Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bird Nest Love....

 "If I can stop one heart from breaking I shall not live in vain. If I can ease one life the aching or cool one pain, or help one fainting robin unto his nest again, I shall not live in vain." (Emily Dickinson)

I love birds... I love bird's nests... So you can imagine how thrilled I was to learn that I won a giveaway that Sharon from Corgis In My Garden had for one of her handmade bird's nest pendants!!

Just look at the pretty packaging it was attached to! A work of art in itself! (Perfect if you were to give one of these as a gift. Such a lovely presentation!)

Just look at this intricate, delicate silver nest! Isn't it beautiful???

Court was kind enough to model it for me so I could take pix (but she made me promise to crop the photos because she said she looked a fright - hardly! But a promise is a promise.)

 I think it looks perfect on this simple silver choker. I'm also going to try it with a simple silver chain.
Sharon sells these beautiful nest pendants for $15 which includes shipping, so if you'd like to order one for yourself or for a friend, feel free to email her at: or visit Corgis In My Garden to contact her through her blog. And speaking of her blog, you must pop over to visit - you will fall in love with her sweet little Corgis! And you won't believe the recipe she just posted for Cold Oven Pound Cake... OMG, it looks SOOOO good! 

Thank you, Sharon. I love my bird's nest pendant!!!

I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday. I'll be posting soon about some of Baby's latest escapades. She may be a cat, but she is definitely in the dog house!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hummingbird Heaven...

All critters and birds are welcome in our little backyard...

...and that definitely includes the tiniest visitors, our hummingbird friends.

I have four feeders in all. Two of the feeders hang from our swing set deck, one on each side.

I love sitting out here in the evenings because our little hummer(s) always hit at least one, if not both, of these feeders as they rotate around the yard about every 15 minutes or so.

It's a bit hard to see this little guy in the photos so I really cropped them.

But if you look close, you can see him enjoying his sugar water.

From the swing set deck, you can see across the yard to another hummingbird feeder that hangs from the mulberry tree.

And just look at that Lucifer Crocosmia in the foreground, now in full bloom. I have some very lazy hummers this year because they choose to fly right over those beautiful hummer flowers, preferring instead to plunk down at the various feeders!

(So far my Sammy Squirrels have left this window box alone. Remember last year when they dug out all my flowers so they could lay in the cool soil during an oppressive heat wave? Well, we're having another one of those heat waves, so the flowers may not last much longer!)

The white metal 'thing' that the feeder hangs from was a freebie from the dump several years ago. I had no idea what I was going to do with it when I brought it home, but it's the perfect place to hang the mulberry tree feeder.
I was able to get a picture of the female hummer at the mulberry feeder, but it was taken from over on the swing set deck with my zoom on, so again, I'm afraid the quality isn't so hot.

The last hummingbird feeder hangs from the old oak tree next to our deck.

This photo was actually taken last year. I was sitting on the deck right next to the feeder when this little gal came to eat so I was able to get some pretty decent photos of her.

I find myself changing the sugar water every other day in this oppressive weather. I found this great way to speed up the sugar water preparation (which is always 1 part sugar to 4 parts water).

Quick Hummer Solution: Put 1 cup water in saucepan. Put 1 cup sugar in saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to dissolve sugar. As soon as it starts to boil turn off the burner. Add 3 cups very cold water to the sugar solution and stir. And that's it!  Now it still might need to cool down before you fill your feeders (I always check it with my finger to make sure it has cooled enough), but it's just ready so much quicker than having to boil the entire 4 parts of water and then having to wait for all 4 parts of water to cool!

Speaking of cool, I hope you are all taking it nice and slow. So much of the country is suffering from such extremely hot temperatures, as we are here in the northeast. So take it easy, everyone!

I'm linking up to Cindy (My Romantic Home) for Show & Tell Friday so be sure to stop by and visit her and everyone else!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hearts are wild...

 The clematis that covers the arbor over our old garden gate...

... was in full bloom a couple of weeks ago.

Not only does the garden gate have a heart...

The clematis, with the way it cascades down from the arbor, also forms a freestyle heart.

The clematis over the garden gate has always thrived. I wish I could say the same for the clematis I planted on the posts of our swingset garden!

See the little area that's missing a portion of the picket at the bottom of the gate? That's Chip's personal gate, the one that he uses to run back and forth to his little 'home' after collecting his peanuts.

