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Posts Tagged ‘nature’

Hi everyone. It’s Millie and Walter here. We aren’t spending much time outside today as we are under a heat advisory but we sure are thankful for a working AC system.

In addition to our selfies, we thought we would show you some black and white flower pictures for a change of pace.

Red daylily with water drops

Stella D’oro daylily

Now here are our selfies.

I look good in color or sepia

Being a black dog I always look good in monochrome.

We hope you are enjoying your Sunday and staying cool.

We’re joining The Cat on My Head for their Selfie Sunday blog hop and want to extend our sympathies to the Cat on My Head family as they lost their sweet Mau recently and are dedicating this weeks blog hop in his memory. You should check out the hop to see some of the other selfies. Thanks for stopping by.

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Hi everyone it’s Walter here. We sure have been enjoying a colorful fall around here.

Let me show you around the yard.

Let me show you around the yard.

Don’t forget that you can click on any image to see it bigger (I strongly suggest you start with the first picture…BOL).

First let me show you our Katsura tree that is in the middle of the yard.

Katasura tree in fall color

Katsura tree in fall color

Mom and dad say this is the best fall color we have ever seen on this tree in the 25 years they have been living here (boy that must make them older than dirt). Next up are a couple of Japanese maple trees.

Japanese maple trees in fall color on far left and right

Japanese maple trees in fall color on far left and right

Now let’s go in for a closer look at that tree on the left. It almost looks like it is on fire!

Japanese Maple Leaves

Japanese Maple Leaves

In the back of the yard one of the most colorful shrubs is just starting to turn color.

Doublefile Viburnum in fall color

Doublefile Viburnum in fall color

Here is the view from the back of the yard looking towards the house showing the Stewartia, Maple and Hickory trees.

Stuartia - Maple - Hickory trees (left to right)

Stewartia – Maple – Hickory trees
(left to right)

That Stewartia tree is a little one compared to the other two but it sure puts on a great display of color.

Stewartia Tree Leaves

Stewartia Tree Leaves

Last but not least our dad caught this shot of a beautiful rainbow over our backyard a couple of days ago.

Starling flock flies through a rainbow

Starling flock flies through a rainbow

Rainbows always make us think of our angel sisters and friends that are living on the other side of the Bridge.

I hope you enjoyed this peek at our fall colors.

I hope you enjoyed this peek at our fall colors.

It’s a good thing we got all those pictures because we had some big winds blow through yesterday that knocked most of the leaves off the trees.

Mom is very busy with more crafting projects (something about a wedding shower gift for her niece) and will be out of town later next week (for the shower). We haven’t been able to comment much but we have been reading all our friends blogs and commenting when we can.

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Disclaimer: We, Millie & Walter, do not condone the use of the following pictures or video on our blog. Proceed at your own risk…you’ve been warned!

Hi everyone, it’s Cindy here! Don’t listen to Millie and Walter. They don’t know what really is cute and what is not. Be prepared for some ultra cute pictures and video.

We have a very large willow tree in our front yard. Over the years many woodpeckers have hammered holes in this tree. Until recently we have never actually seen anything using these holes for homes. On a very rainy morning Charlie saw a mother squirrel bring her babies to a large hole in this willow tree.

Willow with squirrel nest - with words

She made a total of four trips to bring the whole family to the new nest. Since she was moving them during a rain storm we figured the reason was because they were getting soaked where they were.

The following day the sun came out and so did the babies.

Do you think it's safe to go out?

Do you think it’s safe to go out?
I thought mom said to stay in here.

It's okay if we stay close to the nest.

It’s okay if we stay close to the nest.

These adorable babies spent much of the day running up and down the willow tree. Here is a short video of some of the action.

If you can’t see the video you can go here to view it.

Yesterday this group of hooligans was scurrying around the backyard while Millie and Walter were inside. The pups sure had fun were frustrated watching all this action through the windows.

We actually aren’t sure if these are grey squirrels or red squirrels. We thought the mom that was carrying the babies was a grey squirrel (we were viewing during a rain storm from a long distance) but when looking at the babies they seem to have more reddish fur than expected. We do have both species living on our property so it could be either one. No matter what they are they sure are cute and fun to watch.

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Wild Bird Wednesday

Hi everyone! Wow! Did we have an exciting day last week. On Tuesday, May 19th a pair of male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds waged a fierce all day battle for the rights to our backyard. I noticed them first thing in the morning when I took the dogs out for their bathroom duties.

