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. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Good Housekeeping or How to Get Out of a Mess

When you see the Big, Mean Green Machine on my page, you know that the Head Gardener has taken off his gardening cap and put on his farming hat. He has answered his call to duty to help the Big Farmers out in northeastern Colorado get their farm ground ready to plant corn and millet--I suppose. Acres and acres. Thousands. Here's a text that Farmer Dave and I shared Sunday:

Me: Gerald is doing online training for his job this week, learning how to strip till by watching You Tube. He should be prepared to do a good job. If he doesn't, fire him.

Dave: Maybe I should study too. He'll know more than I do. Pretty Simple. Turn at the ends and watch the computer drive rest of the time. (and text).

Me: He's over qualified then.

And so the texting went.

The HG has done other farm work for the farm, but not strip tilling; looks pretty simple and boring. 

Lily came last week with her mother for Sundance's vet check. His pelvis break has healed, so now he needs more quiet time to for it to strengthen and then she can start walking him. Lily rode Pop. He is a very good boy for her. Can you believe that this boy is 30 and does not suffer from the health issues that the bigger horses have. He is amazing. Blind in one eye, but he enjoys his time with Lily. She is one happy five year old.

Spring flowers do mean need April showers which have been sparse here lately. These tulips filled up with water from the sprinkler system in the front courtyard.

The fruit trees are beginning to blossom. This one is an apple tree. It bears mushy, yellow apples that my dad called 'summer apples' or maybe they are cooking apples. They are good to eat, but usually fall to the ground before I pick them and the birds peck them and the horses gobble them up. They bruise and turn to mush easily, but, boy, is tree pretty in the spring.

And now for your housekeeping Tip:

When I took the clothes out of the dryer, I found this mess:GUM. Totally my fault. I had no idea as to how to clean it, so, of course, I googled it. There were several remedies, but I chose to use cooking spray, which loosened the gum. Then I used a one of those plastic scrapers used to dislodge stuck on food from a pan or dish. Some of the gum came off, especially the big wad. Next the instructions said to run old, damp towels in on medium heat in the dryer to collect the residue. Instead I washed my bathroom rugs that are nice and shaggy and old. And WhaLa. The drier came clean.

And that is the week that was and is at the Garden Spot. So glad that you stopped by. 

Let's see what is going on over at Maggie's. 

Join me at Mosaic Monday. 

Just a Hint of Spring with a Dose of Cuteness

It's not safe to say that Winter has made his exit. He's still hanging around waiting to surprise us. We know the routine: freezing ...