What a nice surprise on Valentine’s Day: Our hyacinths began to bloom, today. The mild weather is perfect for them to show their little dresses. Last week, I planted and covered the hyacinths up with straw to protect them from the cold spell. And this week, we get rewarded with beautiful flowers.
Today is Valentine’s Day. And it is my 15th Anniversary moving to Dallas, TX.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Finally, I’ve got around to plant some broccoli, lettuce, and spinach in the raised bed. After I fertilized the bed really well, the plants went into the soil. Kevin can not wait to get fresh lettuce from our home garden, on the table in Spring. So, I always have to plant some lettuce. Katelynn and Sara love their broccoli. And I just enjoy some fresh spinach. Since Winter is not over quite yet, and we still can get nights below freezing point, I made sure, the small plants are covered with straw and Fraser Fir branches. My next project is to get the onion slips into the ground. It feels so good gardening, again.
Mr. Junco had dinner, when Mr. and Mrs. House-Finch came to have dinner at the dish as well. Unfortunately Mr. Junco was not very happy to share the food with the House-Finches and started to yell at Mrs. House-Finch. Mr. House-Finch had enough of the name calling and yelled back at Mr. Junco. Seconds later, the males got into a fight. While Mr. Junco was kicking Mr. House-Finch, the finch slapped with his wing the seeds out of the juncos beak. Mrs. House-Finch sat in the peach tree, far enough away and avoided to get more involved into this fight. Later, she had a talk with her husband, before she could eat in peace at the feeder. Some animals are not so different than some humans. 😉
This early evening, it was so nice outside. The skies were clear, the Sun was shining, and the First Quarter Moon was visible. I’ve also noticed, that our Bradford Pear tree buds start to open up. It won’t be long, before we have beautiful blossoms on these ornamental trees, again. I can’t wait for warmer Spring weather, so I can plant more in the home garden and The Colony Community Garden.
Brrr! The moisture in the air makes the temperature feel colder than it really was this afternoon. I fed the critters and let my cats hang out in the catio for a little bit. (No worries! Joshua and Chewbacca have cozy beds with windows to look out, when the weather is yuck. They just stayed out for some fresh air, before they came back inside the house.) The Black-eyed Juncos and the House Finches found a nice spot in the peach tree, while it drizzled. When they were hungry, they swooped down to the dish, grabbed some seeds and then flew back up into the tree. The food and being feathered puffballs keeps the birds warm and dry. By Monday, it suppose to get warmer.
While the grackles are such misunderstood birds by most people, I really do enjoy them in our garden. They always come in a big flock, make a lot of noise, eat, and fly away. After that, I’m almost certain I could hear a needle drop. It is so quiet.
Grackles are colonial birds and nests in trees together. Not seldom, there can be several nests found in one tree. They are also wonderful babysitter for other birds, when these birds are out and collect food, the grackle watches out for predators or other danger. The grackle will call the birds to come back and check on their offspring.
In Spring, I find the grackles quite amusing. When it is mating season, usually several males gather around one female and show off their songs, dance and feathers in a display to attract her. Sometimes she cares less and flies off, because she’s not interested in any of them. This show can go on for days if not weeks, until a one male and one female will court and mate.
The “Three P-Rule” or PPP does not only count for tomato plants in our garden. They go for all the plants. Some plants are hardier and can withstand freezing temperatures; a lot of plants can’t make it through a cold spell, unless they will be covered to stay warm. Earlier this week, we had 80°F (27°C). I decided to plant my dianthus, hyacinths, violas, and my pea plants in the raised beds. But I made sure, when I plant that early, I have a plan and be prepared to protect them. From previous Halloween decorations, we have straw bales in the greenhouse. And I kept our Fraser Fir after Christmas, because I knew it would come into use one way or another. Tonight, we suppose to get only 25°F (-4°C). This afternoon, I covered my plants with the straw to keep the plants cozy warm. And the Fraser twigs are for keeping the straw in place from this crazy wind. It’s not pretty. But if I was a critter or a bird, I would call it home for the night.