wood Pewee standing on a barbed wire fence next to a blooming Hawthorn tree

Spotted Towhee standing on a mossy branch

Pink Rhododendron blooms

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Monday 6 May 2024... Neighborhood and Stewart Pond

Still with the rain today! It's nice and I'm trying to enjoy it to the fullest, even with the stupid wind blowing it in my face... Because summer is coming... Those mid-80 temps are still in the forecast for this weekend, blah!

Orange Breadseed Poppies covered in rain drops

Flowering Dogwood blooms near the street

Pansy blooms

Daisy blooms in the grass

Lupine blooms and leaves

Lunpine blooms

I love how the rain gathers on the leaves!

Spheres of water drops on Lupine leaves

All the rain has brought back a puddle at the Wet Prairie!

Water in the grass with trees in the distance

It's been a while since I've walked this way. The last time I was here, there was a homeless camp and one of the people confronted me. It scared me a little bit and I didn't want to come back until I was sure they had moved on.

But I love this little piece of forest, and nothing will keep me away forever!

Robin standing on a branch on the ground

Still work to be done, from the January ice storm!

Pile of sticks and cut logs in the grass under the trees

Camas Lily blooms in the forest

*laughs* Every time I come here, I have to replace this marker... there's a tree root sticking up here in the path that I've tripped over. More than once!

Path thru the forest

But this is the last of the pile of sticks I found... so I don't know what I'm going to do next time!

Hawthorn tree blooms in pink and white

Ha! You'd think the Golden Crown Sparrows would be moving on by now... they nest up in Canada and Alaska. A long way to fly! But probably the cool weather here is keeping them. Who wants to fly north, when the weather here is crappy?

Sparrows standing on mossy sticks

But that's their breeding plumage. You've got to wonder that the long migration messes that up! Don't they want to be pretty when they show up?

And behind the stick is a White Crown Sparrow... They don't nest here either, but only have a little way to fly to their summer spots.

Walking back home, there's still some Killdeers running around this dry lot... I can't tell how many there are, or if that cute ball of fluff Baby is grown up and still here. I hear more Killdeers than I see. They are mostly hidden in the grass.

Killdeer in dry grass

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Sunday 5 May 2024... Sunday Stroll

Still some sprinkles this morning... The rain kept up, off and on all yesterday afternoon and it was so chilly it thought about breaking a record for the lowest high temperature! The high was 53°F and the lowest high was 50°F, 10°C set in 1950.

And the crazy thing is, we've got a heat wave on the way. Forecast says mid-80s for next weekend. ugh.

trees on the hill

Mama Mallard paddling in the creek with seven ducklings behind her

Five ducklings paddling in the creek

Leaves budding out on the Fallen Leaning Tree.

Oak leaves budding from a mossy trunk

Camas Lily blooms with trees in the background

All the rain has filled up this Wet Prairie puddle as well!

Dozens of Camas Lilies blooming under the trees

Camas Lily blooms

Camas Lily blooms

Foo... dang it, that would have been so picturesque!

Scrub Jay bouncing off the edge of the photo

*laughs*

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Saturday 4 May 2024... Rain!

It started raining at 1:30 yesterday afternoon. It rained the rest of the day and it rained all night and it's still raining!

Ha, it's rained so much, the wet prairie ponds are filling back up!

Water puddled in the grass under trees

And the bike path is flooded under the bridges!

Water flooding the bike path under a car bridge

It's unusual but not unheard of, for the rainy season to extend into May.

Camas Lily blooms in front of the muddy water of the creek

I pause, there are some Starlings making a racket... and when I realize they are circling around ME, I get a little offended. What did I ever do to them?!

But then I saw this one on the other side of the creek, directly across from me! haha, that's who the Starlings are upset about!

Cooper Hawk standing on a branch looking up

This Cooper Hawk is a juvenile, born last summer... her eyes will turn coppery red when she's an adult.

Cooper Hawk standing on a branch

Cooper Hawk standing on a branch in the rain

Cooper Hawk taking off from the branch she was standing on

Cooper Hawk standing on a branch, yelling

The Fallen Leaning Tree making some leaves.

Oak leaves budding out from a mossy branch

Red-violet Rhododendron blooms

drooping lilac blooms?

I've gone across the street to look at different things, and wander into Washington Park. I've only been here once before, and this time I notice the colourful tiles around the splash park...

Colourful tiles along a low sitting wall with green bushes behind

People who donated to make the splash park happen, I assume. There's lots of colourful designs and I love them!!

The World is mudluscious and puddle wonderful

Colourful tiles of a mouse, hummingbird and bumblebee

The sum of the whole is this, to walk and be happy, to walk and be healthy

A bright bush on a dreary day... I don't know what it is!

Yellow bloom bush

seed pod on a yellow bloom bush

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Friday 3 May 2024... Neighborhood Walk with Columbines

But first a stop at the garden to check on the Snap Peas.
Aw, this is nice!

Small basket of flowers attached to the wire of a wood fence

bouquet of flowers

Great! Sugar Snap Peas are holding up! The bottom leaves and stems look pretty rough from the slugs, but the tops are good and the plants are grabbing onto the tomato cage.

Snap Peas growing in the garden

Strawberry bloom on a plant

Someone else has some Lacy Phacelia started as a cover crop in their plot.

Lacy Phacelia bloom

It is pretty interesting stuff... The nursery I shop at sells it, and makes it sound like an invasive, "aggressively out-competes weeds" and "readily re-seeds".

I did see quite a few plants escape to the wild, that first year after this was offered for sale, growing along the bike path... But, since then, there haven't been any solid mats of Lacy Phacelia created in the wild... just the odd plant living here and there!

So, it is def not a problem plant like I thought it would be. Maybe it's something I will try in my own plot next year.

Lacy Phacelia foliage

Okay! On with the walk!

Oh sheesh... I don't know why I even bother...

Chickadee behind sticks

Hmmm... That looks like poo sacks! You've got two children growing up in the nest already?! Nice!

Starling standing at the top of a fir tree, holding round things in her beak

Pink and white Columbine blooms

I love all the different colours of Columbines!

Red-violet and yellow Columbine blooms

Purple and white Columbine blooms

So glad they didn't cut down this beautiful willow!

Willow tree with a stump

Willow tree with a stump

Sighs... I've gotten so used to looking up at the Flicker hole...

Woodpecker hole in a tree branch

I've been looking up for a few moments, kind of mourning for the baby Flickers. And then I glance over and see this squirrel looking up in the same direction I was!

Squirrel standing in the grass, looking up

Haha! Is she trying to figure out what I see??

I'm coming around the bike path curve... and a Crow tips me off...

Hawk behind a lot of leaves

I walk back to see if I can get a better angle. She's buried in the tree pretty good... but at least I can get an ID. Red Shoulder Hawk!

Hawk standing on a branch in a tree

The first native Nootka Rose bloom!

Pink wild rose bloom

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Thursday 2 May 2024... Delta Ponds with Goslings

It seems like it's been ages since I've come out this way at the river... I've mostly been going to the Rose Garden and walking east from there.

White puffy clouds in a blue sky, trees at the bottom of the pic

Clouds over the river and hill

There's a trickle of river water coming over the spillover into the ponds... but you can see how the pond is already starting to dry up.

Spillover

Haha! Her feet!

Turtle balancing on a rock, with her feet splayed in the air

I come across this cute family just as another pair of Canada Geese want to come meet the babies. But the parents are not ready for company yet...

Canada Geese parents with 9 goslings gathered in the grass

Everyone is getting pissy. Except the clueless babies!

Two pairs of Canada Geese snaking their necks at each other

Two Canada Geese fighting with mama and babies in the background

Two Canada Geese fighting with babies in the background

And don't come back!

Canada Goose family

LaDeDa! ♪ We have good parents who take care of us!

Goslings standing in the mud next to the pond.

I decide to go across the street to the official Delta Pond Park. And on the way, some older Canada Goose goslings!

Goslings walking thru grass

They are all over the place, and families are mingled.

Four goslings standing in the grass

Six goslings walking in the grass

Canada Goose gosling standing in the grass

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Thursday 2 May 2024... Delta Ponds with Goslings Part 2

Pond with trees in the distance and blue sky

Path thru the forst

I walk to the end of the path, and it's still blocked off. It will be so nice when they finish the bridge and all so you can walk a loop around the ponds!

I love the turtles, even the invasive ones!

Two turtles sitting on a log in the water

Small turtle sitting on a log in the water

Turtle sitting on a log in the water

a pair of Wood Ducks paddling in the water

The poor stupid camera is having issues today with the light and the dark... I'm missing some good shots because it can't figure out where to focus. oh well.

Spotted Towhee singing up on a branch

a pair of Tree Swallows standing on twigs

Wow, that is one big turtle over there on the other side of the pond... she's almost as big as the ducks!

Turtle and ducks sitting on the bank of the pond

One more Canada Goose family as I come around the last turn at the ponds.

Canada Goose standing over goslings napping in the grass

Canada goslings napping on the grass

And then a family of Greylags!

Greylag Geese walking on the grass with lawn daisies

Greylag Goose with three goslings

Cute Overload!

Greylag Goslings walking on the grass with Lawn Daisies

Greylag Goslings walking on the grass with Lawn Daisies

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Wednesday 1 May 2024... Wayside Park

It was supposed to be sunny today, but we've got some clouds instead!

Clouds over silhouette of trees

As I'm approaching the tree the Flickers had nested in... There's a squirrel in the tree! And for a moment I am hopeful that the Flicker parents will come out and chase the squirrel away.

But no. Instead...

Squirrel tail hanging out of a woodpecker hole in a tree branch

This nest is dead and abandoned.

A bit of Squirrel tail fur hanging out a woodpecker hole in a tree branch

This would not be allowed if the nest was active. So, that's my confirmation. Nest Failure.

And when I think about it, it all adds up. The weather had been so very warm. And the Flickers took a risk with laying eggs so early. And right around the day the babies were to hatch, was the day the weather got so cold.

The high temperatures of the days has been in the 50°s, and I think the parents just couldn't find enough bugs to feed.

So, Mama Flicker just sitting there on that branch the other day... She had alreaday given up.

But! It's early in the season. The Flickers will build a new nest somewhere else and lay some more eggs and raise some children!

I move on.

Mama Mallard watching over ducklings in the grass

I don't know what the babies are eating, but they are very serious about it!

Ducklings in the grass

Cake, maybe? It's just a feeding frenzy for the babies and bits are flying everywhere... I think Mama is probably already thinking about getting a bath for these messy kids! *laughs*

Ducklings and Mama Mallard standing in the grass

Wood Pewee standing at the top of a twig

Oh Good! They've removed the stupid temporary fence around the Fallen Leaning Tree!

