Tuesday, March 1, 2022

maybe, finally, spring

Saturday...If it's not the squirrels it's the damn grackles. They swoop through a couple of times a year in enormous noisy flocks but at least they are easily startled unlike the squirrels. A friend suggested a squirrel feeder with corn, says the squirrels left the bird feeder alone when she got one. So I guess that's next. Currently I've taken in both bird feeders because while the squirrels and grackles are here the birds can't get at them anyway.

a small portion of the grackles that were plaguing me

I saw a flicker of bright yellow and tried to get a good picture of this little male goldfinch that is already getting his mating color on. Not an easy task through the dirty window or dirty window and screen but you get the idea.

While I'm not ready for summer I am getting tired of these cold overcast wet days. The rest of Saturday was spent watching movies under a blanket with the electric heater on.

Sunday...We're finally going to get out of the 40s today and maybe even some sun but will drop to just below freezing tonight, hopefully for the last time til next winter.


The above is how I started my Sunday post before I segued into the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the republican validation of Putin and his aggression. As of Tuesday morning, Ukraine is still holding out but Russia is being brutal as Russia does, bombing residential areas and infrastructure especially in Kharkiv, the second largest city, home to universities and considered the cultural center of Ukraine.

Yesterday I gave up on the bird feeders and the squirrels and the grackles cleaned them and me out and last night was supposed to be our last night in the 30s, 33˚ when I got up, before a warming trend but now I see tonight it's supposed to drop to 38˚. It started clearing up Sunday afternoon and yesterday was a blue sky day getting into the 60s and today also a blue sky day predicted to hit 70˚ and now that the sun is out the yard is filled with 10 petal anemones and woodland violets.

Maybe now things will start budding out and I can take all the plants back outside. The nun's orchid always starts putting out its bloom stalks while in the house but this is the first year one of the flowers has opened in the house

and it looks like one of my dragon fruit plants is sprouting a little flower bud.

The bluebonnets out front are trying to bloom but not the ones in the back yet

and walking the dog Sunday I spotted this first little indian paintbrush in front of the shop property.

Today is watercolor class day and so here's my progress on the current painting. It's done for all intents and purposes as we are starting a new one next week but I brought it home and might work on the cabin a bit more with a redder brown. I don't like the way the cabin fades on the left and I need to add some darker tones. That's my biggest problem, getting the tones dark enough.


  1. It just occurred to me to say, if I haven't before, how extraordinarily beautiful your photographs of flowers are. Seeing them is like being in your garden or in your house next to that lovely orchid. The flowers blooming for you now are exquisite.

    The texture, color and light in your watercolor painting all speak to me in the best of ways. I wonder if you will soon be making watercolor paintings of your house and garden and animals and Texas sky.

  2. I love the flowers coming in. So long before ours do, it's great to see your garden pix.

  3. Your Painting is coming along just fine! It is sweet. Next time you can get all jiggy and paint an emotion- anger would be fun about now...The flowers you have are so gorgeous! That orchid is exotic- paint that!! Lovely!

  4. What a gift of wonderful springtime flowers. woW. I do like how the house fades off the page.

  5. I'm so happy to look at your blooming flowers. It will be a while to ours.

    1. Do you suppose those grackles are making a sweep of your yard? I can remember them alighting on our front yard and working their bills along them to the other side, then leaving in a flock. They were removing Japanese beetle larva and other bugs from the lawn. And aerating, too.

  6. Those flowers make it look like spring is happening there in a beautiful way. Soon there will be more, and more birds too.
    Your painting is truly beautiful. I look forward to see how you change the colors on cabin on the left. And now I'm wondering what you will paint next.

  7. We've had the robins flocking in. Not like the numbers of grackles you have but quite a few. They never eat from the feeders though.
    I hope your spring is truly coming, Ellen.
    I think your painting is lovely.

  8. The painting looks great! My experience with squirrel feeders is that they attract MORE squirrels.

  9. After looking at your flower pictures, I went outside and told them all to get a move on now.
    I like what you did there with the pale wood cabin roof in the painting.

  10. I enjoyed seeing your flowers because we have nothing blooming here yet. The snow is almost melted and I did see the tiny tips of my daffodil spears trying to push up through the dirt.
    Your painting is so pretty and I look forward to seeing your future work...

  11. As usual, I love your flower photos. I guess it's about time for me to plant the wildflower seeds I have. Better check the forecast though. We're having some gorgeous days here, but it will be cooler & rainy next week. Appropriate for March in NC I guess. I'm taking a couple of days off of work - maybe Mike & I will go on a ramble tomorrow.

  12. Your flower photos are lovely, and your finches are a different variety from what I see here. Mine are all the Rosy Finch variety and some of them are deep red on more than half of their body. Cool to watch... and they don't care for cracked corn so that's all over the deck. LOL First see to go is the black oil sunflower seeds. We're overcast and cold here with potential rain later in the day. Take care!

  13. Nothing around here eats corn, but when the squirrels found the shelled peanuts I was putting out... well. You can imagine. I'm not sure how many I have now, but they sure enough are running off the birds. I've had to start ground feeding, too, since the Cooper's hawk took up residence where he can keep an eye on the birds coming to the feeder. Every now and then I hear a THUNKTWACK and it's him running into the sliding glass door as he makes a run at another songbird. Everybody's got to eat, but I'd rather he go find a mouse.

  14. Yes, meteorologically its spring (1st March) but not so much in actual weather. All the same, I have found some treasures in the garden too. Some small things to cheer the spirit but my thoughts are almost endlessly with the tragic events in Ukraine. For the life of me I cannot understand how there are sentient beings who find Putin praiseworthy.

    Search for colour, feed and watch the birds, read pleasant books, that's about all there is to lift the all-pervading unhappiness.

  15. When we rented a house in 2006/2007 we were having serial recoveries from surgeries, which is beyond boring. For entertainment we would buy 40 pound bags of cracked corn, throw it out on the back yard and watch the squirrels and chipmunks. There was one who would make a pile of corn, lay in it, eat until he was stuffed and then fall asleep in the sun. It was entertaining.


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.