Woodpeckers are everywhere

This morning in our large oak tree was about 7 Red- Bellied Woodpeckers I was able to get a few good pictures.

I love these crazy birds that eat upside down. I found this feeder empty a few days ago and decided to refill it and I have seen the woodpeckers and the titmouse eating out of it.

Birding is one of the biggest bright spots in my days.

Life is GOOD!

Variegated Shell Ginger

The Variegated Shell Ginger grows very well in Texas.

Ours has multiplied so much from the one-gallon plant I bought years ago. We have about 30 plants in pots that we are planning on reselling.

We transplanted some from this large plant to the front of the house a few years ago and now it is multiplying.

It is like the plant that keeps giving. The blooms are gorgeous but they will only bloom if there has not been a freeze and if there is a freeze the plants die back. That has only happened to us one year, but they came back the next spring stronger than ever.

These are roughly 5 – 6 ft tall and about 8 feet wide in most directions. I took the bloom picture when the plant was blooming but I wanted to show off those gorgeous blooms.

The color really pops on these plants below two of the 35+-year-old oak trees. They are accented with ferns who also love the scattered sunlight.

Brighten up a shaded area with some shell ginger it is a plant that keeps giving.

Covid and death

In the last eight months our family has lost two family members to Covid there was one last July an Aunt who was 77 years old and this past week an uncle who was 88 years old. One of them lived in a nursing home and one lived at home.

Everyone needs to take notice of the warnings to avoid large get-togethers it’s not worth the risk of someone’s life.

If people can not have funerals then there should be no parties of any kind no birthday, no holiday, no wedding or baby showers.

Stay home when you can do not go shopping there is honestly no need when we have curbside pickups and home delivery is available on most everything.

DO NOT GO OUT TO EAT! Pick up food and take it home. We have heard about several people who have gone out to eat and gotten COVID. The reason for this is face masks are not on when eating out.

Everyone needs to pay attention to what they are doing and get the shot as soon as you can.

My mother n law is 92 years old and has not gotten the shot yet around here when they post they are taking appointments by the time you see it they are booked. She has had 3 ER visits in the last 6 weeks and one hospitalization but none were for Covid. As far as I am concerned all patients over the age of 80 should have already been able to get the vaccine.

I am waiting for my vaccine due to being high risk so far no luck in finding it.

I had my cardiologist appointment today Friday, February 5, 2021, he told me something interesting. For those who are on the fence about getting the vaccine keep this in mind.

If you get COVID all our DNA is different so this allows the virus to mutate which makes more strains of the virus and some of the strains are worse than the 1st one. Everyone, please think about this and get your vaccine that way all of our lives can get back to normal again soon.

Be careful, wash your hands often and wear your face mask. I was always OCD about washing my hands so that has never been an issue for me now I just triple wash a bit extreme yes I know but better safe than sorry.

The eye of the hawk

This Hawk landed on our flag pole in the pasture.

I was taking pictures through the French doors and slightly over exposed the pictures. I always get in a hurry and just start shooting without checking my settings first.

The pictures took on the look of a painting and I really like the look.

Natures beauty is all around us if you watch closely you might get to capture it on camera.

Bird bath party time

I have been taking quite a few pics lately of the birds having birdbath parties.

Out of the corner of my eye I spotted some very bright low and behold it was a Bullock’s Oriole. These birds are from West Texas not our area so its not wonder I have never seen one before. I had to come in and grab my Birds of Texas book and look him up.

Notice the water spraying across the picture from the action of the birds in the water.

I have seen him two days in a row and both times he was with the Eastern Bluebirds so I am guessing they are friends.

Since the birds seem to crowd into the shallow birdbath the most I am going to take my deep ones and turn them into planters and I will figure out how to have a trough type bird bath so 20 or so can get in at the same time. Just imagine the pictures with that.

Its so funny because there will be 8 in the birdbath and another 8 flying around waiting for the shallow birdbath. By the time they are done there is no water left in the birdbath.

I go out and refill it and they will come back while I am still outside.

I love my birds as much as my grandmother and my dad did.

Appreciate the beauty of nature it is all around us take the time to enjoy it each and everyday.