Leaning Tree

These are very crappy photos, dang it. But it just cracks me up how much these American Goldfinches look like rubber duckies!!

American Goldfinches in shallow water

*laughs*

American Goldfinches in shallow water

House Sparrow in shallow water

Multi-Species Bath Time!

American Goldfinches in shallow water with a Golden Crown Sparrow

Okay, back to the Fallen Leaning Tree, and I jam the exposure setting way down to capture the clouds.

Fallen Leaning Tree with clouds in the background

Here I am at Wayside micro-park and the flowers are lovely!

Purple Iris blooming next to the path

Bleeding Heart blooms

Purple Iris blooms

I study the new tree they planted to replace the Mimosa Tree that came down in the January ice storm. I guess Black Gums aren't even vaguely related to Sweet Gums, a common tree here.

Black Gum tree leaves

So that's nice, I get to learn a new tree!

Dark Pink Tulips near a white picket fence

I'm heading back when I come across this flock!

Evening Grosbeaks behind bushes

Shoot! There's no way to get a good shot! I was just pointing the camera and hoping for some luck! *laughs*

A pair of Evening Grosbeaks behind twigs

Evening Grosbeaks!

Three Evening Grosbeaks behind twigs

Evening Grosbeak standing on a branch

Sheesh. That was a long walk, with many stories to tell!

Turkey Vulture mobbed by a Crow

Turkey Vulture soaring over trees

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Tuesday 30 April 2024... An Awesome Hike Up Wild Iris Ridge!

Well, Good Morning Mx Opposum! Isn't it a bit bright and sunny for you right now?

Opposum walking in the grass

Dang you're cute!

Opposum standing in the grass

Oh, you're just up late, and now it's time to turn in?
Good Night, Sleep Tight!

Opposum walks thru a break in the fence under a porch

Purple Rhododendron blooms against the blue sky

Squirrel standing on a wood fence

Crow mobbing a Vulture, flying in a grey sky

Pink Rhododendron blooms

Four different coloured horses grazing on grass

Horses lying on the grass

Here I am at the head of the trail. I've been avoiding this hike because the last time I was here, I walked home way too fast and killed my back for a few days!

Kiosk at the head of a hiking trail

I just love the trees here! Mostly oaks, and these beautiful Pacific Madrones.

Pacific Madrone tree trunks and branches

I saw a flash of red and figured this was a sapsucker...

Blurry Acorn Woodpecker standing on a dead branch

Oh my gosh!!! An Acorn Woodpecker!!

Blurry Acorn Woodpecker standing on a dead branch

I look around... OH MY GOSH!!! There's a granary tree not 50feet away from the path!!!

Acorn Woodpecker granery tree trunk full of holes

This is SO exciting! I keep going up the trail to see how far I can get.

And then I wondered about this dogwood? Flowering Dogwoods only have 4 petals on a bloom...

Pacific Dogwood blooms

Hey Cool!! Pacific Dogwoods have 4 to 8 bracts per bloom. yeah, they are called bracts on dogwoods. So this is a native, and I'm trilled to learn about it today!

And the namesake of the trail!!! Wild Irises!

Purple Iris blooms on the forest floor

These are our native irises, Oregon Irises! What luck that I decided to come up here when they are blooming!

Purple Iris bloom

Spotted Towhee standing on a mossy branch

I was coming back down the hill, specifically looking for the granary tree I just found...

Acorn Woodpecker standing on the side of his granary tree

And then there was a ruckus! A Western Grey Squirrel had gotten too close to the precious granary tree, and needed to be chased off!! haha!

Unfortunately, I couldn't really see what was going on, because there were trees in the way... but the Acorn Woodpeckers were making, hm, I guess an alarm call and two were flying at the squirrel, driving her away. And yeah, the squirrel ran!

So that was WAY cool! I've never seen Acorn Woodpeckers actually have to defend their territory!

Acorn Woodpecker standing on the side of a mossy tree trunk

And to think! I wasted all that time, going up Hidden Trail to see the Acorn Woodpeckers up there... loads of granary trees, too far away, and I never got decent photos.

And these guys are RIGHT HERE! *laughs with delight*

Acorn Woodpecker standing on the side of a mossy tree trunk

Acorn Woodpecker standing on the side of the granary tree trunk, lots of holes

American Robin standing on a branch up in a tree

And then I made a concerted effort to walk home Slowly! so I wouldn't strain my back again. :)

Pink Rhododendrons in front of a blue sky

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Monday 29 April 2024... Neighborhood Walk in the Rain

It's been sprinkling pretty good this morning, and it's so chilly -- 46°F, 8°C -- I get my heavy shirt to wear under the rain jacket!

Squirrel standing on the sidewalk

It's raining in earnest by the time I walk by the Community Garden! This is perfect weather for a walk!!

Trees and foggy hill in the distance

The Fallen Leaning Tree.

Fallen oak tree, a limb resting on the ground

I make a detour for these orange Rhodies... such a bright beacon on a dreary day!

Orange Rhododendron blooms

Orange Rhododendron blooms

Buckeye tree blooms

Close up of Buckeye tree blooms

Pink Rhododendrons with red Rhododendrons in the background

The clouds have been moving around and now the sun comes out! Just in time for ducklings.

Mallard ducklings paddling near the bank of the creek

Just the two, today?

Two ducklings standing in shallow water

Stretch!

Two duckliings standing in shallow water, one stretches her leg!

Ah, here comes Mama, and I can hear their siblings peeping as they paddle upstream with her!

Female and Male Mallards paddling by the duckings

Willow tree with a broken limb

Willow tree with a broken limb

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Sunday 28 April 2024... Sunday Stroll

Ah, all the different shades of green!

Trees on the hill

Duckings with Mama, paddling on the water

I was going to go into the Community Garden to check on the Sugar Snap Peas, and there was an old Chinese woman at the gate. She asked about the Garden and I offered her a tour.

She was just curious and didn't know the first thing about gardening! *laughs* We go in and she looks down at what's growing in the first plot and asks, "What's this?"

I look and have to say, "That's weeds!" haha! I tell her how much it costs to be a member at the Community Garden, and what you get and some of the rules you have to follow. And she tells me she's 78 years old and her family... kids? or grandkids? runs some restaurant I'd not heard of. :)

That was a nice chat, and I let her out and we go our separate ways. Me, going under the too quiet Flicker nest. *shakes head*

Woodpecker hole up in a tree

The Hardhack is coming back to life. For some reason I'm surprised to see green leaves on last years stems... but this is a woody plant in the rose family.

Hardhack, last years spent bloom with new leaves

(and ha, the wind made it so stinkin' hard to get this photo! That bloom branch was waving all over the place!) (stupid climage change.)

Scrub Jay standing on a post

I take a different route home, and am happy to see some Rhodies!

Pink Rhododendron blooms

Purple Rhododendron blooms

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Saturday 27 April 2024... Saturday Market and Goslings at the River

Visiting my favorite farmer to get more Veggie Starts!

I got my first SunGold, a 2nd batch of Sugar Snap Peas, Leeks and I was looking for Beets but didn't see any. So I splurged on some Giant Marigolds instead!

Walking back to the car, I see an Octopus!

Graffiti on a wall, including a red and blue octopus

I'm not planting today... the rain has made things muddy again. Its cloudy and cool enough that the baby plants will be fine in the car for a while, so I went over to the river for a stroll!

I start at the Rose Garden... and there are some roses today!

white rose blooms

Dogwoods blooms in white and pink

Dogwoods blooming over Spanish Bluebells and Calla Lilies

And some goslings!

10 goslings with several Graylag adults walking and sitting in the grass

They are so round and cute!

Greylag goslings walking and sitting in the grass

I go across the walking bridge... Swallows!

Looking across the river, Skinner Butte in the background

I see flashes of red, and think some of them are Barn Swallows. But then I see this!

Blurry Swallow over the water

That swipe of white across the forehead means this is a Cliff Swallow!!! That's exciting!

Blurry Swallow over the water

ha. If this isn't the most Eugene thing you've ever seen!

Ducklings following Mama across the street with a human family watching and a bus in the background

And yes, traffic stopped for the babies!

Ducklings following Mama Mallard on the street

Aw there's a Canada Goose family at the Delta Ponds!!

Two parent Canada Geese with four babies, paddling on the water

Canada Goose with gosling

They are so adorable!

Four Canada goslings paddling on the water

Canada Goose parents with four babies paddling on the water

Their little feet!

Four Canada goslings paddling on the water

It started sprinkling as I watched the family, and it's time to turn around and go back.

The Greylag family again...

Greylag Geese wtih goslings walking on the grass

You know what's interesting? The Canada Geese families are a bonded pair: Mom, Dad and babies.

But the Greylags raise their children as a community... Everyone is watching out for the kids and you can't tell who the biological parents are! :)

Greylag Geese with goslings

And back at the Rose Garden!

Trellised Rose plants, surrounded by trees

Rose Garden Heritage Cherry Tree

Dogwoods with Calla Lilies

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Friday 26 April 2024... More Rain and Cool Birds

Purple Petunia blooms

Mama Squirrel says it's a bit chilly today!

Squirrel standing up on a branch in a tree

I go into the Community Garden to check on the Sugar Snap Peas. Still alive, tho I have to prop them back up on the cage again. Stupid wind.

And then I stop to admire this Red Hot Poker plant in the plot at the end of the row.

Red Hot Poker plant blooming amongst other garden plants

Purple Iris blooms, covered with rain drops

Purple Iris blooms, covered with rain drops

This patch of Camas Lilies is at it's blooming height!

Camas Lilies blooming on the forest floor

Camas Lilies blooming

The ferny looking thing in the right side of the above pic is Poison Hemlock. It's in the Carrot family and will kill you pretty quickly.

More ducklings. Sighs.

two ducklings and Mama Mallard paddling on the water in the rain

Just four in this batch... The last batch I saw was small too. I wonder if mama is laying fewer eggs or if the babies are dying before they get out. SIGHS.

Three ducklings dabling in the water

Typical...

Blurry Chickadee standing on a branch in a tree

Haha, it's been so long since I've seen one of these birds, I tought this was a phoebe. But no! Western Wood Pewee!

Wood Pewee standing on a twig

They have migrated up from South America for their nesting season here!

Wood Pewee standing on a twig

I had to think a moment to figure out who this is, as well! Have to get re-introduced to all the summer birds, I guess. ha. Savannah Sparrow!

Savannah Sparrow standing up on a branch

Savannah Sparrows are migrating up from Mexico... I bet everybody is annoyed to arrive with this chilly and rainy weather!

