February 12, 2016

Impromptu Bird Feeder

So we have had a bunch of snow for the last few weeks. I have always fed the Blue Birds on my deck but with all the snow, I decided to add an additional seed feeder on the deck as well as another suet feeder so we could watch the birds up close. The other feeders in the yard are better viewed from our studio porch and it's too cold for watching there now.  I had bought some rather expensive bird seed (the kind with fruit and berries mixed in) and I bought a feeder for that seed that has small perches for the little birds and woodpeckers. I also found a cute little "sunflower" suet feeder to hang on the deck.

 There was nearly 2 feet of snow when I decided to put an additional feeder on the deck - no way to get out and buy a new one. So, with necessity being the mother of invention, I dug around in the cabinets to see what I could re-purpose. I found this disposable meatloaf pan, some bailing cord and I was in business! I used an ice pick to poke holes in the pan bottom so water and melting snow could drain out and poked holes in the corners for the hanging cord. I always have hanging hooks in the drawer so I made a loop with the cords for hanging and hung the feeder near a rose trellis where we can see it from our kitchen table. I mixed that expensive seed with black oil sunflower seeds and filled up the pan. It took about 3 minutes for the birds to find it!

February 5, 2016


I've written about Hellebore (Lenten Rose) before but since they are usually in full bloom in February I decided to feature them as Plant of The Month.

There is something very exciting about going out into garden on a cold winter day and finding a spectacular bloom like this in the garden! I have several Hellebore and quite a few little seedlings that have yet to bloom. The seedlings that pop up every year around the mama plant often have coloration that much different than the parent plant. Read more about how to grow them here and here  My friend at work introduced me to her brother, David Culp, America's Hellebore expert - I was so thrilled to meet him! Here is a link to his wonderful garden book.

January 29, 2016


It's January 22 and it is snowing...12 inches and still coming down! For Tennessee this is a BIG one! Last time I remember this much snow was in the 1990's. I goofed off most of the day and photographed the birds on our deck.

Look at all the birds I had coming to the seeds I put on the deck in addition to my feeders out in the back yard. These Blue Birds are eating dehydrated Meal Worms.

January 22, 2016


I know this beauty was looking for birds to eat but he is part of the scheme too. Usually when the hawks are around there is not another bird in sight in the yard. I'm not educated enough to tell if this Red Tailed Hawk was a male or female but it was gorgeous. Often I see these big raptors in the yard or flying high above our woods.

This day I was lucky enough to have my camera close by and was able to snap this picture.The perch it choose wasn't 25 feet away from our deck.  I wish the Hawks would grab a few of the pesky squirrels that are wrecking my garden! I'm sure they do get a few and mice too. Yes, they get some chickens but as close as I am to town I rather doubt that chickens are on the menu for our Hawks.