Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Killdeer Nest

The life and times of a killdeer nest are brief.  This nest is/was in our garden.  I was out cleaning up the hoses etc. and killdeer were around.  Then the next weekend I was doing something else and they were still around.  They were herding me and Andy so I decided to try to find the nest.  I had an idea where it was, looked and looked and could not find it.  So I backed off, watched the bird spend time in one specific area, made a bee-line for it, and managed to find it--no easy feat.  I learned that they sort of scrape an area and then bring decor in after the "nest" is made.  I like to think they brought the seeds in.
On Friday, one of the eggs had pipped (started hatching).  The bird inside was peeping.  Had to leave for Aunt Dorothy's 94th on Saturday.  When I returned on Sunday, not a trace of an egg or an eggshell.  Teri soon called and told me where the family was hanging out.  Not the best pictures (too bright, wrong setting, too tiny, migraine, etc.), but it's something.  Our first fledges of the year (assuming it's called fledging when they're born ready to run).  Only saw three chicks--there could be four, but I'm pretty sure there were only three.
Nest when first identified.
Egg on the left has pipped.
Empty nest.
Parent and chick.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Houses 21-30

House 22
House 22 (chickadee nest in early stages)
House 23
House 25

House 27

House 28
House 30

Houses 11-20

House 11
House 12
House 13

House 14

House 15
House 16
House 17
House 18
House 19
House 20

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Birdhouses 1-10

For a while I'm going to concentrate on birdhouses.  The garden is fine--garlic up, almost all cleaned up, planted some peas, spinach, chard, kale, lettuce, radishes.  Then it rained, so they should be good.  I've been trying to figure out how to keep records better on the birdhouses, so I'll try the blog.
We've put up a new houses this year, and more coming.  There'll be a map soon.  For now, photos of each house--rather dull, I'm sure but over the years it might make a nice monitoring project.
The big excitement so far is that over the winter a porcupine ate House 22, formerly occupied by chickadees.  And I mean at the whole thing except part of the back that was nailed to the tree.  Shawn says they like the glue in particle board.  Last weekend we put up a new house on a post (hoping it'll survive longer).  I put some sawdust in the bottom because Teri says they like that.  One week later it's full of moss!
House 1
House 3
House 4
House 5
House 6
House 7
House 8 
House 10

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Generally Disappointing

It's been a crumby summer generally.  The tomatoes were apparently killed, but have revived somewhat.  I obtained a third "job" this summer, so no time to write much.
Here are a few photos.
We grew fennel this year.  I don't like fennel, but other people do and it's pretty.

Hard to know when to harvest fennel--when it's the right size, they say.  Is that before it blooms?

Beets have done well this year.  These pictures are from the end of July.  Most of these have now been sold.

The corn has done great.  I had the best ear of corn I've ever eaten.  We got plenty frozen while  they were perfect.

Hah!  Now there are giant watermelons.  It's in the 90s finally, so maybe they'll be edible.

Early stages of garlic harvest.  All these have now been cleaned.

Fantastic year for green beans.  Came home with tons, so got ready to pickle.

The non-straight ones were going to be frozen, but they were eaten instead.

Total of 19 quarts.  I think that's enough.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Monday: Bluebirds in the yard hatched!
Tuesday: Thunderstorms.  3/20" in the first round.  Another 3/20" in the second.  Seemed like more than that.  The potatoes were leaning heavily to the east.
Thursday: Potatoes and eggplant are blooming!
The weekend was productive.  Shawn, ever the optimist, planted watermelon.  Weeding happened, and hilling potatoes began.  The latter involves muscles I don't usually use, apparently.  It was warm and I yet again forgot that the first few times I'm out in the "spring" I should put on some sunscreen.
Shawn decided to rebuild the entrance to the shed.  Formerly a sow shed, the ramp was treated hard in its previous life.  It didn't really bother me, but I worried about people who weren't used to where to step to avoid nails and twisted ankles.
We went to the market, selling leeks, fresh garlic, radishes, cilantro, plants (they sold really well!), beautiful head lettuce, and garlic scapes.  Oh, and four tiny zucchini.  Tim helped harvest and sell--it was greatly appreciated!  We did pretty well, but won't be back until July 23 (vacation).  Then we should be there the rest of the season.  I took extra photos because I figure (hope) the garden will look dramatically different after a 10 day absence.
I harvested almost all of the spinach since it won't be edible when we return.  Freezing spinach has got to be one of the most unrewarding activities ever!  You start with a giant pile of stuff and end up with a teeny tiny pile.  I froze 13 cups.
We also tried to sell beet thinnings, but no one wanted any, probably because they could buy good sized beets.  So we ate the greens with friends the other night--sauteed up with leeks and the fresh garlic.  Delicious!

Our stand this week.

Best looking lettuce we've ever grown.

Part of the spinach ready to be processed.

Washing.  Spinach sure gets filthy.
Cooling the steamed spinach.  Since there were plans for daiquiris,  I took the opportunity to clean some ancient things out of the freezer.



Bluebirds on Monday--1 week old.

Swallow eggs, still waiting.

The older bluebirds in another house.

Clarkia--one of my favorite wildflowers.  Too bad it's an annual.

Pepper army.

Knee high.  (Apologies to Mr. Weiner)

Looks good!

From left: cabbage/shallots, carrots, older carrots, beans, leeks, zucchini, onions...

Bloomin' eggplant!

They don't looks so good, but could be worse.



Watermelon between two strips of visquine, hoping to warm the soil.

Plenty of potato bug larva.  This unsuspecting family about to be killed.

Trying to make watering while we're gone as easy as possible for Teri.

Ramp repair.