Sunday, May 17, 2015


You have heard this before: I am on chore duty, which means that I have to watch over everything while The Head Gardener has gone fishing. You have seen the photos of the horses eating, the chickens pecking, the grass growing, and my jokes about shopping when he is gone. I'll spare you that story.

I do wish I had more to share on the garden other than my continual Weed Rant. I'll spare you that misery, too.

In fact the weeds are doing quite nicely, thank you, given the amount of rain that we have been receiving. So I have been watching them grow out of control. Snow last Sunday, only one sunny day last week, and lot of rain with more on the way. Threats of hail. Tornado warnings.

The weather guy breaking into my fav afternoon soap opera just when the story is getting good with ominous reports of hail in other parts of the state miles away and harsh tornado warnings along with reminders of what to do: go inside; go to basement; stay away from windows. Blah Blah Blah. I liked my mother in law's storm warnings better.

The tile installer worked most of the day yesterday installing the back splash in the kitchen. She will return this morning to finish the installation then return tomorrow to do the grouting. So after she left yesterday, I went for a walk down town, visiting the little antique shops on main street. I hurried a bit on the way home to avoid the rain that was on its way.

On my way home I watched the storm clouds. My mother in law was a watcher of clouds. She could  tell where the storm was coming from, how severe it would be, and where it would go--all before the sophisticated Dopler and satellite storm tracking. Me? I just like looking at the clouds. I used my iPhone to get a few shots of the clouds as they rumbled and tumbled by.

I like thunder storms. I like to hear, even feel the thunder. Lightening, not so much. I like to watch the clouds swirl and turn--as long as they don't send down the ominous fingers that could stretch into funnel clouds. Time go inside then.

 You can see the distant rain as it falls on fields west of us still waiting for corn to be planted. The clouds gather over the school and the football field.

East of the Garden Spot, a thunder head forms. Not a very angry one--yet. It's headed my friends out in northeastern Colorado.

Down my road the sky looks clear, I heard distant thunder.

I watched Lily Thurdsay. Just as I was getting ready to leave at the end of the day, a beautiful rainbow appeared. Lily, nearly 3, had never seen a rainbow and declared it "Beautiful." Rainbows are the big payoff after a storm, aren't they?


I  watched the girls and momma work in their Fairy Garden at the end of the day, too. It is located in a shady spot underneath the upper deck. They have built quite a village. Take a stroll with me through their little fairyland.

Outside the deck, Jen has planted a Korean Lilac. Similar to my Miss Kim, it has smaller, more delicate leaves, fuller blooms, and a more whimsical look. 

I think Lucy took this photo, so it is a bit out of focus. The girls were working on the river bed.

An expert thrift shopper, Jen looks for interesting pieces on the bargain shelves to add to the fairy garden, and she finds interesting rocks, stones, and old wood camping that she adds to the garden.

We tried to decide what sort of bird built this nest because it looks like a nest within a nest. I am thinking that the top one is a hummingbird nest. How cool is that!

See the little mushroom? The girls painted wooden drawer pulls to create those delightful forest mushrooms.

 I think my favorite item so far in the garden is the little bunting that Jen made.

And a May Pole

Even a clothes line with fairy tutus/

And a classic red phone booth.

Finally I am bird watching. Generally we hear the new birds to the garden first. Sometimes I know them  by their song, other times I spot the migrating warblers by their movement in the aspen trees in the center circle. Right now the aspens, as are many other trees, are seeding. These tiny birds feast on the aspen seeds and bugs, filling their little craws so that  they make the flight to the mountains. Some even fly far into Canada, so my Canadian friends keep an eye out for these sweet singing little birds.

I added this photo so that you can see how hard it is photograph these tiny birds. They flit amongst the branches and leaves so quickly that it is really hard to get a good shot. I use my Canon Rebel with a 75-300mm telephoto lens and try to get as close as I can without scaring them way. 

I want to say the top is a Yellow Rumped Warbler, but I am not able to find one on the Audubon site that has a white throat. There are a couple of species that have these similar marking.  Below, a Yellow warbler that was flirting around the honey locust tree, and perhaps a Nashville warbler, which I just could not get a good photo of.

There will be other migrating birds to come through and I get very excited to see them: Indigo bunting, rose breasted grosbeak (very rare for here but we do see them at the feeder), or a lazuli bunting. Most migrating birds hang out at the feeder for a day or two and then are gone. I am glad to provide them with a meal to keep them strong for their long journey. I keep hoping that some day I will see a northern cardinal at the feeder. Fat chance, although there have been very rare sightings of the male cardinal in Ft. Collins west of us.

