Entries in wren (4)

Sunday
May212017

Wrens Choose a House

Honey, look at this real estate ad: Old house, needs work.

In good neighborhood. Mature trees and shrubs. Lots of straw and nesting materials.

Here it is. I'll check it out:

Hey, it has both a front and back door! Great access and ventilation for babies!

I'm going in.

Definitely needs work, but overall it looks great!

Time to get busy!

The other day I was walking in the woodland garden when a couple of wrens caught my attention. They were busy refurbishing an old birdhouse. Because it has a hole in the roof, I thought birds would reject it, but this industrious couple were making it perfect for a new brood. I watched for a while, taking photos. The birds were not bothered by my nearness. I tried to catch both birds in action, in the same shot. One would go in the hole in the roof, then the other would come out the main entrance. Sigh. I never did get the perfect picture, but it was fun watching them!

This wasn't the first time this old house had a makeover! You may enjoy my previous post, Easy Birdhouse Renovation.

Saturday
Oct292016

October's End: the Good and Bad

I will begin with the bad:

This is a recent news photo of Lake Purdy, from which Birmingham, Alabama gets its water. Residents of Birmingham and its suburbs are under strict, mandatory water restrictions because of the drought that has extended for over two months, with no end in sight. I live about twenty miles south of Birmingham, and we get our water from other sources, mainly from underground aquifers. We have not yet been hit with mandatory restrictions; but with some doomsayers predicting the drought to continue through the end of the year, I can feel the restrictions coming. Helena has not had a drop of rain in October, and we only had a few drops in September. The drought has been especially bad because of daytime temperatures continuing well into the 80's every day.

Meanwhile, we try to keep important shrubs watered, but with 3.5 acres, it is impossible and prohibitively expensive to water everything. Many leaves look like this:Fothergilla normally has beautiful fall foliage. Not this year!

But here is the good! Despite the drought, there is still beauty out there, especially if one looks through the golden light of late afternoon. So here is a tour. This is likely to be as good as it gets until rain returns.

I will begin with fall flowers:This area by the front walk is brightened by various salvias, lantana and gomphrena. I planted the red snapdragons on the right a year ago. They survived last winter and continued to bloom all this year.They are still going strong. Amazing!Autumn sage and blue salvia

'Black and Bloom' salviaClockwise from top left: Marigold; Asters; Mexican Sage; 'Endless Summer' hydrangea.

This creamy lantana is another low maintenance, front garden bloomer.Most of the Asclepias (butterfly weed) has finished blooming, but I came across these seed pods the other day:

Firebush is still blooming, but I am beginning to see seed pods on that plant, too:

One day I brightened my patio with some leftover cut zinnias from the grocery store; I stuck them in a vase with a spray of Mexican sage.:

Here are random views from around the garden:

Forsythia (Yellow bells) is a common shrub with lovely fall colors, even during drought. This plant never gets supplemental water.

This wren hangs around our patio.

An ancient muscadine vine grows in the woodland garden.
Clockwise from top: Japanese maple; Southern Magnolia; Alabama Croton.

Do you see the bug on the hickory nut shell?

I hope you enjoyed the tour! Blessings to you all, Deb