Showing posts with label nature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nature. Show all posts

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Spring Post

Noticing that time between posts is beginning to stretch out, I decided it was time to catch up with spring happenings here at the Urban Renewal Place, also known as the Center of the Universe.

There are Parties to attend:

More zinnia, marigold and cosmos seeds to be planted

Daffodils to enjoy 

Native wildflowers are starting to perk up after a long winter (columbines)

Lots of iris are blooming

And a fun wedding party attended on a beautiful April 12 Saturday:

 This is Verda, the bride, dancing with a guest; doesn't she look happy?

 Tables decorated with wildflowers and seed packets for favors, with burlap table cloths, a catered Mexican dinner, a three piece band, with denim being the dress of the!
Verda in her cute dress

Wedding cake with wildflowers atop

And Easter is less than a week away.  More to come!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Guy Rescues Hummingbird


This is a baby hummingbird I rescued after it was attacked. The song is "Better Together" by Jack Johnson.
UPDATE!!! when she thought she was ready to leave (and she was) she flew off to her favorite patch of the back yard, and her instincts instantly kicked in, and now she's just like all the other hummingbirds. for those that are concerned that she has imprinted on humans and wouldn't survive in the wild, don't worry, she is thriving. she has even successfully migrated and returned back to my yard. and for those who think i didn't know what i was doing, i did NOT feed her plain sugar water. i went outside 3 times a day and caught flies from my compost bin (be green people) in big bags, crushed them, and mixed them in as well. I also helped her learn to catch flies while flying (not in the video because the flies were too small). It was a pretty hectic but very rewarding experience and, in the end, i don't think it could have worked out any better :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Greenhouse is Alive and Well

Our Greenhouse on the Grand Lawn seems to be working out fine (the "Grand" references the husband's blog livingthegrandlife).  Last evening at 5 PM the ambient temperature outside was 64 degrees F but inside the greenhouse it showed 74 degrees.  And that was after the zippered flap had been opened and we peeked inside several times during the day.

Here is a picture of the interior and where you might find at least one occupant of the Grand House reading, tooling around, or smoking a cigar...not really, but that thought has been bandied around.  There really is not room enough for two people inside these close quarters, but one or two small dogs just might wend their way there if bribed with puppy treats.

Not to be pessimistic, but I wonder how these plants will look when it gets to be ZERO degrees outside.  There are two large black trashcans filled with water under the wooden planks to give humidity, and an inch or so of bark on the bottom of the interior to help mediate the temps. Plus the walls seem to be fairly heavy translucent fabric to aid capturing solar heat. We shall see.

Yesterday was a Scrabble day with six participants who seemed to enjoy lively challenges and debate.  Here are four of them playing.

The only guy there was Allen.  He and I have been playing almost weekly for ten years.  I  have three filled out journals of  scores for each of our games recorded since 2003. Nine years' worth of scores between us.

Here is the button on my Scrabble bag:

Hope your Wednesday is going well.  I'll try to keep my whining to a minimum.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How To Prune Philodendrons

Now that seems like a silly post title, "How to Prune Philodendrons", but if you get as many Google referrals as I do, you will notice that the search term "HOW TO" is ubiquitous.  (I love that word.)  People constantly search for "how to" do something.  On my Google analytics dashboard page, that term of "how to" is everywhere, so this will be a test post just to see how many hits I get from this topic of how to prune philodendrons.  (Believe it or not, my post found here on pig feet is my number ONE referral to this blog! Who knew pigs would draw such a crowd?)

So even though this mundane chore of pruning household plants might not interest you, dear reader, someone out there on the world wide web might be searching for just this topic that will make me a long distance teacher.  Here goes.

If your plants are getting leggy, with too few leaves along the stem, or if the leaves are spaced out too far apart and it looks like the stem is becoming thick, scissor intervention is necessary.  Now is the time to be ruthless, all for the good of the plant.  See how large the plant is? See the stems?

OK: now for a closer look at the roots and you can really see those legs that appear anemic, woody,  and too close together.  Tsk, tsk.

Next step: get out some new potting soil, some jars with water for sustaining your cuttings, a pair of scissors, and an aggressive attitude.

Take out the soil and plant from the pot, cut through those roots, discard the old roots at the bottom of the plant, and start your cutting.
Ensure that you have a nodule at the end with a bit of a root attached as this will help the root cutting adapt to the new soil.

