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Red Letter Birding Days

It’s been a slow start to spring and the garden isn’t even begun, but the yard is full of excitement nonetheless with a red-headed woodpecker visiting!

red headed woodpecker

red-headed woodpecker at the bottom of a little spruce tree in the front yard…

red headed woodpecker

and peeking around the front – here’s looking at you, kid!

snagging some corn

off to the trees with some corn to hide away…

red headed woodpecker

probably stashing that corn…

red headed woodpecker

hope he hangs around long enough for mom to see later this month!

Happy bird-watching!!

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And They’re Off!

Seedlings are popping up left and right…

seedlings

peas towering over the tomatoes and okra

onion seedlings

DG’s onion babies

tiny ground cherries

teeeny tiny Aunt Molly’s ground cherry seedlings

And while the plants are snug under the grow-lights, the birds are frolicking in the late spring snow.

ruffed grouse

secretive ruffed grouse – a treat to catch it around the feeders

redpolls, siskins and goldies

a couple of redpolls came to hang out with the siskins and goldies

nuthatch and chickadee

white-breasted nuthatch and a chickadee

male pileated woodpecker

male pileated woodpecker is stunning in the sun

sharp shinned hawk

and a wily sharp shinned hawk taking it all in ~ but he didn’t get lunch!

Waiting for the snow to melt to get those peas in the ground — happy Friday!

 

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Popsicle Sticks Growing

starting seeds in March

popsicle sticks growing!

Last year we planted seeds indoors at the end of March, and I was a bit disappointed with the size of some seedlings. This year we decided to plant at the beginning of March instead.

Dear G was in charge of the onion seeds: Utah Sweet Yellow and Walla Walla.

I started tomatoes: Orange Slice, Egg Yolk, Prudens Purple, Farmstead, Sweet Ozark Orange, Boronia, Isis Candy, Chocolate Cherry, Japanese Black Trifele, Cherokee Purple Heart, Brandywine Pink, and Black Krim;

eggplants: Orient Express, Orient Charm, and Thai Long Green;

okra: Chanchal and Clemson Spineless;

Alaska shelling peas, Hot Bhaji peppers, and Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherry.

Here they are all cozy by the hearth 🙂

starting seeds indoors

waiting to germinate so they can go under the grow lights!

Happy indoor planting!

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Northern Goshawk

Check out what dear G caught on camera — high up in a tree after trying to catch its supper around the feeders! A Northern Goshawk — a large accipiter and a first for our yard. Wish I had been home but glad he managed to catch a photo — even if it is a bit far up.

goshawk in the yard!

majestic northern goshawk, high in a tree above the feeders

In other exciting news, it’s time to start sorting garden seeds. Indoor planting begins this weekend!

garden seeds galore!

treasure chest 🙂

Happy Thursday!

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Christmas Cactus!

“Good things come to those who wait” — or, “patience is a virtue” — only not a virtue of mine I’m afraid! When I moved to Michigan (four years ago!??) I worked part-time at a grocery store deli. The florist there gifted me with a tiny, straggly Christmas cactus.

My mom always had a huge Christmas cactus — it lived in a giant china jug in the basement of every home I can remember from childhood on — and it was always covered in glorious pink flowers from late every autumn on into the New Year.

I can grow some veggies, but I’ve never had much luck with houseplants. Dear G, however, took the cactus into his charge, and after four years of careful attention, it’s blossoming!

Now, to find the perfect china jug for it 🙂

christmas cactus blossoming

christmas cactus blossoming!

Happy Sunday!

 

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Baby Veggies on a Rainy Evening

After the late September heat wave, the baby veggies are still coming on. Tonight we picked a few squash and squash blossoms to cook up simply with some freshly dug potatoes. Harvest supper on a windy, rainy evening — a bit late for the equinoctial storm of autumn, but sure feels like that here tonight!

baby veggies!

baby summer squash and lebanese zucchini with freshly dug german butterball and red cherry potatoes – a few baby onions too!

 

marigolds

a few marigolds in autumn shades ~ these are still going wild in the garden

squash blossoms

beautiful summer squash blossoms!

baby veggies from the october garden

baby veggies from the october garden!

 

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Heat Wave ~ Late Summer in the North Woods Gardens

We thought about going to Lake Superior last weekend — then the week turned hot hot hot — far too hot to leave kitties home alone for days. Not to worry, however, because the late flush of hot temps brought the garden back to life!

We thought about going this weekend too — but more of the same, 90s for days and all of a sudden there are cukes and squash and brinjal galore. I cannot complain 🙂

 

summer squash

healthy young summer squash plants at this late date!?

korean squash

korean squash ~ the gift that keeps on giving ~ there must be a dozen on now!

red pontiac potatoes

dear g dug all these beautiful potatoes this morning ~ I stuck a penny atop one to show the size ~ the largest was over a pound!

red pontiac potato

all fresh and clean and ready to cook!

san marzano tomatoes waning

most of the tomatoes are dying down ~ here are the San Marzanos ~ this late heat wave is good for ripening on the vine

healthy rogue tomatoes

the healthiest tomatoes we had all season were the rogue-volunteers!

african queen tomatoes

african queen tomatoes at various stages of ripening

cherokee purple heart tomato

cherokee purple heart tomato, perfectly ripe ~ we ate this with miss m’s amazing basil salad dressing tonight!

chard

the chard has taken off again

baby beets and gai lan

probably my fav ~ baby beets and gai lan (chinese broccoli)

I bought a small yellow mum to set near the doorstep but it sure doesn’t feel like autumn yet…

how does your garden grow?

 

 

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