Tuesday, May 26, 2020

05.26.2020 Pretty Lady's Slippers

Spring is here and so are the beautiful pink lady's slipper flowers, sometimes called lady slipper or slipper orchid. There are a member of the subfamily of five genera of orchids (family Orchidaceae). These are protected plants - so no picking these flowers.

There is a nice patch in my backyard hillside with 14 flowers, just outside of the fence so the boys cannot trample them. I have watched for a few weeks now to see when they will  bloom and have not been disappointed. There are several leaves that are without flowers, perhaps they will bloom bud later as it is still early for them.

Am sharing a few photographs of these lovely, graceful and delicate flowering plants.

While found scattered in the same area in the forest or woods, most are found as singles plants, however there are often clusters of doubles, triples and I even found two clusters of six plants!

And there have been a few this year with crooked stems. This I do not understand and would appreciate any comments as to why this occurred. The stem still supports the flower although they are very close to the ground. I found these not only in my yard but also in another location in town with a hundred lady slipper plants.

Here is a cluster of five beautiful flowers in a conservation area.

This is the early stage of the bloom, the flower lip is white and will become pink with time.

A mature flower.

And here is the cluster of six plants under a tree.

A new cluster of six in the early stages of their blooms. These survived a few fallen branches. I'll have to go back to this place to see the flowers changing color.

This reminds me of six ladies dancing! Let's dance! OK, I also just heard the David Bowie song on the radio. I really like that song. Here are a few of the lyrics in case you are now humming the song, too.
Ah, ah, ah , ah, ah
Let's dance Put on your red shoes and dance the blues
Let's dance To the song they're playin' on the radio
Let's sway While color lights up your face
Let's sway Sway through the crowd to an empty space 
Let's sway Under the moonlight this serious moonlight

Tiny little forest flowers are also pretty. They too are scattered along the forest floor.

A lovely trail and a mostly peaceful stroll looking for the lady slippers and birds. I felt a little guilty for not taking the dogs but when a large and gorgeous blue-eyed husky and a very large German shepherd were on the trail, I was glad I left them at home. They get extremely excited with large dogs on the trails and Gunnarr tries to protect us by barking furiously at them. I had errands to do and would not leave them in a car while shopping. So they stayed at home. Treats included.

And while we are still practicing social distancing, it appears the Canada geese are too!

The new normal.

Face masks at the door ready to greet visitors and to grab when going outside the home. And now that we have been allowed to experience less isolation, we need to plan for the "second surge". Let's pray that it is not as devastating as these past few months have been.

From my family to yours, please stay safe. I hope these pictures bring a smile to your face.



Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

05.10.2020 A new Mom - the house wren

Yes, my house wren nesting in the Christmas wreath on my front door has a little one. The egg must have hatched a day or so ago. We have not been using the doors near her but I do look out the window to see if she is on her nest.

She has been there most of the time but really does not seem afraid of the dogs. However, she does fly away when I come out of the door. We had to use the door because Chewy delivered the dog food and I saw this little one raising its head. Even the delivery man enjoyed seeing this precious little one, but most likely the momma house wren was not impressed with us. May be if lucky, I can see this one fledge. But no more pictures so we do not disturb them.

Look at those big eyes.

It has been fun watching the feeders. I have added another one so I can see it from the kitchen door. Saw a yellow bellied woodpecker and a downy woodpecker at the suet feeder this morning. We also have cardinals nesting around the house and I am sure the hummingbird has a tiny little nest nearby. She was perched atop a lilac bush for about ten minutes. It was nice to see her back!

So I am managing to keep busy with some telehealth work, and tending to the gardens, birds and my boys, of course!

Please take good care of yourselves. My very best wishes for your good health.

05.10.2020 Happy Mother's Day

To all Moms, may you have a very special day today. Try to relax and enjoy the day. Even though we are isolated from each during this pandemic, we can enjoy friends and family safely from afar. This too will pass.

Here is a flower for each of you to enjoy.

Some more flowers from my garden for you to enjoy.

And what blog would be complete without pictures of my boys!



Keeping an eye out for squirrels and chipmunks.

Please enjoy your day. And a very Happy Mother's Day.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

05.03.2020 My resident house wren

The house wren is a special bird for me. It is the first bird where I purposefully tried to identify the bird by its song. Yes, we did know the song of the cardinal and robin, but this was different. It was a real attempt to learn new birds by song. It was not easy!

A couple of years ago I saw a nesting box for wrens so I took the "if you build it they will come" approach - and it worked. I had a wren around the yard and something nesting in the box - just not the wren. 

But this year the wren was back. And she built a nest, a crooked nest at that, in my Christmas wreath. Yes, I was going to take it down when Spring came, but then it was cold so I left it up. I noticed some pieces of the lily leaves from last year on the porch and as I was cleaning up the dead plants, I saw it. A nest. First I thought maybe it was a house finch - they have nested on my front door in the past. But then I saw her - a beautiful little wren. She built her nest in my wreath on the front door. I was surprised as they are very shy and I do have three dogs that run past that door many times a day, not to mention just lounging on the porch. Apparently they do not bother her.

I am so looking forward to seeing if there are eggs and then watching to see when they hatch. However, her nest is just a little bit high for me to see inside and I now want to give her some peace and quiet so I do not use that door. I have also re-routed the dogs so they do not startle her too often.

This is her crooked little nest in the Christmas wreath.

Every time I approach the door to go outside she flies off her nest. We have one at right angles from this door that leads from the atrium that we use rather than the front door even without a nest.

An empty nest and no chirping sounds. So no little ones at this point.

I was determined to get a picture of her on the nest but every time I was by the door off she flew. And when I had a camera she was even more skittish.  So after many attempts and much patience, I got some of her through the glass door but you can still tell it is a wren. She is a pretty little bird, peering out from her nest.

Having a little more light made a big difference. This was taken with the morning light shining towards the door - it is always in shadow. But there she is, probably trying to decide to stay of fly. I got one picture and that was it.

And then she flew. Lucky shot! We are all staying away from the door so she can keep her eggs warm. I am guessing there are eggs as she spends a lot of time now on the nest. She very much is a welcome visitor to my home!

The gardens are doing very well. A lot of rain this past week and they are growing tall. Here are a few pictures of several flowers and plants. I hope you enjoy them.



Johnny jump-ups.


Daffodil. Not as many as I had hoped for this year. Guess you know what I will need to do in the Fall!

Rhododendron in bud.

Every garden has a dandelion or two!

There used to be two huge bleeding heart plants on either side of hte waklway. Not I have only this one little one.

Fionnegan and Gunnarr are two happy dogs and always keeping an eye on me! They are good and do stay behind the gate whenever I need to go back and forth.

Shorty likes to sit in the driveway and keep an eye on everyone and everything. He always knows where I am and keeps an eye on me as I work or take pictures.


Gunnarr - still camera shy.

The end. Something good to sniff along the fence.

I do hope you all are well during these challenging days. But we will get through them.
Please stay well.