Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Baby Blues Have Left the Nest

My husband checked the nesting box of our baby Blue Birds this afternoon. I posted here about our five sweet little Blue Birds here and I expressed my concern that they might be attacked by predators before they were ready to fly.

I noticed when I discovered them in their nest this past weekend that they looked to be about ready, judging from the looks of their feathers and when my husband looked in the nesting box this afternoon they were not there.

As can be seen in the picture below, the nest does not appear to have been disturbed or torn up in any way. Better still, the pine needles the Blue Bird parents placed at the entrance to the entrance hole was still in place and undisturbed.
Baby Blue Bird Intact and Empty Nest
We are very relieved to see that the Baby Blues must have flown from the nest. There were no feathers on the ground near the nest. That was a good sign too, we thought.

There were, however, a few feathers out near the woods where my husband's main bird feeder is placed. Here are some pictures of the tiny feathers, which look suspiciciously like those of a baby Blue Bird.
Baby Blue Bird Feathers
 Do you notice the blue tint on the tiny feathers?
Baby Blue Bird Feathers
Still, we are heartened to find the intact nest and only a few of the tiny feathers. We feel therre is a very good chance that at least some of our little bird family has survived. Maybe they will grow up and come back again to nest with us!

Hopeful Happenings in Our Garden

My husband and I have often exchanged these words:

Me: "I am going to be optimistic about this."

Him: "I'm going to be realistic."

Me: "You sound like Mariah Popham from Summer Magic." 

Him: "You are too hopeful. You need to be more realistic, so you don't get dissapointed."

Of course, we are usually just kidding around and, just for the record, I know we all must sometimes be realistic. However, I think it is just part of my being.  Eternal optimism must be in my DNA. Mind you, I don't wear rose colored glasses all the time and I understand that things will not always be "La Vie en Rose"around here. I am not blind to the fact that some things are not going to always go according to plan. Still, I choose hope over no hope most every time!

Gardening is one of those things--for me anyway, as my thumbs are less than green. I plant with high hopes that pests will not invade and destroy. I hope that weather conditions will provide just that balance of sunshine and rain. I add a few nutrients and a little compost and have great aspirations for success. I do this knowing that things may not go acccording to plan.

Currently, what is going on in my garden (for the most part) gives me hope that very soon we will enjoy some good things at our table. Here are a few pictures of the things happening out back:
My Spring Garden 2016\

Sugar Peas

Sugar Peas
The promise of more to come in the Sugar Pea blooms:
Sugar Pea Blooms
Tomatoes are coming out and starting to ripen on my plants. Lots of "hope" in those plants! In the meantime, I am "hopeful" that none of those spine chilling Horned Tomato Worms show up, like something out of a horror movie! It drives me crazy how they get on the plant and totally destroy it before you even know they are there. I am trying to be a little realistic by slowly checking things out on a daily basis and trying to stay a step ahead of those green monsters.
Tomatoes in  Our Garden

Tomatoes in  Our Garden

Tomatoes in  Our Garden
Here is a picture of the many tomato plants, in several varieties, I planted in this one bed. There's "hope" in those yellow blooms!
Bed of Tomato Plants in  One of  Our Garden Beds
Beets are growing next the Sugar Peas.
Beets Growing in the Garden

Many people enjoy Bell Peppers in tomato dishes, sauces and salads. We certainly do enjoy them at our table!
Bell Pepper Plants

Bell Pepper Plants in Our Garden
I have stuffed something into pretty much every square inch of the beds! I am a believer in growing herbs. They lend fragrance to the many aspects of our lives. Some herbs deter pests. Others, like these that were planted in one special corner of my tomato bed are especially good for cooking with tomatoes and other vegetables and meat dishes:
Oregano, Basil and Cilantro Growing Alongside Tomatoes
Also, a random and volunteer in the tomato patch--an ornamental gourd!
Ornamental Gourds in the Garden
One of my Oregano plants decided to take over one of the beds next to our house, some five years ago. I gave pretty much allowed it to do its thing and just trim it back, once in awhile. There are a few Day Lilly, Gladiola and Irises that continue to pop up around and through the oregano. Yes, it is a bit wild and free flowing in that bed. So what, I love it!!
Our Enormous Oregano Bed

Cilantro planted alongside Broccoli.
Cilantro in Our Garden Beds
Here and there, in ground and in pots are some Sage, Rosemary and a little Thyme.

