Friday, May 30, 2008

Finally.....'s a beautiful day! This picture was taken a couple days ago and I thought it looked like a highway out there!!
Today it's already in the 50's (with NO wind) at 6 AM and I'm going to hit the ROAD!!!!!
Have a great Friday!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pet Photography....

MaxineMy dream is to become a Pet Photographer. Basically I'm all ready to go, but for my marketing skills. Well, I'm sure my photography skills need some work but aren't we all on a never ending learning curve when it comes to our passions! I am in the process of starting an on location photography business "Pets and Petals Photography" "Specializing in on location photography of your pets and garden flowers". At some point I hope to start a website and be on my way to a very fun career. My cards are flying out of the Vet's, and Groomers in the area....but, calls yet! (I think the market in the area may be my biggest challenge).
Wish me luck. This is Maxine, my best buddies' "petite" Basset Hound. She is a very good girl!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sea Holly Home...

It's another busy morning so I thought I would post this picture of an interesting spider making its home in one of my Sea Holly plants. This was taken in 2006. I put the photo through Photoshop to add detail and a bit of an artsy look.

This morning it was 30 degrees Fahrenheit!!! WOW, thank goodness I didn't plant any annuals yet!!
Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bird Walk at Home....

Saturday my cousin Julie left to return to Maine and her family after a wonderful visit. The weather didn't cooperate but we had a great time anyway! Thanks Julie! I can't wait to visit you again! Sunday a few of my birder friends came to my place for a walk and to see the clay-colored sparrow for our May counts. We did hear their funny buzzing and got to see one perched in a bush singing away, but not close enough to get a good shot with the camera. I will try to get those later. The hickory trees are one of the later budders...
The ever abounding common ringlet made it's debut... We found what I think is a couple owl pellets which is always a good find... and I'm going to go way out on a limb here and say this is a female Hudsonian Whiteface dragonfly.
The sky was incredible and even more so accented by a Northern Harrier...and the highlight of the trip was this doe who never caught our scent until she was just about upon us!

Friday, May 23, 2008

And the Sun does Rise....

We have been pummeled by wind, rain, and cold for a week now but today the sun is rising and there are forecasts in the 60's and even, dare I say, 70's!! I don't even want to look back in my picture files and see what was going on in the gardens a year ago! Two days ago my cousin and I went for a walk out back, with our winter coats on but we were cheery and enjoyed the beauty around us. In my back garden the Goats Beard (Aruncus) was beginning it bloom. Some kind of fuzzy bumble bee was sipping on my Centaurea.
Way out back the Raven was being chased by a crow. Ravens used to be rare in my area but they have been expanding their range down from the Adirondacks. A beautiful wild Geranium was looking for the sun. A young oak tree was nearly dressed in green My property used to be part of a shallow ocean back in a time that is hard to imagine. There are strange out cropping of limestone that have been drilled by the elements and time. If you can see in this picture there is some kind of fossil, I believe some type of Cephalopod. And always with us the ever excited and eager to bound, Daisy Lu!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sad News....

This morning the male bluebird was in the tree outside my window. There was a commotion at the box. Tree swallows were looking in with no defence from dad. I checked...all 5 babies dead. No bugs in the nest. There is no sign of the mom. Something must have happened to her.
I'm very very sad.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sunny Side somewhat Down...

Well it's a little depressing around's very windy and cold and the wind has been blowing for days on end. I'm trying to be UP but well, one can only take so much!!! I took this picture today trying to get the tree blowing but thought an abstract would suffice! Here's hoping the sun is out and the winds are calm where you are!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


We are very busy and I don't have time to do much of a blog but this morning the female oriole stopped at my orange! This is an older photo from last year but it looks pretty much the same as today. I think the orioles are building a nest close by tho because I saw her carrying grass yesterday.
Have a great day!!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Red Lake on Saturday....

A bunch of the North Country Bird Club members met Saturday for a trip to Red Lake near Theresa, NY for a wonderful annual walk to gather more birds for our May Count Lists. It's about a mile walk down a dirt road spotted with a few summer cabins and a boat launch at the end. The weather cooperated as it usually does for this one! It's always fun to spot an American Redstart or Red-eyed Vireo. It's always a great time and the flora is as beautiful as the fauna in all cases. The Sensitive Fern (Onoclea sensibilis) is one of my favorites and I have some here on my property as well. You've got to love a cooperative Garter Snake!!
Although we didn't see or hear a Pileated Woodpecker we saw plenty of evidence that they enjoy the area! A Least Sandpiper was doing a little dance for me after we saw a Bald Eagle fly over while two Common Loons were laughing below!

And nature always has something funny to say to us as we walk along the forest edge!