Savannah Sparrow standing up on a branch

Hawthorn tree blooms

Hawthorn tree blooms

Just taking a moment to think about stuff in front of our den!

Nutria standing in water at the edge of the creek

I heard one of the Flickers, in that same group of trees that I saw Mama in yesterday. But quiet here... Too quiet. And I'm thinking I'm not going to see babies.

Woodpecker hole up in a tree

Western Bluebird standing on a wood fence

It sprinkled for most of my walk today, and kept sprinkling off and on thru the afternoon. I love the rain and am glad to get an extension on spring weather!

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Thursday 25 April 2024... Rain

The rain started around 5:30 this morning... And Look who's still alive! Yay!

Snap Peas in the garden

The pathetic Sugar Snap Peas that I planted yesterday have perked right up with the rain!

Snap Peas in the garden

The bit of wind we've had has pushed the vines off the tomato cage, and I've propped them back up. Hopefully they'll get over their transplant shock soon and grab onto the cage so they can stay off the ground and away from the slugs.

And dang it, I am so annoyed at this new breeze we've had to deal with this year. Climate Change. Bah!

Moving on... I heard a Que! Flicker contact call, as I came up to the nest! But I wait here a moment and no one came flying in.

Woodpecker hole in a tree branch

I wish I could see what was happening in there! Because yesterday was the earliest the babies could have been born. And if someone is saying Que! the parents must be out and about and getting food for the newborns.

Right?

Arg. The stupid breeze is making these pretty Lilacs a moving target! Stupid Climate Change!

Red Violet Lilic blooms

Hello?

Single duckling paddling in rain splashed creek

Ah! I come around the corner and hear the "Peep Peeping" of siblings and see Mama!

Mama Mallard and a duckling paddling on rain splashed creek

No count of how many ducklings this time, the trees were blocking the view. That's okay, I'd rather not get attached to any batches of babies with H5N1 killing everyone. :(

Oh Wow! These Black Tulips!

Flowers in a yard with Black Tulips

And Columbines! Does it seem pretty early for Columbines to be blooming?

Deep red Columbine blooms

Back on the bike path, walking back, a Green Heron flew up from the creek and around some trees. Foo, I was bummed that I missed her... But Green Herons are masters of camouflage, I might not have seen her even if I was looking right at her! *laughs*

I come round the trees and look up see if she found a perch or something... and I see a silhouette and take a couple pics...

Ummmm?! That's the Flicker Mama??!

Flicker standing on the twig of a snag

huh. She's out of the nest... maybe she's taking a short break from the newborns? That seems... odd.

???

Oh my gosh! A Yellow Rump Warbler in the Apple Tree right outside the Community Garden!!

Yellow Rump Warbler standing at the top of a tree

This is a female, the males have black on their chest.

Yellow Rump Warbler standing in a tree

AND this is the western, Audubon race, with the yellow throat. The Myrtle race of Yellow Rumped Warblers has a white throat and is supposedly an eastern bird, but we have both races living here!

Yellow Rumped Warbler, walking along a branch

She is just so cute!

Yellow Rumped Warbler standing on a branch, looking away

Yellow Rumped Warbler standing in a tree

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Wednesday 24 April 2024... Garden Again

The chance of rain tomorrow has hit 100% and it looks like we might actually get some real rain. And there's a good bit I want to do in the garden before it gets all muddy again!

So I got my partner to drive me to the Community Garden... I've brought the Sugar Snap Pea starts that I got weeks ago at Saturday Market. And with the extra time, I'm going to take out some horseradish!

Horseradish leaves coming up thru the mulch

That one Horseradish at the bottom of the photo is the only one that is actually in my plot, the others are in Probably Not Evil Neighbor's plot... Except, I think we will have a new neighbor this year, so I will have to find out about their Evil Status later!

Anyway. I used the dandelion tool to get as deep as I could...

Horseradish pulled up and in the bucket

The bucket is about ½ full this time, and much lighter than the Comfrey roots I got up yesterday. Most of these roots are pretty thin, because they have to regrow every time I dig them up.

Horseradishes in the bucket

But you can see what happens with that one bigger root at the top... It's broken off, and the rest of it, that's still underground will def come back to annoy me again in the future.

Leaves and white flower of a strawberry plant, coming up thru the mulch

Crow standing on a wood trellis, looking over her shoulder

Friend Crow flies over to a post...

Crow landing on a metal post in the garden

but can't quite get her balance right away...

Crow with wings spread, looking down at her perch

Ha, she's got some white feathers, hidden under her wings!

Crow has settled on the metal post

I think about doing some hoeing. It's probably too wet yet even with 10 days of dry, but I decide to give it a try.

Except I get to the tool shed... and this is the only stirup hoe we've got...

Broken Stirup Hoe

Dang it! I remember last fall when the locks on the gates disappered for a week or so... Our stirup hoes must have gotten stolen.

So that's not cool at all.

Well. Here are the Snap Peas I'm planting today... they've gotten tall and spindly living in the porch room at home for the last three weeks since I bought them at the fist Saturday Market of the year.

Pea plants in seedling pot

I put them in the ground. and, hmmm. They look kinda pathetic, don't they?

Planted snap pea plants

I give them some water and hope they live!

On the walk home, a pretty Hawthorn is blooming.

Hawthorn blooms

Hawthorn blooms and buds

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Tuesday 23 April 2024... Garden

Okay! We've got rain on the way, slated for Thursday, and I've decided to get some weeding done at the garden before that happens.

The Wet Prairie pond has been drying up... We won't get enough rain to fill it back up, this time of year, and I'm kind of sad to see it go. Spring is moving right along.

A muddy puddle in grass under trees

Looking past the trees at the prairie beyond

Camas Lily blooms with Western Buttercups in the background

Most of the yellow flowers here on the prairie are Creeping Buttercup our native Western Buttercups. These other yellow flowers might be some Dill Weed...

Buttercups and Dill Weed blooms

... but it reminds me of an article I read the other day...

Meet the Most Toxic Plant in North America Spotted Water Hemlock... Those who eat it will die in two hours.

Heh. Just a reminder, if you ever go foraging!

If you are going to eat something from the wild...
#1 Be 100% sure about what it is.
#2 Know ALL the look-alikes!

Oh! Hello little friend!! What beautiful eyes you have! A happy Green Lacewing!

Green Lacewing bug standing on a purple Camas Lily petal

Female Downy Woodpecker standing on the side of a branch

Female Downy Woodpecker standing on the side of a branch

I walk past the garden to check on the Flicker nest. Still quiet.

Woodpecker hole in a tree branch, surrounded by leaves

Okay. Here I am at the garden plot... and here I am for Murder Attempt Part 2...

Comfrey leaves coming up thru the mulch

This Comfrey plant just got too big, and last fall I hacked away at the roots. I knew it would return and it'll take a while to kill it... maybe a long while. I don't know.

But I got a shovel and dug down as far as I could go, and pulled out as many roots as I could. I filled up the entire bucket with roots...

Dug up area in the garden with a full bucket of plant material and a shovel

The roots are very solid and bulky... That bucket is Heavy! A lot of biomass is leaving.

I was surprised to not find ANY worms in that mess. Usually worms like to hang out around roots like that! But the only worms I found were in a section where the Comfrey roots had died. So that's interesting...

Comfrey must have some kind of anti-worm stuff going on. So I'm glad I'm getting rid of it. I love worms and want them to thrive!

On the other side of the plot, I need to kill some Horseradish.

Horseradish growing thru the mulch

Maybe I can do that tomorrow.

Here's what's left of the Bok Choy. *laughs* Oh well.

A munched on stalk of Bok Choy

Some of the Strawberries have survived the harsh winter, at least.

Strawberry plants thru the mulch

Heading home, some Salsify...

A purple Salsify bloom

I always pronounce Salsify wrong. It's sal-suh-fee, and the sal is like Sally (not like salsa! heh).

Scrub Jay standing on a wood fence

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Monday 22 April 2024... Flowers Up Hidden Trail, Wildlife Down Hidden Trail

Orange Tulip surrounded by Forget Me Nots and Spanish Bluebells in the background

Forget Me not blooms

Pink Spanish Bluebells

Somebody's houseplant has gone wild here in the Native Plant area.

Camas Lily blooms surrounded by big leaves

Camas Lily blooms

Fawn Lily blooming on the forest floor

A single Fawn Lily bloom

A budding Red Rhododendron

I get to the top of the trail, and walk to the Acorn Woodpeckers territory. ARG! There's a couple flying away right when I come around the corner. sheesh!

I wait a bit, walking out to the end of the sidewalk and back. humph. But at least I've found one woodpecker.

Male Northern Flicker standing on the stump of a dead branch

He keeps looking up, I'm not sure what he sees.

Northern Flicker standing on a branch with Dougles Fir branches and cones

Oh, action down in the Bioswale! Too bad it's so far away... I think there was a female Red Wing Blackbird down there as well. Do they have a nest?

Red Wing Blackbird standing on a stalk of grass, surrounded by grasses

I'm heading back for the trail, when I finally hear some "Wika, Wika, Wika"s behind me!

Acorn Woodpecker standing at the top of a snag

I walk back up the stupid hill to see if I can get a better angle... but this is as good as I get today.

Acorn Woodpecker standing at the top of a snag

It's like they don't even care about getting their portrait taken! *laughs*

Spotted Towhee standing in a mossy tree

Spotted Towhee standing in a mossy tree

Close up of a deer

Squirrel standing on a mossy tree trunk, holding a peanut in his mouth

And then, later today I'm reading the news...

Man who allegedly followed and threatened harm to multiple women arrested for menacing

Oh my gosh! This is really, really concerning!

I have had a few ... yeah menacing incidents this year, but I've never had to run away from some pos. And this happened just a few blocks away from where I usually walk.

Ugh. I'm glad they got the guy. But dang it, why so many violent tendancies against women lately???

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Sunday 21 April 2024... A Sunny Sunday Walk

Hi Mama!

Squirrel sitting on a wood post

Close up of a Squirrels face

*laughs* I'm so close to her, and the reflection in her eye is so crisp...

You can see *ME* in her eye!

Extreme close up of the reflections in a Squirrels eye

The blue sky, the shrubbery over the creek. The straight, diagonal line is the bike path, and I'm the dark splotch standing there.

Bahahaha! Dang, I amuse myself. *giggles*

Still quiet at the Flicker nest.

Woodpecker hole in a tree branch, surrounded by new leaves

I decide to head over to Westmoreland Park, for something different.