We enjoy the way Sage gives our Thanksgiving turkey and cornbread dressing so much flavor. I will be drying these herbs for using this fall and winter!


Sage and a Bit of Thyme with More Basil in Pots
One of our most loved friends, Mickey Mouse. Mickey is standing guard with his hose, just in case things get too hot and dry in the garden! See you next month at Walt Disney World, Mickey!
Friend Mickey Mouse in Our Garden
I miss our precious Jimmy so very much and every time I plant something in the garden beds he and grandson Glenn built for me my heart fills to the brim with beloved memories of him. He brought so much inspiration and joy to my life and was always encouraging and helping me with whatever made my life easier and happier. Thank you, my beautiful son-in-love for being so good to me! I love you and I miss you!

Most of you know, we love our Blue Berries down here and the Blue Berry bushes are certainly hold promise for a summer of Blue Berry picking and eating!
Blue Berry Bushes in Our Garden

So far, except for some tiny green worms who are overly fond of the Broccoli plants, things are looking quite good. My heart is filled with optimism and hopefulness for some good things from the garden this year!

Sharing things here on my little space in Blog Land brings me such joy. To everyone who visits here, I appreciate your taking time out of your busy day to spend a moment out of your life with me! Thank you so very much!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Who's Got the Blues?

Who's got the blues? We've got the blues. Blue Birds, that is! We look forward to seeing those sweet little Blue Birds every spring in our yard. For the past several years, however, something or the other, has been raiding our Blue Bird house and eating the eggs. If the eggs survive long enough to get to be hatchlings, something attacks them, sometimes even before we realize they have hatched.

As a result, Blue Birds seem to have been reluctant to even build new nests in our Blue Bird nesting box. As I walked around out back yesterday, I opened the top of the box to see if, by some small chance, there might be a nest in there and maybe even a few eggs. We had not seen any Blue Birds flying around out there lately, so I was a little doubtful as I opened the box to peer inside.

To my great surprise, there was a nest in the box! An adorable little nest, with a little "mattress" of green moss layered underneath it and topped with what appeared to be a downy little "feather bed" of sorts, which I think had been made with some lint from where I had emptied my vacuum cleaner canister in the wooded area at the very back of our yard. The green moss "mattress and feather bed" were encircled in a wreath of brown pine needles. It had been constructed with utmost care and thoughtfulness!

Inside that precious little nest were five sweet little Blue Birds! They looked to have been there for some time. Perhaps a couple of weeks from the amount of feathers they had acquired already.

We are hosts to a beautiful family of Blue Birds, once again!
Baby Blue Birds in Our Nesting Box
Aren't they cute?

When cleaning out the box in the past, I have never seen a Blue Bird nest built quite like this one. Not only is it built in separate layers. It has been built as far back in the box as was possible, away from the entrance hole in the front of the box. 

In the past, when the box was raided, I would find pine needles and parts of the nest hanging from the entrance. I have read that cats and raccoons gain access to the eggs or babies by jumping straight up on the roof of the box, lean over the front and stick their paws inside the box and drag out the nest and babies. 

I took these pictures from the top of the box, looking down in to the box. You will notice when you see the next picture, how far the nest is from the little entrance hole in the box. It may not work. A determined cat or other predator might still manage to reach far enough in to get to the babies. Still, I think it was purposely placed in this manner by some thoughtful birdie parents. Here is another picture in which the little entrance hole can be seen at the bottom of the picture as I was looking down from the top of the opened bird box.
Blue Bird Babies in Our Nesting Box
I do hope that these sweet baby Blue Birds can survive until they are able to take flight. Who knows? Perhaps, some of these babies will return next spring, all grown up, to raise families of their own! 

If anyone knows of any good ways to keep the predators from getting the Blue Birds, I would love to hear them.

I hope you enjoyed my short post about our new guest family of birds.

Thanks ever so much for taking a moment of your time to stop by my blog! I hope you will come back to visit again!

This post will be linked up to these great parties going on at the links below:
A Round Tuit