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Our Garden Birds

Plagiarism is not pretty, nonetheless, I'm using Matt Sewell's title for today's post. I can't help it that it is such a descriptive title and it fits our situation perfectly. Forgive me Matt.

Because today, the birds were out in great numbers feasting at the Nuttery all at once, I was able to get some good shots through the glass door.
I am unsure if this is one of the cardinal babies, all grown up, or the momma. There may be times when you think I can get pictures of my garden birds every day, but that's not really true. I've yet to see one again on the little bird house I put nearby, and some days, I don't see very many at all. Today was an exception. The little tufted titmouse on the pole decided he didn't want to compete so went searching on the ground instead and look what he came up with!
I mentioned recently that they are very fast, so I can't believe I got these shots. I really wanted you to see the blue feet which I think are super cool. After balancing the acorn part, he turned to face me.
Aren't they something? Take it from me, once you get interested in birds, you can spend an inordinate amount of time watching them. As busy as Bruce is, he finds himself keeping an eye on the feeder outside his office window throughout the day! Here is Papa Cardinal sharing the Nuttery with a finch who has decided to go undercover.
Good grief are they ever cute! I told you I bought Bill a nice bird bath to go out back with his feeder, however, he's decided he wants another feeder out front! Bird fever is catching my friends!

We've been having more rain and I mean a bunch. It's a good thing I spent the day beside the pool on Monday because there has been none of that the last two days. Grey and rainy all day. Not my kind of weather for sure. I'm getting out early to do gardening and bike riding. As far as gardening is concerned, all my years volunteering at the Polasek were not for naught. I learned, mostly by osmosis I'm convinced, that cutting plants back is a good thing. Not that I like cutting off blooms mind you, but it really seems to bring a plant back. My bougainvillea has never looked as good after a serious, and I mean serious, pruning.
The leaves are nice and fresh and there are more blooms daily. Now what is to be done about my basil is another question. I was thinking I might make a pasta dish for myself but one look at my basil quickly changed my mind.
A disaster I tell you! Although I see no bugs, clearly something is feasting away. Same for my tomato plant. It's as high as our house. and ragged as all get out below. A few flowers remain, but I'm not counting on much in the way of a harvest. It is certainly one thing or another when you are growing plants. Thank God for our real farmers!!

Bugs, a way of life in Florida. Mosquitoes and cockroaches can always be counted on. Sad, but true. Looking at the photographs, you would be forgiven for thinking our home is perfect. It is not. Truth be told, we've been finding dead roaches (a good thing) and live roaches (a bad thing), specifically in the kitchen. We're doing all we can to mitigate this situation because who in their right mind likes finding roaches, dead or alive, in their home? NO ONE! I'm giving our electric dishwasher a rest for now, washing all dishes by hand. By hand? A travesty! Not really. I was running the dishwasher maybe two times a week which means the dirty dishes were bait for those ugly, nasty bugs. Or so we think. Furthermore, we are making sure Baxter's bowl is clean and empty overnight which is when they come out. Gross, gross, gross. Aren't you glad I'm including no photographs of cockroaches? You should be.

The bike riding is going well. Just after 7 in the morning, I hop on my bike, check the odometer, and off I go. We are lucky because there are street after street of residential neighborhoods surrounding our home. Moreover, no two look alike. I'm really enjoying looking at all the yards, particularly in Southern Oaks which is just across the street from our neighborhood. Beautiful homes, beautiful yards. Today I took a different route, heading East on Pershing, crossing Bumby and into a neighborhood where we once looked at a home on a canal leading into Lake Conway. It was long ago, so most of the details escape me, but I do remember Bruce thinking it would be oh so nice to live at least on a canal. I said no two homes looked alike and I meant what I said. I do remember that this house on Overlake has looked like this forever.
How crazy is this? And just across the street, the folks are channeling Key West.
So, you see, it is interesting. Surprisingly, five miles does not seem like much, probably because I am heading out so early before the heat and humidity have a chance to wear me down. Insofar as my hair is concerned, that is another story.

I had a nice long chat with Matthew this afternoon, hearing all about Dubai. Apparently, the mall has 1,200 stores although he was too busy to go inside. As well, the Diamond Jubilee experience. For his part, he's happy he won't have to travel again until he comes to America in July for a wedding. Originally he was to be home for his birthday, but not so anymore. Instead, he and Tom will go to the wedding in Lancaster, PA, and then on to New York City for a visit. The things they will see! Maybe he will see his Dad's Lancaster Olive Garden!

When some of my flowers don't do well, it is easy to forget that this area housed a 60' oak tree only a year ago and the soil is still adjusting.
They ground the stump all right but left much of the grindings which have yet to fully compost I'm thinking. Mostly this photograph is meant to point out one plant in particular--the big ball in the clay pot on the ground. The last Christmas that my mother-in-law was alive, she planted some of her Swedish ivy in hanging baskets for the twins. Sadly, neither took much notice of her gift. Somehow I ended up with them and look what has become of her gift. I just lopped off a bunch of it, however, it won't stay like this for long because it grows like mad! I gave Angela some cuttings which she rooted in water, and they, too, are going gangbusters. What a wonderful thought knowing that Judy Peck's love is spreading in ways she never dreamed of. :)
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