Category Archives: Nature

Humming Along Again

This past Sunday, I got the urge to commit some floracide, so Hubby and I headed to the local home improvement and garden store to get some grass seed and some plants willing to sacrifice themselves to the Sith way of gardening. I am partial to calla lilies and petunias for containers but the lilies tend to be pricey, so I was going to settle for marigolds instead. And taking a turn towards them, Hubby discovered a damsel in distress.

hummingbird

Poor wee thing was on the floor by the marigolds, looking exhausted after battling the early morning storm, most likely. First order of business was to gather her up and cradle her to get her warm. So while I chose my sacrificial flora over in the clearance section, he walked around warming her up and rousing the curiosity of customers. Once my victims were chosen and paid for, we then journeyed over to the pet store to get a hummingbird feeder. We needed to replace the one that broke during a previous storm, and also needed snake food. Two birds with one stone (Bada BING!!). After the clerks oohed and ahhed over the hummingbird, we went home and set up some nectar and then ensconced her in the master bathroom with it.

This is where I left the house to go get some stuff at the antique store. This is also when hilarity ensued.

Hubby (via text): The hummingbird is gone.

Me (via panic): *calls home* What?? Define “gone”!!

Hubby: Well, we can’t find her in the bathroom.

Me: Oh, thank goodness. She’s probably hiding in the floral swag over the window.

Hubby: Wait….no, she was behind the toothbrush holder.

Me: I’m on my way home, so don’t lose her again!

Once home, I joined the rescue party going on around my shower stall, where the bird was sipping on her new-found manna from heaven. She was showing signs of recovery as she flitted about, so we left Hubby to catch her so he could release her outside. As he brought her out we noticed her recovery was complete, listening to her annoyed chirps while cradled gently in his hand. Once outside on the patio, he opened his hand slowly to let her get adjusted. She tried out her wings, and flitted around him before taking off over the trees.

It was a wonderful Sunday, and one spent catering to one of the least of us. I hope she is out and about enjoying the day, telling her friends where to find some awesome nectar, and that we puny humans aren’t as bad as they think πŸ˜€

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At Least It’s Not Tuesday the 17th

And Bianca’s not toast*.

I’m not a superstitious gal. Ok, I’m just a little stitious*. I like black cats, walk under ladders, have broken enough mirrors to have supposed “bad luck” until the year 59,326 AD, spill salt all over the kitchen, and open umbrellas indoors in order to make sure they work before I step into rain.

Who wants to be caught in a downpour with a broken umbrella?

Apparently there is a convergence of Cosmic Karmaβ„’ this evening. Not only is it Friday the 13th, but there will be a full moon as well. That means we will be going outside with my awesome Celestronβ„’ telescope to watch the moon.

Moon in color

M-O-O-N!! That spells “moon”*.

I hope y’all enjoy the evening, and if you see any werewolves, send them to Trader Vic’s* πŸ˜‰

*Leave a comment if you get the references!


Whirling Dervish Alert

Well, not really. I’m not a mystic. But I have been going around in circles trying to get things done around here.

The past few days I have been working around the yard. Yes, the cacti are still alive. So are the petunias. So far. Anyway, I decided to redo the backyard area a bit. I have this really neat ironwork pot holder that I brought back from Germany and had been standing against the back wall unused and forlorn. I moved it out from under the loquat tree and placed it against a sunny area along the fence, then planted petunias (Hello! Have you met me??) to display on it. It looks so nice and makes a great backdrop for my dog, who thinks I beautified the area for her. She’s funny like that.

I discovered to my chagrin that one of my three beautiful hostas did not survive the last freeze, so now I have another planter to fill with….something. I love hostas, but they don’t fare as well down here as they do up north. I may get a hydrangea and take a chance that I won’t end up murdering it it will do well under the tree along the other hostas. I just know I have to put something in the planter. It’s a jones of mine. I see an empty planter or pot and I have to put a soon-to-be-in-hospice plant in it. Currently I have four planters to fill. Which means a trip to the nursery in search of more victims flowers with which to beautify the backyard. Or the front yard.

triumphant kid

That’s how I feel when I garden. At least until the plants begin their transition from hospice to flora heaven. Then not so much.