Sunday, May 18, 2008


My cousin Julie, straight from Gorham, ME has come down to visit Northern NY for the week! Can you tell what our theme for her sabbatical will be!!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Eastern Gray Tree Frog

Yesterday while mowing I spied this little feller trying to make an awkward get-a-way from the hawthorn trees in my front yard. He looked quite silly trying to hop/walk through the grass. I decided to give him a hand and bring him to our back deck where we had a summer tree frog visit us for the whole season. He seemed comfortable where I left him and last night I decided to "leave the light on for him"! The dinner light to attract bugs!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla mollis)

I've been so inspired by my friends Mike and John, photographers both residing in Maine, that every time I go out to photograph I have them on my mind. Mike with his wonderful famous photographer quotes and John with his tips for photography. Well guys at least I am beginning to think more about the best ways to capture beautiful images. Sadly this was "doctored" through a filter, but I was pretty happy with the outcome in the end. Thanks for all the wonderful photographs and inspiration!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

And the rain did come......

Well I waited until 3:30 for my plants to get here but it all worked out in the end. I had to run up to the hardware store to see if I could find some shear pins that would work in the tiller and they had some!! I bought 5 but all I needed was 1! I also got some more cow manure and got to work. I got the job done and rested a bit and then they arrived. Five big boxes full of plants! My mom helped me by reading my plan as I placed the plant boxes and bags in their designated spaces and then set off to digging!
We gave them a drink as we went.
I know it's looking a little sparse but some of the plants aren't even showing and in time I'm hoping for a lush full garden! Thanks Dutch Gardens for the wonderful prize!!

Here is my side garden getting ready to pop. These hostas get so big they completely fill the space. I actually need to find new homes for some of them. That bleeding heart gets bigger every year! It will get twice that big! I actually have 20 more plants from Dutch Gardens that I will be planting today. Including a shrub rose, peony collection, clematis collection, 3 witch hazel, and tiger lillies!!! WOW!
I'm starting to collect alliums. I just love this beautiful plant and it spreads quite easily!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A lot going on....

Well, today is the day for plants. It's been many hours of work but hopefully I will be very pleased in the years to come. This side was and is my biggest challenge with the rocks under the sod. We tried delicately to turn it over with the tiller but to no avail. We went through our last shear pin and of course they are sold out at Sears. This side wasn't so bad and is ready to go.
Even tho I'm very busy there is always time to do a little birding! This tree swallow is happy to pose as long as I don't get too close to his box.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Still digging....

One more day of digging and tomorrow the plants should be here! Yesterday I saw a Clearwing moth at my apple trees. I'm hoping to get a picture of it today. There are just so many beautiful things to see when we take the time to look.
More of my friend's beautiful tulip color combos...Thanks Dick and Marion for letting me steal your flowers!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

What's Blooming...

I'm still very hard at work in my new gardens. I've got about 52 plants arriving on Wednesday. A few of the plants I ordered were canceled due to problems with the supplies but that is to be expected every now and then. This will just leave me with time to rethink and pick some bulbs to bring early color to my beds in the spring! This little Fern Peony, one of three, is somewhat of a surprise in one of my older beds. I'm not really sure where it came from and this is the first year they have blossomed! I have two crab apple trees that are a highlight of my yard.
I'm also very excited about the two Liberty Apple trees that although young yet are loaded with flowers this year! I had some wonderful birds arrive this weekend, including a ruby-throated hummingbird (on Mother's Day) and my rare Clay-colored sparrow out in the "back 40"! I am hoping to do a post on the birds on my property as soon as I get time to go get photos.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Birds and a Butterfly for the Fenlandwalker....

I've never been to England and it's a possibility that I will never be able to go there, but there is a way for me to enjoy the beauty that England has to offer by visiting a wonderful blog created by Roy Norris the Fenlandwalker His adventures are well documented with beautiful photographs and a terrific spirit! Thanks Roy for allowing me to enjoy the beauty of birds and nature in England!
Here are a few of my backyard birds for you. Let me know if you have these guys in England.
The White-crowned Sparrow is just passing through on his migration north.
Our American Goldfinch is as sweet as yours but not quite the same!!! I didn't notice his leg band until I viewed the picture!
And this was a very special guest I had in my garden last year. The Giant Swallowtail that I was able to capture on my camera was the first to be recorded in my county by Montana State Universitie's Moths and Butterflies of North America It was an exciting find!
Thanks Roy!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Return of an Old Friend's Descendant....

Quite a few years ago we had a pheasant that visited us on a regular basis. We named him Philip....that sounds about right doesn't it! We always knew it was Philip because Philip had a limp. He was our buddy and was quite a territorial bird. No other pheasant could stake a claim on our property with Philip around. Even WE couldn't pass through a certain place on our property without being escorted OUT!!! But while feeding at our feeders he was a bit more gracious. Yesterday, when I looked out my window I saw what was probably one of Philip's descendants. This beautiful male was staking his claim on what was probably rightfully his! Now what to name him??????
Please excuse the photos...they were taken in a rush through a (not very clean) window!!!