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

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!


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The beginning of a country cottage garden

is forming in the back corner of our back yard
When we first moved out here........I was creating large gardens far out 
away from the yard.  It was a lot of work to drag watering hoses
and to keep varmints out.
Plus......I could never actually enjoy the garden's beauty sitting out on the back porch in the afternoon because the gardens were
too far away to see.
I started the garden around the already existing roses bushes. They grow 
and bloom so well here.
I want to grow more roses, Lantana, and Chrysanthemums as well as
Zinna in this space. 

My husband's building is the perfect wind block and this section of the yard can
be seen from the back patio

I dragged the ornamental iron archway from the back garden and 
am using it for the entrance to my cottage garden.
I have a Queen Elizabeth Climbing rose......in the container....
hoping for soft pink roses to soon grow up and over the entrance.
My husband also placed the antique fencing that we found a while back
at a junk store. We had just enough to go around the garden area!

I have been busy removing the grass and weeds.
I plan on making a cement/stone path that winds around
in the grounds

and I have also planted a few lantana.


I had my first visitor.....this large horned toad.......
it has it's eyes closed........playing dead.

Speaking of visitors......the yellow headed
blackbirds have made their annual visit to the 
grounds

They make their loud squawking noises and give us a wonderful
show as they enjoy the feeders.

And we have a temporary house guest......this is Ellie.
She is my daughter's cat.  Ellie will stay with us for 
about a year until our daughter returns for her.
Our daughter has taken a job in Afghanistan......
please keep her in prayer......as a parent......
I worry for her safety.
I hope this finds you all safe and out of harm's way 
from all of the storms that are crossing the country!


Saturday, April 22, 2017

UPDATE: on damaged meadow

at the risk of sounding like a broken record, once again I am posting about the
meadow on our property that was damaged  in January 2016
by a utility company
here is the previous post on my blog at this link
bloggers, beware this is not my usual post

and the damage looked like this

and this after the crew left.............
after a long year of phone calls, emails back and forth, 
meetings...........damage payment and negotiations accepted and agreed upon, 
the land now has a fence around it

and Mother Nature worked her healing hand across it all
and now it is more full of wildflowers than I could 
have ever imagined!

Wildflowers of every color has presented themselves in 
the most cheery way

The fragrance is heavenly.

This year the wildflowers have taken over every area of
our acreage......even in parts of the thick mesquite woods

in the backyard..........there are wonderful thick patches
 in every kind and color of wildflower.
and flowers I have planted are also blooming in vibrant colors.
This Hollyhock survived winter with a blanket put over it......
and it is now in full bloom.

The Larkspur I planted in beds around the house have sprouted
in the beds.........and also traveled into the woods 
to bloom!


Thankfully, the mother cat Belle

and her 6 cute kittens will be traveling a 100 miles with us 
in the next few days to be placed in a "no kill" sanctuary for cats
which are adopted out!
I spent days researching and pleading with groups to take these sweet cats......only one place at this time was able to help me.  
  Belle will be spayed
and the kittens will receive their shots....then
they will be seen in the "adoption week"
segment coming up. Whoever adopts them pays a fee which 
will ensure that they will be spayed or neutered when the time comes.
I am so relieved , especially for the mother cat, Belle.
She deserves a good loving home as much as the kittens do.
But I have had to make a decision......in the future........ to get a trap and to trap any
cats that are dumped on me, and to take them to the animal shelter before they
start having kittens.  I have to keep my heart out of this.......sigh
I simply cannot afford the feed,  the cat litter, and the travel expenses  to take
care of them all......
I wish everyone would just simply research and find a rescue for their pets
than to heartlessly drop them out in a scary wild area hoping that 
I will take care of them.  
(sorry to start a rant)......but this kind of thing really upsets me the most.
And if you can...........donate whatever you can to organizations like these.
Any little thing from food to $$ helps in the care of the overwhelming amount
of dogs and cats that need home placement.




Friday, March 31, 2017

In my hand.......soft and warm......new farm babies have arrived



I was able to only take a couple of photos of these sweet 
little kittens
until Belle, the cat I have told you about in recent posts,
caught me......and did not approve.  
She had 8 in all!!  One died from her accidentally lying on it,
but still there are 7, that I need to find homes for.
And after she caught me taking photos.......she moved them all
and I have still not found them!  However,
she now has gained trust in me and allows me to pet
her.  I hope she will soon bring her kittens so that I can tame 
them for new homes.



Spring is upon us.....with my daffodils making the announcement first

The bluebonnets....Texas state flower.......fill the roadsides in their
brilliant blue and white waves

The woods here have turned green and the floor of the mesquite woods
is full of white miniature daisies

so full and white 

in little bouquets. 
then, there is the ox-eyed daisy......much larger with a pretty scent...
growing in bouquet clusters


on the other side of the woods.........in the prairie/meadow
it is a full carpet of yellow daisies that one can smell the fragrance from
yards away.  
These daisies are large headed and rugged enough to grow in almost any 
kind of ground

There are actually a lot of different yellow daisies here......
pretty dainty petally ones

long skinny and bright ones


the only red vibrant flower here is the Indian Blanket.
It is such a lovely flower

most abundant here is the Prairie Aster, growing in thick rows along the grounds

this little dainty purple flower has the prettiest leaves

and most would call this flower a weed.........
but for me.......it is a flower........
they all will always be a flower!
So tell me.........what is growing in your backyard!
I would love to hear!