Let the games begin!

Let the games begin!

Throughout the day I would glance out the window and see them still going at it.

Get off my feeder!

Get off my feeder!

Occasionally they would both land on the feeder and both would take some sips from the feeder.

A temporary truce for refueling

A temporary truce for refueling

But that wouldn’t last long and they would be at it again.

Who will be the first to give up?

Who will be the first to give up?

They were so consumed by their turf battle that I was able to get within about 8 feet to take these pictures. I also took some video of the action that you can see below. The video is a bit long but that was after I cut it down from the 20 clips I took of them. I apologize that the birds aren’t always in the best focus but I wanted to demonstrate how fierce some of the action was. The camera had difficulty focusing on the small birds and instead would focus on the background. If you listen closely you can hear when they hit each other. You can also see that they seem to take turns being the one on the feeder and the one trying to knock the other off.

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/129004352]

If you can’t see the video you can go here to view it.

At times one of the birds would be on the feeder.

Whatcha looking at?

Whatcha looking at?

While the other was on top of the hook holding the feeder. It seemed that the one on top would not see when the other flew onto the feeder.

Where did he go?

Where did he go?

There were brief periods of rest between skirmishes. I caught this picture of them both preening while sitting on the trellis in the perennial garden.

The arrows show where the hummingbirds are sitting.

The arrows show where the hummingbirds are sitting.

I was getting exhausted watching this battle going on. It continued all day long until after sundown. (Yes, I turned off the lights in the kitchen and looked out at about 8:30 pm to see them still going at it) The next day only one male hummingbird remained. I would like to think the loser of the battle flew on to find his own territory.

I hope you have enjoyed this edition of Wild Bird Wednesday and will take some time to stop by the blog hop host too.

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Wild Bird Wednesday

Hi everyone! Sorry I haven’t been around the blogs much the past few days but I was hit with a stomach bug late Saturday night and I’m just starting to feel myself again.

While I was down for the count we had a first ever avian visitor to our yard. I was feeling so bad that I didn’t even get out of bed to see it so I had to rely on Charlie’s photography skills to verify his find.

Northern Saw-Whet Owl on suet feeder

Northern Saw-Whet Owl on suet feeder

He appeared to be sleeping and Charlie was able to sneak up fairly close. With his long lens he got some great pictures.

No other birds are coming to the feeder for a while.

No other birds are coming to the feeder for a while.

He was still in the yard later in the afternoon when Charlie took the dogs out for a play session. The owl was tucked into the scrub behind the feeder and Charlie said the owl kept a close eye on the pups but never moved. The dogs had no idea he was there.

Northern Saw-Whet owl

Northern Saw-Whet owl

By the next day he was gone. Maybe he will return and bring a friend. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds online guide we are in the year round range of the Northern Saw-whet Owl. We may never see him again as they are usually nocturnal. Judging by the fact that he never opened his eyes while Charlie was photographing him he certainly seemed to be trying to catch some “z’s”. Maybe we will hear them at night when the weather is nicer? We will keep you posted.

I hope you have enjoyed this edition of Wild Bird Wednesday and will take some time to stop by the blog hop host too.

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As the flowers of summer begin to fade I thought I would take you all on a walk around the garden to look at the wide variety of foliage we have. I’m not talking about the colors of autumn but rather the use of colored foliage (other than green) within your garden to create interest.

North side of yard

North side of yard

Here is a look at the north side of our yard. Every few shrubs is one with red foliage. From left to right you will see the red foliage of the ninebark, columnar barberry, smoke bush, standard barberry and on the far right is a columnar red birch.

Closer view of north side of yard

Closer view showing columnar barberry, smoke bush and barberry

In the closer view (and below) you can also see the smaller shrubs. A yellow variegated foliage dwarf weigela and the red foliage weigela.

Dwarf red weigela and dwarf yellow verigated weigela

Dwarf red weigela and dwarf yellow variegated weigela
Spilled Wine® Weigela florida ‘Bokraspiwi’ and My Monet® Sunset Weigela florida ‘Sunset’

As you can see the foliage can be red or yellow.

Japanese maple surrounded by yellow barberry

Japanese maple surrounded by yellow barberry

This is one of my favorite parts of our garden. I just love the contrast of the red leaves of the maple and yellow barberry. It also helps to draw your eye to the weeping structure of the Alaska Cedar evergreen (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis ‘Pendula’) behind them.

Another red barberry adding a pop of color

Another red barberry adding a pop of color

Moving around the yard we see more pops of the red foliage.