But until then, I shall enjoy the pretty flowers and make plans to go to Hobby Lobby and buy fake ones when they go on sale so I can replace them after mourning the passing of the current crop. It makes sense to me, and that’s all that counts πŸ™‚


Rising to the Challenge

Well, it’s long past time to clean up the yard and get more plants to murder.

Yesterday, I went to a home improvement store to get some plants for the front yard. I had spent the previous morning cleaning up the dead debris from the previous year, and needed some boosts of color. As usual, I gravitate towards petunias. I love petunias. They tend to do well in hot weather, and their velvety colors are rich and radiant. Who wouldn’t want such beautiful blooms??

petunias

Look at them!!! Aren’t they lush and gorgeous?

I have to admit, those plants tend to survive here quite well, but it does get rather boring after a while. The problem we have is choosing plants for the front stoop. That area acts like a magnifying glass in the afternoon. After consulting Hubby (and by that, I mean he pretty much said I couldn’t kill these), we settled on cacti.

cacti pot

There they are and there they’ll stay. Heat and Summer challenge: accepted. And if they do die, it will NOT be my fault this time.

I’ll take the blame for the other plants that do die off, though. This is me we are talking about πŸ˜‰


Last Day of Winter

Or so the calendar claims.

I think the calendar is yanking my chain, though. I’m still wearing sweaters and long sleeves and the heater kicks in every night. Usually by mid-March we have nice warm days, precursors to the scorchers we get for living five blocks from the Sun. My bluebonnets are coming up, the mountain laurel has bloomed, but I’m afraid the roses and the Barbados shrubs did not do well in the freezes we had. And you know what that means, right?

tried but died

Every year I buy plants and flowers, and every year, they die. But for a few weeks they look SPECTACULAR in my yard, so at least I have that going for me.

So today I am off to go look for nice geraniums and roses and petunias. Hopefully they won’t cringe when they see me at the nursery. If they do, I shall spare them the agony of dying in my yard.

It’s the least I can do πŸ˜€


Tourism, Texas Style

I love my state. There is always some exotic attraction no matter where you are. And by “exotic”, I don’t mean a gentleman’s club. Though there’s a few of those too. No, I mean weird.

Today we shall be going here. That’s right, the SNAKE FARM!!!

verdi

ZOMG!!! Isn’t he adorable?? But it’s not just a reptile place. They have a petting zoo and rescue exotics from around the world. The farm was featured on an episode of Dirty Jobs, and Mike Rowe was a snake handler. He was thisclose to me and I missed out. It still pains me to this day. Anyway, we hope to catch a show or maybe feeding time. A LIVE feeding!!

And then we shall go to lunch πŸ˜€


Nature’s Novelty

This week we are on vacation at the lake again. So far we have traded one madding crowd for another, but it does get quiet here during the week. One of my favorite past times here is watching the fauna, particularly the water fowl. Living out in drier hill country, one misses out on that unless one goes to the zoo.

So far we have enjoyed the herons, both lesser and blue, egrets, owls, and ducks. And those are my favorites. I love to watch them paddle like mad and looking so calm and important. This year we got to see a true novelty.

duck pic

See him?? A beautiful black duck, with green and blue feathers. I don’t think it’s a different species, since the patterns on his feathers are almost the same as the regular mallards. Genetic anomalies like this are rare and beautiful, and I admit to wanting to trap the sucker just so I could get a closer look. I don’t think he would like that, though. I’m pretty sure he would kick my butt, and take my money.

Well, time to get going. The bowling balls aren’t going to roll themselves, you know πŸ˜€


Rats With Better PR

Yesterday afternoon, I went outside to water the flowers, praying that I wouldn’t end up murdering them yet again it would rain, since it was overcast and that would save me from having to roll out the sprinkler. I…..don’t have the best luck with plants. Except my hostas, which weirdly are freakishly huge under the tree.