I love the way the heart cutout of the gate showed up in the shadow on the ground in this photo. I truly do "heart" my old weathered (very distressed) gate, my garden, and all the little creatures and birds that visit.

The weather was spectacular here today. It was a nice change from the muggy 90's we've had lately!

Wishing you "hearts" and beautiful summer days wherever you are! I'm hooking up to Cindy's Show & Tell Friday, so be sure to stop by and visit!


Thursday, July 7, 2011

All birds welcome...

"I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than of cherries, and very frankly give them fruit for their songs."
(Joseph Addison, 1672-1719, English Essayist, Poet)
(Joseph Addison, you are a kindred spirit)
Nothing attracts a wide variety of birds to our garden more than the abundance of fresh water we offer in our small backyard. A variety of birdbaths hang from trees, sit on stands or tables, or rest on the ground (after all, the Chipmunks, Squirrels, and other wildlife also need water). Let's take a little walk around and I'll show you.
This small bird bath (shown in the first photo) hangs from a tree next to our deck. In the photo above, a mourning dove was enjoying a cool drink during our hot weather.
Also on the deck, attached to a rail, is the heated birdbath. It gets plugged in during the winter months, providing fresh water all winter long.
I've had this tiny little shell birdbath longer than I can remember. It is chipped and doesn't hold much water, but it's a favorite of mine.  And would you look at who is watching me take these photos!! This little bath sits on the "haunted" carpenter's bench on the deck.  
The last birdbath on the deck is this fountain. They say the sound of running water attracts birds. I also love the sound of it.
See the little bubbler on top of the fountain, where the water runs out? I was absolutely mesmerized by Sharon Lovejoy's post showing a mama hummingbird laying on top of her fountain's bubbler! See for yourself! How I'd LOVE to find a hummer bathing on my bubbler!! Okay, let's head down into the backyard and I'll show you what we have down there.
This little mosaic birdbath sits on the ground in front of the swingset deck we built last year.
On the other side of the swingset deck, a makeshift birdbath sits on a wire table. I have several of these baths in the backyard.
Here's another one sitting on an old milk can on the patio.
 These are inexpensive, $1.00 chip bowls from The Christmas Tree Shop. They are the perfect size for the birds and at that price, I can put them all over the yard!
Here's yet another one, sitting in a small concrete pedestal birdbath in between two of the paths we just put into the garden. The concrete developed a crack and doesn't hold water so the large hydrangea CTS bowl was the perfect solution.
Another source of running water is this small waterfall fountain on the backyard patio.
Again, you can't beat the sound of running water for attracting birds and wildlife to your backyard.
Across the garden paths is another large Christmas Tree Shop bowl. This one is quite deep so I put rocks into the bottom so the birds aren't afraid to hop in and take a bath. (Please excuse Mr. Bunny who seems to be wearing mulberries!)
Now we're heading over to the cherry tree, where my beautiful vintage Mary garden statue watches over all the little creatures and birds who visit our yard. It seemed fitting to place this gorgeous blue and white bowl over by her.
 I love the hand painted pink roses and sponged gold border. The birds love the generous size!

 Hanging from the cherry tree is this small decorative bird bath.

The 'secret garden' bird bath is a favorite with the birds because it's a bit more secluded than some of the other baths...

... and this little gazing ball bath is a favorite with the many Chips who frequent our yard because it's low to the ground. They stand up on their little back legs and drink out of the bottom tier.

This is the ugliest bath in the yard (its twin sits in the front yard). So why do I keep them both? The birds all LOVE them. They seem to be the perfect size for small, medium, and large birds. They're just large plastic drip tray bases for huge planters. Maybe some day I'll try to do something decorative with them (yeah, right!)

Now we're heading toward the gate that leads to the front yard. This dove birdbath sits just inside the backyard next to the gate.

Bye Bye, Birdie! We're heading out front now!

Okay, so let's see what we have out here...

Right outside the gate, another of the CTS hydrangea bird baths sits on a table under the old window and flower box...

... while a little cherub birdbath hangs from the old stockade fence.

And we end our birdbath tour with the ugly twin that sits under the hoppa crab tree (which has started dropping leaves at an alarming rate with the 90+ degree temps we've been having lately!). So, I think 19 birdbaths should be enough to keep my little feathered and furry friends happy!!!

I'm linking to Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show & Tell Friday. Till next time, I hope you are all staying cool wherever you are!!!