Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wild Kingdom - In My Tiny Garden

I like to walk along the retaining wall in My Tiny Garden and look at each plant, see how much it's grown or if there's new blooms.  I do this just about every night when I get home, after dinner and it's part of me transitioning from workday to home.  I bought some Root Blaster this year, to see if it would help things along and so far it seems like it's really given my perennials a boost.  So last night I'm checking out the Virginia creeper I planted a few years ago and I lifted up the leaves to check out the hostas that are growing at the base.  It looked like there were some dried leaves under there..........I started to reach my hand in................and something moved.

I couldn't believe my eyes............so I took a few more shots.

It was amazing how much this moth really looks like dried, curled up leaves.  With a little Internet research, its a Paonias excaectus, or the Blinded Sphinx Moth.  I guess they are not that uncommon, but I've certainly never seen one..............I hope it laid some eggs.  Being the nature geek that I am, I did what all geeks do...............I poked it with a stick and it started to flutter, showing it's full colors when I did.

As it fluttered, it landed on The Husband's shoe before he picked it up and put it back on the wall garden.

Pretty cool, huh?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Bird Rescue

Wednesday when I got home from work, I did the normal routine, got Bessy out of her basement apartment (where she now has TV)and then went around opening up all the first floor windows to get some air moving. I have an aversion to air conditioning............but it's not really about being cool.......its the sound the a/c units make. Weird, I know but I have this issue with sounds. Anyway, I digress. I sat on the couch to watch some news and eat some leftovers. My Tiny Garden has become somewhat of a bird sanctuary, with all the necessary things to draw them in.....water, seed and plants they like. I kept hearing what I knew to be a robin raising more of a ruckus than usual.  So I went out to investigate.  There was in fact, a robin on the fence outside one of my windows who was hopping around, seeming to be quite agitated.  But I kept hearing a second bird I couldn't see.  I thought maybe it was under a honeysuckle bush by the window, so I dug around, to no avail, then realized..............a baby bird was down in the window well.

Now the window wells are a death trap for all manner of creatures, they fall in, and if we don't notice right away..............well, lets not think about that.  At least one baby bunny has been saved this year, from a slow death, because the husband saw it soon enough to save it............back to a life of destroying our grass.............

I digress again.  So down the basement I went, with my gardening gloves, and because I'm a good blogger, my camera.  Here's what I saw................

Baby robin was squawking up a storm while perched on the bottom ladder rung.  I climbed in the well and was able to lift it up to get back out on solid ground.  By the time I got back upstairs and back outside, Bessy was chasing the baby bird across the yard, mom bouncing down the fence, before the baby got through the fence to the neighbor's back yard.  Looks like the little one was not quite ready to fly, but nearly so.................glad there's not a lot of cats in the neighborhood.

Glad this one ended well (I think), time to get that chicken wire on the window wells.  The grates let too many things in..............

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tunesday - "Smooth" Summer Solstice

In honor of Summer Solstice, which is at 11:16am around here, a song that screams summer.

First of all, Santana..............well I saw him at Mile High Stadium in 76 or 77.  Amazing.  In that all star rock band, he'd have to be on guitar for me..............Rob Thomas was the perfect fit for this song.

And I can remember just when I heard this song the first time, driving home one night, it was playing on KBCO with no announcement of who it was.  I reached over and turned it up, thinking, wow, new Santana, because you can't mistake it being him on the guitar.  I knew it would be a hit, a big hit, so hooky and memorable.  The song went on to win a grammy for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Supernatural won for Album of the year.  I guess I can pick them.  The video itself is actually good too.  I love watching Carlos' face when he plays..........

So enjoy..........and welcome to the summer of 2011. I think it's going to be a great summer.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Most Loyal Reader

Happy Father's Day to my most loyal reader..............my Dad.

I am very blessed to have a Dad who has been my rock my entire life.  As a little girl, I looked forward everyday to the sound of his car coming home from work, the best part of each day.   We've always talked about the important things and the everyday things.  He always believed in me and convinced me that I could do whatever I put my mind to.

In his retirement years, we've enjoyed reading the same books, watching the same movies and sharing the joy of sitting in your own back yard, enjoying nature and the feeling of being home.

