3/23/14

Working Weekend

With such beautiful weather, Mike and I grabbed the opportunity to get some yard work done. If you read my post from yesterday, then you know that we cleaned out the greenhouse. Mike had some work to do on the mower today...it's the bain of his existence. Whenever he gets a mind to mow the grass, he first has to fix the mower. Perhaps some of the men in your life will commiserate with this situation. Anyway, he did that, and then in the afternoon, we had at the culinary herb garden.

Here's how it looked when we started on it. A tangled mess for sure. I'm holding the camera at an odd angle to get the whole of the curved bed in the frame.


In the middle of the image, you can see my two sage plants (one is a purple sage) that have completely taken over the garden. I've kept them trimmed back for several years, but they've really gotten out of hand this year. I needed Mike to help me dig them up. They're encroaching on the chives, and I can never get enough chives. Also, there are some wild strawberries at the bottom of the image. I stupidly planted them there myself, which was a big mistake. We needed to rip those back to a more contained bed, and we just generally needed to give things a haircut and rake up the dead stuff.

When we were finished, it looked like this. Better, huh? It just needs a little bark dust now.


Mike left a little bit of each of the sage roots. They may come back, and they may not. Regardless, it was time for them to go. I can always replant if they don't come back, but I'll give them more room to spread out next time. We pulled back the strawberries, trimmed all the dead stuff from the perennial herbs (I think all of these are perennial). You can see sort of in the middle of the image where my mint is planted in a pot buried under ground. We did that some years back to keep the mint from taking over too. The pot you can see is spearmint, but there is also some Kentucky Colonel mint further down the hill near the sign.

And speaking of the sign, even it had fallen face down, so we set that up again.


Smitty helped with the clean-up by using his body as a little furry dust mop. Kitties love a good dust bath, and with it so wet year-round, it's quite a treat when there is dry dirt to roll in. All of his white parts will be turned grayish-tan by the time he comes in this evening, but he'll be perfectly white within an hour or so.


Aside from that, I spent a good part of the day top-stitching my chili rounder. I have most of the chilies done now and I've started doing some of the stem caps. All but the green chilies are finished, and so I'm doing the green stem caps at the same time. After that it will just be the brown stem caps left. Thanks to those of you who gave me hints about how to finish this off, especially Treadlemusic, who suggested pinking the edges once I've sewn it together with the backing. Great idea!


Also today, I set up the birdcam again. I keep hoping I'll see the Goldfinches returning, but so far, I haven't seen a single one. I had around 1,600 pictures to go through (which is about what I usually get). I have the camera sensitivity set very high so that I don't miss a thing. It's a little disappointing to see the same birds all the time, and the Dark-eyed Juncos seemed to be the stars of the show today.





Camera hogs, all. I did get one image of a little red-breasted nuthatch:


The Flickers made several visits but mainly stayed to the other side of the feeder. This was the one picture worth saving of a Flicker. I just love their spotted feathers.


But here's what keeps me coming back for more. Just when I was getting my mouth fixed to be disappointed with today's "catch" a newbie showed up. I believe this is a Golden-crowned Sparrow. Unless I miss my guess, this one is wearing its winter plumage. When they are breeding, they have black stripes on either side of the yellow patch on the top of their heads. (And if I'm wrong, I know one of you smart people will set me straight.) Edited to say that one of my Facebook friends informed me that this is a Yellow-rumped Warbler, also affectionately known as a "butter butt".


You can see in the next image that it also has a golden throat.


Oh, and look over yonder...it's the Red-shirted Mower Bird. You never want this bird around your feeders. It makes such a racket, it scares all the other birds away. And it scares the cats away. And the women of the family. And everything else within earshot. It made several passes back and forth before moving on to greener pastures.


So that's our weekend. I think we have one more good day of weather, and then we'll be back to our wet spring. A weekend like this is always a gift.

Tomorrow I'll finish off the top-stitching on the Chili Rounder, and if I can blast myself out the door, I'm going to go to the "Y" and try out the Zumba Gold class. I figure if I tell you I'm going I'll be more accountable.

I hope you have an enjoyable weekend too. Dinner out tonight, so I'm hitting the shower.

6 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

How nice you got a whole weekend outside - so looking forward to that. I did stroll the yards, but most of our beds are still under snow. A couple more days of super cold (and possible snow) and then it looks like we will slowly be warming into Spring.

Kate said...

Glad you got so much done. We need a weekend like that, but it's still too cold to get out and do much. Love all your birdie shots. You've got some nice ones.

Junebug613 said...

You definitely did get a lot accomplished this weekend! As for the mower complications, thankfully, no, we don't have those issues, but then again, I do the mowing and it's just a little push mower. It takes about an hour to do my whole lawn. I enjoy your bird pictures. They may be mostly the "same old birds" to you, but they are different than our local feathered friends. Be brave, Zumba!!

Dana Gaffney said...

The garden looks good. We have a hawk, I haven't seen him but I keep finding lots of feathers in the yard and this morning leaving for my walk I heard him, no feeding birds here since I refuse to set the buffet for him.

Dar said...

I just love seeing your bird cam pictures. Wish I could get one set up in my yard. You are also very lucky that your DH is ambitious and willing to help you with your garden clean ups. We need that so desperately at our house too. I love to work outside, but with my business, it just doesn't happen as much any more. Maybe I should totally retire, huh? lol Have a great week.

Brown Family said...

YOu really accomplished a lot this weekend! You are all ready to start new plants! THat is a pretty bird. Butter Butt! How funny!