Saturday, August 31, 2013

Cats Redux

Here's a sign that summer has ended!
I'm off to the first University of Oregon football game this afternoon.
Football = fall, right?
So even though it is August and is supposed to be 87F this afternoon, it is officially fall.

Around here, we like these last few warm summer days.

If it gets too hot, we look for a spot of shade.

The hotter the day, the longer the cat...

We soak up the early morning sun...

...before moving into the shade in the heat of the afternoon. 

And even when getting our own way, we still can appear cattishly disdainful.

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Cats Have Their Say

You might wonder what most interests the cats...

Is it the deer?  

They certainly do look attentive...

Is it a bunny?

The tried and true Outdoor Favorite...

Hands Down Winner - Mr. Chip!

Though yesterday morning, Padma, who knows no fear...

...went nose-to-nose with a doe.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Bird Census

Let's start off by showing some more Emma Bridgewater tin boxes!
This time birds.

Since I've been back home, I've seen:

BBBs (Basic Brown Birds as my sister calls them!).
Turkey Vultures
Mourning Doves
Band-tailed Pigeons 

California Quail
Steller's Jays

Scrub Jays
Barn Swallows
Lesser Goldfinches

Goldfinches  - a rather tatty molting yellow male... 

...and a prettier female perched atop my verbena. 

Rufous Hummingbirds

Anna's Hummingbirds


Acorn Woodpeckers


and more Flickers...

..and even a Pileated Woodpecker!

So pleased to see him out and about!

I'll end with my Mystery Bird.
I need to get out the bird books and see if I can identify him.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It's Wednesday - Let's Go For a Walk

 As August ends, the signs of autumn are everywhere.
Let's take a walk.
The leaves of the Vine Maple have begun to turn.

As have the Blackberry leaves. 

It looks like we'll have a pretty good crop this year.

I looked everywhere for Hazel nuts. I didn't find any - I wonder if the jays have already had their way with them.

The leaves of the Dogwood are turning too.

And they've set their fruit.

A couple of small apples on our wilding tree are up high enough to have escaped the attention of the deer.  

I spied a few acorns on the Oak trees... well as a good crop of Oak Galls.

The Ash are among the first to loose their leaves in the autumn.

False Solomon's Seal puts on a show this time of year.
First with bright red berries... 

...that turn white when they ripen.

There's no much in the way of late summer flowers.
Some Queen Ann's Lace...

...and a goodly patch of Pearly Everlasting.

After the prolonged drought we've had this summer, I was pleased to see a large deep pool of water in the Big Creek.
It's good to be home once again.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

End of August Gardening Thoughts

I wonder what they thought in San Francisco when they searched my suitcase and found a bird house...

...and five, yep five watering cans.
Do you have a better idea now why I dreaded packing up?
Long time readers of this blog know that I adore watering cans and have quite the collection.  Now the collection has grown by five.  Three of them are Haws Watering Cans.  Their website calls them the "finest watering cans used throughout the world since 1886".  I bought the copper and the cream one at the Tanton Park Flower Show.  They were a steal - £10 for the cream and £15 for the copper one.  They'd be $85 or more here.

I am still getting adjusted to having missed most of summer here in Oregon.
I came back to find out mudroom flowerbed was an explosion of color. The Black and Blue salvia dominates the bed.

I am also really pleased with my Black-eyed Susan (Thunbergia) vine.  

One little $1.79 plant has become a mass of color.

My sister's morning glories are at their peak too.
Each morning the hummingbirds flit about madly - hard at work among the blossoms. 

This is also the time of year that Cone Flowers (echinacea) come into their own.

I even have some Asters going about their business.  A true sign of the fast-approaching autumn. 

I like verbena bonariensis for two reasons.  It has a habit of self-seeding in unexpected places, and the goldfinches perch on it and eat its seeds.