The east side of the park is a 9 hole Frisbee Golf course. But the west side is a dedicated natural prairie with native plants.

Prairie with stripes of yellow and purple blooms

Beautiful right now with Camas Lilies and Creeping Buttercup.

(discovered after the fact...)

Oh my gosh! I had always assumed the Buttercups in our natural areas were the invasive Creeping Buttercup.

But it turns out we have a Western Buttercup, that is native!

Ha! Live and Learn! It's good to learn new things!!

I like to check my Post Office box on Sundays, and Look! They've got some new parcel lockers!

Inside of the Post Office

White Crown Sparrow standing in a chain link fence

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Saturday 20 April 2024... Part 1

I'd been wearing a heavy shirt and no rain jacket these past few sunny days... But today I'm just wearing a light shirt, and I was still hot! It was 54°F (12°C) when I left the house but it was warming up fast.

Squirrel peeks out from behind a tree trunk

Pink Ornamental Cherry Blossoms

Okay! All is quiet at the Flicker nest again today and I have finally looked up some dates for possible Flicker babies...

Woodpecker hole in a tree, surrounded by new leaves

Incubation Period is 11 to 13 days. I heard soft tapping from inside the hole on Apr10, Mama making the interior perfect. So lets say she laid her eggs that night or the next morning. 11 days would be Apr22, so the earliest babies would be born would be Wed.

And then after that, we should be seeing some action as the parents start bringing food!

And then I get distracted by flowers... This patch of Camas Lilies is stunning!

Camas lily blooms, with a Honey Bee

Camas Lily bloom

Camas Lily blooms

Camas Lily blooms

And the Hawthorn Trees are blooming as well.

Hawthorn tree blooms

Hawthorn tree blooms

The little pink thingees don't even look real!

Close up of Hawthorn tree blooms

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Saturday 20 April 2024... Part 2... The Green Line in Eugene

And then I'm wandering thru the neighborhood.

Purple Wallflowers

The unexplained Green Line...

Spray painted green line going down a neighborhood sidewalk with trees and flowers in a front yard

Baby Blue Eye blooms with Lawn Daisies

Baby Blue Eye blooms

Huh, that's interesting...

Spray painted green line going down a neighborhood sidewalk

I've never noticed that 420 thing before.

Maybe if I add that to my search terms... ?

AH HA!!! An old Reddit thread, which linked to an even older Reddit thread, which displayed an even older photo of a sign in Eugene!!!

How High Are You... sign about the green line in Eugene

(I totally stole this photo from the internets, which you should NEVER, EVER do! But here I am, breaking my own rules again.)

How High Are You?
If you are reading this sign, then you are 420 feet above sea level.

This green line through town is the 420 foot contour line, according to USGS topographical data.
It is also a very pleasant walk through some great parts of Eugene.
...

*laughs* How VERY Eugene! And of course the Green Line is painted in time for Apr20, Weed Day.

The sign is old enough that all the restaurants mentioned are no longer there. But other landmarks remain, like the library and Westmoreland Disc Golf!

So YAY! Mystery Solved! Happy 420!!!

I'm heading home, and suddenly there's newborn ducklings all over the place. 13, I think this photo got them all.

13 newborn ducklings and Mama Mallard

The first batch of the year... and it's depressing.

They are cute and all, but they'll be dying right away of H5N1, Avian Flu. Just like they did last year.

But I can't help myself, I'm taking their portraits.

Five ducklings on the water

Last year, there were a few batches of ducklings who survived at the very end of the season. I'm not sure what changed to let them live.

Mama Mallard and five ducklings on the water

Proud Mama. ... Or is it Worried Mama. Does she know that something is not right?

Mama Mallard with six ducklings behind her

Four Ducklings paddling on the water

Sighs.

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Friday 19 April 2024... Another Sunny Day

Male Mallard sleeping on a tree limb over the water

The Fallen Leaning Tree... I am not sure if these little signs of life mean that the tree is still connected to its roots.

Oak tree leaf buds

The Green Line has been a mystery. Last year someone told me it shows up every year. And here it is again, I noticed it had been re-drawn yesterday, when I was out at the river.

Spray painted green line down a path

Right now I'm wondering if it's directions for a race... The Eugene Marathon is the last Sunday of April. But no, it passes nearby, but doesn't use this part of the bike path.

And then I get distracted by the wild Apple trees behind the Events Center.

Apple blossoms in front of a green field and blue sky

Apple Blossoms in front of a green field and blue sky

Dang it, I am such a sucker for the pretty flowers! *laughs*

Apple Blossoms

Apple Blossoms with a Honey Bee

Apple blossoms against a blue sky

Apple blossoms against a blue sky

Okay! Somehow I force myself to move on! Here's a cute little Roly Poly!

Rolly Poly walking on the sidewalk

Still quiet at the Flicker nest.

Woodpecker hole in a tree, surrounded by new leaves budding out

I go into the Community Garden to check on the Bok Choy. Well. Still a couple leaves left. Ha. So that experiment went straight to the slugs!

garden

And I noticed that the Community Garden has gotten a porta-potty. I guess we are moving up in the world!

Golden Crown Sparrow standing on a leafy twig

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Thursday 18 April 2024... Rose Garden and a Walk at the River

Spanish Bluebells in white and purple

Getting artsy with the 275 year old Cherry Tree.

Sun shining thru a huge Cherry Tree

OH! I saw somebody at the Osprey platform nest across the river from the Rose Garden! And Look! It turned out to be two somebodies! and all that grass growing up there. And, uh...

Two Hawks at the Osprey platform nest

Those are NOT Ospreys!!! Bahaha!

Blurry Red Tail Hawk standing at the edge of an Osprey platform nest

Squirrel standing on the grass with a nut in her mouth

I happened to catch sight of... um, Pardon Me? Are you sitting on a nest??!

Canada Goose sitting in the hollow of a dead tree

But it's so far off the ground! Oh jeez! You're babies will have to JUMP like they are Wood Ducks?

Trees in front of the river

pale pink rhododendron blooms

Art pavilion in front of the river

Song Sparrow standing on a twig, singing

The side trail is dry enough to walk on today and oh my gosh, the colours in the river!

Looking past some trees at the bank to the river

And then I go up to the bridge and pause for a while.

Looking down a the river going over rocks

Larkspur blooms

I walk out to the canal pond...

Looking over a pond, trees in the distance

And everything is peaceful...

Looking down at the edge of the pond, at the rocks under the water

And then I realized the bugs were swarming!

I walked into a cloud of flying bugs and it didn't stop, millions of bugs! And by the time I decided I needed to get away from the edge of the pond, about 3 steps, I couldn't breath because I didn't want to suck any bugs down, and I couldn't see because bugs had gotten behind my eye glasses! GAH, GAH GAH!

Laughs! Were they were mosquitos? I don't know.

As I walked away, a couple hundred came with me. Gah.

*giggles* Yay Bugs! Now... where are the swallows to eat them up?

Walking back, I see the crazy Canada Goose again. She's turned around on her nest...

Canada Goose sitting on a nest in a hollow dead tree

And her companion is nearby.

Canada Goose sitting on the grass

Oh look! The green line has returned! Same place as last year.

Green line spray painted on the bike path, trees in the distance

And the Red Tail Hawks are gone from the Osprey platform nest. Smart!

Platform nest

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Wednesday 17 April 2024... Up Hidden Trail Again

Since I was not successful with the Acorn Woodpeckers at the top of Hidden Trail yesterday... I decided to try again today.

I have a rule for when I walk the same place, two days in a row. I can't take pictures of the same things! I have to look at new things. :)

Well, this had the potential to be a cool photo... with the Forget Me Nots in the foreground. But my friend the Scrub Jay wasn't interested.

Scrub Jay, turned away, standing in a bare flower bed

I don't know what these cute plants are.

Rings of yellow flowers in front of green foliage

Ring of yellow flowers in front of green foliage

Haha, I caught this Bushtit in mid-preen, feathers all akimbo!

Bushtit standng in a tree with feathers akimbo

And now I have to go look up for the millionth time about their eyes... Okay. Female Bushtits have pale eyes (and males have dark eyes). I can never remember that!

Waterfall with mossy rocks and fallen tree limbs

Waterfall with mossy tree limbs and rocks

Forget Me Not blooms in front of a blurry Trillium bloom

I get to the top of the path and go up to the Acorn Woodpeckers territory. They are flying around and Wika, Wika, Wika contact calls from the trees on the north side...

But they are completely uncooperative with me. Again.

Blurry Acorn Woodpecker, standing up on a dead tree limb

*laughs* Well. What'cha gonna do? At least I'm getting good exercise, hauling myself up here!

I head back down. Oh, hey... This is a cool thing I can tell you about...

A pruned oak twig laying on the path

In the spring time, the trees are budding out all over the place. The trees even have new little twigs like this coming out of major, old limbs...

Major, old limbs that the squirrels like to use as a highway!

So the squirrels walk along their limb highway, and chew off the twigs that are growing in their way. It's a free pruning service that they provide!

*laughs* I have watched squirrels from my bedroom window do this for the tree right outside... Just walking along this big limb, chewing off new twigs, one at a time as they go, and dropping them to the ground! So any time I see the pruned twigs, I look up and know there's a squirrel highway that has been cleared for running in the tree above! :)

Oops... I took pictures of the Fawn Lilies yesterday. See? I can't even follow my own rules!

Fawn Lily blooms against a dark background

And some more Red Flowering Currant!

Red flowering currant blooms

Camas Lily blooms

Oh dang... this spring green colour!

Ornamental Cherry Blossoms

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Tuesday 16 April 2024... Flowers up Hidden Trail

Lilacs

Orange tulip with forget me nots and spanish bluebells

Yellow Tulips with Spanish Bluebells and purple Irises

Purple Iris with Forget Me Nots

Yellow and Red Tulips with Spanish Bluebells

Clouds over the hill

Pink and budding Tulips in a row in front of yellow foliage

female Northern Flicker standing on the ground

Oregon Irises

Red Flowering Currant blooms

Fawn Lilies!

Fawn Lilies blooming on the forest floor

Fawn Lily bloom with a blooming Trillium

Fringe Cup plant growing next to a small pool

I get to the top of the trail, and then hike up to the Acorn Woodpeckers territory...

Bird flying away

*laughs* You all are busy. I can see that. But... Hello?

Acorn Woodpecker pecking at a mossy branch

Nope. Oh well. Back down the hill I go.

Fallen Cherry Blossom on a fern

Fawn Lily blooms in front of ferns

Close up of a squirrel hanging from a tree trunk, with a peanut shell in her mouth

One last photo of flowers, because I am crazy!

