Entries in Red-shouldered Hawk (7)


The Best of the Rest: 2017

Happy New Year, everyone! I can't believe it is already 2018. I remember so well when we reached the year 2000, and everyone thought the world was going to end!

I am partied out; no wild shenanigans for me tonight. Instead, I end the year working on a blog post, as it is time for my annual "Best of the Rest" feature. These are photos taken from my garden through the year that, for various reasons, did not make it onto the blog. At last, I present these never-before-seen images! (They may or may not knock your socks off.) 


February:Bright yellow Forsythia promises the end of winter and the arrival of spring.

March:Above top:Red trumpet honeysuckle grows on a fence that divides my vegetable garden/work space from the patio. Small photos above left to right: Japanese maple blooms; Alabama Croton bloom; Summer snowflakes (Despite the name, they bloom in the spring.)

April:Robin Redbreast

May:This Eastern Phoebe has nested at the top of a downspout outside my bedroom window for the past two years. I enjoy listening to the birdsong!

These succulents grow in a hypertufa pot on the patio. I bring them inside for the winter.


July:This variegated hot pepper is called a Fish Pepper.

August:An annual begonia that bloomed constantly in the woodland garden until frost.

September:Burford holly: The green holly berries promise bright color to come.

October:Bench in the fern glade

Dappled sunlight covers one of the woodland garden paths.

November:Spiders are good guys in my garden.

Look at the top of the pine tree to see a hawk nest. Hawks have been nesting there for several years now.

This is a young red-shouldered hawk who hatched in that nest; he is getting big!

December:The holly berries are red now!

One of our birdhouses during our December snow.

Night view of the arch by the patio, decorated for Christmas and covered in snow.

The year comes to a close. Winter sunsets are dramatic.

Did you have a favorite photo or month? 

Wishing you all the best in 2018, and if you encounter thorns, may you also find blooms and berries!  Deb



Coping With the Weather

Once again, a weather report: Today's temperature was into the mid 90's, as it has been almost every day for months, and once again there was no rain. A week ago there were some showers, the first in nearly a month, but not a drop since. The ground is dust. This Red-shouldered hawk is as large as a chicken and is heavy for this birdbath. But I can't blame him for trying to cool off his tootsies!

We see the hawk often. He is welcome, as he helps to control our vole population.There is some chance of showers tomorrow, then no rain predicted for another week. The good news is that long term cooler weather is arriving this week, with temps only into the 80s, and I think steaming, mid-summer type weather will be gone until next year. Fall has arrived, although most leaves are simply shriveling to brown and falling off the trees.

It is so dry that even the weeds are suffering. (Of course, they have innumerable offspring sleeping in the earth, waiting for rain to awaken them!) We have allowed the lawn to turn brown, but we try to keep valuable shrubs alive with hoses and sprinklers. Despite our efforts, a half-dozen young gumpo azaleas have died. I will not replant them. Other azaleas survive, including long-established ones with good root systems and more recently planted deciduous native azaleas, which we have diligently watered. The native azaleas will eventually be more drought tolerant, but they need extra care in their early years.

I confess the droughty, hot weather has taken the joy out of gardening. My plans for transplanting a number of shrubs are on hold. I also have a row of young plants, purchased a month ago at a plant sale, lined up against the house foundation out of direct sun, next to an easily accessible water faucet. They wait their places in the garden, I must be patient. Surely the rains will come in October. October and November, and even later, is not too late for gardening here in Alabama.

I laugh at the thought of good soaking rain at last, just as temperatures plummet to the 40's.