Sunday, September 24, 2023

Saturday, September 23, 2023


 but not too far away.  The crows are all of a dither!

One crow decided he wasn't going to wait around to find out.

What the crows don't know is that their feeding area is going to be updated.  When I start filling the bird feeders again in the colder months, things are going to look a bit different out back.  After living in our home for 30 years plus, we are getting a new deck.  It's been repaired many times, but we finally decided, and for safety reasons, it needed to be replaced.  The builders are supposed to be here on Monday.  The weather may be a problem. We are in for a rainy week so who knows.  They gave us a week's time frame, but it could be longer.  Let the hammering begin, or not!

A very pretty illustration of a crow from

Interesting crow fact:

"How long does a crow live? Once they survive the first year, they have a good chance of making it for several more years. Some are six years old and still helping their parents.  Some crows should live to be 17 - 21 years old.  The oldest known wild American Crow was 29-1/2 years old. The second oldest known, however, was only 14 years, 7 months. These are crows that were banded."

As you may have guessed, I enjoy our local crows.

Thanks for looking and have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 21, 2023


This is the first time I remember seeing a Red Spider Lily, only being familiar with the pink ones. Its other names are Spider Lily, Equinox flower, Naked Lily, Red surprise lily, Hurricane lily, Resurrection lily, Lily and Red magic lily.  Botanical name Lycoris radiata (phonetic spelling LY-kor-iss ray-dee-AY-tuh).I found them not too far from the gazebo.  They were growing next to the lake, a small group of them as you can see in the photo below.

It is a flower that is resistant to deer and rodents.  However, its roots are poisonous, albeit on the low side if I read correctly.  (You can see what I mean on the website link I provided at the end of my post.  Scroll down to the bottom of the page, on the right.)  Many flowers we see have a certain toxicity, so people should be aware if they enjoy gardening, especially when children or pets in the family.  I may be overly cautious, but I would rather know than not.  I hasten to add that if there is anyone out there more knowledgeable than I am, who has even more information, whether it is yay or nay, I always welcome their opinion.
It is native to China, Japan, Korea, and Nepal. Usually found in shady, moist areas along slopes and rocky areas near stream banks.  We can all probably guess why it is called a Spider lily, because its stamens resemble spider legs.  They bloom in late summer and Fall.
The species name radiata is Latin for "spoke" referring to the flower tepals that spread out like the spokes on a wheel. The common name hurricane lily is derived from the fact that the plants bloom during hurricane season.

I found my information and a lot more at this website.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023


First of all, a wedding scene. I blurred the faces and we were quite a distance away.  What I did want to see was this young bride's wedding dress, which I thought was charming.  I also liked the lady's outfit (groom's mother I'm assuming).  When we have been to the garden in the past, we have often seen a bride and groom having their photos taken.  Later as we walked back to the visitor center, the wedding party had moved on and we focused on the large chess set. This is a new addition since we last visited. 

The small pom-pom flowers are Globe amaranth but for the moment I am concentrating on the little bird I saw resting on the wooden framework, which I shared in yesterday’s post.
I didn't know until later in life how many kinds of sparrows there were.  I think perhaps this is a House Sparrow?  
I was able to take several photos and she was still resting when we continued our walk.
I took another photo of the Globe amaranth before we moved on.  It is very delicate.
The Panicled Hydrangeas were a bit passed their peak... 
but still very pretty...
with a few in full bloom.
and then there were the Red spider lilies, but more on them next time.
When we got home I noticed a Goldfinch making use of the bird bath.
The birds - and squirrels - seem to be enjoying it, not all at once thankfully.
The bird bath is a relatively new purchase.  It came as a kit with a fountain feature.  Once our feathered friends got used to the water shooting up in the air, I could see they were enjoying it.  They drink, they bathe, and sometimes they just like to perch to keep an eye on their surroundings.  It is solar.  When the sun is on the attachment, the fountain shoots water almost two feet up in the air.  If clouds appear it gets lower and finally when the sun goes in, it stops completely.  It gets cleaned and refilled daily.  
The birds are not the only ones it keeps entertained.  The woman inside with the camera has a lot of fun too.

More from the garden very soon.

Thank you for stopping by, and I wish you all 
A Very Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 19, 2023



"I don't ask for the meaning of the song of a bird or the rising of the sun on a misty morning. There they are, and they are beautiful."

~Pete Hamill~

Pete Hamill (born William Peter Hamill; June 24, 1935 – August 5, 2020) was an American journalist, novelist, essayist and editor. 

Monday, September 18, 2023


This salad has a dressing that is nice and light and had only two ingredients, red wine vinegar and olive oil. I found it here.