Orange Tulip with Forget Me Nots and Spanish Bluebells

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Saturday 13 April 2024... Friends of the Library Book Sale!!

Oh, hey! Another Purple Finch!

Purple Finch female, standing up on a twig

Pale eyebrow and a forked tail. I wonder how many House Finches I've looked at that are actually Purple Finches! *laughs* I assume I'd notice with the males, but both species of females are just nice brown.

Golden Crown Sparrow and a White Crown Sparrow standing on twigs in a shrub

Golden Crown Sparrow standing on a twig in a shrub

Spotted Towhee standing on a twig

ha, what a great day for bird photos! But here I am at the Events Center...

Fallen Leaning Tree, with cars in the parkinglot behind it

And the Friends of the Library are having their annual used book sale!

Books are 2$ each! To limit myself, I've brought my small backpack. And I've decided to just get five books.

I get a map on my way in... that how big it is! And crowded! But I've prepared myself for that, so I ignore the other humans as best I can. I get in line to look at the science fiction section.

I find a Doris Lessing book pretty quickly... I know one of her first books was a scifi novel, but the title of this one isn't ringing any bells. I pick it up anyway, and later discover that this is the third book in the series! Ack! Didn't realize it was a series that she wrote! Ha!

I also get The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2017. And Otherness, a short story collection by David Brin.

I've got three books, and I wander around the other sections a little, but I'm kinda done with the crowd. The checkout line is long, so I find the end of it...

The Pacific Northwest Garden Tour

But of course, the checkout line goes past more books! *laughs*

I pick up this one, thinking it looked amazing. And maybe I could get some ideas for photographing garden type areas.

And I went to page thru it... and it landed on Hendricks Park! One of my favorite places to hike, here in town!!

Ha! It's fate! And I add it to my pile. I didn't realize this was not a two dollar book, you have to pay four whole dollars for the nice, photography books. :)

When I come out, it's sprinkling. Of course. And I'm 2miles miles from home... 40minutes of walking. I've never had an issue with stuff in the backpack getting wet, but I've never really tested it either.

I figure if the sprinkles turn to rain, I'll drape the rain jacket over the backpack and hope for the best! But it doesn't rain any harder, and my new books are fine!

The Apple Tree outside the Community Garden.

Apple Blossoms

Apple Blossoms

Golden Crown Sparrow standing on a stick

The song of the Golden Crown Sparrow is easy to remember... "No Gold Here" in a downward, melancholy phrase.

Golden Crown Sparrow singing from a branch

Oh, this is a cute little flower! With a bug egg on it's leaf, ha!

Baby Blue Eye bloom

It's a Baby Blue Eye... a wildflower native from Baja California, up thru California and into Oregon!

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Sunday 14 April 2024... Today

Hello Happy Squirrel! Let's have a great day!

Squirrel standing on the side a tree trunk

White Crown Sparrow standing on a twig in front of a wire trellis

White Crown Sparrow standing on a metal post

I'm at the garden today, to check on the Bok Choy... Yeah, it's not looking good. SIGHS.

planted Bok Choy with missing and munched leaves

Dude! You CANNOT munch on the Bok Choy Right In Front of Me!

slug eating bok choy

*laughs* She-He got relocated! (Slugs are hermaphrodites, thus the she-he pronoun!)

And in other annoying news, the patch of invasive Horseradish is coming up again.

Small Horseradish plants coming up thru the mulch

Technically, that one big one in the front is the only one that is in my plot. But I will need to pull out as much as I can to continue keeping it out of my plot!

Oh, but here's something nice!

Strawberry leaves with a small flower

Okay. Moving on. Quiet at the Flicker nest, still.

Woodpecker hole in a tree branch

Hello Happy Chickadee!

Chickadee standing behind a leaf on a blooming twig

Chickadees are the worse of the little bouncy birds... because they are so adorably cute, I really really want to get their portrait. But inevitably they bounce around too quickly for me and the camera!

But this little one is remarkably cooperative!!

Chickadee on a twig with apple blossoms

Until she's not! *laughs*

Blurry Chickadee behind sticks and leaves in a blooming apple tree

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Monday 15 April 2024... Today with Wildlife and Flowers

Eastern Fox Squirrel sitting on a branch

Golden Crown Sparrow standing on a twig

As I was zooming in on this photo, my brain said, That's a funny looking Song Sparrow. hahaha! She's actually a Fox Sparrow!

Fox Sparrow standing on a stick with leaves all around

That's cool, I hardly ever get to see these little birds. I like the chevrons decorating their front.

Fox Sparrow standing on a stick

Oh Mama Squirrel! So cute!

Eastern Fox Squirrel standing on a wood post

This is the spot where the Flicker nest is... Their tree is the big one on the left, and the dead branch they have carved their hole into is straight up from the bike path.

Bike path with trees and a bench and trash

People sit at the bench pretty often, so that's a bummer. Since it's so close, I don't want to take photos and risk someone asking me what I see... I love to spread the joy of nature, but it's important that nests be kept a secret.

All is quiet, again today. I need to look up how long it takes from laying the eggs to the babies being born. Once that happens, there will be some action here, with the parents bringing food!

Woodpecker hole in a tree branch

The Trimmed Willow Tree continues springing to life.

Willow tree with a broken and trimmed branch

Pretty, pretty colours!

Pink Saucer Magnolia blooms in front of red tulips and blue Spanish Bluebells

Yellow Tulips with purple Spanish Bluebells

Pink Flowering Dogwood blooms in front of Spanish Bluebells

Pink Flowering Dogwood blooms in front of Spannish Bluebells

Oh! Wisteria is starting to bloom as well!

Wisteria bloom

Close up of Wisteria blooms

And the Apple Tree right outside the Community Garden!

Apple Blossoms against a bright blue sky

Apple Blossoms against a blue sky

Apple Blossoms

Apple Blossoms

*Laughs* I'm such a sucker for the flowers!

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Friday 12 April 2024... Let's Garden!

It's barely rained for the last week or so, the ground is drying up a little and I'd really like to get the baby Bok Choy plants into the ground. I got them last weekend at Saturday Market and they were decent sized already!

So I load up my backpack with plants and the tools I'll need and head out!

Oh wow, all the different shades of green and red!

Trees budding out, a hill in the distance

The Flicker nest is just past the Community Garden and I go to check on that. I don't see either parent and all is quiet... I hope that means we are sitting on eggs?!!

Woodpecker hole in a tree branch, surrounded by budding branches

I think I want to plant the Bok Choy at the front of the plot, but I have a look around first...

The Big Comfrey... I decided to kill it last autumn, it was just getting too big. It was taking up about 6feet by 8feet last summer and I was constantly having to chop at the leaves. So I had hacked at the roots a good bit at the end of the season... but of course, it's coming back...

Comfrey leaves coming up thru the mulch

It'll take a while to get all the roots out, just because it had gotten so ridiculously big! But that's for another day. Today I'm planting Bok Choy!

But I start scraping aside mulch and digging holes for the baby plants... oh no! The Small Comfrey is here, and it's getting very well established... it's starting to turn into another Big Comfrey!

Ack! Okay. So I guess it's Comfrey Killing Day, after all!

Comfrey roots dug up

I dig up as many roots as I can, but it will take a couple rounds to kill this one as well. So I decide to put the Bok Choy some place else...

Garden

Last year, this is where the Tomatillos lived... and this is a better place for the Bok Choy, anyway, because the Bok Choy will be quite done by the time the tomatillos come back!

Assuming the Bok Choy lives. Which, actually, I probably shouldn't get my hopes up.

But it certainly looks happy in the ground!

Planted Bok Choy

I gather my things and head out. I decide to check on the Flicker hole again before I go home. Still quiet there.

Woodpecker hole in a tree branch

Knock, knock... Anybody in there?

Woodpecker hole in a tree branch

I won't know what's going on, up there, unless I happen to walk by when there's a changing of the guard... Both parents sit on the eggs and take care of the nest. But things need to stay quiet, in the meantime. So I just need to be patient, and look up there when I can!

Golden Crown Sparrows... Don't you all need to be in Alaska, for your nesting season?

Golden Crown Sparrow standing on a stick

It's too chilly? Oh. Okay.

Golden Crown Sparrow standing on a stick

You are certainly looking spiffy, with your new plummage!

Golden Crown Sparrow standing on a twig

There's some White Crown Sparrows hanging out here too...

White Crown Sparrow standing on a twig

I wonder if the White Crowns and Golden Crowns nest in the same area up in Canada and Alaska. That would be nice... a little community, flying up and down the western side of North America.

They will be all, Hi Neighbor, how was your migration? and It's good to see you again. :)

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Thursday 11 April 2024... Stewart Ponds and an annoying incident. But then Killdeers!

This little corner, with Spanish Bluebells and some purple Wallflowers, just delights me so much!

White Spanish Bluebells with purple ones in the background

purple Wallflower blooms with more in the background

Looking down at a blooming Spanish Bluebell plant

And then this thing! These ornamental Cherry Blossoms are on the same tree...

White and Pink Ornamental Cherry Blssoms

Haha! Someone grafted a limb of a white ornamental cherry blossom to this pink ornamental cherry blossom tree in the park!

Cherry tree with white cherry blossoms and pink cherry blossoms

Okay! Let's quit fiddling with beautiful flowers and get to the bike path!

House Finch standing on a twig, with leaves budding out around him

Oh look! His friend is a pretty shade of orange!

Two House Finches in a budding out tree

The colour of their feathers is determined by what they eat. But I haven't been able to figure out what the differences in their diets actually are.

Typical Chickadee, bouncing around too quickly for the camera to focus correctly!

Blurry Chickadee standing on a twig

I heard the ribbets of Pacific Chorus Frogs here!

little pond

I thought their normal breeding season was December thru February... that's when you'd hear them singing their ribbeting song, around here. So it seemed unusual to hear them now in April...

But I've just looked it up, and the internets tell me the breeding season can go all the way out to July. Scientists aren't sure why, but it probably depends on local conditions. So that's cool to learn!

And I'm not worried about the little frogs, here! This pond isn't seasonal but keeps water in it all year. So little frog eggs can hatch into glorious tadpoles any time!

Unlike the Stewart Ponds, which are Wet Prairie ponds... they are busy drying up right now and will be dry prairie during the summer.

Grassy Puddle with trees and hills in the background

Two Canada Geese on a shallow pond

When I went into the park, I found a pretty big homeless camp, which is unusual. Every once in a while, there's a single tent here, usually tucked out of the way. But today there's 8 tents that I can see, and probably more behind the brambles.

