As you can see-I love to feed the birds. I feed them all summer as a matter of fact. (yes, I know they can find food-I just like to feed them!) In late spring I put out hummingbird feeders. In late fall I put out thistle in special tube feeders for yellow finches. And we always have quite a flock visiting us at breakfast, lunch and dinner. However..this year I am having a bit of a problem.
Can you see this guy hiding up in the tree? This hawk is huge! It almost looks like an eagle the wing span is so wide. I think (looking at my bird book) that this is a "Cooper's Hawk" which preys on backyard birds. At one time this bird was known as a "chicken hawk" for obvious reason. But, we don't think this is our problem..
We think this is the culprit--the one chasing our little friends away. This little one is much smaller than the other hawk. What we don't know is: is this a baby Cooper's Hawk, or could it be another kind? There is a "Sharp-shinned" hawk (again looking in my book) that is similar to the Cooper's but smaller..and according to the book hangs out at backyard feeders. I am not thrilled there are predators out there scaring my little birds friends away, but at the same time it has been very interesting to see these large birds. And yes, I do know this is part of nature, survival of the fittest, etc... The hawks are welcome-just wish they didn't want the diners as their dinner!
Friday, December 17, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Today is tulip day! The bulbs have been in the refrigerator now for about 8 weeks, so it's time to get them in the ground. I thought my Mother wanted me to plant some in her garden, but she decided there was no more room-so..I planted 60 bulbs in my little backyard today. And what a perfect day to be in the garden. It was sunny and warm (temp was 67 at planting time-which explains why we have to chill our tulip bulbs here in Texas!) After some much needed house work this morning--I couldn't wait to get outside.
I don't use a bulb planter like I bet most of you do. I like to use this old, ugly, slender spade. It has a sharp point that is great for digging down into clay soil. I was somewhat worried about digging up existing bulbs as I went, but only came across a few. I had 6 different types of tulips-mainly yellows and reds which I planted in between the pansies. I bought 10 all white bulbs that I planted together out under the bird feeder. I added lots of red pepper, then mulch to this area to try and discourage pesky squirrels. The last group of bulbs were white with red edging. I planted them behind the flagstone patio--again with red pepper on top. I never know whether I should plant only one color tulips, or plant lots of colors but always group the colors together (which I think I heard in class is the right thing to do.) But I like red and yellow mixed together so much-I usually mix the bulbs together in a pot, then toss them here and there. I never mark where I am planting as I LOVE to have surprises popping up in spring. By the time I finished planting and peppering and mulching..I was ready for a break. Nice afternoon snack--warm pumpkin bread right out of the oven! Ummmm--what a beautiful tulip day!
Hope you had a good day today!