I am not done watching. I'll be watching for birds all summer. Watching the grass grow. Watching grand kids when school is out in, can you believe it, a week? Watching Iris bloom. Watching clouds. 
What will you be watching?

As I end this post I am watching the tile installation. Very exciting. Next week you will get the grand tour of the kitchen remodel, for it will be done then.

Thanks so much for taking the time to visit. Be sure check out Lavender Cottage for Mosaic Monday


  1. Hello Ann, I was looking through some fellow CO bloggers and came upon your blog. I'm enjoying the photos of your neck of the woods. I live in Breckenridge, and we seem to be getting continual snow this spring (sometimes with lightening and thunder). I love seeing Fairy Gardens that others have created. I know my Grandchildren would love creating/imagining with one. Good luck with your tile work!

  2. Like you, your grandchildren are miniaturists! I love their Fairy garden.

  3. What a creative and fun looking fairy land. I bet that's been fun to create.

    The bird photos are wonderful. Good luck with the kitchen remodel work.

  4. I love the pictures of the dark sky, the clouds and the rainbow and of course the wonderful birds at your end of the world, they are all different from our birds, yours are more colourful. So nice for the girls to have their own fairy garden underneath the deck, a lovely spot for hours of pleasure.
    I'm watching about the same things, watching the different skies, watching my garden growing and blooming, watching the jackdaw nest in the dovecote from my porch, watching blackbirds in the kitchen stealing dogfood, watching my dog when he is sleeping.
    Wish you a lovely new week!

  5. Hi Ann, I really love the fairy garden....I want to do one and am thinking maybe I will in my Granny Garden when the flowers die in the heat! It is a horse trough on legs, so I can stand up to garden. No little girls to help me, though, but I am a little girl at heart (I can tell you are, too). I especially love that cute bunting and the May pole. How clever! Bet all of you "girls" are having so much fun with this! Beautiful bird and weather photos, too.

  6. The fairy garden is SO wonderful, Ann!
    Could you believe that snow? Crazy!
    I have been pulling weeds constantly. Grrrrr.

  7. Lovely post, Ann!
    The fairy garden is lovely and your bird photos and the aquarelle are beautiful. :)
    I too enjoy watching clouds and like thunder storms. And also here it has been raining much recently...
    Have a lovely new week!

    PS May I pin some of your "My Town" photos?

  8. Hello Ann, I love to watch and listen to the thunder.. The fairy garden is so cute, I like the river bed. The blue stones are pretty. Great sightings of the warblers, they tend to move quickly. The lilac is beautiful. Have a happy day and week ahead!

  9. Oh yes to the bunting...I love it. The entire garden is a delight, they must be having the time of their life building that.

    Your clouds are gorgeous...we've had such dry weather for the last month that we are grateful for a day of rain yesterday. And now everything is fresh and clean once again.


  10. Oh yes to the bunting...I love it. The entire garden is a delight, they must be having the time of their life building that.

    Your clouds are gorgeous...we've had such dry weather for the last month that we are grateful for a day of rain yesterday. And now everything is fresh and clean once again.


  11. My you have been busy....weeds are a bumper crop here too as I watch them grow...sigh***

  12. What pretty little warblers. We have some here and they sure are hard to ID. I'm trying to figure out how you did your first photo. Maybe it's a waterlogue! It's gorgeous! Love your sweet fairy garden, too and that beautiful rainbow. Enjoy your week sweet friend. Hugs, Diane

  13. I'm not sure I share your joy of storms, including the thunder but do appreciate a pretty rainbow afterwards.
    The fairy garden is very well planned with little plants, driftwood, the bunting and other miniature things. When creating these gardens, you're only limited by your imagination, no wonder they've become a hot trend.
    The top photo of the black and yellow warbler is something I saw flitting around the fence at the back of our property last year. I knew it was too small to be an oriole so now I'll keep an eye out and try to ID the bird if it returns.
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday Ann.

  14. I grew up in the Midwest and love thunderstorms and hearing the rumble. My cats not so much. I love your pictures of the storm clouds and rainbows. And I love your little fairy garden.

    Yael from HomeGardenDiggers blog

  15. Thunderstorms are exciting. We rarely have them here and I do miss that rumble and sense of impending rain. Great storm cloud photos.
    I've been thinking about a fairy garden with my little grand girlies. What fun to see your daughter's. Very inspiring.

  16. Cloud watching, bird watching and fairy gardens with a rainbow thrown in for good measure - a great week in pictures

  17. I came across your blog by way of England and I'm certainly happy I did.
    Love the little bunting... I'm sure the fairies approve.

  18. I've been wanting to make a fairy garden. Your photos really are getting me excited to make one. My husband loves thunderstorms and when the kids were smaller they'd stand out on the front porch and watch them.