Last month, I put some asparagus roots in a crate full of soil. I did this a few years back, and I had some great asparagus in the second and third year. Asparagus grows very thin in the first year. It’s edible, but I usually let it grow into fern. My tomatoes love them as companions. And so do the peppers and the basil. But I have to keep the asparagus in a crate, because it is very invasive. If I had enough room, I wouldn’t mind growing asparagus in a raised bed. But it will take over, if not watched carefully. Hmmm, I can see fresh asparagus recipes in the future. 😉
We always have about half a dozen of Mourning Doves sitting in our Bradford Pear trees. They usually get accompanied with a couple of White-winged Doves. Mainly they sit there and wait until Lexi and Luis are done with their business and go back inside, so the doves can go back to the feeder. But the doves also enjoy snoozing in our trees, while they wait for Spring to arrive. It can take only a few days, until our Bradford Pear trees will break out in blooms. And this is usually a sign for the Mourning Doves that the mating season has begun. The trees will blossom and then the leaves come in shortly after the petals dropped to the grounds. The birds will have a sturdy hiding spot for building their nests in the tree crowns. Until then, they eat themselves fat and round at my bird feeders.
This morning when it began to sleet, we’ve got a new visitor in our yard. A little Yellow-bellied sapsucker came over and knocked some holes in our Bradford Pear trees. The little guy used the tree as a protection from the ice rain. Once it stopped sleeting, the bird decided to fly into the neighbor’s tree. A little bit later, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet showed up to inspect the holes for some food. I guess, the Sapsucker and the Kinglet have a perfect food relationship. One does the hard work to get past the bark; eats until it is not hungry anymore. And the other one takes the rest, so the food source won’t go to waste. On top of that, they are a nice tree pest control.
With this crazy roller coaster weather we experience in North Texas, gardening can become quite a challenge. Last Autumn I planted some Winter cabbages. And the broccoli was the only plant that survived. In January, I started all over again. But I learned my lesson, and planted the vegetables in big pots. They spend the cooler days and nights inside the greenhouse. And on the warmer day, I can open the windows. The onions and the garlic do well in the raised beds. They don’t seem to mind that it is 70ºF (22ºC) one day, and 14ºF (-10ºC) on another day. Once the vegetables can be harvested, a portion will go to the food pantry as well.
Due to a cold front coming in the temperatures began to drop, once it started to rain yesterday afternoon. A layer of ice covered parts of North Texas. This morning when the sun came out, the trees looked like ice chandeliers. Mother Nature put on one of her prettiest Winter dresses for us to enjoy. But now, the sun is strong enough and melts all this icy prettiness away. It was beautiful, while it lasted.
I did some star gazing in the clear Winter sky, tonight. Here are photos of a few constellations: The vain Queen CASSIOPEIA, the King of Aethiopia CEPHEUS, and the hunter ORION.
It got cool, this afternoon. At 11:00 am it was 61ºF. And then the temperatures started to plunge. By the time I picked up Sara, the temperatures dropped to 40ºF. A strong wind brought the cold front in. Some neighboring cities had snow flurries. But we weren’t as lucky. While I made hot cocoa for the girls, the Sun peeked through the clouds, right before sunset. Well, we’ve got rewarded with a little bit of sun at the end of the day.