As I'm looking at them, trying to decide if I want to walk past them or go back the way I came... A person on a bike accosts me. Demanding to know what I'm doing with the camera and cussing, and trying to tell me how homeless people live.

Yikes!

I did not feel safe at all, and I ducked into one of the side trails where the hill and the shrubs hid me, while the person continued to rant away. I booked it out of the park, not quite jogging but power walking. And checking behind me, as I went.

And once I got out of the park and on the sidewalk of the road... I considered: Maybe I should get some pepper spray or something. Because that's the 4th incident this year. And there's no way I can outrun a person on a bike.

Sighs.

But then I notice this little family! OH MY GOSH!

Mom and Dad and a single Baby Killdeer!

♫ Oh Baby Killdeer? ♪

Baby Killdeer walking away, in a sea of grass

Uh. Baby?

Baby Killdeer walking away, toward a parent in the background

Baby! Seriously! I know your butt is cute, all fuzzy and all. But Seriously!

Baby Killdeer walking away towards a parent Killdeer

Well, good grief!

Baby Killdeer sat in the grass where you cannot see them, Parent standing over

Yeah, just walk away. Fine! I don't need you! Just go!

Parent and Baby Killdeer walking away thru the grass

:Pbbbt Blurry Baby.

Blurry Baby Killdeer walking in grass

*laughs*

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Wednesday 10 April 2024... Blurry Birds

Pond in the grass surrounded by trees

Ruby Crown Kinglet standing in a willow tree

Dark Eye Junco standing on a branch surrounded by green leaves and blue sky

Oh! Who's this, in the middle of their bath?

Yellow bird standing in shallow water

Such a cute lil bird. Yellow Warbler.

Yellow bird standing in shallow water

Splish Splash! Takin' a bath!

Yellow bird splashing in the water

And here's a Lesser Goldfinch, with their favorite meal of Dandelion seeds!

Lesser Goldfinch behind a Dandelion seedhead

Lesser Goldfinch eating Dandelion seeds

Streamer hanging from a bare oak tree, blue sky in the background

Dude! Personal Space! Sheesh.

male Mallard paddling behind a female Hooded Merganser

Everything was quiet when I passed the new Flicker nest on the way out, and I wondered if they were still there. But on the way back, I could hear soft tapping...

Hole in a tree trunk, surrounded by budding twigs

I was looking all around, trying to see the Flicker making the tapping sound. But I didn't see anyone up there.

But then! When I moved to the other side of the tree, Oh My Gosh! I could triangulate the sound...

And it was definitely coming from INSIDE the hole!

YAY! I imagine it's Mama up there, making the insides of the nest perfect! WoooHooo! Laying some eggs will be next!

Um. Golden Crown Sparrow? what the heck? Aren't you supposed to be up in Canada for your nesting season??!

Golden Crown Sparrow sitting up on a twig

And look how beautiful you are... that's your breeding plummage? But, shouldn't you be up in Canada for that? Aren't your feathers going to get messed up on the migration? You've got hundreds and hundred of miles to go!

Golden Crown Sparrow

Wut? No! Don't Sing! You have to go to Canada!!

*laughs* I have no idea what is going on!

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Tuesday 9 April 2024... Flowers and more flowers

The sun is shining in earnest today, and I've decided to leave the rain jacket at home for once!

Pond in the grass under trees

And it's another day with amazing clouds!

Clouds

It's quiet today at the Flicker nest hole that I discovered yesterday. But there's a few homeless people hanging out at the nearby bench... I hope the Flickers are still around!

Hole in a tree

The remaining trunk of the Fallen Leaning Tree is starting to come alive... Not just moss, and lichen... but leaf buds, too!

Oak tree with moss and lichen and budding leaves

Hmmm... perhaps I need to look into this...

Sign which says Used Book Sale

Ah, Lilacs! Too bad there's a bit of a breeze and the Lilacs are blowing all over the stupid place.

Lilac blooms in the tree

I don't know what's up with the wind here lately... normally we don't have any and it's nice because I can find the birds bouncing around in the trees because there's one twig moving where they are.

But when the breeze is moving the entire tree? Dang it! The wildlife photography is hard with these conditions. Not to mention, turning flowers into moving targets!

I guess the new wind is climate change and I should probably just get used to it. But first I have to complain about it. Stupid wind!

Close up of Lilac blooms

Orange Tulip with a purple tulip in the background

Pink Tulips with other colours of tulips in the background

Orange tulip with yellow tulips in the background

The unknown fruit tree again...

Pink tree blossoms

Blue Iris bloom with blue sky in the background

Red tulip with dandelions and Dead Nettle

Apple Blossoms

And the first mow of the season!

Tractor on the bike path

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Monday 8 April 2024... Not an Eclipse! And a Flicker Story!

Our part of the world was supposed to see 24% of the sun being covered by the moon. I figured you wouldn't even be able to tell anything was happening with that small amount.

And I thought I knew exactly where my eclipse glasses were, from the eclipse we had in 2017... but foo, they weren't there, and I dug around a bit but I couldn't find them. So I'm not going to be able to see anything unless the clouds are just perfect, like they were for last year's eclipse.

Different coloured trees with fir covered hills in the background

Scrub Jay standing on a twig with new tree leaves budding around

Western Bluebird standing on a nesting box

The Fallen Leaning Tree. That pink under the left branch is the unknown fruit tree I was taking pics of yesterday!

Fallen Leaning Tree

I've walked out to the downtown neighborhood, and oh my... Wayside micro-park is blooming with loveliness!

Pink tulips and white Spannish bluebells

It looks so different since they've chopped down the fallen Mimosa trees... Exposed to the sky.

Pink tulip in front of a park bench

But, YAY, they have already replanted!

Wayside Park Tree Planting sign

There's a baby Big Leaf Maple on the west end of the park, and the baby Black Gum is at the eastern end!

This gives me happiness... the January ice storm toppled so many trees, and the chainsaws have been running ever since. But there's not been any replanting. sighs.

Tulips and Spanish Bluebells in the micropark

Tulips and Spanish Bluebells and the park bench

Looking down into a striped orange tulip

Okay. Moving on with my walk...

And Oh my Gosh! Is that a hole?!! ... a NEST hole???

Flicker at a nest hole

OH MY GOSH!!!

Flicker poking out of his nest hole

I am so excited I can hardly contain myself. *laughs*

Blurry Flicker poking out of his nest hole

Flicker taking flight from his nest hole

Flicker sits on a twig outside the nest hole

Flicker with his head in the nesting hole

This is so cool! How close to done are they? Will they lay eggs in there? Will I get to see babies??! Oh my gosh!

Flicker at his nest hole

I don't spend too much time there. I don't want to disturb him from his work by staring at him. I make note of which tree it is as I walk away, thinking about how awesome it will be to see baby Flickers up there!

And I get to see Knotty?! Hi Knotty!

Great Blue Heron walking in the creek

Ha, what a brilliant day!

When I get home, the eclipse was at it's 24% coverage... but, as I suspected, you can't tell anything is different with the sunlight.

That's okay, it's been a memorable day anyway!

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Sunday 7 April 2024... Sky and Flowers

Squirrel eating a peanut in the shell, sitting in the crook of a tree

Oh my gosh the clouds today!

Clouds

With our Mediterranean climate, it seems like the sky is either all grey or all blue...

We've got hot, dry summers which give us an all blue sky. And we've got our rainy season from the fall, thru the winter and into the spring. All grey skies.

So any time we've got clouds like these? Oh yeah, I pay attention!

Clouds over the hill

clouds

Ornamental Cherry Blossoms

Ornamental Cherry Blossoms

Winter bare branches against a blue and white sky

Pink tree blossoms, with the tree trunk in the background

There's an apple tree here... but apple trees have white and pale pink blossoms. And then I remembered last year there were some intertwined branches that had some other kind of fruit on them! I never got around to investingating what the fruit was, but these blossoms must be that.

bright pink tree blossoms

bright pink tree blossoms

Yellow Rump Warbler standing on a stick with leaves budding out

It probably won't be long before our Cackling Geese head back to Canada for their nesting season!

a hundred flying geese

Oh my gosh, these Irises are an amazing colour!

purplish blue irises with a yellow tulip in the background

And the new fence is so picturesque, too! *laughs*

purplish blue irises with a yellow tulip in the background

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Saturday 6 April 2024... Saturday Market

First Saturday of April

Haha! It amused me to see this art installation in the parking garage... It's a science fiction story about the first Saturday Market of the year, way off in the future!

And today is the First Saturday of April, and I'm heading to the first Saturday Market of the year!

And the "sign of good luck, a rainy opening day" did happen. :)

I got caught up with some protesters, who were also walking into the Saturday Market... and I hoped no one would think that I was with them, ha! They were jesus freaks, white men carrying signs telling us how sinful we were. *rolls eyes*

I wandered thru Saturday Market. Everyone was happy and grinning their joy! Was offered a free sample at a CBD booth. *laughs*

And I wandered thru the Farmers Market. I'm getting a couple of veggie starts to plant at the Community Garden plot. My farmer is in the back corner, and I picked out some Sugar Snap Pea starts and noticed some Bok Choy that looked beautiful. I chatted with the owner for a moment, and she told me Oh, Bok Choy is so easy! You'll wish you had started growing it years ago!

Ha! I'm pretty sure the slugs will love it.

With the clouds and cool weather, the plants will be fine for a while in the car. I head for the river and park at the Rose Garden.

The Heritage Cherry Tree is still blooming.

blooming Cherry Tree surrounded by rose garden beds

Oh my gosh! Look how many swallows there are!!!

Swallows skimming above the river, a bridge in the background

I can't tell who they are... Tree Swallows and Violet Green Swallows look about the same when they are flying. I don't see any flashes of red, so they are not Barn Swallows.

I'm going to head for the walking bridge to see if I can get some closer pics there...

Swallows flying above the river

Hmm. I still can't tell!

But isn't it a gorgeous day!

Looking upriver at a tree covered hill

Ah! Here we go! Very obviously a Violet Green Swallow!

Blurry Violet Green Swallow flying over the river

I head back... there are two Community Gardens along the Riverbank path here. This is the bigger one, and dang I never noticed how many grape vines they have growing here!

Community Garden with a big grape vine

There's a whole row of grape vines in the back. But other than that, it basically looks like the Community Garden that I belong to... tho maybe they have more random things growing here.

This beautiful mural.

Humming bird mural with roses, flowers and human runners

I pause to admire the Cherry Tree again.

Massive truck of the Heritage Cherry Tree

And try to get artsy!

Looking up a tree trunk full of ferns

As I'm heading for the car, a train whistles. oh foo! I have to cross the train tracks to get home! And those trains can be long and slow, you can sit at the tracks for 10minutes waiting for them to go by!

