Sunday, June 24, 2012

Drama in the Garden

I was up early this morning trying to beat the heat. I made coffee, read my blogs, and at 7 AM turned on the TV to get the local news on the forest fires. Yes, I said "fires." There are now 8 major forest fires burning in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The High Park Fire is now 15 days old, still raging, consuming 10 more homes and threatening more, and certainly showing no signs of letting up. Friday it was 60% contained; today it is 45% contained. Fifteen hundred to two thousand firefighters are on duty. Home owners are evacuated, then sent home, only to be re-evacuated. Some were told that their homes survived, only to lose them when the fire re-booted. The in-laws' home has been certified livable, but it may be a month before they can safely return to their home because of the threat of the fire re-igniting in the unburned forest near their home or on the road in.

Then there is the Estes Park fire that started in a cabin and burned 21 homes yesterday before it was extinguished. Colorado Springs south of Denver has a doozy going. It has burned 2,500 acres in 3 days and is very close to the neat little tourist town Manitou Springs, which has been totally evacuated.

The High Park Fire will probably have to burn itself out, possibly taking all summer to do so. We stood out in the garden last night at sun down watching flames climb the ridge of the distant peak. It was amazing to be so far away and yet be able to see one patch of orange grow in strength, then another pinpoint of a bit of color grow until it joined up with first orange spot, and then a third tiny speck on that far away mountain side explode and finally join the other two, making a line of flame along the mountain ridge.  So putting it all in perspective, the drama here at the Garden Spot is rather insignificant, isn't it?

Hubby's first chore in the morning is letting the hens out. This morning was no different, except he came in and asked me to get my camera and go back to the garden with him. Apparently something spooked the hens during the night causing them to, we suppose, to fly around the coop breaking the window and the heat lamp that keeps them warm in the winter. So what spooked them? Could have been the little mouse that lives with them growing fat on the feed that gets spilled. Or maybe it was the fox. We see the foxes regularly. They have even tried to did their way in to coop.  This mystery will remain unsolved. The girls are safe from the fox and the mouse really can't do much harm, other than to cause them a fright, perhaps.

I don't like grackles. They are loud, obnoxious, hogs at the feeder, dirty. We had breakfast on the patio this morning. The feeder was full with sparrows and a grackle. I kid you not, the grackle grabbed a little sparrow by his leg and literally threw him off the feeder. I couldn't believe it. The grackle turned the little guy upside down and dropped him to the ground.

 So while we were in the garden admiring how the tomatoes are coming out of their beating by hail and  the peppers are thriving finally, I noticed a baby bird in the grass. Not uncommon given the hearty population of birds nesting in our trees. At first I thought the little guy was dead, then I saw his sides heaving. I called for help.

When a ladder will probably do, a tractor will do better. Well, to be honest, we don't have a ladder tall enough to reach the nest.

Head Gardener to the Rescue

Baby bird safely back in the nest. Oh. It's a grackle.

There is also good news in the garden. The water lilies in the tank are blooming, especially my white one that I brought from my dad's pond. It was just beginning to wake up this morning when I took the photo really wanting to show the ash on lily leaves.

The most exciting news: my hydrangea is blooming. Ok, yes I know the plant is pathetic. Rather awful looking, but it got hailed. More importantly, it survived the winter and now it is trying so hard to survive the heat and even bloom. I've had hydrangea before and this is first one to bloom--ha, the first one to live. So I will keep babying it and talking sweetly to it, hoping for it grow big, robust to become a show stopper in the garden. 

Another success, the black berry has fruited. We'll only have a handful for a bowl of cereal or a bit of yogurt, but the berries will be home grown. 

As the week-end comes to a end, I have a busy week planned. Perhaps the grand daughters will be here while mom has the baby. I will finish my sewing projects, start new ones, clean. Weed. Hope you have a good week with only enough drama in your garden to keep it healthy and life interesting.

UPDATE: The baby bird, hubby has reported after he put the girls to bed, found the little grackle back on the ground tonight. For some reason it is not welcome in the nest. I guess Mom Nature is in charge once again. 


  1. It makes me so sad to read about those awful fires, I hope there will be a turn-around in events very soon.
    Goodness, what a lot of ash, the dear flower looks well enough though :o)
    Your hydrangea will survive I'm sure, you are mothering it well enough for it to flower! As for that baby grackle - as you say Mom Nature is in charge - it is sad though.
    Hope you have a good week.
    Rose H

  2. I know what you mean about the fires. It's sobering.
    Grackles invaded my childhood air when I was a teenager. They were so loud and annoying. I don't remember their mean behavior.
    Your hydrangeas and your berries are stunning! Your head gardener is a smarty! And nice!

  3. Wow, the head gardener goes beyond the call of duty - that was nice putting the baby bird back in the nest (in the very tall tree). Isn't it horrible about the forest fires, oh how terrible, and hope they will end very soon. Your water lily and other plants are looking really good.

  4. Awe, poor baby, I just hate when that happens. I'm loving your water garden :) I hope you guys are safe from those fires. We had a family reunion about 15 years ago in Estes Park, we all camped and I can't remember the name of the campground we stayed at, I had been there as a child vacationing and I loved going back there, maybe hubby and I will again someday :)

  5. Starting to worry here in New York about you and the fires- you haven't posted since Sunday. Ease our minds with an update, please!