Well now, it seems I have once again been remiss in keeping this blog up to date. Take this post for example. It was actually completed back in February. I really need to step it up and update this blog in a more timely fashion. With that said, thank you for reading and thank you for your patience!
Originally written February 7th 2018
It always happens around this time every year – right around the time of my birthday. The winds are shifting, the days are staying awake longer and the sun is warming the earth. As in all previous years, I see signs of life. Already, daffodils are beginning to poke through, the flax is greening up, irises are poking through and insects are darting about. Yet, it is still only February and just the beginning of February at that.
Spring officially returns March 21st but here, in my little Rocky Mountain garden we will be flirting with winter well into the third week of May – typically. I mean, this could be an off year but I won’t be planting anything that doesn’t like the cold until after Mother’s Day. Just like The Who once lamented … I won’t be fooled again.
On this glorious day of days, I am afforded the opportunity to just sit outside. I wish you – you being any kind soul who happens upon these words and reads them – could be here sitting with me now, outside under my pergola, on my dusty, dirty chair and enjoying this quiet… this solitude.. this moment with me. Perhaps I would make us some iced tea. That does sound good and I was halfway tempted to stop writing this post and go inside and make some but this white tea I have is so strong, I find the effects of the caffeine to be too long lasting. So, perhaps, if you were here, I would make an iced tea but some sort of herbal blend. Hibiscus perhaps.
Oh, the GLORY! The sun is warming my aching bones and I can feel the healing transformation. There is a breeze and it is cool but not cold. It is blowing my wind chime about. Don’t you just love the sound of wind chimes? I would love to have them all over my garden. This one above me is a soprano chime so I quite fancy a bass or alto chime to accompany it.
As each day lengthens and warms, already I am feeling it. If you are here, reading this post, you must be a gardener of some sort or at least someone mildly interested in making something of a bit of earth, or container or something along those lines. I say this because if you have any appreciation for the natural world and how it invigorates the gardener, you know what the ‘it’ is.
“It” is abstract in form and changes with each passing day. “It” is a desire, a passion, a longing and a purest form of love. “It” is what is inside me, you and well, everyone really. “It” is what makes me feel alive. “It” is the perfection of a connection that is discovered – and not by accident. In my life, there are only a few core desires that equate to need. Beyond the tangible, the “it” for me is to sink my hands inside the warming earth, letting it slip through my fingers – but not before inhaling its aroma and mold it into something beautiful. It is this love I breathe into it that produces a garden.
My friends, I thank you so kindly for reading. Please accept my apologies as always for any and all delays in between posts.
Until next time, I wish you all the very best of all things. May this day and all days be blessed. Happy Gardening!
Please enjoy these photos of my Rocky Mountain garden in February:
The weather has turned warm and after two weeks of bitterly cold temperatures in the teens and single digits, this is definitely a most welcome change. With warmer weather comes the urge to step outside and assess what is happening in the garden. The answer is nothing really as all the plants are still sound asleep but still it is nice to get outside and have a look around.
With our new home, I have worked hard to set up as many feeders as I can to accommodate my winged friends that visit the garden. I am a choosy host and really only want the small birds to dine. As such, my main feeder is one with a cage around it so only small birds may enter and dine. This comes complete with a squirrel baffle as squirrels are not welcome at all. I will create a future post regarding my battles with the resident squirrels. The caged feeder is dangling from my aspen tree and beyond this, I installed a shepherd’s hook to accommodate a thistle feeder and another feeder strictly serving safflower seed. The reason for this is again to discourage the larger, greedier birds (jays, etc.) as they do not typically enjoy safflower. Conversely, the finches, etc. do.
I am of the understanding that gold finches are permanent residents but I have not seen any on my nyjer feeder. Now and again, the house finches will partake but overall it has remained close to full all winter. I will leave it up for any bird that wants this expensive delicacy with the hope the gold finches will find it and regularly grace my garden with their presence.
With three feeders, I thought that would be enough but I wanted to see the woodpeckers. Some reading this may be asking why on earth I would want to attract these birds that can often damage your home. The answer is simply that I love them. When living in Arizona I would see them regularly and yes, they did damage the home but I have learned the secret to negating damage from these beautiful birds is simply to feed them. As a result, I have set up a suet log with a baffle on the advanced pole system from Wild Birds Unlimited. Installing was made a bit more difficult by trying to twist the main pole into the frozen ground but in the end, I was successful. I now hope birds will find it and enjoy the high protein suet I have set out for them.
Update 11 February 2013
After installing the suet log and advanced pole system, I was disheartened that the log hung there untouched day after day. I did have woodpeckers visit the garden but only to stick their long beak into the caged feeder and gobble down seed. Though this made the seed disappear much quicker, I did not mind for at least I had woodpeckers in the garden. So, what to do about the unused suet log?
The feeder I had dedicated to serving only safflower seed is by the far the most popular feeder for the finches. I then thought what would happen if I moved it to the other hook opposite the suet feeder. I did this two days ago. Despite my efforts, I noticed that yes, although the finches found and happily ate from the safflower seed feeder, they still ignored the suet.
I typically eat my lunch while staring out the kitchen window reveling in all the bird activity in the garden. As is the norm, the finches were happy dining on the safflower seed but then I noticed something. There was movement on the suet log! Yes, a small female finch was clinging to the log partaking in some suet. This made me very happy and I only hope other birds discover the log as well because warmer weather is certainly coming and I would hate for any of the suet to go to waste.
Would you like to share your experiences with feeding suet to our most cherished winged garden visitors? I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below. Thank you for reading.