Tuesday, April 10, 2012

the turtle, birds, fish, and gardens

I've been kinda busy these last few days...mucked out the turtle pond on Friday, worked in the store last Saturday, finished planting the garden and finished a wax model on Sunday, Monday a trip to the nursery to buy azaleas that were on special to replace the ones I moved last spring and that did not make it through the brutal summer, and today I worked on designs for an elaborate mirror with lots of bevels and jewels.

I would liked to have worked outside today getting the azaleas planted and the new garden square finished but I was late working on the sketches. Marc got the grass up though after we marked out the space. We're going to plant watermelon seeds in there that our neighbor gave us. He says these are watermelons to swoon over.

The wrens are gone, I don't know where, but I haven't seen them in weeks.

I found a fledgling mockingbird dead on the ground, no sign of injury so perhaps it didn't survive the long fall. I scanned the oak tree canopy but did not see a nest.

A loud thwacking in my neighbor's yard caught my attention yesterday morning. A pileated woodpecker was very intent on a dead limb of the pine it was in. It deftly removed the bark to probe for insects.

As mentioned above, we mucked out the turtle pond, a task that took all day.

Much nicer now.

The goldfish were happy to be back in the pond.

These two minnows were circling each other and occasionally they would tussle.

We finished planting the garden. Didn't get potatoes in like I wanted or onions or the beets we talked about or any number of things I wanted to try. But we did get in tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos, cucumbers, pole beans, two kinds of squash, japanese eggplant, okra, watermelon, and cantaloupe. This food farming is still new.

I looked down for some reason and spied these tiny red dots in a flower bed. Baby lady bugs? They're not that much bigger than a pin head.

This cluster of rose blooms is enormous poking through the fence of the little back yard.



  1. lovely. like the clean pond! :)

  2. and, things are back to normal.
    A turtle pond, such a good idea. We have so very many turtles around here. Very very many! And no water.

  3. Those sort of roses used to grow wild along our street. I'd forgotten about them. I think they were called ramblers. The pond is lovely.

  4. Wow.. busy indeed. You must be feeling better. The pond looks lovely. Too bad about the wee mockingbird. They're one of my favourite. That pileated woodpecker is cool. I've heard their call and know they're about but have never seen one.

  5. Nice shots. I couldn't keep up with you. We've got watermelon seeds, but I'm not sure we'll get around to planting them. I don't envy you're having to muck the pond. I feel like cleaning the goldfish tank is a chore.

  6. Well that's my first live woodpecker, Ellen. I've only ever seen them in cartoons. Thanks.

  7. Fab photos Ellen - and I missed the earlier adventure of Big Mama in the yard ... has she laid anything yet? Do you eat the eggs? I mean they are not fertile so you could, couldn't you?

  8. That is one big woodpecker! Or maybe it is the angle of the photo. He is too pretty tho'.

    And the pond look wonderful. I bet Big Momma is so happy. Has she laid her eggs yet?

    I am glad that you must be feeling better - you have been a whirlwind of activity Ellen. The garden is coming along well and I have to admit to being a little bit jealous. I wish I could grow watermelon and canteloupes here. I know other Virginians can, but Skippy? Yeah, not so much! But they are my two favorite fruits.

    The roses are stunning. I wish I could find some trellis roses that liked shade. I have the perfect place for them but it receives very little sunlight and the only thing that seems to grow there is weeks. :)

    Don't work too hard. Make sure you get out to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

  9. *weeds not weeks. Can you tell I don't drink caffeine anymore? I need to go back. giggle.

  10. The pond looks fabulous..turtle and fish seem content. Cool!!!
    Love that cluster of roses.
    And what a huge garden you are planting! Wow!!
    I am doing good to get two tomato plants in. We have a herd of rabbits and gophers. They eat everything! Even tomato plants!!! Sheesh. It is a battle for sure.
    Hope you are feeling good!

  11. I want a working pond!
    Your yard is beautiful. I hope your garden does very well for you this year.

  12. Your yard always seems like such a haven (well, in spring anyway - heh). That sounds like a big enough food garden to me!

  13. Everything looks lush and the turtle is content!

  14. Exquisite pictures. The turtle pond is sparkling.

    I'm glad you're up and about again, taking care of business. How are the snake powers settling?

  15. Everything is shiny and bright and ready for action! We can't plant anything until the ground has been warmed a bit, and dried up a bit, and nobody is expecting this to happen until the middle of May. But fruit trees are beginning to bloom!

  16. You are way ahead of us here in Oregon. But early spring has arrived and the frogs are making a racket in the neighbor's pond right now. Ponds are so cool. We have daffodils, but no azaleas.

    I love seeing pileated woodpeckers (Woody!!!!) and wish I had as good a look as you just did.

  17. Yi, yi, yi, I feel exhausted just READING of all you've been up to! What gorgeous photos, your whole place is just burgeoning with life again, isn't it? Oh, and your sweet little turtle certainly seems to be appreceiating all the hard work you've donated to his now lovely, cleaned play area, doesn't he?

  18. My, my Ellen... you have been busy, busy! The turtle pond looks absolutely great! It sounds like you are really back in the swing of things and I am so happy for you.

    You know, I haven't seen our wrens lately either, maybe they migrate around although I don't remember them doing so in the past. Hope yours & ours return soon; I love the little critters.

  19. That's what we should all be doing, being busy with real life and spending lots of time happily engaged. But then, who'd read blogs and comment?

    It's much too early here for planting veg. We still have night frosts.


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