Friday, July 3, 2009

Random Friday

Happy 3rd of July! I hope some of you are enjoying this day as a holiday from work (I sure am!) It's been a while since my last post, so here's a potpourri of observations from the past week.

A look in the garden the other day revealed that some thing were missing--like beet tops.......

and pea sprouts!

Since I'm reasonably certain Peter Cottontail and his buddies can't access the garden, my immediate suspect was Bambi's mom and sure enough, after very little searching, I found her hoofprint (several, actually!)
Obviously the greens provided a tasty diversion from the usual nightly feast of corn and birdseed and my 3-foot fence was no obstacle for Mrs. White-Tail. Liquid Fence to the rescue! I mixed up a fresh batch of this horrible-smelling stuff and applied a liberal dose to all of this tempting salad bar. And it worked! Here's some of the beautiful fresh lettuce and peas I used to make us delicious salads for supper last night. (those peas were so sweet--no wonder the deer liked them!)

There are lots of flowers blooming all over the place right now. Here are some of the sweet-smelling blossoms on the staghorn sumac bushes. This busy little bumblebee was loving it! See all the pollen collected on his/her back legs?

I'm starting to see some butterflies, but the butterfly activity seems slow this summer. I think this is a Pearl Crescent.

The common milkweed in my yard is starting to bloom. I actually saw a couple of monarchs checking out the flowers for nectar. The monarch numbers seem to be down this year too and I have yet to find any eggs or larvae on any of my milkweed plants.
Hopefully there's just a delay in their migration and things will pick up soon--I've got a brand new monarch ranch on the kitchen counter just waiting to be populated with caterpillars.

Two of my neighbors have beehives now and I'm guessing this might be one of their honeybees checking out the milkweed blossoms for nectar too.

Did you get your new "license to bird" yet?
The new duck stamps are available at your local post office and you don't have to be a duck hunter. "Federal Duck Stamp Dollars are used to purchase wetlands and other valuable habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System, benefitting many different birds and other wildlife species."

Another plus: your duck stamp can be used as a season pass to any National Wildlife Refuge! (where you might be able to see the really neat Long-Tailed Duck pictured on this stamp)

I saw this inside my compost bin the other day.......
Thanks to Susan's post a couple weeks ago about slime mold in her yard, I was pretty certain that's what this was. So instead of being grossed out, I was pretty excited!

Two of the baby chickadees have fledged and have been seen hanging around the yard.
A nest box check last evening revealed two little ones still inside. I don't know how those overworked parents can manage it, but they're looking pretty frazzled when they stop by to pick up some mealworms.

Thus ends another nerdy post from the Nature Knitter. Since you've read this to the end, you may be a nature nerd too--check out The Nature Lady's blog and take the quiz. (I believe I answered "yes" to 15 of the 16 questions.) It's time to come out of the closet and declare yourself as a Nature Nerd too! Finally it's cool to be a nerd! Woo-Hoo!

Have a great weekend everyone!


Gaelyn said...

Your garden is so inviting I'd probably step over the fence to browse too. Wonder what's up with the lesser amount of butterflies.

I didn't know the duck stamp would get you into wildlife refugees. Thanks for the tip.

I'm pround to be a Nature Nerd!

Heather said...

No day off from work for me, but don't tell my boss that I'm reading your blog while I'm on the clock! Sssshhhh, super secret. Wow, your peas look so yummy. We just bought some yesterday to plant for a fall crop. I should do a photo tour of our garden, too. Thanks for that tip about the duck stamp and the NWR admission - I did not know that! I took that Nature Nerd quiz on Nature Lady's Blog too, and I'm right there with you. Have a great weekend!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Good thing I don't live near you Ruthie. I would be raiding the pea patch too. tee hee....

I don't have to take a test to know I am a nature nerd. I have been told so many times.

Have a good weekend. Happy 4th.

troutbirder said...

Nerdy works for me too. :)

Meggie said...