Happy Father's Day, Dad.  I love you.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Sunday Afternoon

Finally a quiet day.  After a hectic and busy run of days.  Book clubs and BBQ's.  Smores and baking cakes.  Babysitting the neighbor hood, and yes, this weekend it felt like babysitting the WHOLE neighborhood.  But it's a blessing to live in a great neighborhood, with great friends and lots of kids to fill the house with fun and laughter.  Had the newest members of the Circle Posse, twin 3 year olds all day on Saturday..........and somehow, okay, my doing, we took the rest of the Posse to Daniels Park.  Two cars and lots of car seat shuffling and the boys fighting over who rode in the convertible.  But the buffalo were out, and posed for a picture.  Not everyone has a herd of buffalo as neighbors.

Then I actually got all of the Posse to stand (relatively) still for a few photos.

It felt like my old days as a substitute day care teacher.

The sun was out this morning and it really felt like summer, though we've got a few weeks to go, and I couldn't resist treating myself to some sunflowers at the grocery store, because sunflowers scream summer.

Today has been quieter,  Michael Buble on the outside speakers.  Lots of quiet time to think and relax.

Great Day.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Tunesday - Rich Mullins

This week I found myself drawn to listen to some Rich Mullins music.  And this is a favorite when my spirit needs a lift................

Monday, June 06, 2011

For Danny

As I think about it now, I only knew Dan for about 8 months. Such a short amount of time, but he left a lasting impression.   I remember the night I met him, he was sitting on a couch watching NWA wrestling, and he stood up and shook my hand when I was introduced to him.  I could tell immediately he was a little on the shy side, he didn't really make much eye contact.  But he was quick to warm up, and soon he seemed like an old friend.  Dan was older than me by nearly a decade but he soon took to calling me Mom.  It always made me smile on the inside when he said that.

He lived in a room in a boarding house, something I didn't realize even existed anymore.  When I thought about that, it reminded me of old Andy Griffith show episodes, because Barney Fife lived in a boarding house too.  Though I don't know what the exact facts were, Dan was part Native American, a fact he was quite proud of, and he was delighted when I told him I had some Cherokee blood in me as well.  On more than one occasion he told us, "my people call me The Hawk".  That always made me smile when said that, he was quite serious.  I think.

There was a sweetness and gentleness about him, at times he almost seemed childlike.  The night Dan died, we had a conversation about getting older.  Since it was 1989, we were talking about the fact that 10 years from then it would be 1999 and the last year of the millennium.  We were figuring out how old we would be in 2000.  Dan's math was all off and when we pointed that out to him, he got a little quiet, sighed, and said "I don't think I'm going to live much longer."  Well that stopped us in our tracks.  When we asked him what was going to happen when he died.  He said very matter of factly, that "when I die, my spirit will go to heaven".  It was the clearest statement of faith I'd ever heard come out of that sweet man's mouth.  In a matter of hours, that very thing would happen.

Evil, pure evil, was in the hearts of the men who took Dan's life, for no reason other than he was in the wrong place, and got in their way.  I hate that he died in moments full of fear.  But I am comforted by the fact that his next conscious thought is in God's presence. Hours later that night, his words came back to me...............somehow he knew.

I went to his grave site during my lunch hour one day last week.  It's near my office and I'd been thinking about him a lot, as I always do near the anniversary of that terrible day.  They held Dan's body for nearly a month looking for next of kin, and finally in July of 1989 they laid him to rest.  As I arrived at the cemetery another funeral was happening in the little pavilion near his tombstone.  Just as I sat down in the grass, there was a 21 gun salute, and then someone played taps.  It was a poignant moment. 

You are not forgotten Danny.  Myself and others think of you often, and for me, it's with a small smile, and a few tears..........that your life was taken in such a violent way.  And that now I'm much older than you ever got the chance to be.

"Good-night, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."

If you're a newer reader around here, the back story to this post is here

Thursday, June 02, 2011

My Tiny Garden Tour

Here's a post specifically for my Dad because I know he'll appreciate the progress in my garden, in a spring that has warmed up slowly..........making us all wait for things we love about spring.

My peonies took a pounding under the last snowfall, but they've come in twice as big as last year.

And I think in a few weeks, we'll have some blooms.

My Dianthus decided to bloom, just today, when I checked last night they weren't open yet.

I found a beautiful deep red geranium to put in the pot next to my herb garden.

And last but not least, my columbines have had a rough spring.  Two varieties didn't show back up at all, and the ones that have come in are much smaller than usual.  I think this is my bad, it was an incredibly dry winter, and I should have got some water out there a few more times.  But they are still an amazing flower, in all their varieties.  And here's a good one.

So the long wait for summer appears to be at an end.  It was over 90 downtown today, and up here at altitude my temp gauge on my car said 87.  I guess we're there.


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