Discard all the leggy runners.  Keep the shorter stems, again ensuring that a nodule is attached.  You should cut off leaves close to the nodule because you do not want any green leaf touching the water where they will stay until new roots have developed.

From just one plant, here is a picture of the salvaged leaves now in water awaiting new roots to grow.

With those stems that have been trimmed, roots longer than two inches mercilessly cut off from the main stem, they can be buried into the new potting soil.  Add even more soil to the top to ensure stability of the stem.  Here are two of the newly potted plants, looking much healthier and with more room to breathe.

From three plants I re-potted yesterday, we now have five jars of leaf and stem cuttings in water awaiting their roots to develop.  One jar is on the kitchen windowsill and the other four are tucked away in filtered light awaiting the same fate.  Maybe we should go into philodendron farming since there are so many awaiting future planting.  Would you like to adopt a jar?  Free for the taking!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Almost Officially Autumn

A scenic September day in Colorado

Aspen on the Mesa
Aspen by Jumbo Lake
wild daisies
I picked wildflowers and colorful leaves to dry for future crafts

Cosmos to Dry (now under heavy books to preserve)
One cosmos dried and one fresh from the stem

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf's a flower.
- Albert Camus

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Now We Have a Greenhouse

First we started out with our dog run area which we no longer use as such because our fur babies are so spoiled they won't go anywhere without a human by their side.

Then, inch by inch and step by step, the Mr. followed all instructions given in the kit. And now it is ready for use.

This is the finished product with pictures by Amazon.

We are hoping it will keep all herbs, geraniums and begonias safe over the winter. 

 And next spring, just wait for those beans seedlings and other vegetables to come out of the greenhouse!

The Mr. and the Mrs. are happy gardeners.

(illustrations by Sara Midda from In and Out of the Garden)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Butterflies as Photographed by C. Marley

Flipping through the pages of Christopher Marley's Pheromone coffee table book of bugs and other insect critters makes me gasp at all the colors they wear on their backs.  Philippine weevils don't seem to care that wearing bright red makes them look fat.

Yesterday I bought a 24"x30" canvas.  I'll paint three butterflies, side by side, mixing up spatial orientation.  Don't the colors seem unreal?  Here are my picks from Marley's book:

Marley's background was always white.  I am thinking a warm background of yellow/burnt copper. What is you favorite butterfly and which one would you omit?

This video was first published by Linda on her blog today, and it is worth a listen.

He Listens in Color

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Dragonflies in Oil

One fine summer afternoon, a young fairy leaned over the bank of a creek to drink, but slipped and fell into the water. Now the current carried her away quickly like a wisp of wheat. Unfortunately, the fairy had left the magic wand in the grass, but no one was lost.

Fortunately the water fairies came to help, with a clap of hands made up by the river wave that lifted the fairy to the blue of the sky. While falling, small drops of water were transformed into dragonflies …. that’s why it seems that between the transparent wings of a dragonfly is entangled a drop of water.

16" x 20", Oil, Copyright Nancy McCarroll
...Like dragonflies, the hansoms hover,
With jeweled eyes, to catch the lover...
             (Richard Le Gallienne)

UPDATE: Just as I was finished hanging the above picture in our kitchen this morning, a dragonfly, very large, about three inches in length, flew into my study.  I took his picture (below).  I wonder what he was trying to tell me? Unbelievable!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Wildflowers Part Deux

Being jazzed up by my wildflower visit to the Colorado mountains last weekend, I decided our flower beds in the back yard needed a make over.  And why not plant some wildflowers while I was at it?

After removing two dozen or so iris bulbs, clearing off the leaf debris from our cottonwoods which shed leaves all summer due to the low rainfall, I was ready to start planting.

Thus far here is the gardening score:

Purchased columbine and lupine this morning and planted:

Transferred yellow columbine: two plants:

Planted Bluebells: two plants:

Planted Penstemon: one plant:

Tended this ground cover which I am not yet able to identify, but it is doing well:

Shopped in my herb garden for dinner tonight (sage, parley, basil, oregano, tarragon, chives):
And here are morning glories about ready to bloom and some planted three weeks ago:

Transferred clematis: one plant, transferred delphinium: two plants. Transferred ground cover from top bed to prayer garden below.  Transferred two iris bulbs in prayer garden.  Husband chopped down 6 foot shrub and I cleaned off the debris.

Showered, ate yogurt and cereal, shopped, gardened and blogged and it is now 11 AM.  I am pooped already!  What is on your Saturday morning schedule?  Whatever you do, I hope it is relaxing.  Have a great weekend!