Saturday, November 29, 2008


You may have heard the commercial whose tagline is 'What's in your wallet?'. No, that's not the question here. The question is: 'what's on your shelf?' You know, the one spot that is home to your little collectibles and odds and ends. Don't tell me you're one of those who has no chachkeys, are you?! Oh my, then you'd best not read any further.

Okay, it's just us collectors now, right? Good. I thought I'd share with you the little group of items I have on my kitchen shelf above my sink.

-First, there is a lovely black-and-white Celtic tile that anchors most of my 'treasures'. The tile was a gift from Scotland from cousins who live in Alaska.
-On the left is a soy candle (vanilla scented-yum) from a friend.
-The greenery/cuttings are Brugmansia (click here to see some nice shots of Brugmansia flowers) from the potted ones I pruned.
-The odd-looking wooden/gray metal contraption (lower right on the tile) is a great little snipper I use when gathering my herbs. The snippers are really a gift that keeps giving because whenever I use them, I am reminded of the gift-giver and all the fun times when we were neighbors.
-The small green dipper-dish is from my sister-in-law and holds lots of odds and ends. The items include mummified sungold cherry tomatoes from last year, a couple chair leg pads (need to be'll happen eventually), buttons that are in the shape of leaves in fall colors from a potted plant I won at a gardening event, a chain from something (it'll get back where it needs to go eventually), a blue plastic washer (who knows what that goes to, but when I find out what, I'll have it ready), a frog, and an old penny.
-The Pollock-looking votive-holder is from a favorite potter in Southern California. The small Yankee Candle is one of my favorite candle scents (sage and citrus).
-On the right of the tile, next to the pumpkin there was a screw. It belonged somewhere besides this spot, which is reserved for special things. It is now moved.
-Last, a pumpkin for Thanksgiving.

Now you know what's on my shelf of treasures; What's on your shelf?


p.s. Not on your shelf necessarily but perhaps on your tree could be the ornament that Amy is giving away. For more info, check out her blog Blossom.

Thursday, November 27, 2008




Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I should have thought of this topic before, when it was breast cancer awareness month and pink was THE color. But I didn't, so here it is now, perhaps extending that awareness into November and December and maybe even into the rest of the year. Really, it isn't like this disease takes a break for the other 11 months when it's not 'breast cancer awareness month'.

Here are a few of the last (various shades of) pink blossoms still in my gardens, through wind, rain, and cold temperatures ('cold' being a relative term)...

La vie en rose

Cabbage for critters

Achillea, silly ya.

Hope you're in the 'pink'!


Sunday, November 23, 2008


Please pardon my digression to the topic of birds in this post. But then why not digress to a topic related to gardening? After all, 'gardening isn't separate from other aspects of life, but is part of the whole' (I couldn't have said it any better than C.L. on the link to see her blog.)

Who hasn't welcomed an unexpected plant sprouting in a garden bed? A relative of mine found a ceanothus growing in one of his garden beds before it became wildly popular here in the Pacific Northwest. Sometimes the birds give us fun discoveries like that...

Here are a few of my fine-feathered-friends who have visited.

Back for buffleheads?

Kingfisher...sportin' a cool 'do.

American Wigeons wiggling away.

Cormorant being the center of attention.

Hungry robin chicks.

Watchful robin.

Who's this wee, shy, lightening-fast bird, hiding amongst the vines?

Fly away, fly away (sing it, Lenny!)...

Time for me to fly away and continue with my day. Hope you have a good day, wherever you may be.


Friday, November 21, 2008


The season seems to have turned the corner to cooler weather, with snows on the mountain passes last night, and temperatures forecast only in the high 40s near Seattle during the day. Seems that winter is just around the corner.

The leaves have almost all fallen, but the wisteria (above)
apparently doesn't want to give up it's leaves just yet.

Can't you just feel the chill in the air as you see
these naked cottonwood trees above?

I saw this apple hanging on...
and started humming 'before the next teardrop falls'
but substituted the words,
'until the last apple falls'...



