Thursday, April 3, 2014

Birds & Blooms

I am a bird nerd!  I keep a birding journal.  I have nest boxes and feeders all throughout our property here.  I  don't know when exactly it was, that I began to fall in love with these delicate feathered creatures.  But I do love them.  Greg says he sparked that interest in me.  He is probably right.  I can remember 30 some odd years ago, living in our little Carbon Canyon house in rural Chino, that Greg would begin to point out to me the different species there.  I tried to be interested, but frankly, I was a busy young Mommy, with little time to identify birds.  But then, something happened many years down the road.  And a love of these beautiful creatures developed.  I remember the very first morning, here in our home at Grover's Grove.  The bird song was incredible.  I was smitten.  I discovered that if you feed them, they will come.  And come they did!
For the past couple of days, I have delighted in watching this little Rufous Hummingbird visit, and guard the nectar feeder outside my kitchen window.
We have always had lots and lots of hummers.  They are here all year.  But rarely have I seen a Rufous!
His beautiful coppery feathers, shimmering like pennies in the sun.
He worked this feeder all day long.  Fiercely guarding it from the other hummers that wanted a sip of nectar.
His teeny tiny feet, clasping the top of the feeder where his new found cafe was hung.
I will miss him when he moves on.  I have several nectar feeders here.  They are visited by hummers year around.  But in the Spring, I begin to buy sugar in bulk, and make nectar by the gallons to keep these topped off for not only the many hummers, but for my much loved Orioles that begin to visit, and stay until September.  Oh how I adore these gorgeous birds!!!  I have spent hours trying to capture them feeding.  But they are so very shy.  The females arrive first.  They are much lighter in color, but still so pretty in their soft buttery yellow Spring coats.  Then, about two weeks later, the males come, and they pair off, and begin to nest in the palms that surround our area.
I caught a glimpse of orange out of the corner of my eye, and ran for camera.  I just barely snapped a couple photos, although I was not equipped with my zoom lens at the time.
He is so regal looking in his bright orange suit, with black topcoat on.
Their happy song, is so easily identifiable, with a series of what I call, chittering twirls. When I hear this, I know that they are either at a nectar feeder, or out back at the orange and grape jelly bar.

I keep an old serrated knife in my garden shed out back, and halve oranges straight off the trees, and stick them onto any spiky protrusion I can find.  The Orioles love them.  And they will ream an orange halve in a days time.  Grape jelly is a favorite of theirs too.  I keep it in little cups, and sometimes I just drop a dollop or two onto a stump or plate, and they find it.  House finch also love the jelly and oranges.

The American Goldfinch are another favorite of mine.  They hang every which way, onto the thistle feeder sock, and feast on seeds.
You can see the American flag waving in the breeze from my neighbors yard across the way.
Above is a male and female House Finch, as well as an American Gold Finch.  They can empty a thistle sak in a day!
I keep a little feeder with black sunflower seeds and safflower seeds in the front planter.  Makes for some easy bird watching from the front living room window.  Below is a male House Finch.
A little Phoebe Fly Catcher resting on the wooden front yard swing, waiting for his next moth to snatch up with a click!!!
The skies here have been glorious lately.  We have had some rain showers at night, leaving us with beautiful clean air, and white puffy clouds in the day.

On my little walk yesterday around the homestead, I snapped some pictures of what is blooming.
 I planted these nasturtiums from seed last Spring.  They have exploded in a medley of color, with delicate edible leaves, climbing and crawling this way and that.
The tacky little white fence was to try to keep the chickens from destroying them, as they are quite a tasty treat.  As you can see by the edging ala hen.
I have placed some garden art here in this bed.  The back support of an Adirondack chair that has finally given up the ghost.  And an iron magazine stand, that the nasturtiums have completely wrapped around.  I happen to love the look of it spilling out of it's boundaries, like cascading waves onto the patios, and beyond!
Geraniums are a big favorite of mine. And they tolerate our extremely hot summers  here.  Blooming and putting on a show, all year long.  This one sits in an old chair in the grove, that I painted blue and placed over an old concrete  irrigation piece, so as not to injure anyone.

My roses are really beginning to show off now too.
There are 42 of these rose bushes, that line the front perimeter of our house.  In the Spring, they really help our simple Ranch Style house shine, with their front yard curb appeal blooms.
The recent rains have left me with some work to do out there.  I need to pluck all of those little pesky weeds out of the rocks where they are poking through.
Soon, my Iris will be erupting in bright purple, grape scented blooms, all throughout the front and back yards.
Ducey obviously does not share my enthusiasm for Spring!
Nor does Dusty.
Today I have dozens of eggs to wash and sort.
And the marketing too.  I think I have my blogging mojo back.  Look out!!!  As my beautiful granddaughter Hannah would say, " I have a lot to say, so I cannot be quiet! "
I leave you today with a heart that is full!  Go make it a great day!!!
Coming up tomorrow, a yummy recipe for you!!!!
XO  Kris


~Niki~ said...

