Monday, May 14, 2018

Another Hodge Podge Post

We have rain today: luscious, sweet, wet rain. I love Rainy Days and Mondays! But not the with the bleak sadness that the Mammas and Papas sing about. Colorado proudly boasts of more than 300 days of sunshine and since we are a mile high (well, except for out here on the prairie) we are closer to the sun, and we have a dry, arid climate. This is our rainy season and by mid June the rain will have all but disappeared, so we love the rain.

Today's post will be a hodge lodge of things. I didn't post a last week because I came home from the state convention of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Colorado Springs with a miserable cold and I was pretty low functioning all week. I had taken lot of the spring blooms to share with you, so I will share them now, enjoying their beauty one last time since the blossoms on the flowering trees have faded.

I'll begin with reviewing a new kitchen gadget that finally arrived last week. I don't know what you would call it or even where I ordered. I first saw it on my Facebook and I loved the concept: you stack your salad fixings in the green tray; place the slotted domed life on top and slice away, cutting all the ingredients evenly and nicely.

The idea is a really nifty one, but as you can see my vegetables were not sliced all the way through. I'll not give up on the thing. I think next time I need to tip the knife instead of cutting through with a level knife. I'll get back to you on that.

Into the Garden

Once Spring really began to get serious, the flowering crab trees burst forth with a beautiful display of color. One of the first things we did the first fall we moved here was to plant tulips beneath the trees and they, too were very showy.

The tree will fruit out with tiny little crab apples. I don't use them, but the birds like them.


On the south side of the house, the dwarf North Star cherry trees are in full bloom. We planted the small one last year.


I took a lot of apple blossom photos. This the second apple tree, the one that in a good year will produce an abundance of apples. We have avoided so far a hard freeze, so we should be good--but then this is Colorado. As I stood under the tree shooting photos, the hum of busy honey bees collecting pollen was all around me. The neighbor has hives next door, so I hope his bees are happy.

Next to the apple tree and planted the same time as the little cherry tree is our hawthorn. It should have white flowers soon. 

The lilacs are in full bloom, so I picked a few and cut the last three daffodils. The dinning room smells so sweet. 

Garden Visitors

The migrating birds are arriving. This fellow, the black headed grosbeak may be here all summer.

We have two male western bangers and two females. They are so colorful; and they, too, may stay most of the summer.  The bullock's oriel has also arrived. One male so far. They will feed on grape jelly (in the little containers in the newt photo) all the while they are raising their young.

We have have ponds and lakes all around us full of red-winged black birds that have found free food.

The aspen trees out front are blooming. There are three different warblers that are heading to the mountains that stop by for refueling. I've not quite identified these two birds: the top one appears to be warbling vireo. 

While this one is most likely a yellow rump warbler. It is often hard to get really clear photos of the birds. I use my 75-300mm and it has a hard time focusing on what I want it to.

And no doubt that this one is the yellow warbler. Yesterday was quite a day to photograph so many different varieties of birds. Most will migrate not the Colorado Rockies, or maybe some of you in Canada will see these little guys. Often you will hear them first. 

I love to photograph Froggy. He has grown so big. I saw a giant heron this morning on my way to the rec center. He was siting pond side of a sump pond that collects irrigation water. When I first was him, I turned the car around and came home and got my camera. He was still there so I got some pretty good shots of him. I doubt that there arena fish in the muddy little pond, but I do fear that the creature might discover my water garden and get my koi or Froggy. The gold fish are all hiding at the bottom of our murky pond, as the did last year when the frog first showed. up.

A quiet week with lots of yard work planned. The Head Gardener has returned from his tractor job and has told his friends that he will not be available for corn harvest. We really have plenty here to keep him busy. He will leave Thursday on his annual guy fishing trip. I've not written about #1 Granddaughter Ellie's new 4-H rabbits, a pair of red rex. The are so cute. She will be showing them in Wyoming Saturday and has invited me to go, so I'll have a blog topic next week! There cheers.

No Mosaic Monday this week.  I've joined three groups on Facebook for miniatures and dollhouses, so hopefully the Ann's Dollhouse Dreams Blog will be getting more traffic which means that I will have to keep up over the. I've enjoy seeing you there, too, if you have a moment. 

Aside from the shameless solicitation for the my other passion, I am so glad that you stopped by. Thank you. 


  1. Indeed it looks fabulous there now! Those flowers! And those birds! I always wonder why the birds are so much more colourful in other places. :)
    Thank you for the great tips today, Ann! The B&B you describe sounds fabulous. I'll let you know how it went. :)
    Big hugs!

  2. Hello Ann, I love kitchen gadgets. They make life so much easier, sometimes. Your flowers and blossoms are beautiful, lovely gardens. I am envious of your Black-headed Grosbeak and Western Tanager, you have a lovely variety of yard birds. I hope froggie survives the heron. A trip to Wyoming sounds great, enjoy and safe travels. Have a happy day and week ahead!

  3. I have always wondered if those salad cutter work. Lovely spring time photos!

  4. Colourful garden visitors to appreciate the flowers! Xxx

  5. Ann - I am so happy that you get such a great variety of birds. The most common visitors at our bird feeders are red-winged blackbirds, followed by house finches. On the ground we have Oregon Juncos, and a new bird for me, the white-crowned sparrow. As for hummingbirds, the rufous hummingbird is a frequent visitor, also a new bird for me, being from the Midwest. I do think I need to get out into our 'yard' and just sit a spell, so that I can observe other visitors. Have a spectacular week!

  6. Hi Ann! I've missed you! First, I love when a blogger shares bird snaps and knows their names and habits. Birds vary from region to region, state to state, and it's always cool to see something you've never seen or even heard of. I'm getting better having the feeders at the lake, and my next door neighbor has been coaching me. Taking pics, I do have a Canon Rebel. It became too cumbersome to travel with, and I have to say, I don't think I had enough of an interest in photography to learn more. I promised it to my niece, who is taking photography classes in high school. I use my phone almost always with editing apps. I may get a very small, but good camera later. Just can't spend the time focusing when I'm sightseeing.

    It's always a treat to see whats going on at your place. Thanks for the info on your area and climate. I had no clue you had that much sun and so little rain. I've been to Denver twice for weeks at a time courses for my job (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth), but we weren't allowed to have a vehicle or leave the premises of the school/hotel. Raw deal, huh? :(

    Loving all your blooms and waiting for the constant rain and cold here to stop so I can get some annuals in and trim some shrubs!

    I'm working on a post...slowly, so I won't keep droning here. I really need to get on a schedule with this like you. Maybe schedule making a schedule??

    jane xxx

  7. I enjoyed the beautiful birds we have common birds robins and red birds and sparrows no yellow birds. Never saw a frog with teeth before. Funny. Loved your trees.

  8. Such a delightful spring garden you have there Ann!