Wednesday, March 13, 2013

And Now It's Spring

The weather roller coaster continues--we're currently heading up and there may not be another precipitous drop like last week. Birds are everywhere. A verdin was at the hummingbird feeder this morning and stayed as long as it wanted. Hummingbirds will drive each other away from the feeder and swoop and dive in fierce noisy battles, although I have seen a male and female pair (Mr. and Mrs. Costa there, sipping together peacefully. Tiny as it is, the verdin is bigger than the hummers. Mr. Costa flew up and hovered behind it for a few seconds, was ignored, and flew away to feed on red sage blossoms until the verdin left.
 Last year a quail laid her eggs in a typically flimsy nest in a big pot by the house where some predator got some of them, and maybe the mother, or else she abandoned them. After a couple of weeks I gathered those that were left and and put them up in a safe place--left undisturbed long enough, they will dry up inside--and remembered them last week and got them down to make something pretty for the coffee table. The covered terrarium jar was $7.99 from Michael's, the Spanish moss for the "nest" came from there too. Normally, I'm not a fan of artificial flowers, but I think these work here. They're from a big spray (half price!) and I put what was left in a vase on the mantel.
 The beautiful crocheted doily was a surprise gift from my mom, who found it several years ago while browsing secondhand stores. I think it's perfect for welcoming spring.
       With all the cold weather, the winter garden--there's a picture of it with snow on here a slow start, but it's making up for lost time. I'm not sure we can keep up with all the greens before they bolt. Here are new leaves coming out on a bok choy plant I cut a few days ago.
As usual at this time of year, there's lots of wildlife mating activity going on. The doves, especially, are shameless; our back fence is a veritable den of lust. This dove built her nest in the jasmine along the side of the garage. She's just above eye-level and doesn't appear to be bothered when we pass by several times a day.

 It seems like a good site. Every year we have a dove nest somewhere in the yard. Last year's chicks, hatched in a nest on the top of a ladder Joe left out on the other side of the garage, in the blazing sun, didn't fare well. But the year before another dove family,about 4 feet up on a branch of the pine tree by the labyrinth, hatched, thrived, and flew away in perfect textbook fashion.

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