I would LOVE to have bird feeders all over my backyard. but there is one big problem...BEES. I started having a nice little bird 'garden' out back a few years back. noticed the bees buzzing around the feeders. So I took it down. Thinking one year I could figure this out. Well about a month ago we had a swarm of bees come in, brining their queen. onto our house, under the eve. Spent $400 for the bee guy to come out and get rid of them. Now I'm so hesitant to even have a flower bush! any suggestions?

Simply Shelley said...

Hi,I have really enjoyed my visit here. So many lovely pictures. I live in the country in a small town in East Texas,I am learning about the birds that come to my feeders. I too love the birds,they bless me just by watching them and of course with their beautiful songs. So I found this post very interesting. I will be back :-) blessings

Linda said...

Happy belated birthday my friend♥️
I feel the same way about the wee birdies...
I also put the orange slices for the Orioles at the cottage...
But...I have to buy mine! Ha!
Beautiful shots of the hummers...I have yet to capture them!
Think I'll buy some new feeders for them this summer...
Mine are pretty you buy food, or just do the sugar and water mixture?
Glad you got your blogging mojo back...
I have missed our talks♥️
Hope that Mom is still on the mend..
We do gave so much to be thankful for, eh Kris?

Linda :o)

Home Meadows said...

What a pretty (and colorful) garden! I enjoy birds too, most of the birds in Ohio are Blue Jays, Cardinals (our state bird), mourning doves, chickadees, and blackbirds. Enjoy your day. Heather

Amy at love made my home said...

I'm glad that you have got lots to say, it is lovely to hear it and see your pictures!! It is amazing, we are past snowdrops here, but I was just looking at some on another blog that are just out and you are way ahead of us with roses and nasturtiums out already, it is a lovely way to see around the world isn't it! Happy gardening and birding! xx

Nana Go-Go said...

The Birdwoman of Grover's Grove!I could jump right into your pics. Everything about where you live is so inviting. It's very grey and miserable here at the moment but the bright yellow daffodils and kerria in my garden are making a valiant attempt at heralding Spring. Lovely post,Kris. Always a pleasure to visit. xxx

Nana Go-Go said...

P.S. Hope your Mum is recovering well. x

Astri said...

Bird Nerd is the word(s). Just your birds. :-)

Teresa Kasner said...

Welcome back my adorable friend! I loved all your birds and your yard and your eggs and your joyful chatter.. you make me happy too!
((hugs)), Teresa :-)

mynestofyarnandbuttons said...

Hello Kris, What a wonderful post, I so enjoyed it. Loved seeing all your beautiful birds and learning something too. I have become more interested in birds also, maybe it is a sign of appreciating the simple things around us. (or getting older....shhhh did I say that) (for me anyway). Love all your roses and nasturtiums, one of my favorites!
Thanks for being a chatter bug, xoRobin

Debbie said...

Hasn't the weather been just gorgeous (minus that earthquake of course, lol) I have been soo enjoying it. I heard it is heating up this week-end though...Love your bird pictures! I have one hummingbird feeder on my porch, but it does draw them. How I love to sit and watch them, and it fascinated my mother. Hope your week-end is a good one!

Dawn said...

I have never seen a hummer that color, they are all ruby red throats in my neck of the woods. I sure enjoyed all your pics :)

Jeanna said...

YES! I'm feeling the Kris Blogging MoJo all the way into south Florida! Welcome back...hope your Mom is handling her treatments well (if they have started yet?). I keep her and all of you in my prayers.

This is one amazing post. Your bird photos are wonderful! Your home and property are Simply beautiful... I look forward to your next promised post.

Weekend is almost here, I hope yours is beyond pleasant.

Maryjane-The Beehive Cottage said...

Oh Kris, you are having way to much fun over there! I feel your excitement too! Love all your birdie pictures and the blue chair with a plant is adorable!

When we meet up we will have to talk about your camera too! You take awesome pics.


Deb~in~Denver said...

Your pictures are gorgeous! I've never seen a hummer the color of the copper one, beautiful! I am just learning to appreciate birds, I've spent my entire life terrified of them...a too close encounter with a pet parakeet when I was little. We have several bald eagles and hawks around here and I do love seeing them. Your flowers are fabulous! Can't believe how lush your roses are, already. So good to see you posting again!

my4lilgirls said...

This is such a beautiful post, I'm amazed at the different colours of the birds, really, really lovely.
I think I told you this before but I'm so in love with your chocolate lab....what a dog :)
Karen x

priscilla said...

Beautiful photos, Kris ! Your flowers are really blooming many roses :) Love all your bird photos ! Its a full time job feeding all your birds!Have a great weekend!

Pammy Sue said...

We always love seeing the birds you get around your house. We don't get those same kinds pretty!

Karen L. Bates said...

Wow, your yard and gardens are full of beautiful blooms and birds! Lucky you. Those roses are fantastic...I bet they are even more beautiful in person! You are so lucky to have such a wonderful variety of birds in your area...and I have never seen some of them.

Enjoy the beauty all around you...I know you will.

Katie Mansfield said...

Your bird pictures are amazing. What wonderful visitors.