BirdBathParty

Fall color

Our fall color is our cypress trees and I was able to get this picture the other day with nice skies.

This is our largest cypress. This tree stands about 15′ tall. It makes a mess when the leaves all fall off because it is right beside the pond.

The first clean up will be this weekend. I ordered us a mulcher/blower/vacuum with a bag to try out on this.

Enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors the skies, the trees and the breeze in the air.

Fall2018

Weeds

For some reason this weed is growing everywhere & we have never seen it before. It seems to grow very fast, climbs and spreads very quickly.

Nobody ever said a weed could not be pretty to photograph.

weed2weed3weed1

Life after the storm

A week ago Friday none of us knew exactly what Harvey would do to Texas.

We knew what the news reporters were saying but half the time they are wrong. In your gut, you want to believe what they are saying but the week before we were supposed to get rain and never did.

Harvey left an imprint on Texas that will never be forgotten.
Harvey changed peoples lives forever.

Many lost their lives, their homes, their pets and all their belongings.

Horses and cattle drown as the flood waters rose and they could not be moved out quickly enough.

Peoples whose houses have never flooded were now flooded for the first time.

Driving down Wellborn street in Brookside Village in Texas everyone’s belongings are out on the street. Clear Creek backed up into many homes in this neighborhood. If I was guessing at a number I would say 300 homes are destroyed but it could be more.

Piles of sheetrock cut 4 ft up as per the instructions of insurance. Appliance after appliance sitting on the curb. Cars, trucks, and SUVs with so much moisture on the windows on the inside you know they were under water.

This was only one neighborhood of many but it was my sister & her families neighborhood.
The sheetrock has been torn down to the rafters. This home has very few floors left in it. Half of all their belongings, memories, and keepsakes are sitting on the curb.

These kinds of things take months to repair and get back like it was prior to this flood.

It will never be the same because now you feel vulnerable to mother nature.
Emotionally it takes a toll on you, your life and most of all your spirit.

Long days of working, little sleep and exhaustion start to set in and everyone just can not think anymore.

What room do you start putting back together first?

It is so overwhelming to see and I saw it yesterday with my own eyes for the first time since the storm.

There were so many areas of Texas affected by Harvey, so many neighborhoods destroyed, lives taken and peoples spirit broken.

The road to recovery will be long but in the end, everyone will be stronger.

Everyone will get their spirits back again, be able to take a deep breath and get back to their normal lives it will just take time.

Hydroponic Gardening

I have planted the first seeds in the rockwool that are for the inside plants.

This time of year it is so hot for lettuce, spinach, cabbage and swiss chard but if you grow them indoors hydroponically it is a win win situation. Those are the seeds I just planted.

I have ordered many supplies for the big greenhouse outside we are waiting for the plastic to arrive. The kind I ordered is 10 mil. woven clear plastic it has a longer life span than the regular clear in fact I think it is 7 years compared to 4.

We are also doing shade cloth since Texas is so hot it will allow for better ventilation. The shade cloth will go first then the woven plastic and we can raise the plastic up and open the screen doors to ventilate the greenhouse.

We will be doing several types of hydroponics the dutch buckets and the Kratky method are two and we may even do a third.

I have to get a load of sand delivered and then the pond liner that is 22 mil. will go over that because this hydroponic set up is a sterile environment there will be no dirt inside of this greenhouse. Only water, buckets, container, plants grown from seeds, and nutrients.

I will post pictures as things start happening hopefully in the next few weeks.

Ducks, ducks, and more ducks

If you remember there were two black bellied whistling ducks that frequented our bird feeders they were coming every day a few times a day for the last few months.

We decided to build them a nesting box. Their boxes have to be pretty big because they are bigger than the average bird.

I guess they told all their friends where there was a free meal because we have had as many as eleven ducks at a time. They show up around 7 – 7:30 a.m. stay about 1 1/2 hours then they leave.

In the evening, they come back again mainly to rest in the shade but they do some eating too.

I had to grab a picture of them on the arbor above the walk through. As you can see one is in the feeder eating. Most of the time there will be two in each feeder and they take turns with the ones who are waiting.

At this point, we are looking at adding more feeders because when they are eating the little birds do not get to eat.

 

Lotsofducks

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