Make-ahead Quinoa Salad with Cucumber, Tomato and Herbs

Serves 4 to 6 people
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

1 cup Quinoa
1 pint grape tomatoes, split into quarters 
1 large cucumber, seeds removed, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (or use a hot house cucumber, or miniature cucumbers where you don't need to deseed)
Kosher salt to taste
2 small shallots, minced
1/2 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine Quinoa and 2 cups of water in a small saucepan.  

Bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 7 minutes.  

Shut off heat and let rest until water is absorbed, about 5 minutes longer.

Transfer Quinoa to a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold water until thoroughly chilled. Let drain for 10 minutes.

While Quinoa cooks, combine tomatoes and cucumbers in a colander set in the sink.

Season with the Kosher salt to taste and toss to coat.

Let drain in sink until ready to combine with Quinoa.

In a large bowl, toss drained Quinoa, drained tomatoes, cucumbers, shallots, parsley, mint, olive oil and red wine vinegar.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.  

Serve immediately or, for the best flavor, let rest overnight in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Salad can be stored in the sealed container, in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days.

What did we think of this recipe?  Very enjoyable, a pretty salad served with your main dish.  

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) I don't have very often, but I like the texture.  I once read that Quinoa was an important crop for the Inca Empire, and that they referred to it as the mother of all grains, believing it to be sacred.  It actually isn't a grain but is a seed that is prepared and eaten similarly to a grain.  It has been consumed for thousands of years in South America, but reached a 'superfood' status several years ago and is now very popular and considered very healthy.

I changed three of the ingredients by replacing the shallots with green onions and the fresh mint with fresh basil.  I also used a hothouse cucumber, the kind you don't have to remove the seeds.

Added note: I made this dish again a week later.  I was curious what it would be like using Orzo pasta.  I replaced the Quinoa with the Orzo.  This time we added a slice of crusty bread, thinly sliced Dubliner cheese and Branston chutney, which made a semi Ploughman's supper, similar to the one below.

You can change the ingredients to your own tastes but a Ploughman's basics traditionally are bread, cheese, a selection of deli meat and pickle.  My favorites are a freshly baked wholewheat bread roll, two wedges of cheese, usually Stilton and Sharp Cheddar, sliced ham, lettuce with onion, gherkins, cucumber and tomato wedges, and Branston Chutney.  I add a glass of cider if I am out and about.  

Here is a photo of the salad with orzo pasta.  

Thanks for looking and 
I wish you all a great week.

Sunday, September 17, 2023


I haven't shared any photos from the fairy garden in quite a while.  We were there on the 14th and there were old pieces as well as new ones.  I don't have a fairy garden at home, but I enjoy the one at Meadowlark, as do several other adults I have noticed these past several years, some with small children but often on their own.  You will recognize this photo from yesterday's post.  This is its original setting.
 I was thinking that if we wanted children to develop a hobby in their young lives, this would be a good place to start.   A fairy garden would be a good way to encourage them in a positive direction.  
I know of at least one garden we go to that offer classes for the young ones, usually in the summer months when school is out.  
In the meantime, you'll find me here still taking photos.
According to this article, there are a lot of flowers that fairies like in their garden.   A bit too late for the planting season, but maybe for the next one.  Pansies, Bee Balm, Foxglove, Sunflowers, Daisies, Nasturtium, Violents, St. John's Wort, Heather, Thyme and Rosemary.  Apparently they also have pet dragons!
We could always have a miniature fairy garden in a planter on our deck.  This lady has a lot of tips.  I don't see it happening but you never know, maybe next summer.
Another link here where there are all kinds of fairy garden items for sale.
A poem for you.

The fairy beam upon you,
The stars to glisten on you,
A moon of light
In the noon of night,
Till the firedrake hath o'er-gone you.
The wheel of fortune guide you,
The boy with the bow beside you.
Run aye in the way
Till the bird of the day
And the luckier lote betide you.

"The Fairy Beam Upon you." 
from "The Gypsies Metamorphose."
by Ben Jonson.
If you would like to know about fairies, you can click on this link.  It tells you all about them. 

In part it says: "fairy (also fay, fae, fey, fair folk, or faerie) is a type of mythical being or legendary creature found in the folklore of multiple European cultures (including Celtic, Slavic, Germanic and French folklore), a form of spirit often described as metaphysical, supernatural or preternatural.  (Might as well slip in a Word of the Day:  
"pre·ter·nat·u·ral - beyond what is normal or natural.  As in "Autumn had arrived with preternatural speed"

This little flying pig has been there as far back as I can remember.  It has moved around but always in the fairy garden.  The fairy with the goose, it looks old but I don't remember it at all.  I will have to check my previous photos.
I don't remember this little bluebird either.
The bridge is new, to us at least.  We found it on the other side of the path.
You can see the gnome in the photo above, his red hat showing.
And this one wasn't too far away.  They only started adding gnomes last year.

Anyway, that's all from The Fairy Garden.  I will have more photos from our walk next week sometime.