Posts Tagged ‘irises’

Blessed event

Remember the nest full of blue eggs?

I’ve kept an eye on them, much to the dismay of the proud mama.

Yesterday, when I looked in the nest about 9 a.m., this is what I saw…

About an hour later, I looked again.   If you look closely, you can see that one of the eggs now has a little hole in it where the chick is pecking its way out.

I had to give a massage, so I went and did that.   As soon as the massage was over, I went out and found a freshly hatched chick.  Still wet.

Hungry too, it seems.

This morning, the last egg had hatched too.   There are four babies in this nest.

When we first moved to this place, my mother gave me some iris tubers.  One of them was pink.   It bloomed a couple of times, and then it disappeared for years.   Suddenly this spring, I noticed the tubers which had not bloomed for years made a reappearance.

This next one is one of a set of six different irises that Jim’s mother sent me the first year we lived here.   She lived in California, and the box of tubers arrived here in early November.   I found a place to put them in the ground, which was cold and wet.   A couple of days later it snowed.   I was pretty sure that those irises wouldn’t survive, but they certainly did.   And they bloomed the next spring, too.

They’ve been blooming every year since.

Odd how such an ephemeral and delicate blossom can be so very very hardy and durable.

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I was cleaning out the Hosta Dell a few days ago on a cool cloudy damp day, and came across someone sleeping in the miniature hostas.

She’s really a very good sized box turtle, about the size of a small canteloupe.   She was sleepy, and grumpy because it was cold.  Garbo-like, she wanted to be alone.

As I returned to the house from the task, I stopped to admire the new strawberry bed.

We were motivated to raise the bed just because that box turtle and her kin think strawberries are the BEST, ripe or not.   Ripe is better, of course, but if all there is is green ones, they will do just fine.   So far, we have not discovered a climbing box turtle.

You will note the finely crafted cage resting on top of the wall.   That is in honor of all the birds around the place, who also think strawberries are a fine dining experience not to be missed.   There are four doors on top that fold open for picking and weeding.   The whole thing breaks down into 8 easily carried panels plus one two by four.   This is what it looks like when one of the panels is open.

Inside, there are hundreds of strawberries growing and expanding in all their splendor.   And not a speck of mold, which is another benefit of raising the beds so they drain well.

In other news, I believe that I have noticed at least 8 different robin nests around the place.   The one under the wisteria has babies, the one on the box bush that I featured the other day is still eggs.   In the barn, there is a Carolina wren whose eggs are now fuzzy headed babies.   I also saw a young fledgling dove the other day as well, so lots of bird activity is going on.

In the front, the irises are just prime.  There are dutch irises as well as the bearded irises out there.

In the rain garden, the false indigo is just starting to bloom.  Right next to it is an amsonia, which is quite popular with the bumblebees, and there are sphinx moths enjoying it too.

I saw the leopard frog out by the pond yesterday.    She deigned to pose for me before leaping off into the jerusalem artichoke patch.

Down by the Hosta Dell, the hen and chicks are propagating.   I find these guys to be too cute for words.   Bear in mind that the gravel out there is about 1cm in diameter.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a hosta dell without plenty of hostas, would it?  This one is looking quite wonderful right now.

Now, I have an area that has approximately five million salvia volunteers that need to be discouraged.

Ta ta for now, then.

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The bees settled into their new home without incident.    With beginner’s luck, I managed to get the queen neatly into the new hive and everyone seems to be happy about the situation.

Accordingly, a couple of days after we captured the swarm, I donned my borrowed bee suit and proceeded out to the new hive to replace the frames I had removed to effect the capture.

As you can clearly see in the above photo, the bees were completely unfazed by my activities.   In fact, the bee suit seemed extraneous.

After my visions of bees boiling up out of the hive busily attacking me and defending their territory, their complete disinterest in my presence, the fact the top had been removed from the hive, and that I was messing around with it was quite the anticlimax.

So, we have acquired a couple of books on beekeeping from the library to hold us until I can get something shipped from Amazon.   The book I was reading this morning starts right off telling you that you most likely do not need a bee suit at all.   I’m inclined to agree after my experience the other morning.

In other news, I was looking at the shrubs at the side of the house; a couple of box bushes that came with the place when we bought it.   They have mostly been completely unattended to, and so they look rather unkempt at the moment.   Additionally, the ajuga was blooming vociferously when we mowed the area, so we left it alone, and needless to say, the grass took full advantage.

I went over there to sort of tame the unruly wild oats and contemplate pruning the box.   I was bent over at my task when a bird exploded out of the bush right by my head and hustled over to the fence, where she began to tell me all about how awful I was in no uncertain terms.

Of course, nosy parker that I am, I immediately investigated the box bush, and this is what I found, right at chest level.

Needless to say, I won’t be pruning that shrub for a few weeks.

The snowball bush out by the Petite Prairie is pretty spectacular right now, as is the Hosta Dell.

But nothing can quite compare to the specacularity of the interior of iris “Pagan Dance” in the early morning sun.

Unless possibly it is the interior of this un-named burgundy beauty that one of my friends gave me a couple of years ago.

In my not-so-humble opinion, there is nothing quite as fabulous as the interior of an iris bloom with the morning sun illuminating it.

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