*laughs* I decide to kill some time with the Forget Me Nots, instead of sitting at the tracks!

Forget Me Not blooms

Close up of Forget Me Not blooms

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Friday 5 April 2024... Loveliness at Hendricks Park

Pink Rhododendrons

The sun is out, but it's chillier that I thought it would be, and I'm glad for my rain jacket.

White Rhododendrons on the bush

Towhee in a blooming Camellia bush

Towhee standing in a Camellia bush with red blooms

Red Camellia bloom

And then the clouds are moving around, and I wonder if I'll get some sprinkles or rain.

Pink Rhododendrons

There you are! Weren't you supposed to meet me at the entrance?!

Song Sparrow standing on a branch

Ferns unfurling

Purple and white Saucer Magnolia blooms

And then I'm out in the forest for a hike!

Fallen trees next to the hiking path

The Trillium is blooming.

Trillium blooms on the forest floor

Ha, it's surprising how tall the Trillium can get!

Trillium blooms on the forest floor

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Friday 5 april 2024... Loveliness at Hendricks Park, Part 2

Elderberry...

Elderberry leaves with the forest behind them

Elderberry blossoms

I like how the flowers look like molecules!!!

Close up of Elderberry blooms on the tree

Silhouette of a robin standing on a tree branch

Hm. I like the above pic... maybe that should be a postcard? I've never made a postcard of a silhouette before!

female Downy Woodpecker standing on the side of a tree trunk looking at moss

Huh. I also really like that pic, too, with the ferns behind our Downy Woodpecker friend! Ha! Lots of good pics to turn into postcards today!

The Trillium comes in pink as well.

Pink Trillium bloom

Yellow wild Violet blooms growing on the forest floor

I've been walking Floral Hill Trail, which I haven't been on in ages. I come to the end and walk a bit in the neighborhood.

View across the valley to houses and construction

The clouds continue to move around.

View

Wild Turkey

Spotted Towhee in a blooming cherry tree

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Thursday 4 April 2024... Rainy Day with Spanish Bluebells

Hi Henrietta!

Great Blue Heron standing in the water near the bank

The Red Osier Dogwood along the creek, is starting to bud out!

Tree leaves budding out!

The Fallen Leaning Tree.

Fallen Leaning Tree

And I'm such a sucker for the Spanish Bluebells!

Purple and White Spanish Bluebells

Purple Spanish Bluebells

White Spanish Bluebells

Pink Spanish Bluebells with other flowers

Pin Spanish Bluebells

Dogwood blooms with Spanish Bluebells in the background

Pink ornamental Cherry Blossoms

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Wednesday 3 April 2024... Crazy for Flowers and a New Bird!

A wild Apple tree.

Apple blossoms

Apple blossoms

grassy pond with trees

Good Morning! uh. Your feathers are all messed up on this side... could you just fix that really quick?

Song Sparrow standing on a leaning shrub stalk

I love the different colours of Spanish Bluebells!

Pink Spanish Bluebells with purple ones in the background

White Spanish Bluebells with purple ones in the background

Purple Spanish Bluebells with pink ones in the background

Oh! Who's this?!

Little brown bird standing on a twig

I started out thinking this was a sparrow, just because she's brown. But then I realized that big beak was like a finch.

a blurry little brown bird standing on a leafy twig

It still took a little while to figure out, because the All About Birds website that I depend on for these things, was showing the eastern version of our friend here, and the western version looks just a bit different!

She's a Purple Finch!

Female Purple Finch singing from a twig

Ah Spring! Fun to find new birds!

Spanish Bluebells with the red leaves of a bush

Tulips and white flowers

Dark pink tree blossoms

The fallen Leaning Tree, with the Events Center in the background.

Fallen Leaning Tree, surrounded by a temporary fence

Ornamental Cherry Blossoms next to the bike path

What do you see, friend?

Steller Jay standing at the top of a chain link fence

Hmm?

Steller Jay standing on the path, looking at the bottom of the chain link fence

Ha, I didn't see anything there when I went by.

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Tuesday 2 April 2024... Flowers on the way to Stewart Pond Park

Purple Wallflowers and Spanish Bluebells in the background

White tulips in front of orange tulips

Purple and white Columbine blooms

*laughs* I can't decide which photo orientation I like better...

Purple and white Columbine blooms

Pink Tulips

Okay, now I'm at the ponds. And there's just a pair of Canada Geese on the other side, no ducks today.

grassy pond with trees in the distance

Oh, the Trillium is blooming in the little forest!

Trillium blooms

Golden Crown Sparrow in a blooming Cherry Tree

Another Golden Crown Sparrow! ha, I thought they had all left for nesting in Canada, but I keep seeing individuals here and there.

Golden Crown Sparrow standing on a Cherry Blossom twig

Big Leaf Maple leaves and catkins

Oh, good! They are finally starting the work of cleanup here, from the mid-January ice storm.

Pickup Truck and people in the grass of the forest

They mow the grass here in the little forest, for the Frisbee Golf course and to keep the invasives in check. So they'll have to gather up all the fallen limbs and trim the unsafe trees.

Oh foo!

Blurry photo of a red bird behind many sticks

That was a beautiful Sapsucker, who did not stick around for photography! *laughs*

We don't have any red birds, like the Cardinals on the eastern side of the continent... so it feels special to see one of our Red Breast Sapsuckers!

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Monday 1 April 2024... Flowers and Trees

Japanese Anemones in red violet and purple

The fallen Leaning Tree is still here... and I really don't know what to think! It was Mar15 when they chopped up the north and south trunks of the tree. I keep thinking they'll be back, any day, to finish the job...

But the west trunk, leaning on the ground, is still here. They've left it, along with part of the fencing they put around it.

Leaning Tree with streamers hanging from the branches

Yellow Tulips with Dead Nettle and blue sky

Tree leaves in front of a blue sky

Song Sparrow standing on a twig, surrounded by tree buds

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Sunday 31 March 2024... Today with Birds!

pond in grass with trees, the bike path in the distance

Scrub Jay standing on a white branch

Dove standing at the edge of the bike path with grass behind her

Oh! Some American Goldfinches again!

American Goldfinches in a willow tree

You've got some Willow catkin bits on your face, my dear! Ha! They both do... are they eating seeds out of the catkins or does the pollen taste good?

The Eugene Christmas Bird Count says we have quite a few more Lesser Goldfinches than American Goldfinches...

Lesser Goldfinch = 325 (Record High, 281 in 2020)
American Goldfinch = 213
PDF, Christmas Count Tally 2023

Oh Hey! Knotty! Lookin' Good, Girl!

Great Blue Heron Walking in water

And the first of the bright pink ornamental Cherry Blossoms! Way up in the top of the tree!

pink Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Tree leaves

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Saturday 30 March 2024... Rose Garden and East at the River

Close up of Forget Me Not blooms

The heritage Cherry Tree at the Rose Garden is around 275 years old... and looking absolutely stunning!

Cherry Tree in bloom with blue sky

*laughs*

Squirrel standing in front of a tree trunk

It is just so beautiful out here.

purple Wallflower blooming with trees and the river in the background

Ornamental Tree Blossoms

I turned one of my photos of the ornamental Cherry Blossoms today into a postcard. Postcrossing, US-10294669

Ornamental Tree Blossoms

Art Pavilion with chrome sculpture of a heron, the river in the background

Train tracks go past this part of the RiverBank Path, and it's always fun to see a train go by!

Path and trees with a train coming up

ha, and a Killdeer walking the tracks!

Killdeer walking among rocks of the train tracks

Before heading over the bridge for my turn around point, I decide to go the other way. The path goes under the train tracks and leads to some of the University of Oregon campus.

Mural of fruits and flowers on the side of a building

The biggest building has a raised walkway around the back of it, between the building and a canal. And there's this wonderful bioswale...

Waterfall coming off a bioswale, next to glass doors going into the building

Heading back to the river...

Bike path under a train bridge with trees in the distance

different coloured pansies

*laughs* That's my shadow next to a lamp! :)

Looking down at the river water swirling, shadow of a human and railing

River going over rocks, the bank in the background

River water going over a rock

Towhee standing on a branch

Larkspur bloom

The sun at Alton Baker Park, part of the science installation of the to scale solar system!

Yellow ball, past lawn and trees

And back at the Rose Garden. I looked over this guy's shoulder, and he's making a tiny painting of the Cherry Tree!

Man with a bike, in front of a large, blooming cherry tree

Massive trunk of the old cherry tree

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Friday 29 March 2024... Flowers up to Hidden Trail

Purple Tulip surrounded by green leaves

Daffodil with a pink tulip and purple iris in the background

Red violet Lungwort blooms

sheesh. I am such a sucker for colourful things! :)

Cherry Blossoms

Daffodil with pink tulips

Flowering Quince

Red Flowering Currant blooms

Red Flowering Currents near the path

Fawn Lily blooming with moss in the background

Red Flowering Currant blooms

Waterfall

Fawn Lilies blooming

Okay, I am at the top of Hidden Trail, at the Acorn Woodpeckers territory. There's construction going on up here, and I'm wondering if everyone isn't off-put by the noise.

Looking past a road and trees, a new house is being built

I just hope they don't cut down and clear out this tiny bit of forest... many of the dead trees there are holding the hoard of acorns!

Tree trunk with holes made by Acorn Woodpeckers

I only get a bare glimpse of one of the Acorn Woodpeckers...

The back of an Acorn Woodpecker

and then this one comes along!

Red Tail Hawk standing in a snag

The hawk will scare the little birds into hiding, so I head back down the hill.

American Robin standing on a stick

Close up of an American Robin

Oh, hey! Are we making a nest?!

Northern Flicker standing on the side of a tree trunk, over a hole

Both Flicker parents make the nest and take care of the babies!

Yep! How are things looking, up there? :)

Northern Flicker looking into a hole in a tree trunk

Back down in the neighborhood, I come across a few turkeys wandering thru yards! A bachelor group.

Two male Wild Turkeys walking thru a yard

Whoa!

Close up of two turkeys, the snood of one is flying around

Blinded by your own snood!

Close up of two turkeys, the snood of one is over his eye

*Laughs* Be careful with that thing!!

Two Wild Turkeys walking across a grass yard

I like how the other turkey is just calmly looking on, Dude. Keep your head steady and you won't have this problem! heh.

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Thursday 28 March 2024... Today with Happy Postcards!

Good Morning!

Squirrel sitting on the sidewalk

Squirrel sitting on the sidewalk

Still with the gusty wind today, but at least it's not blowing rain into my face. Mostly.

trees and a foggy hill in the distance

Hello, my dear! Trying to find some ants?

