Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tracking a Garden Visitor

So, who was visiting our yard at night? I'll guess these are raccoon tracks, but you might know better than me.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Berry Envy

This is the time of year I sure wish I had some winter berry bushes in my yard. Of course, these aren't mine.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Naturally Dried Rose

Dried from a yellowish-red to a natural sepia tone.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Defiled Snow

Looks like there have been some visitors in the front yard.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Frozen Fruit

How can that be that there are two still-red and frozen cherry tomatoes hiding in a garden bed?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Mourning Dove Keeping its Toes Out of the Snow

Mourning doves have been scarce so far this winter around the backyard bird feeders.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Downy Woodpecker

A downy woodpecker searching for treats at the base of the crab apple tree. This is a tiny woodpecker, probably about the same size as some of the finches that visit the feeders.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Color Variations in House Finches

One is highlighted with orange-yellow and one with bright red, and they're both male house finches. Their coloring varies based on their diet. In my yard, red finches are in the majority.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Junco in the Snowy Branches

One of my little Oregon junco friends perched in the snowy branches of the maple tree yesterday morning.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fresh Coat of Snow

A little bit of new snow this morning in Boise.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Close Encounter with an Oregon Dark-Eyed Junco

This is the Oregon dark-eyed junco that had a run-in with the sliding door yesterday. I held it for a while to keep it warm, then inspected for obvious damage and didn't find any. So, I left the bird on the gardening bench and kept an eye on it. It did eventually fly off.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Office Spider

I was hoping one of my "spider vacuums," otherwise known as the resident felines, would address this trespasser, but no interest yet.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Cactus

A peachy Christmas cactus bloom. Last year, both of my plants were full of flowers, and this year, hardly any. That's how it is with this plant for me.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy Geraniums

My geraniums are blooming bright this week. These are the plants I bring indoors for the winter. I don't remember them blooming this big last December, though.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Frost Spikes

Spiky hoarfrost on a leftover river birch blossom.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Snow Hats

Snow hats on the bee balm seed heads.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Banner in Place

I was late in getting the Christmas banner on the light post arm because the finials were frozen onto the arm with our recent sub-zero temperatures.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

At the Thistle Feeder

These are goldfinches in their winter set of feathers. I usually see pine siskins at the thistle feeder this time of year, but mostly, goldfinches and Oregon juncos have been the customers so far.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ghostly Mint

Sprigs of mint that have lost all their color in the winter.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dried Oregano

Oregano plants in winter. Birds pick the seed stems clean over the winter months, and pick up seed that has fallen to the ground.

Garden Skeletons

Interesting garden skeletons in the containers on the back patio. These are zinnias.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lavender in Winter

Empty lavender seed pods.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sunflower Picked Clean

This sunflower has been picked clean by the birds. They've been extra busy the past two days with our snow and sub-zero weather.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bird Gathering Spot

The platform feeder was a popular spot yesterday. On the left is an Oregon junco, on the right is a house sparrow, and look at the red rump on that bird on the fence. That's a male house finch.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Green Surprise

Avens (Geum) stays green throughout the winter. This perennial shoots up tall, flowery spikes in early spring.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Volunteer "Corn"

This is what grew at the top of the corn-looking volunteer plant in one of my garden beds. I'm glad I let this "weed" stay. It's interesting.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Farewell to Our Foster Kitty

"Stuart Snowman," the marshmallow fluff-ball that was abandoned in our neighborhood over the summer has gone to his new home! Congratulations boy! We enjoyed having him in our house and yard over the past several months. He is such a sweetheart lap kitty and I'm sure he is loving his new home. It's a little tough on the emotions when a foster cat leaves. We will miss him.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ornamental Grass in Winter

I'm calling this "ornamental grass," but who knows? It was a volunteer that popped up under a bird feeder. I liked the way it looked during the summer and let it be. I really like it now in the winter.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Guest Garden Shot

Today's garden shot is from my sister's yard in Vienna, Virginia. We're visiting and what a treat to see this splash of color hopping around in the grass.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Here's the Snow that was Forecasted

We were warned yesterday that there could be up to one inch of snow by noon. A few flurries is all we saw. (I'm out of town and can't wait to get back and see the changes in my yard and gardens)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Female House Finch

A female house finch at a feeder. I hadn't filled my feeders for weeks because I considered it too hazardous for birds with a foster cat living in my yard. But the kitty has been moved to the garage for the winter with minimal outdoor time, so I filled the feeders up. I thought it might take a while for the birds to come back. It took literally only minutes.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Boise Winter Resident: Oregon Junco

These friendly, chatty Oregon dark-eyed juncos spend their winters in Boise.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Strawberry Plants Off-Season

A glimpse at the strawberry plants in the cold weather. Some of the leaves will stay green throughout the winter.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Frozen Rose

A sprinkling of snow is on this frozen rose.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Odd-Looking Leftover

I think this was a cosmos in its summer life. With the frost, rain and snow, it's morphed into something quite odd.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Naturally Dried Flowers

Naturally dried zinnia blooms in an outdoor planter.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Raking is on the To-Do List

The ornamental cherry tree shed its leaves in just two days. Since the mowing service is done for the season, we'll need to rake these up this weekend. Unless it snows, and that's a possibility. Then, we'll shovel snow, instead.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

More Mini Brilliance

Here's another mini still blooming in November.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Minis are Still Giving

The mini roses along the front walkway are still blooming. Their colors become more brilliant in the colder weather.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fairy Flower Blooms Late

A couple of very late-season blooms on the fairy flower in one of pots near the front door.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

How Can Tree Bark Be Interesting?

I think the bark on the river birch is interesting because it peels and has so much color variation. It even has tones of purple, if you look closely.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Barren Trees, Green Grass

Almost barren trees and still....green, green grass. Our lawns do eventually go dormant for the winter months.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Butterfly Bush Gone to Seed

One of the butterfly bush blossom arms gone to seed.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Freeze-Dried Blaze of Glory

Looking up into one of the arbors, I spied this freeze-dried blaze of glory rose bloom.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Autumn Leaves on the Flowering Cherry

The turning leaves on the flowering cherry in the backyard. At least, we think it's an ornamental cherry tree. It's one of the mystery trees that came with the house.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Indoor Geranium Bloom

One of the geraniums I brought indoors for the winter is starting another round of blooming.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Johnny Jump-Ups

A splash of purple surprise amongst plants dying back for the season. A Johnny jump up - a type of violet that some people call heartsease, or a wild pansy. They must like cooler weather because I saw some near this location in early spring. And by the looks of the flower, there's at least one type of bug that finds it tasty.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Daylily Surprise

I thought the daylilies were done for the season, but this tiny bloom surprised me this week.