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.
Last year, I made a few candle jars. And one was for the Lunar New Year. This year, I cleaned one of my sauerkraut jars to make a another beautiful lantern for this Chinese New Year. On this day begins the Year of the Pig. In China and many other Asian countries the new year is celebrated at the New Moon between January 21 and February 20. Many stores will be closed. And they won’t be open for the following 15 days, until the next Full Moon.
Happy Lunar New Year!
Tonight’s sunset was gorgeous and stunning. It looked like the sky is on fire.
This afternoon, we’ve reached temperatures up to 80°F (27°C). It was perfect weather for doing some garden work, getting the raised beds cleaned up and planting my peas and early Spring flowers. While I pulled out weeds, I also found a carrot that over-wintered in one of the raised beds. I might add it to a stew, later this week. Three Mourning Doves set on the trellis I put up for the peas, in the garden. They inspected my work, fertilized it, and enjoyed the view of the garden from the trellis, before Luis, our dog, chased them away.