Sunday, January 29, 2023

Guardian of the mealworms

Instead of modifying the starling-proof mealworm feeder, I put it out with the other nut feeders and filled its bowl with bark butter bits. Bluebirds like them, as do just about every other bird that visits, plus the squirrels. (Now that I think of it, I bet a red squirrel could squeeze into that feeder, if it could get past the baffle on the pole.) The "old" mealworm feeder is back in its original location. I moved the recliner in the den closer to the window, so when the starlings mob that feeder, I can rap on the window and scare them away. Interestingly, the bluebirds are not so rattled by my anti-starling efforts and stick around to take advantage of the situation.

We received even more snow - 6-8" - and I had to shovel the driveway myself. :-( The neighbor who usually clears it with his snowblower is out of town, leaving all of us on the block who depend on him out of luck. I started working on the snow, figuring if I couldn't finish it, I would ask another neighbor for help. But I did it! My left arm did most of the work.

While the bluebirds have been ignoring the wintergreen holly berries, this one robin has not. I keep wondering if it is the same robin who in the spring hangs out under the mealworm feeder and chases other robins away from the hawthorn tree in the front yard. Very territorial.

Today for lunch I fixed myself a club sandwich - turkey, bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes. It was delicious! Now I am back on the tomato wagon, so I guess I'll grow *one* plant this summer, in a container.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Snowy day

The snow started coming down during the night and continued for most of the day. It's a heavy snow, perfect for packing. My SO came over and helped clear the driveway, although I discovered it is possible to shovel snow using one arm. I welcome the snow, as a snowless landscape feels too much like February.

See the birdfeeder in the photo? That one is designed to let bluebirds in while keeping starlings out. It works, BUT. Only one or two birds can feed at one time, while I frequently have 5-10 birds wanting to eat. The floor of the feeder is solid, so spilled mealworms don't fall on the ground where the others wait. I think I'll replace the floor with hardware cloth and see how that works.

This past week I placed an order with Bluestone Perennials for catmint, specifically Nepeta 'Cat's Pajamas'. I also ordered a dozen purple coneflower, a.k.a. Echinacea Purpurea, from Prairie Moon Nursery. I *tried* to order some stuff from Burpee, but their site must have been overwhelmed with others doing the same thing, as my order would not go through, even after three tries on separate days. Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Spring has sprung?

I was more than a little surprised to see these daffodils emerging from the mulch. Yes, it has been mild, and yes, these daffs are the first to appear each year. But January 15?!? That's just not right.

While there is no outside gardening to do right now, today I took care of some indoor gardening. Four houseplants needed to be repotted. I purchased cheap pots from Target (which came without saucers, so there is a pottery project for me) for this task. And despite my efforts to be careful, made a bit of a mess in the kitchen. Maybe next time I should do this in the laundry room where there is a utility sink.

There has been more bird activity lately, specifically a flicker (a rarity at the feeders) plus quite a few bluebirds, so I've been putting out mealworms. I don't know what it is about seeing those flashes of blue, but it really cheers me up. Not to be outdone, my SO spotted a bald eagle a few miles from my house, near the county fairgrounds. Now *that* is really something to see.

Saturday, January 07, 2023

I'm free! (sorta)

This past Wednesday, my ortho doctor told me I could stop wearing the immobilizer. Huzzah! While my left shoulder is still rather useless, at least I have two hands to work with. Another six weeks of ACTIVE (instead of passive) physical therapy and I should be well on the way to near normalcy. Just in time for spring cleanup.

The weather has been rather mild lately, so less bird activity in the backyard. Someone (starlings, perhaps?) has been pecking away at the hot bark butter cylinder. It's on a pole unprotected from squirrels, but they don't like the red pepper. I think it colors the bird poop, though.