This morning we woke easily to the happy sound of a cardinal singing on the morning outside the bedroom window. His song is loud and repetitious and eager and pretty and bright and I’ve always thought it was a pretty terrific way to start the day. I can’t wait ’til it gets warmer and we can have the windows open again so we can hear all the birds’ songs unmuffled by walls and glass. Which isn’t to say they aren’t still pretty loud.
I haven’t seen a feather of those red-wing blackbirds since they appeared Sunday evening. Of course, it’s been so darned chilly since their arrival, I wouldn’t blame them at all if they’ve turned around and headed back down along the coast to Jersey or Delaware…somewhere a smidge warmer…to await the spring warm-up. No doubt, they are hunkered down in the margins of the marsh. I’m sure if I went for a walk on the loop trail I’d hear they toiling about in the brush, claiming their trees, setting up nest-keeping for the season.
Actually, I’ve been researching the red-wing blackbirds a little and it turns out they don’t actually set up nest-keeping in a tree. Their nests are made of grass which are then lashed to cattails or bullrushes or other vegetation at the edge of the pond. Fascinating. I was studying about them a little because I was concerned about their diet, and what they find to eat this time of year, especially after hearing someone say they thought the RWB’s were insectivores. Turns out they rely on grains and seeds for 75% of their diet and it’s that sustains them during these bug-free months.
I made mention in my last post about how the Nest remains something of a work in progress, as far as decorating and settling in. Soon I should be able to get the benches I’m thinking of for the table in the dining room, which will help get that room properly organized and set to rights. The table there is a little bit of a catch-all just now, despite my eating there most nights…but I keep sorting out new ideas for where things are supposed to live and that helps to cut down a little on the cluttering…at least, that’s my hope. ; )
I’m trying to be patient with myself and the whole process, because these things do take time and when I find the perfect spot for almost everything, I believe it will be an amazing feeling and suddenly my Life will have new meaning. Ha. Anyway, it’d be nice to have a little less clutter.
You might remember in the fall I gathered a bunch of disparate picture frames and painted them all the Sherwood Green color of the shelves in the bathroom(You’ll notice one white frame; that’s a photo for a different room I did at the same time.). And then I never mentioned them again.
My plan had always been to fill those frames with photos I’ve taken for the blog, but had to wait until the budget would support such an effort. Even with a nice discount, good things cost money.
Yesterday, I got those pictures printed and I’m quite thrilled with how they turned out. I like my photos okay when I see them on the computer screen. But seeing them hanging on the wall now is pretty cool.
I’m looking into doing some notecards with my photos to sell at the photo shop, as a little supplemental income. Seems like an interesting idea, as a starting point in my thinking, anyway. Here’s a glimpse of that greenish hue I’m seeing in the bay lately.
Here’s that marine heliotrope from last season, which I transplant back at the start of the month. As you can see, it’s really responding to the fresh planting and of course, the incrementally-longer days can’t hurt either. There’s another one of these sharing a pot with another plant. I need to rescue that one, and give it a pot of one’s own, so it may similarly thrive. I don’t think you can have too much of this fantastic purple beauty and its sweet scented blossoms. In case you’ve forgotten what it looks like, James featured some recently over at Lost In the The Landscape on a recent Wordless Wednesday.
Generally, all the plants are looking pretty terrific. I’m afraid that the amaryllis blossoms didn’t last as long this time, I think because I was sick when they were doing their thing. I’m afraid I may not have doted on them as much as I had for their first big bang in January. But still, the show was pretty terrific. Now that the flower stalks have come and gone, the bulb is putting out those big strappy leaves, to absorb energy for the next time around.
An older gardening friend of mine, now deceased, once told me the secret for getting the bulb to bloom again, after it’s gotten to that big leaf stage. The trick is that the bulb needs a little bit of rest. Those leaves will gather sunlight and sink deposits down into the bulb, but once that’s done, it needs a break to get it to start over. It’s a sort of bulb reboot, I suppose. So what you do is take it out of the sun, turn the pot on its side and let it dry out. The foliage will die away and then, you can turn it right side up and it should begin the whole business again.
Of course, since you can get one of these pretty inexpensively in stores around the holidays, you might decide it’s not worth it…but I hate to throw something away that still has some life in it.
I had just about given up on seeing anything in this particular pot. Back in early January, one of those delightful Clementine oranges presented me with a few uncharacteristic seeds. Naturally, I saved them aside and stick them into some dirt in a pot and stick the whole thing in a plastic bag, as a sort of greenhouse.
I’d checked it a few times, with no sign of anything…and then today: voila! I don’t know if they’ll actually amount to anything – citrus and New England seem an unlikely partnership – but one never knows without a little hope and encouragement. I’ll keep you posted.
So, it’s feeling just a little bit more like Spring might not actually be impossible, but it IS still February, and there’s almost nothing better for a February afternoon or evening than a nice long nap. Just as we should make hay while the sun shines, it seems there’s nothing wrong with making Snooze when the skies are cat-colored.
And I’ll leave you with just one last bit of unfinished business, the other shoe you were waiting to hear drop. You had to know I was going to have to go back to the Hero Factory and revisit some of the other options. I was intrigued by the insect wings…and the scaley green skin…and the stick. It turns out it still makes for a pretty sexy looking superhero…and I did manage to score a good gay name this time around!