Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Garden Visitors

One of my garden goals this year was to encourage a greater variety of visitors to stop by.  The winged kind, that is.  I started early this year, putting out food that would entice them to stop by, once the word was out what they could dine on!  And I've not been disappointed.  Of course we've had robins and sparrows, :

the cardinal

and the starling, 
(Can that look be any more menacing??)

But new this year are the rose-breasted grosbeak,  
Isn't he beautiful?
the goldfinch,

And the downy woodpecker. 

I attribute the arrival of the newcomers to the suet and the premium sunflower seed we offer them. We've also purchased a bird book to help us identify which species are there.  For the longest time, I thought these little redheads were house finches, but it turns out some of them are purple finches (it's the shape of the tail). I've also realized that some that I labeled as sparrows (females) were actually pine siskin.  
"Hey guys, move over...make room for me!!"

And there's always the joy of watching them enjoy the birdbath. I'd love to get more pics of the water being tossed around. I've got all summer to capture that.

I hope you enjoyed this latest edition of "Adventures in Gardening."  

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day 2013

Hey, You...Yeah...The one over there who served to protect our American freedom.

The one who realized that this country is the greatest and that what we have is worth protecting.  The one who, when I see you walking through the airport probably on your way home from a tour of duty, makes me want to run up and give you a hug.  Yeah, you're the one.  I just wanted to say...

And I appreciate what you've done!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Adventures in Gardening

Since I've been so very absent to posting in the last couple of months, I'm going to try again.  We are stepping into garden season, my most favorite time to take pictures.  And I really do want to blog more, because that helps me to keep creative juices flowing!  So why not combine the two?!?!!  I'm hoping to regularly post the adventures I'm having in my garden this year.

One of the things I'm focusing on this year is growing organic.  As I mentioned previously, I've done a lot of reading lately about the chemicals that are in the foods we eat and even the seeds we plant.  So this year, I purchased organic or heirloom seeds.  Starting from scratch where I can.  I've already planted broccoli, lettuce, sunflowers, carrots, radishes and basil.  This three day weekend, I'll plant more.
Carrots - Growing in a 5 gallon bucket


Sunflowers - with egg shells around it to deter slugs

I've asked my PG to build me some raised beds.  They are beautiful!

I'm using my own compost in each of the beds.  And making more in these:

Today, there is a March Against Monsanto happening around the world.  I know to many, this is an uninteresting subject.  Most people want to get on with their own lives and don't have time to take on the big stuff!  To me, this is the big stuff.  One thing that stuck with me when reading about genetically modified organisms (GMO's) is that the seeds that Monsanto sells to farmers are seeds that have their own pesticide/herbicide engineered into the seed.  Imagine what you are eating if the seed had that in it?  And they've managed to convince our lawmakers to create laws that prohibit farmers from saving seeds.  And they've engineered soybeans to be resistant to Round-up.  So a soybean isn't really a soybean as nature intended.

Yes, I could be joining the march today, in Chicago.  But here's my thought on it...I'm going to start in my own backyard, with my own family.  I'm going to talk about it within my circle of friends (and blog buddies). I know it's a weighty issue, and I'm not looking for any huge discussion.  Just asking you to think about it.  Because, if you're my friend, I'd love for you to be around for a very long time. And one way to do that is to eat without the chemicals.

Another way is to really take a look at what you are buying.  There's a huge movement right now that is asking for companies to label which products contain GMO's.  Lots of push back from most corporations.  One who's stepping up to the plate is Chipotle.  On their website, they have a page that shows which menu items are likely to have GMO's.  Pretty responsible, I'd say.  Wouldn't you like to see more?  Do you wonder why you don't??

And before I forget, there's always the flowers.  Well, not so much yet.  But my blog buddy, Ms. A over at Sarcastic Granny has inspired me to work on going thru a photography book to learn more about my camera.  (Check out some of her photography!  STUNNING). And I'm hoping there are enough flowers and pretty things in my garden be worthy of taking pictures.

Okay, so that's Part I of Adventures in Gardening.  Stay well, all...and eat healthy!