Hummingbird Divers

I love this time of year. One of my favorite things is going on in the trees surrounding my yard. The hummingbird dive bombers are at it. Male hummingbirds, in what I guess is an attempt to impress their lady loves, fly waaaay up high and dive down past them, within inches, and then up again. I wish I had the equipment to film it effectively. I can’t even describe the noise, except to say it sounds exactly like you think it would. So these days when we go out and sit in the yard I smile every time I hear that sound. Here’s hoping for romantic success for the tiny kamikazes.

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Gorgeous day out yesterday. It’s starting to warm up from the after-rain cool. I spent much of the afternoon cleaning up overgrown and/or neglected plants and working on the endless sweeping job that it our patio.

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Had company while I worked. It kinda feels like I’m being followed around by the three stooges.

I got some sand and gravel to put decorate the succulent pots with. I think I’m going to stick with the aquarium store in the future. They charge less and their stuff is more attractive than the sand I got at the nursery. I’m still looking for pots for some of them. I don’t have enough pots for all of my most recent purchases and haven’t had much luck when I went looking. I like to have something that complements the plant and I haven’t been able to find anything but plain terra cotta. Time to expand my search area.

Captive garden

I’ve started thinking of my garden as the ‘captive garden.’ Trapped behind bird netting to keep it safe from the chickens, it’s starting to recover a bit. Just shows you how dangerous ignorance can be. They ate almost everything. They don’t like the russian sage, gaillardia or salvias, so they’re all right, but everything else they ate down to the dirt. So I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to come up with a system that will keep the chickens out and let the plants continue to grow. So far that’s bird netting. I’d like to get something a little less maddening; the netting catches on everything, buttons, rings, necklaces, plants, bricks. Everything. I’d like something a little easier to work with.

Right now I’m just happy to have something that works. To no longer spend half my time sweeping up the dirt they’ve scratched out of the planters. To have plants with leaves on them. I’ve put more than half the pots on the patio under the netting and while I was at it, made sure that I could see my favorites from my chair. I’m hoping that will motivate me to make sure to water them. I haven’t hooked most of them up to the drip system yet and it will probably be a while before I do. I still have a couple of things I need to move, then I’ll start assessing irrigation needs. Have to make sure that the plants are safe from the velocichickens, then worry about watering.

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Ash will find anywhere to sit in the sun. Most days I come home from work and she’s laying on the rug just inside the door in a patch of sunlight, right where I’m most likely to walk over her. In this photo she’s sitting on top of our chiminea which was the only place she could find to sit in the sun, which, of course, went behind the clouds when I went to take this pic.

It’s the little things

So the Wonderful Spouse got caught up in my attempts to straighten the house for Mom’s visit and when he came home for lunch further straightened and put stuff away. One thing he did brought tears to my eyes.

My Mom saves her newspaper for us to line the nest boxes in the chicken coop. We had a couple of broken eggs a while back and decided that switching to artificial grass in hopes that we would lose fewer eggs to breakage. We don’t have to replace it, just rinse it off, let it dry and put it back. I haven’t been able to tell my Mom that I don’t need the newspaper anymore because she’s been interested in the project from the beginning and seems to like donating to the cause.

When the Spouse came home from work, in addition to everything else, he lined the coop with newspaper and left the eggs for Mom to see. He knew that I wanted to show Mom the girls at their best and to show her that her support is appreciated. It’s the little things that mean the most in the long run.

2014 – Year of the Chicken

In terms of impact on our lives, chickens are definitely it. And I’m pretty sure we haven’t seen the whole of it yet. Currently they’re in the process of digging up all of our planters. Any bare earth anywhere in the yard is likely to have one or more chickens lolling in it. I’m going to have to come up with some way to keep them out of the places I don’t want them. They ate all the leaves off my kiwi vine because they got under the wire surround.