So, does this mean that the sick looking chickadee is coming along and it has another sibling with it still in the nest? You're right, Ruthie, about the smell of Liquid Fence...P U! Happy 4th! I'm headed over to The Nature Lady's Blog.

Jayne said...

I am sure your mama white tail will miss her feast, but am glad you and Mr. Johnson will at least have some nice garden edibles left! :c) I've not seen very many butterflies this year either Ruthie. Sweet chickadees! Have a wonderful July 4th!

Anonymous said...

We've had that mold here in coastal Carolina. Looked like something from Men in Black...or the aftermath of a very gross fraternity party! (Sorry...I missed the "beauty" part of it on my nice new mulch!

CAROLANN said...

Happy 4th from SW FL. Took a ride that ended at the Suncoast boat races. It's a pretty big deal in SRQ. Fix'n to grill some ribs. Love long (paid)weekends.
Just noticed my Lima beans have started. Too hot here to grow much. Your photos made my mouth water.
Keep bein' nerdy!

Mama Pea said...

Your post had such a feel of summer to it! I envy you having peas already. We have to have a 7 ft. high fence up here to keep our deer out. But I guess we can't blame the critters for going for what looks so tasty, huh?

RuthieJ said...

Hi Gaelyn,
I saw more butterflies a couple weeks ago during our really hot week, but this past week has been colder than normal--maybe that's what's been keeping them away. We'll find out next week when it's back to "normal temps" again.

Hi Heather,
Yes, you definitely need to photograph a garden tour for us! We had some green beans tonite for supper and they were really tasty too. Next year I'm planting a whole row of beans and peas!

Hi Lisa,
All this fresh produce is going to spoil me for next winter when I have to get store bought again. I think we're going to eat everything so fast that there won't be enough left over for me to freeze anything.

Hi Troutbirder,
Yes, nerdy is good!!

That's right Meggie. And when I checked Friday morning after posting this blog, the nest box was empty, so they've all made their way into the world!

Thanks Jayne. How about fireflies? Have you been seeing many of them? I've started seeing just a few. They're always fun too.

Hi Mary Lee,
I found some more of that slime mold in a large flower pot on my deck and this batch is the bright yellow! I guess as long as it doesn't hurt the plants, I might just leave it there.

Hi Carolann
Sounds like you're having a swell 4th. We've had intermittent rain showers all day, but we can always use the moisture. Good luck with your beans and the rest of your garden.

Hi Mama Pea,
I think summer is finally here but it always seems like it's over before it begins. I see in the stores they're starting to put summer items on clearance and bring in the fall stuff. Although I did get a really super deal on some hostas and perennials the other day at one of the garden centers!

dAwN said...

Oh yumm..those garden veggies look so yummy..
Hope you can keep all the deer from eating the rest of your goodies!
My sister had some of that slime mold growing on an old rotten log.
cool stuff.
Thanks for the tour around your yard..and the reminder of the duck stamp.
yeh i am a bit of a nerd..
Nature Nerds Unite!!!!!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely Friday off, and you took us on a garden walk. Hope you had a nice weekend off.


Anonymous said...

That picture of the bee on the milkweed is beautiful. I have to scan back to peek at what kind your new camera is.


Chicken Mama

Anonymous said...

P.S. Maybe I should ask (!) if you shot it w/ your Canon PowerShot or your little Canon A1000?

Chicken Mama

Red said...

Those garden veggies look very yummy! Hope you had a fun 4th too :)

I also want to know which 1 of the 16 you didn't answer yes to - and why... heh!

Susan Gets Native said...

Yellow slime mold! Yippee!!!!!
To those who would remove such a cool thing:
Leave it! Can't hurt plants! Eats bacteria on decaying vegetation! I think slime molds are my new, they don't know what it is. But it's awesome!

BTW, Ruth. Our monarchs are slow this year, too. Found just one cat so far...he is munching away on a leaf on the window sill as we speak. He says hello.