Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Walk Part Two - Wildflowers

Lots and lots of things in bloom.

Two years ago I took photos of this plant to a local wildflower festival and no one could identify it!  So it remains a mystery.

No mystery here - the every invasive Scotch Broom!

Red Columbine

Red Osier Dogwood

Oregon Checkermallow (Sidalcea oregana). It is smaller and a brighter pink that the Meadow Checkermallow I've been featuring on recent walks.

Western Yellow Oxalis (Oxalis suksdorf)

Pale Flax

This poor wildflower has a name that sounds like an off-color joke: Blue-Dick (Dichelostemma capitatum). It likes grasslands and we have a number of plants growing in our meadows.

Here's a Checkermallow 'sport' - it is all white instead of pink. 

This non-native looks a bit like an Dandelion.  It is called Prickly Sow Thistle (Sonchus asper ). It is consider an noxious weed. 

. Folks have been posting picture of their hybridized Sambucus.  Here's the native - Blue Elderberry (Sambucus nigra Subsp. cerulea)

Here's a non-native that has started showing up. You can often see it growing along roadsides and verges.

It is Yellow Salsify (Tragopogon dubius). The blooms are extremely daylight sensitive and open for just one day.

Back on May 14th I posted this photo and left the ID open for further investigation.  Well, this tree is called Buck Brush, Oregon Tea Tree or Redstem Ceanothus (Ceanothus sanguineus). It can be found in open woods and thickets. It often lives in well-drained, stony to gravelly soils which have been recently disturbed by fire. It grows in areas with Douglas maple, hazel, ocean spray, serviceberry and snowbrush - all of which I have!   

Someone asked about Thimbleberries on my last Wednesday Walk post - and yes you can collect the berries and make jam - I find the birds munch them right down first before I have a chance to gather any.

I hope you enjoying taking a walk this Saturday and are off to a good start on your weekend.

One year ago today Mom and I went to Jardin Jardin and walked the Champs Elysees.

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Border is Done!

Whoop Whoop!
The border is done!  The border is done!
On to stitching poppies.

This is great Bird Watching Weather - so says Padma.

We have Anna's Hummingbirds 

and Evening Grosbeaks

and Violet-Green Swallows

and Purple Finches

and House Finches.
This is an unusual one with orange/yellow tones instead of red.

Here's a Scrub Jay

and a Towhee

and a Lesser Goldfinch

and Acorn Woodpecker.

We also have a critter or two...

including a turtle... 

and a dandelion-eating bunny!


The bunnies also adore kale.
They devored this plant within minutes of it being put on the compost pile. 

Last but certainly not least, we cannot forget our Trusty Garden Helper!

One year ago today Mom and I visited Parisian cathedrals, and flower markets, and department stores

Thursday, May 29, 2014

New Stash New Birds

I've Got New Stash!
I placed this order back in early April, and it just arrived.
Bunny charts, and snowmen charts, and springtime gardening charts!

I've had lots of visitors to the backyard.

Lots of Evening Grosbeaks - seven in this photo.
Here's a series of three photos showing all the Evening Grosbeaks at the feeders. 
One, two, three...

four, five, six, seven...

eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen birds total!
Nine guys and six gals.

Don't worry there are lots of Goldfinches too.

Here's my headless Mystery Bird.  Darn that leaf anyway. I saw this one while walking around the property and I have no idea what it is.

I do know who this Big Guy is!  A Pileated Woodpecker.  Interestingly he never spoke.  I heard the deep "thunk, thunk, thunk" of him working away and finally spotted him in a Big Leaf Maple.

Such a striking bird.

It made my day to see him.

I've even got a Pileated Woodpecker as part of my Garden Art on the Front Porch.

And here's Treat Number Two. 

Out of the blue a female Hairy Woodpecker came to one of the feeder in the backyard.

While I've had several of the smaller Downy Woodpeckers, I haven't had any Hairy Woodpeckers in well over a year.  I have a theory that the Acorn Woodpeckers are in competition with them.  I do hope she becomes a 'regular'. 

And here's Cool Bird Number Three!
A New Bird.  This is a Western Wood-Pewee.  It is a Flycatcher so not one I'll see at my feeder.

And if all that weren't enough...

...out of the blue four Ceder Waxwings flew in for a few minutes one morning.

I saw them fly in and thought they were House Finches.  I decided it would make a nice photo, and it was only when I zoomed my lens that I realized I had Waxwings.

They were nice enough to fly back again the same evening. They are berry eaters and glean ornamental cherries, cascara, and plants like beauty berries.

They are very serious looking birds. I need to plant some things to attract them with ripe berries and fruit. 

Was that a Cool Bird Week or what?!?!?