At the foot of the trail…

In early spring I noticed a male Eastern Blue Bird hanging around a weathered old bird house in my front yard. I’d intended to get out there once the weather turned warmer and clean it out, since last year it was occupied by a rather prolific pair of chickadees. Before I got the chance, the female blue bird arrived and the pair set about busily gathering nesting materials for their new home.

 

this old house
this old house

For the next couple of weeks, while the female was busy inside with her eggs, the male would sit on the fence post and chatter at me as I weeded my garden. Captivated by my beautiful guests, I did some research. Though named our state bird in the 1930’s, the numbers of Eastern Blue Birds in New York State has greatly declined in the last fifty years. A shortage of nesting sites can be attributed to modern development, careless use of pesticides, and an influx of non-native birds competing for precious nesting spots. Happily, with the popularity of “nest box projects” across the state, the numbers of Eastern Blue Birds are on the rise once again.

 

Miss New York
Miss New York

Needless to say, as the weeks passed, I fell in love with these pretty little birds that have become symbols of hope and happiness and I decided to start my own nest box project. In addition to the existing house, my son and I put up a second house last night (Wal Mart, $9.99). Already this morning, a curious pair of blue birds was checking it out!

prep

jobwelldone! 

I’ve discovered that they are as useful as they are lovely. Blue birds not only fill my yard with beauty and song, they eat their weight in mosquitoes and other undesirable insects. I hope that eventually my two little houses will expand into a bona fide blue bird trail, but as they say, every journey begins with a single step.

 I have begun it.

 

home sweet home!
home sweet home!

The rest is up to them.

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How Does My Garden Grow…

howdoesmygardengrow

A little bit overgrown, since I’ve been down the past few days with pneumonia, but overall, it is fending for itself quite well without me.

BUNNY

With nibbling bunnies

missny3

And beautiful birds

lilies

And lovely ladies all in a row…

Garden Spots

The flowers in my garden don’t all come alive at once. Rather, they unfold gently, like the scenes in a really great novel, giving me time to fully enjoy the glory of each one. Here are some photos of what I have so far …

welcoming committee
welcoming committee

This patch of  beautiful purple Iris grows by my front door, the perfect way to welcome friends and family to our home!

sit awhile
sit awhile

These nasturtiums haven’t come into their own yet, but within a week or two they will be a profusion of golds, oranges and reds. The little bench, complete with birdhouses, is the perfect place for them to sprawl this summer!

fuchia

The girls at work gave me this lovely basket to celebrate the release of Shadow Lake. It sits on my back deck, welcoming  back door guests to  pull up a seat and chat awhile.

petunias
petunias

Don’t let the parking meter fool you. Stay as long as you want!

hello, ladies
hello, ladies

These pretty, purple lupins speak for themselves.

marigolds

No garden spot would be complete without a sunny pot of marigolds!