Wednesday, April 16, 2008

First Spring Project and Birds

Yesterday morning started out rather cool, but warmed up very nicely, turning out to be a glorious spring day. My top soil was delivered, but after a few times of filling up the wheel barrow, and dragging it to the very back of the yard, I decided I just wasn't up to that chore. Instead, I decided to work on the side of the house with the gas and electric meters. I had nothing on this side of the house other than a very small, front corner bed with a Japanese Maple. Needless to say this area is an eyesore. I had plenty of landscaping bricks left over from my projects last year, so I used those to line this bed. Usually, I will scrape away every blade of grass before doing a raised bed. This time I decided to layer the grass with some of the hay from the hay bale left over from my autumn decorations. I put a thick layer of that down, but I saw a few seedlings sprouting from the hay and became concerned. I remembered that I had raked a pile of leaves in our common area and no one had picked them up yet. I gathered two large Rubbermaid containers of wet leaves and put them on top of the hay. I only put a few wheel barrow loads of the dirt in this bed before deciding I just didn't have the strength. I then tackled the less labor intensive job of setting the pavers below grass level. I see from the picture that I have a few that need to be leveled and straightened. This is my first spring project and it felt great to be out working in the yard again. I was so sore and achy today and just didn't feel well, I thought maybe I had overdone it since I hadn't been exercising properly through the winter. It isn't that though, I started running a fever this evening and feel terrible. That may be why I felt poorly earlier in the week. I have been so blessed and not even had a cold this winter, I think my body has just been fighting something for a few days now. I do hope it's not the flu.

Since I felt so lousy today I just did a lot of bird watching from the kitchen table.

In the spring, when I brush Lilly, I always save the dog hair for the birds. After her brushing this morning I saw sparrows getting her hair for nesting material. Every time I would spot them, I would get my camera and wait...and wait... and wait. I never did get a picture of it. Thankfully, or rather regretfully, there is a LOT more where that came from. Hopefully I can catch them at a later time.

It is very rare to see both the male and female eating here at the same time. I don't think I've ever seen them both together on the patio before, so this was special a treat for me today.

Remember you can click on the pictures to enlarge them, (at least you can when I use Picasa, which I usually do).

I hope you enjoy!






17 comments:

beckie said...

Robin, how awful to be sick and especially now that the weather is getting nicer. What you've got done, a lot by the way, really is looking good. Maybe it's just as well to let this sit for a while. The birds are wonderful! Such great close-ups. I am enjoying!

Anna said...

Awww--I can't stand to be all set to work and then your body won't cooperate. You got some kind of virus and need rest. You still got a lot done. I have a lot of hay producing grass too. There is just lots to do right now. I bet it's going to take you a few days to recoup. I heard a shot of moonshine is good for what ails you. Add a touch of brown sugar and you should be good to go. If you do that, we'll be seeing shots of coo coo birds.

Crafty Gardener said...

Those are beautiful bird photos. Sorry to hear you are still not feeling good. Hopefully you can sit outside and soak up some sunshine to help you get better.

Frances, said...

Oh Robin, what a rotten time to be sick, hope it is a short amount of time for you to be down, now that the weather is getting nice. Your bird shots are great, as always. We have the seen male cardinal even feeding the female birdseed, how romantic. He usually is a bully and doesn't even let anyone else eat when he is there. You did a good job on the brick projects. Take it easy and go slowly when you get back to work!
Frances at Faire Garden

Jayne said...

Hope you are feeling better today Robin. Such beautiful color through your window. :c)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Being sick is probably why you couldn't handle moving the soil. Poor baby. TAke good care of yourself so you can get back out there and putz in your garden.

The photo of Lily examining your steps is cute. She looks like she is really giving the pavers a once over.

Our birds like Luna's fur too. There is always lots to put into the garden for the birds to line their nests. Isn't this an exciting time of year? Your Cardinals are probably mated which is why they are together.

I just saw a house wren out my window. Wow spring is coming forth in waves now.

Get well so you can enjoy all of spring.

Rose said...

Great photos, Robin. I love cardinals and have been watching them here, too. I used to scatter the dog's hair outside in an effort to repel rabbits or deer (I don't think it worked), but I never thought of the birds using if for their nests. Hope you are feeling better soon.

Jan Doble said...

hi robin! thanks so much for visiting my blog today! i had been looking at yours earlier this morning and noticed you weren't feeling well; i hope it's nothing serious and that it will soon pass! the weather here in VA is gorgeous and i have sooo much to do in the yard! i'm wrestling with a bad knee and fibromyalgia but doing better on Lyrica. I love your photos (as usual) and yes, I am really enjoying taking pictures of nature. My photos are beginning to look good...almost as good as yours! I'm amazed at how much better the new camera makes things look. I have noticed that you and I do have a lot in common :-) Now that I have my new camera and more of a 'focus' (ha, no pun intended!) with what I'd like to include in my blog (mostly birds and flowers) I'm considering changing the name to Jan's Garden or something like that...although it might create some confusion. Anyway, I will visit your site again soon!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

It's so hard to be sick in Spring, I do hope you're feeling better soon. I'm so interested to see what you do with that side garden. I haven't found a satisfactory solution to the utility meters & plants together problem. Your comment about saving dog hair for the birds reminds me of something my neighbor told me when I still had my Borzoi & I'd brush her outside & leave the hair for the birds. She said she could see into a nest from a window & she could see the nest was lined with my dog's hair and how cozy that looked.

Brenda Kula said...

The past week I have enjoyed sitting in one of my wrought iron chairs and watching a bird house that a Carolina Chickadee has chosen for its nest. You can hear the little birds chirping inside. And she flits about bringing them things, then poking her head out the hole to investigate. I could watch such activity for hours.
Brenda

jodi said...

I'm sorry you're back under the weather, Robin. But how lovely of you to share all these wonderful bird photos with us! I should round up the cat hair (it runs freerange through the house at this time of year) and put it outside for the birds to use, too. Or do they prefer dog hair? ;-)

Layanee said...

I think those birds were performing for you! I hope they made you feel better in both body and spirit! New spring chores are so very gratifying!

Laura said...

Hi Robin! Thank you for visiting my blog. I love your pictures of the birds! I have been reading up on what to plant to attract more birds and butterflies to my yard. I have had cardinals and finches in the past. I used to leave the hair from my yellow lab out for the birds; unfortunately Bailey had to be put to sleep in February after a very long (almost 13 years), happy life.

verobirdie said...

All your birds pictures are so beautiful! Thanks for sharing them.

Diana said...

Robin - Great photos of the birds. And a great idea about the dog hair. I've got a handful (well more than that really!) in a plastic bag that was headed for the trash, but I will put it out for the birds instead. What should I do with it so it doesn't just blow away?

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Diana, I just let it blow sometimes, and other times I put it in a suet feeder. They will remove it from that also.

Diana said...

Thanks, Robin. I have an empty suet feeder out there so that's where it will go tomorrow morning!