Monday, November 17, 2008


Autumn is one of my favorite times of year, especially living in a location where the seasonal change is evident by the change in foliage, floral displays, and falling rain...

I looked south and there was sun and blue skies.
Look to the north and there were clouds and a rainbow.

The stewartia tree's leaves were stunning in their sharp red colors. The leaves on the upper branches had already fallen, so I was happy to catch this shot of some still on the branches.

Above is a photo of some of the plants that were growing
in the riparian area (along the water's shoreline) when I moved here.
I love the red branches-they remain to bring so much color for the winter.


Saturday, November 15, 2008


Beautiful flowers, aren't they? But what is the plural of calendula...calendulae? calenduli? just plain old 'calendulas'? (I know there's one of you out there with lots of Latin and/or horticultural knowledge!)

Whatever the plural noun is, the calendula flowers are in bloom now and brighten the cottage garden as it begins to prepare for its winter sleep.

Sweet dreams...


Friday, November 14, 2008


Like on wings, autumn has arrived.

Migrations are more evident with so many transitory birds.
Although I enjoy them all, I find the buffleheads to be so striking
with their black-and-white colors.

Not only are there changes in the bird populations here now,
but also with the plants.
Check out this little bird in the vibrant red of the viburnum.

The ginkgo leaves haven't turned their glowing gold yet,
but they are still so lovely.

There are lots more colors to share next time...Until then...


Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Check out this baby flicker (below)!

In the garden, as the apples on the tree ripened, not only did we enjoy them, but so did some of our fine-feathered friends. We weren't sure if it was the crows, raccoons, or which critters were responsible for the holes we found in many of the apples. In many, there was one deep, gaping, huge puncture. Perhaps these critters did sort of a taste-test, moving from one to the next?

Could this stellar jay have been the (only) guilty party?

There were plenty of apples to share with the birds so we didn't gripe too much!

The day ended with a lovely sunset...


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Duck, Duck, WHAT?

So, plenty of feathered friends on the lake of late.
Check out this little guy below.

(click on any of the pictures to get a closer view)

I'm not sure what sort of DUCK she is, but she sure was cute.

And she was okay with me quietly photographing her from not all that far away.

Then there were some ring-necked ducks (above). That is an odd name for a DUCK that has a ring on its bill, but none on it's neck.

The yard is full of interesting food for critters, so it probably should be no surprise there was another unlikely visitor scarfing up berries and seeds. Even so, I looked out and said WHAT?

Check out the ears on this guy. He came through the yard daily for about a week. So cool!

Til next time...


Friday, November 7, 2008


With the change in seasons has come a change in birds at the Gardener's Roost. I mentioned previously that the adult bald eagles have returned to the nest.

In addition to the eagles, we've had a variety of water fowl stopping in for a night or two and traveling on to their next destination. It was fun to see 4 different type 'ducks' in our little cove all at the same time. Apparently water lilies are more than just 'weeds' and are at least a little bit useful, as the wood ducks found nourishment there; the scaups, mallards, and buffleheads also stopped by for a visit.

The cormorants are regular guests on the lake as well. I spotted this pair just before they took flight for their next stop.

It's almost like there's some 'sign' that advertises the lake as a big, open 'Holiday Inn' on the flight path to the next destination...
More pictures in another post.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008


The long-awaited return of our resident bald eagles may have arrived. Here's a shot of one of them from last week:

And just the other day I saw two adult bald eagles on the nest. One eagle is easily visible in the middle. The top of the other eagle's head can be seen below and to the right (click on the picture to see larger image).

They brought some branches with them and were busily rearranging the ones on the nest.

Let the eagle-viewing excitement begin!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Exciting news about the spiders in my recent post. A cube-buddy who is an entomologist said what I captured in the photos was mating behavior of the European garden spider. He also passed along this awesome link to spider information, which has some great spider pictures!

The female is the spider in the center of the web. The male is the one with long legs who gingerly approached her from the spruce tree. If you click on the picture below you can notice the tips of one of their legs touching. How sweet!

Did you vote today?