Do You Like Sparrows?

I admit sparrows are one of our least favorite birds. They are a nuisance at times and seem way too plentiful. Still, it is hard not to smile as the chubby little balls of fluff flit around the yard.

Common House Sparrow
I happened to see a cute, but frustrated, sparrow try to build a nest on our back porch beam this morning. She awkwardly pranced back and forth with a cumbersome load of twigs. She placed them in just the right spot, then took a few steps away as if to catch the big picture of her new home site. Soon she was performing the same ritual with some stringy moss.

Late Winter Nest Building

I felt pity on her when a Mr. Sparrow snatched the home she fretted over and moved it about two feet down the beam. Little Miss Sparrow just stood by and watched, then went to gather more material, which Mr. Sparrow took from her promptly. "The nerve of him!"

Mr. and Mrs. Sparrow

What I didn't know at the time was that house sparrows are monogomous and mate for life! The male is the one who chooses the nest site. Both Mr. and Mrs. Sparrow build the nest, but it is Mr. Sparrow that has the final say as to how and where the nest is built.

Sparrow eggs...sparrows can raise up to four batches of chicks a year!

Both parents feed the young.

Always Hungry

Baby Fuzz
Both parents teach the fledglings to fly.

I will have a new respect for sparrows as I listen to their sweet song!

False Spring

Each year we get a week or two of sunshine and warmer temperatures in February; we call it "false spring." Daffodils and hyacinths start to bloom as buds on the fruit trees swell. I'm thankful for this time to breath the fresh air and finish late winter garden chores. There will still be frost and cold rain ahead, but the hard winter freezes are over and there are new signs of spring each day.

Daffodills in our front yard usher in the spring

Fountains and birdbaths are filled once again

Paul James from the show "Gardening by the Yard" has these winter gardening tips...

  • Prepare planting beds. Late winter is the ideal time to clean up flowerbeds by cutting back perennials and applying a layer of compost over the beds.
  • Give ornamental grasses their annual haircut.
  • Treating your trees with dormant oil spray can help keep damaging pests and disease away.
  • Prune deciduous trees and shrubs as well as roses. Apply dormant oil spray to those same plants to control various pests and diseases.

    Clean birdhouses ready for spring babies
  • Weed-infested lawns will benefit from an application of pre-emergent herbicide.
  • If you're forcing spring-flowering trees and shrubs into blooming indoors, now's the time to take cuttings.
  • Our colorful mason bee homes full of bees
    ready to work in our orchard
  • Late winter is also a good time to get power equipment serviced. If you wait until spring to have your equipment serviced, the service departments will be busy with the Spring rush. If you start early before the lines begin to form, you will be able to pick up your equipment in a few days rather than a few weeks

No more ice on our pond!

A serenade from my friend

Happy Vintage Valentine's Day

When I was in grade school, each child would get a list of the students in their class to give a Valentines Day cards to. Mom purchased boxed sets of these little cards at Woolworths, then we'd pour through which ones we wanted to give to whom the evening before the big day. 

Near the end of Valentine's Day we would walk around class and set the designated cards on the students' desk. Everyone got a pile of cards to take home. Some envelopes even had candy hearts inside! 
Most were corny, but all were fun. Here are a few pictures of actual cards that were given circa 1950's...

You wear the 'craziest' hats
They nearly drive me 'bats'
Outside of that you're 'okay'
You're my valentine anyway.



Popular Pink

It's the month for roses, chocolates, valentine cards and pink. I believe just about everything comes in pink these days.

Over-the-Top Pink

Crabapple Blossom Pink

Cupcake Pink

Pink Cupcake

Can army uniforms be raspberry pink?
A bit sexy in a tasteful way? Yes...they can! Check out this video; I give the designer of these uniforms "two thumbs up."

50's pink

40's Pink

Yummy Pink

Fun Pink

Cute Pink

Romantic Pink

Too Much Pink!
(This is the inside of a limo)