My Guard Bird - the Mockingbird.
Yesterday I saw my Guard Bird squalling and diving at something in the yard between the Chicken Coop fence and Forsythia Hedge… it alerted me to a predator. I caught a glimmer of one of the new two Fox Pups.
Typically they are farther away from the house but I’m sure the Chickens are enticing them to come closer. I only saw one pup yesterday - so I’m hoping one has moved on to a new territory. I immediately took my dog for a stroll around the hedge (he was worthless - nearly blind and deaf) and banged pots and pans together. I’m hopeful that deterred him for awhile.
I’m happy to have the Mockingbird and teeny House Wren as my Guard Dogs.
Our Rose Trellis that supports our Climbing Rose, Seven Sisters along our front walkway is finally in full bloom.
We trimmed it back to repaint the trellis and it seems to have revived it for sure! Now there is a Robin with a nest inside of it. I can’t look too hard or mom will fly off the nest.
I took the most glorious photos of it and I accidentally deleted them - I was crushed - the light was just right. Now the rain has nearly killed the blooms.
A Tree Swallow has taken up residence in our Bluebird house — as long as it’s a blue bird then that’s ok!
The mom and dad have been working so hard bringing insects to their brood. The box must be loaded - babies making such a ruckus. I’m glad we installed the metal predator guard below the birdhouse.
They love to dive bomb us if we get to close — and even a Rabbit got clipped yesterday!
After the Rain…
Two dirty chickens preening…
on Forsythia Hill in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Ratibida columnifera, also referred to as Mexican Hat.
They hit that nail on the head.
I took this photo today at the monthly Piedmont Master Gardeners tour, Through the Garden Gate, in Charlottesville, Virginia.
I just had to show off this amazingly beautiful Linen Tablecloth and matching napkin set. They just don’t make ‘em like this any more. Hand embroidered in Portugal by Leacock. Estimated to be from the 1950s.
What a stunning Wedding Gift it would make. http://ForsythiaHill.etsy.com.
A weee Garden Urn planted with the little blue flowers of Lithodora diffusa.
I took the photo during historic garden week in Richmond, Virginia.
Cute little 1960’s vintage Cherry Red Ruffled Lingerie Jacket.
I can just see Betty Draper from Mad Men wearing this little number.
I helped organize a little trip out to Innisfree in Crozet, Virginia yesterday for The Charlottesville Area Newcomers Club.
Innisfree is a permanent residence for intellectually disabled adults where they work on the farm, in the bakery, weavery, wood shop, or kitchen. It’s not only scenic but we were able to meet some of the residents and chat with them about their craft.
I especially loved the herb shop where they batch up cut flowers, make soaps, and package seeds for the local grocery to sell. The fresh fragrance of the soaps and cut Peony flowers was divine.
Innisfree is such a wonderful place. Kind to the land where crops are grown, the animals graze, and to the people that live there.
The underbelly of the female Black Widow Spider. Even though I’ve never seen one, I knew immediately what it was. Pretty shocking that this was my first sighting. I was skimming our recently uncovered pool and this was one of the floating victims I caught in my net.
I’m not a fan of Spiders and this one was especially creepy. Having venom 15 times more potent than that of a Rattlesnake I’ll have to say I’m glad to not be bitten!
Sally is the most photogenic of our 3 hens. She loves resting in the afternoon sun before its time to go to the coop to roost.
My chickens go at their leisure to roost as the sun goes down. The White Leghorns always go first - the Comet, Sally, last.
You have to provide a roost for them in a secure coop. My neighbor told me a friend of hers had a Bear eat her chickens. I guess people just don’t take it seriously - YOU HAVE TO HAVE A SECURE LOCKED UP COOP for them at night or they will be eaten.
I went to make a batch of my Summer Mint Tea and discovered there was no Mint to be had! This little critter - The Fourlined Plant Bug - had completely blackened my large patch of mint! I also discovered it had made its way to my Sage - ok, mint is one thing but my beloved SAGE — this is WAR.
I’m very much a “nature will balance things out” sorta girl but in this case I’ll have to do some serious maintenance next year to reduce the numbers of this garden pest.
The chickens don’t seem to want to dine on these critters so today I’ll go out and cut the destruction down - squish the red and black nymphs that I see (I don’t want to destroy beneficials by spraying with soap and water). For next year, this Fall I’ll have to be proactive and cut all foliage off - let the chickens go to town - then stomp on the cut branches and compost. (They lay eggs in the stems in the fall for a spring hatching).
The good news is — I should get a scar-free 2nd growth on my Mint and Sage. All is good even when bad bugs strike.
Each year it seems another variety of Iris just appears on our hillside on Forsythia Hill. This one is especially beautiful
Strong purple and clear white Bearded Iris - LOVELY.
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