Sunday, April 3, 2011
After being absent for the two weeks the dogs and g'kids were here and me doing cold work in the garage, the wrens are back. They started showing up again last week. I think they are getting used to us a bit as they don't always bolt out of the garage whenever one of us passes through. In fact yesterday, one of them was perched on the wire next to the nest screeching it's little heart out. At me maybe as I was standing just inside the screen door to the garage getting ready to go out.
I'm hoping maybe this nest was more successful than the one last year in the rag bag. Just a minute ago both wrens flew in and perched on the wire just outside the nest. One of them had something in it's beak. It hopped in and chirped a bit then flew off and then the second one hopped in. Dare I climb up on the stool with a flashlight and look?
I've been working out in the yard all weekend building a new bed for the azaleas that are planted around one of the oak trees. They are scraggly and barely bloom as it is impossible to keep them watered where they are, on a slope snugged up against the trunk of the oak.
Actually I started last Sunday and this was how it looked at the end of the day. I set out the stones, took out the grass and hauled a load of dirt.
I'm hauling dirt from my sister's house. She's still in the process of transforming her house and yard into something she can take care of herself, as one person. So the raised bed garden she and her husband put in last spring is being dismantled and that dirt has to go somewhere. As much of it as I can transport is coming home with me. I have 6 five gallon buckets and three large lightweight plastic planters. So I go over to her house and shovel it into the containers and then I drive to my house and dump it out.
Yesterday I took out the rest of the grass and got the second load of dirt.
And I also hauled those landscaping stones I love my garden cart and got the second layer in place, dug up and replanted some of the 'shrubs'.
Today, I hauled dirt twice. Got a little help from the spouse with the stones and emptying those buckets. And got the rest of the azaleas moved. They're a little droopy right now but I keep telling them that they will like this spot much better.
Did I mention how tired I am?
So on Saturday, Marc comes out and we're talking and he says
'oh, weird, look at this'.
'This' turns out to be a large mass of tent caterpillars, 5 or 6 inches by about 10 or so on the trunk of the tree around which this new azalea bed is going. I've seen plenty of tent caterpillars but they've always been up in the trees in their webs. I've never seen them congregate on a tree trunk like that.
Tent caterpillars make an insignificant small moth but the larvae are pretty nice.
They weren't moving except for once in a while one of them would jerk. I kinda poked at them. At the end of the day nothing had changed. I couldn't tell if they were alive or dead or what was going on. So I scraped them off into a bucket and threw them on the burn pile. They're in no danger of being incinerated however since we are under a burn ban.