Northern Flicker standing on the sidewalk

Willow tree with a limb stump

Spanish Bluebells in the grass

Spanish Bluebells with pink tulips in the background

Except for the Flicker, the birds have been flying away from me today... I have pics of empty branches! *laughs* So I'm grateful that this Lesser Goldfinch hangs out with me for a few seconds!

Lesser Goldfinch on a mossy twig

Close up of a Lesser Goldfinch on a mossy twig

Different shades of purple! Grape Hyacinth and some Red Dead Nettle!

Grape Hyacinth and Red Dead Nettle in the grass

Oh, hey! I thought all the Golden Crown Sparrows had left for their nesting season in Canada. But there's still one left!

Golden Crown Sparrow standing on a twig, surrounded by willow catkins

I stay and look at this sparrow for a little bit too long... and she stomps her foot at me!!

Golden Crown Sparrow standing on a twig, stomping her foot

*Laughs* Feisty! But I get the clue and move on!

Back at home, I've read a newspaper article that makes me happy!

OHA launches statewide abortion access and information website
OHA remains staunchly committed to protecting access to the full range of reproductive health care -- including and especially abortion, fertility services, and contraception -- for all those who live in and visit our state.

Yay! And here's the website at the Oregon Health Authority:

Abortion Access in Oregon

This just warms my heart so much!

And it's so important... Women and people who can get pregnant in Washington state, California and Nevada do have access to healthcare. But our eastern neighbor, Idaho has some of the worst healthcare bans in the nation.

I am so thrilled, I decide to send some happy postcards, thanking our governor and the director of the Oregon Health Authority...

Postcards
Translation: Dear Dr. Hathi, I was so pleased to read in the newspaper today that the OHA launched an abortion access website! Than you for supporting abortion care! I am proud to live in a state where women and everyone can get the health care they need! Happy Day, rift :)

Yay Abortion Access! And I am so totally proud of my state for doing this!!

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Wednesday 27 March 2024... Dreary Day and Bread

Good Morning my dear.

Close up of a squirrel

Oh my gosh, I get really hung up in this cherry tree!

Ornamental Cherry Blossoms

The rainy day greys and the blossom pinks! Dang, it's just beautiful!

Ornamental Cherry Blossoms

Ornamental Cherry Blossoms

I'm heading out to Stewart Pond Park, but it starts pouring down rain! And unfortunately the wind is blowing too.

A grassy pond with trees in the background, grey with rain

It's so annoying when the wind blows rain up into my face and gets my eyeglasses wet. But the rain is coming down so hard, my clothes are getting soaking wet too. I'm walking fast enough that it's not too cold, but it's hard to take photos in this state!

Stream meandering past trees in a grassy landscape with trees in the background, grey with rain

The rain jacket protected the camera, but the rest of me is soaked to the bone! Socks squishing in my shoes, shirt sleeves wet up to the shoulder and my hands couldn't warm up and my fingers were stiff from the cold. And the jeans are wet all the way up to my underwear... yeah, let me tell you: that is uncomfortable!! *Laughs*

So I wanted to do something comforting when I got home. I got out of my soaking wet clothes and warmed up... and got the bread machine going!

When I first went vegan, about a million years ago, vegan bread was hard to find. It annoyed me. And so I decided to make my own stupid bread!

I got a bread machine and experimented with a lot of different recipes. And I developed my own recipe that is super simple and makes a very sweet sandwich bread that goes well with everything.

It takes ten minutes to set it up, including clean up time and making sure I've got a good dough ball going. A quick set up time is important to me because I hate kitchen work. I just do not enjoy cooking or baking or doing anything in the kitchen. But 10 minutes? I can survive that!

2 cups whole wheat flour, put into bread pan
1¼ cups warmish water, added to bread pan

¾ cup white flour
¼ cup wheat gluten
¼ teaspoon salt
3 heaping tablespoons sugar
3 heaping tablespoons oil
1½ teaspoons yeast

Dump the above ingredients into the bread pan, with the soaking wheat flour. Set the bread machine controls for a 1.5pound loaf, white bread, and your choice of crust colour. (I always pick the lightest one.)

As the bread machine is doing it's first slow stir, hand wash all the measuring utensils you used.

The bread machine will be at it's first normal stir, now. Use a silicon spatula to scrape down the flour from the sides and make sure a perfect dough ball forms by adding drops of water or spoonfuls of flour, whichever it needs.

Close the lid and let it do it's thing!

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Tuesday 26 March 2024... Clouds

Okay! The back is not quite as miserable as yesterday. *sheesh* You'd think with all the walking I do, a little extra exercise wouldn't bother me at all! Ha!

Western Scrub Jay standing on a stick

It was sprinkling when I left the house, but now the clouds are moving around!

Clouds

Willow tree with a limb stump

Limb stump on the Willow Tree

Oh Hello tiny fellow! Nutria youngster!

Young Nutria standing on the ground

You certainly are very cute!

He's so little I could probably scoop him up in my hand!

Young Nutria standing on the ground

And then he RAN for a tunnel thru the brambles down to the creek! *laughs*

Blue sky with a few puffy white clouds

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Monday 25 March 2024... *groans*

ugh! My poor back is killing me today, from Saturday's fast walk home. It is a major distraction from my nature time, and I only take a few photos.

Foggy trees on the hills in the distance

Oh pretty! Too bad for the dreary day... there's not enough light for the camera to take a decent pic. oh well.

Bird in a blossoming cherry tree

Yellow Rump Warbler in a Cherry Tree.

Yellow Rump Warbler standing on the end of a twig full of Cherry Blossoms

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Sunday 24 March 2024... Trees and Birding Thoughts

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Saturday 23 March 2024... Wild Iris Ridge and a New Bird!

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Friday 22 March 2024... A bit at the Garden and the Leaning Tree still Continues!

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Thursday 21 March 2024... Song Sparrows and Flowers and More at Hendricks Park

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Wednesday 20 March 2024... Stewart Pond

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Tuesday 19 March 2024... Another Blue Sky Day

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Monday 18 March 2024... A Blue Sky Day

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Sunday 17 March 2024... Leaning Tree Continues!

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Saturday 16 March 2024... River

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Friday 15 March 2024... Garden and Leaning Tree

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Thursday 14 March 2024... Stewart Pond

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Wednesday 13 March 2024... Flicker Couple!

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Tuesday 12 March 2024... Up Hidden Trail

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Monday 11 March 2024... Stewart Pond

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Monday 11 March 2024... Stewart Pond Continued...

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Sunday 10 March 2024... Happy Abortion Providers Appreciation Day!

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Sunday 10 March 2024... Just a rainy day

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Saturday 9 March 2024... River, starting at the Rose Garden

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Friday 8 March 2024... Stewart Pond Again

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Thursday 7 March 2024... Stewart Pond with Hawks

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Wednesday 6 March 2024... Today with Flowers

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Tuesday 5 March 2024... Up Hidden Trail

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Monday 4 March 2024... The Birds of Today

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Sunday 3 March 2024... Today with Crows

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Saturday 2 March 2024... Today's Crow Story

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Friday 1 March 2024... Rant: Measure 110

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Friday 1 March 2024... Wild Iris Ridge again

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2024... Archived Blog Posts

January 2024 (partial)

February 2024



2023... Archived Blog Posts

February 2023 (partial)

March 2023

April 2023

May 2023 (partial)

June 2023 (partial)

July 2023

August 2023

September 2023

October 2023

November 2023

December 2023



Saturday 16 July 2022... New Osprey Nest!

So I've looked at a map, and I hope I get around the new Downtown Riverfront Park without getting lost this time. It's closed because they are using it for the World Athletics Championships, which started yesterday and runs until the 25th.

This amazing mural just outside the Rose Garden was finished just in time for the Championships.

Mural of birds and roses

And, of course, you can't go by the Rose Garden without obsessively taking photos of the roses.

Strike It Rich, Grandiflora rose

Grande Dame, Hybrid Tea rose

And then we gotta check the Osprey nest on the other side of the river. There's one child there today, and she takes off ... only to make a loop and come back to the nest.

Osprey flying back to the nest platform

Osprey lands in the nest

XXX... Goal: Finish this post!

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I'm archiving the 2022 posts...

January 2022


February 2022


March 2022
Story of nesting Anna Hummingbird begins here!


April 2022
... And the nesting Hummer story continues here, until the babies fly away in mid-April!


May 2022


June 2022


July 2022





2021... BLOG POSTS

(completed 28 May 2023...)

January thru July 2021 Archive

August 2021 Archive

September 2021 Archive

October 2021 Archive

(No entries for November 2021)

December 2021 Archive

Goal: revisit August 2021... Road Trip to Utah!

And then keep filling in posts from there thru the end of 2021.

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2020... BLOG POSTS

(completed 27 Dec 2020 thru 5 Jan 2021...)

2020 Archive... January thru July

(posted 21 Apr 2023...)

2020 Archive... Aug thru Dec

GOAL...

Revisit the Aug thru Dec archive page and add photos and clear out the xxx!

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2019... BLOG POSTS

(Posted 22 Dec 2020...)

The new archive is HTML5, and completely validated!

2019 journal entries

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2018... BLOG POSTS

(Posted 18 Dec 2020...)

I have managed to move all of the 2018 journal entries into an archive page. I did not write very much in 2018, so I decided not to divide them up into months, like I usually do.

The new archive is HTML5, and completely validated!

2018 journal entries

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2017... BLOG POSTS

(Posted 19 Dec 2020...)

I have managed to move all of the 2017 journal entries into an archive page. And again, I didn't write very much, so the posts for the entire year are on one page.

The new archive is HTML5, and completely validated!

2017 journal entries

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Welcome
rifts avatar
I am rift vegan!

I live in the Pacific Northwest of the USA, with my Partner in a tiny townhouse. I am vegan for ethical and environmental reasons, my love for animals and nature is a very important part of my life.

This blog is currently a place for the photos I take while out walking.
Topics include...
Nature! Flora, Fauna, Funga and Phenomena.
Clouds and the fog on the hill.
Trees, native plants, blossoms and botanicals.
Wildlife! Mostly birds and squirrels. Occasionally other creatures, including bugs.
Reading and Journaling.
Veganic Gardening.
Rants!

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2023

Jan 2023
Feb 2023
Mar 2023
Apr 2023
May 2023
June 2023
July 2023
Aug 2023
Sept 2023
Oct 2023
Nov 2023
Dec 2023


Yep, you can email me. and you can write to me.
Email

rift vegan
PO Box 23724
Eugene OR 97402
USA


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