Dwarf verigated weigela

Dwarf variegated weigela
My Monet® Weigela florida

The variegated foliage of this dwarf weigela has it all from red to green to white.

Japanese maple with yellow rug juniper and yellow barberry

Japanese maple with yellow rug juniper and yellow barberry

This corner of the yard shows that some of the shrubs can be ground hugging too. The weep of the Japanese maple coming down to the yellow juniper (Juniperus horizontalis “Mother Lode”) is a wonderful contrast.

Dwarf variegated weigela with red heuchera

Dwarf variegated weigela with red heuchera

Not all the contrasting foliage is found in the shrub border. We also have some in the perennial garden. Here a My Monet® weigela is contrasted against the red foliage of a heuchera.

I hope you enjoyed this tour of our garden to see the variety of foliage we have used to enhance the look. Maybe on another post I can show you some of the different textures we have in our garden?

As always we have to thank Charlie for his excellent care of our gardens.

Even though this was mostly a foliage post we are joining Dory for Flower Friday.

DorysFlowerFridayBadge

On another note I want to apologize for being absent from the blog for a while. As the membership secretary for a large (350 members) quilting club I have had a lot of work to do to prepare for our upcoming first meeting of the year. I’ve also been working on a few crafty projects and all of it has kept me away from blogging. We have been keeping up with reading all of your blogs but our commenting may not be as much as we usually do. Thanks for your understanding. We hope to get back to blogging more soon.

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Last week was all about day lilies. Today is all about everything else that is in bloom right now.

First up a look at our beautiful containers.

Container on our patio wall

Containers on our patio wall

I purchased these as hanging pots and we transferred them to larger containers. There are just three types of flowers and the container that gets the most sun has grown to over 3 feet across. It hangs down so far that you can’t see the pot under it any more.

South East view of perennial garden

South East view of perennial garden

In addition to the day lilies (many of which are still blooming) there are many other flowers in bloom.

Pink cone flower

Pink cone flower

Black eyed susan

Black eyed Susan

Close up of Black eyed Susan

Close up of Black eyed Susan

Here is a lovely trio of flowers.

White gayfeather, Joe Pye Weed, and Loosestrife (Front to Back)

White gayfeather, Joe Pye Weed, and Loosestrife
(Front to Back)

There are also some visitors enjoying our flowers.

Eastern tiger swallowtail feasting on loosetrife

Eastern tiger swallowtail feasting on loosetrife

Around the patio are some more flowering shrubs and perennials.

Yellow Potentilla

Yellow Potentilla

Crocosmia

Crocosmia

Crocosmia are one of my favorite flowers. Our hummingbirds enjoy them a lot too but so far I haven’t  been able to catch any pictures of them on it.

Crocosmia close up

Crocosmia close up

As always we have to thank Charlie for his excellent care of our gardens.

We are joining Dory with this Flower Friday post.

DorysFlowerFridayBadge

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Wild Bird Wednesday

I thought I would give you a little birding update from our yard. You may remember a while back when I reported that our bluebird box had been under attack by some House sparrows. Sadly the first brood of babies was lost but since then our bluebird couple have been working hard to raise two more broods. The last couple of weeks the babies from the final brood have been coming to the feeder and we have been able to watch them grow.

Please note that all the pictures in this post were taking through our windows so the quality isn’t very good.

A baby bluebird spotlighted in our linden tree

A baby bluebird spotlighted in our linden tree

At first the babies would land in the tree above the dried meal worm feeder and call to be fed.

Baby bluebirds huddled together

Baby bluebirds huddled together

Feed me mom! I'm starving here!

Feed me mom! I’m starving here!

Eventually they got up the courage to land in the feeder but still wanted to be fed by mom or dad.

Hurry up mom! I don't care how big the worm is.

Hurry up mom! I don’t care how big the worm is.

Nom, nom, nom, nom......

Nom, nom, nom, nom……

Eventually the babies started coming to the feeder and helping themselves and sometimes would even start to forage on the ground for themselves.

Anything good to eat down here?

Anything good to eat down here?

I always love the call that the male bluebird makes (click on the link to find a recording). He sweetly calls to his family to keep them all together. We sure are going to miss these bluebirds when they are gone for the season but we will always have the welcome mat ready when they come back next spring (and make sure to keep the sparrows away).

I hope you have enjoyed this edition of Wild Bird Wednesday and will take some time to stop by the blog hop host too.

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