"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands........" 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Saturday, August 19, 2017

In the early morning hours, I sit quietly with my morning coffee,

 and watch the busy traffic.......... streaming from the woods...
large groups of shell quail............in a constant flow and hurry


to the local watering hole
The bobwhite quail also hurry in, 

the long billed and short billed birds

all flying in for a drink and a bite to eat.


The small owls who have taken up residence in the trees 
watch from their tall perch

as a hungry and thirsty rabbit hops along the patio

to come to the same spot,
to the small cement feeders and shallow water containers 

  After the road runner enjoys a cool drink, 


                                            

it spots a cement planter and decides to make a bed


enjoying the moist dirt inside

constantly scratching to make it just right.

Then it hops out


and enjoys the warmth of the sun 


that is making the cool of the morning disappear. 

In no time, it is up and on it's way. 
Throughout the day, there is always some kind of bird
or creature, stopping by to rest at the feed and water.
A constant flow of traffic...........but 
one that is without honking horns, road rage or stress.
A road much traveled........
but much more enjoyable!
So tell me,
what traffic is running past your back yard?
I would love to hear!


Monday, August 7, 2017

She has been here for a few years..............

guarding the gardens........

(2013)
withstanding the harshest dirt storms, extreme heat, 
freezing snow

the scariest thunderstorms, with blowing rain and lightning,
and once had a nest of wasps in her head.


(2014)
But each year I find a new outfit for her to wear
(purchased at the thrift store)

(2015)
as you can see from the photos.....
she started out skinny as a stick

(2016)
and through the years, she has filled out. Her body has dropped 
and sagged and her head has cracked..........
and she has needed some repair............

(2017)
now here is Gertrude

she has moved from the back gardens, to the front
pumpkin patch.  I love to be able to look out the window 
and to be able to see my flowers and pumpkins growing!
Now, it is nice to also see Gertrude looking like a country
gardener , in the shade of the crooked and twisted mesquite
tree.........always keeping watch on whatever I choose to 
grow.  
So tell me..........who is keeping watch over your garden?
I would love to hear!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

A brand new day


Tis sweet as the day begins to dawn,
When the lark her song is singing,
To wander at will through the grassy lawn
Where fresh flowers around are springing.
’Tis sweet at that solemn hour to go
O’er the rocky slope, all alone,
Where the scattering streamlets freely flow...
’Tis well to inhale the earthly gale,
As it sweeps the green hill’s side...
Or to look on the wood in its leafy pride,
In the glen or on the grove, the dawn is fair,—
Morning is beautiful every where!
~Thomas Furlong, "Morning Meditations"

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Texas Horned Toad.........Lizard or Croaking Toad??

Those of you who have been reading my blog over the years , 
are familiar with this rugged looking miniature dragon
that I often post photos of.  The horned toad.........that is what 
I have heard it called all of my life.......
so many of you have asked........."does it croak like a toad or frog?".....
so to clear it all up........
this is actually the Texas Horned Lizard........and no
it does not croak.......or even make a noise......
or at least I have never heard it.

this is our common rain toad........they are never seen until
a heavy rain has come.........then they unbury themselves 
and croak loudly across the fields. As soon as it dries up
they disappear back into the earth.

this is a skink.........much like a lizard......but not as friendly,
I have made the mistake of catching one
and it furiously snaps with it's strong little mouth.

this is a common lizard that is often seen in the flower beds
and rock garden here .

These are bullfrogs that hang out in the pond.........
as you can see, they grow to be very large.......
I am amazed with the fact that it is so hot and dry here
yet they always find the pond.......
where do they come from? .....I wonder.  

The " horned lizard" looks as tough and prickly as it's photo, it's spikes protect it from predators.......
however, it is very docile and never aggressive.
Children here in Texas, often pick them up and carry
them around throughout the day. 
The best thing about this creature ....... it loves to 
eat red ants. It can eat up to 200 ants at one 
sitting.  


another visitor to my flower gardens and pond
is the dragonfly. 
So tell me.........what strange and wonderful 
creatures are hanging around your flower beds or ponds??


Monday, July 3, 2017

It's time for family and friends to gather for July 4th holiday-----

feed them something cool and delicious.........
a Strawberry Icebox Sheet Pan Pie!
This is such a rich creamy and cool dessert.......wonderful for any hot afternoon and perfect for guests for a July 4th celebration........for it makes a large pan......enough to feed and cool off a crowd!
It is like a very soft cream cheese pie with fresh strawberries. The crust sets it off perfectly!
Always beautiful to serve in vintage dishes of course!
You can find this recipe on my cooking blog at this link
there are also many more wonderful recipes........
from fluffy biscuits, cakes, pies, candy, 
and main dishes.......all of it wonderful and delicious!
Have a safe and happy holiday!


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Another tree...........another new family!

When we first moved out here........many years ago......
I noticed......what I thought to be.....a baby hoot owl in the tree one night.
I commented on this to the lady who bought eggs from me and 
she informed me that they were not baby hoots..........
instead they were small burrowing owls.......that never get
big.....they stay tiny! Since then, I see them quite often.
In my last post, I posted about the baby rabbit family who temporarily took up 
residence in the back yard tree.........
now the front yard oak tree has a new family.........
3 small burrowing owls.  I have noticed them in the bird bath during 
the day and thought it was odd to see them at such an early part of day.
Today ........early as can be.........they were all together in the
tree......keeping an eye on me. 


They were very patient......letting me get a little
close to take photos........

These kinds of things always fill  me with awe
and makes me feel blessed to be able to 
have seen it!  How about you?
What kinds of birds do  you have in  your trees?
I would love to hear!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Home Sweet Home..........Can Be Any Place.........

I have often posted about the large mesquite tree in the backyard of our home.........
It grows a few feet away from the patio and a few
feet in front of my greenhouse.
on the worst winter days, it looks bony and frail when the hard wind
and snow blows..........

and elegant and lovely in the 
quiet of heavy snow and ice. 

In the summer, it's long winding arms stretch out across almost all of the back 
portion of the yard. 

Last year, I planted a young wisteria in a pot in hopes that it
will soon grow up the tree and give this tree lovely purple blossoms
in the spring. 

As I stepped up to the wisteria , to water it...........
I noticed this mound of dry grass.......
which I did not place in there..............

I cautiously and carefully pulled it away, 
and discovered this nest of 4 baby rabbits,
tucked snuggly in a hole which the dried grass covered. 

Why on earth a mother rabbit picked this out for her
home sweet home, is beyond my reasoning. 
The baby rabbits remained in the large planter for almost a week,
then one day I went out to check on them
and they were gone.
She moved them, I suppose.
I am now able to return to watering the wisteria, in good time
since the temperature here has reached to 102 on some days.
All of my plants are trying to hang on in the heat wave
including these new plants.  
A dear friend shipped me cuttings from her garden..........
all the way from Tennessee .........
they arrived, carefully wrapped in a box.........
still moist.........and fresh and green.
Seven Sisters Rose cuttings, Bee Balm, Dutch Iris, and Vinca 
all traveled so far!
I have since transplanted them, 
however, I am not sure they are so happy with 
this new hot environment they have been thrust into.
I hope to show photos ........if they do well.
So tell me.......what is making a "home sweet home" in your back yard?
Birds, ...rabbits.......some other creature?
I would love to hear!