I guess they thrive on ignorance and neglect.

Anyway, I go get the garden hose, and turn to talk to my calla lily. She hasn’t deserted me, either. Again, ignorance and neglect. I give her a good drink of water, and then turn to the marigolds in the bright teacup style pot, only to find broken leaves, snapped heads, and a mess of dirt. Why? Because some squirrel decided that was where he had hidden his treasure trove of acorns.

jedi_squirrel

Seems legit.

Normally I am not one to get upset over something so small. But they had done it to the newly planted petunias out front, which were BRAND FREAKING NEW AND HAD NO ACORNS IN THE DIRT!! So of course, I snapped.

Me: STAY OUT OF MY POTTED PLANTS, YOU INSIPID BAG OF MANGY FUR!!

Squirrel: *looks at me from the fence edge*

Me: YES, YOU!! I CATCH YOU AROUND MY PLANTS AGAIN, AND I WILL MAKE STEW OUT OF YOUR HIDE!!

Neighbor: Hey Aggie*. How’s…. your day?

Me: Uh, Hey! Just…fine… watering plants.

Neighbor: Need a shotgun?

Me: I’m on it.

Neighbor: I didn’t hear a thing.

Me: I owe you.

I don’t like squirrels, as you can probably surmise. I don’t care that they have bushy tails, or cute little hands (which have nasty claws), or cheeky pouches. Screw that. I think they are nasty little birdseed thieves who conspire to wreak havoc on the roads and make your plants wither and die.

It’s a good thing I was defrosting chicken, because stew sounded pretty good right then πŸ˜‰


It’s Water, Not Kryptonite

This morning greeted us with an overcast sky. For this area, it is unusual to get rain, but when we do, it causes a rift in the space-time continuum, or in the minds of drivers. Mostly the latter.

As I was taking the kids to school, a young man pulled out in front of me, apparently not seeing my big red SUV with all its lights on. Then at the big intersection, one woman was driving fast enough that she locked her brakes when confronted with the red traffic light. She narrowly missed the van in front of me. Driving towards Little One’s school, several drivers fishtailed and skidded. One car was in a ditch.

I forgot to mention, it was a light drizzle, not a raging downpour. My windshield wipers were on their lowest setting.

water on road lol

So I shall stay home, choosing to live over taking chances with the “ZOMG!! I’M GOING TO DIE!!” drivers out there. At least until such time as one kid asks me to get something for some school project.

It’s part of the Murphy’s Mom Law πŸ˜‰


Life Moves Pretty Fast

What a day, so far.

Coming back from dropping off the kids, I witnessed a car accident and boy howdy, it was loud. Came home to wake Eldest up to take her to the dentist, and after dropping her off, saw a herd of cervines (deer, in case you wanted a new word of the day) running across the highway, bringing traffic to a screeching halt. Went to get gas, only to find that the gal in front of me in line was short to pay, so I paid the remainder, earning brownie points from the cashier. Came home to walk the dogs, who had to be restrained when they spotted a tiny rabbit running across the median. Went back to pick up Eldest, and take her to get her learner’s permit with the required 1,003 proofs of identification and a unit of blood.

Life stopped moving for about an hour at this point.

Once that was done, took her to lunch, came home to gather her school stuff, dropped her off, and went in search of a thrift store, where I scored a Blue Ball jar (Shut. Up.), old hardback, and nine paperbacks for ten bucks. Go outside to find a freakin’ hawk on my vehicle, calmly return inside until hawk was done stalking the poor rat that didn’t have a rat’s chance.

I must admit, it was rather awesome to see the hawk take off, dive and grasp the rat in its talons. I hope PETA is offended right now.

Once again, go to my vehicle, and begin the drive home, enjoying the fighter jets landing at the base. Come home, and squeeee about the jar again, and now it’s 1:40 PM, and time for me to get busy.

Life does move pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. πŸ˜‰