Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sign of Spring

The maple tree in the backyard is waking up from its winter sleep.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Squirrelin' Around

Squirrel lovin' going on right outside our windows the past couple of days. A sign of spring!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Warm Winter Temperatures

Temperatures into the 50s. Warm enough for the neighbor cat to spend the day lounging on our patio furniture.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Looking for Color

It's that time of year when we start dreaming of spring, but it's still a month away. And our frost season doesn't end until the first week in May. I went out hunting for colors in my yard - to see if anything colorful was peeking out of the ground and waking up. Nope. But I did find some subtle colors in a rose bush. On a garden-related note: I'm reading "Ornithology," by Frank Gill in the BDP Book Nook - if you want to read along with me. Click the Boise Daily Photo Book Nook link on the right side of the page.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Oregon Junco Getting a Drink

One of our winter residents - an Oregon Junco. These birds will leave when spring arrives.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

First Petunia Seed Sprout

The first petunia sprout poked up overnight. I'm starting cascade trailing petunias from seed. I started them exactly a week ago. The seeds can take 7 to 21 days to sprout. Update: just a couple of hours later, there were 7 sprouts! Update 2: As of Monday, 22 sprouts!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pine Siskin Outside My Office Window

A sweet little pine siskin grabbing seed snacks from black eyed Susan seed heads. I love these birds. They come to my yard for winter and early spring. They can be identified by the yellow on their wings.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Strawberries Coming to Life

Strawberries peeking through. We had a little bit of snow early this morning - about three inches. But it has magically disappeared with high temperatures around 40 degrees. If we're lucky, well have our first few strawberries in May.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Northern Flicker Shows Up in a Timely Way

I was doing an interview for my news world job this morning with a gal in Montana, who said the Audubon report about birds moving north documented how the Northern Flicker was now common in areas of Montana in the winter - and 40 years ago - it was a bird rarely seen. I accused her of "stealing" our flickers, because I honestly hadn't seen one all winter, and they're hard to miss. I call them clowns, because they are big and clumsy at the bird feeders. Well, look who showed up this morning. Maybe this one knew we were talking about him.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Rusty Windmill

Wicked-looking rust on the decorative windmill at the fence corner. It may have been this bad last year, but the whole thing had been choked by hops vines. I had planted hops against the fence to cover up the yucky fence, but then the hops tried to take over the world, so I had to tear them out. I'm sure they'll try to come back, but I'm going to be vigilant to make sure they don't make it. While hops do have visual appeal, and value for home brewers, which we're not, they're also aggressive and caustic vines that cause rashes when you touch them.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Candy Striped Sunset

Yummy-looking sunset through the crabapple tree.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Petunia Seeds Started

I planted white, red and pink super cascade trailing petunias. I did petunias from seed last year and it worked really well. But this year, the jury will be out for a few weeks. See how small the seeds are? Last year, I paid a lot more for "pelleted" seeds that were encased in something organic to make them bigger and visible on top of the soil.
These small seeds I just pushed out of the little bowl on top of the soil in my seed-starting trays. I couldn't see the seed after I did that, so I hope I got at least one in each cup. Time will tell. Petunia seeds can take up to two weeks to come alive. Although last year, some popped up in just a few days. They like consistent warmth to get going. Planting day in Boise is May 10th. By the way, this seed-starting kit is one I bought four years ago. It works really well and it's all re-usable and dishwasher-able. I have a possibility of 77 plants here, and yes, I can use them all in baskets, planters, garden bed fillers between veggies, foundation plantings, and by giving a few to my friends.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Seed-Starting Trays Ready

Just about ready to get my hands dirty. The seed-starting trays are cleaned up and ready for soil. Petunias are first, since they are the slowest to start from seed.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Cedar Waxwing

A cedar waxwing picking off frozen crabapples.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sorting Seeds

I've been sorting through seed packets, organizing them as to when I need to start them indoors. Petunias are this week. Most other seeds will be started in early March, but petunias need extra time to be almost bloom-ready when outdoor planting season begins May 10th.