Tuesday, January 31, 2012

the squirrels harassed him all day
the poor fellow hardly got a wink of sleep
I tried to warn them that he might just eat a squirrel or two'
but they wouldn't listen
This morning my owl is gone
What joy this feathered creature has brought me
just when I needed it
Happy trails Lewis Long ears

Sunday, January 29, 2012


At first I thought Harry Hawk was back
the stillness of the squirrels made me look around
and as my eyes scanned the branches of the trees
I realized that it might be...could be...
The long- eared owl is back!!!
in my white pine
Oh joy

however....my good camera with the long zoom
well, I let the battery run out!!
so I had to use this old pocket camera
and I had to scatter around the house looking for it
Oh it's sometimes trying to be me

Friday, January 27, 2012

Isn't this a great combination,
poppies and Dames Rocket?
This was taken in Ellison Bay , Wisc.
last June
I have never had any luck growing either for any length of time
within a year or two, they get pushed out or die
Maybe I need to plant these in larger quantities
but my garden is not that big...and I hate mass green areas with spent flowers
but of course there is the question of soil and light conditions
maybe I had them in the wrong place...no, I had them in the wrong place
or they would have thrived as they do here in Door County
AH...but the dreaming I'm doing lately is grand
what a way to spend a chilly winter day
.....and liatris....that never survived either

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Things I saw on my morning walk
through the sleeping garden

The oak hydrangeas
I'm thinking this year of cutting them back
I hope I do it at the right time
...must get out my garden books

and this low spot that always holds water
what shall I do with this?

just around the corner of the house, in the Hawthorne tree
was a purple finch singing his heart out
so beautiful and so joyful
So inspired was I, that I went inside and got out
my birdcall CD and played it 
much to the delight of my kitty Abigail

Why just yesterday I was reading in a garden book about leaf litter
....to leave it...for critters 
I have a resident toad that I am certain benefits by these leaves
I have always left them for the spring thrushes to scratch around 
in for bugs

and of course, Happy Jack was full aware of my every movement
that was keeping him from the feeders...ha ha

and here is Abigail, my feral kitty that I got inside years ago
with a big belly
She is still very shy and jumpy
but she is the most lovable kitty
and a talker...only thing is...she likes to talk at night
I made myself a cup of peppermint tea
she fell asleep to the song of the Baltimore oriole

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

He of  home laughed at me as I placed
the old tomatoes outside for my wards.
He said that they wouldn't eat them....
said they would be like potatoes...no potatoes ever get eaten...
about that he is correct
But I hated to just toss these soft tomatoes
and I wasn't feeling in the mood to cook
so I offered them to my critters
and wulllah....I was right again
Happy Jack was feasting away in the River Birch this morning
image finding a frozen tomato in January
like winning the lottery

Sunday, January 22, 2012

and......I'm going to add more nesting
Oh, I am dreaming big
Must be my new issue of
Birds and Blooms
yes,dream big
more flowers to attract
and hummingbirds
Ah, what a way to spend a cold,dreary winter afternoon
....dreaming big

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Not much going on here

Friday, January 20, 2012

A quick peek outside in the garden....looking for joy
 I found it in the cement garden bench with the skid paws across it.
It stood in the sun casting shadows on the snowy ground.
For a brief moment I saw Stonehenge
Ha! in my yard......what fun

Now I am off to get birdseed and peanuts
and few more feeders.....seems some of them are broken on the ground
hmmm.......as are the suet feeders...usual suspects
Oh well, I must keep my Open Bar of Joy well stocked
It keeps the view from the kitchen window interesting

The hawk just flew through my yard like a laser beam
Keep going, buddy

I think I might start a countdown....to spring....
I already have new garden magazines next to cup of a tea
waiting for me
....I read them slowly
peruse the pages of pictures...like they were secret messages
waiting for me to decode
and I will...come spring

Thursday, January 19, 2012


clowns of the garden
they arrive with their buddies
 push their way to the front of the line
Even Happy Jack gets out of the way
they can devour food like no others
It is cold outside today and more snow fell overnight
The starlings found the suet block that the squirrels had knock down yesterday
and more starlings showed up because of it
They look so unkempt..their feather sticking out all over

The rest of my bird wards saw that if they didn't get in there
...the food would be gone...quickly
so when I peeked out from the kitchen door
I saw a congregation just outside
and in the trees above
The one good thing about starlings is that they startle easily
and this is one way the rest of them get to rush in and grab a seed or two

Yesterday, I saw a squirrel aggressively chasing and pursuing
mourning doves in the horsechesnut tree
chasing them away from the seed on the ground
Really, what piggies...they get most of it anyway

Boo was having a good time watching them too
slamming into the door if they got to close
Why there were times I thought he was going to faint if he held his breath any longer

We have to take the days as they come
...yesterday, cold and sunny
...today,cold,snowy and dreary
But I  look for the joy
for it is there always
...and today, I found it in the antics of the starlings,
..the lowly, despised, non-native birds of the garden

My Open Bar of Joy
is open to all
They afterall, bring much of my joy

and if we only let stay what belonged
...I'd have to find a new home

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

meeting called to order

Ah...my Ladies Aid Society
They swirled around the mugo
hunting and pecking like chickens
I love seeing these birds in my garden
sometimes though I don't see them until I flush them out
getting too near to them as I weed

It is a cold day...a bit of sun and blue sky today
The birds are very active this morning,
must be those strawberry hulls I put on the feeder
or that slice of whole wheat bread that I broke into pieces
by the garden path

Oh the garden path....how I miss summer with all her blooms and foliage
Even driving through the country to Galena, the fields so dull
the landscape of bare branched trees uneventful
Except..I did see a Bald eagle about two weekends ago
in  bare branches near the Kishwaukee river

...but back to my itty bit of earth.....
   it sleeping until it is time to push up through the earth
stretch out those stems...reach for the sun
as I do today
I hope I bloom today

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The snow is almost gone
only the refection of branches
is left on a wet deck 

...like secret garden writing

Carl Cardinal......I love Mrs. West Wind's children's books...love to name my wards
well, he sat in the tree until I threw out some seeds
....I was too busy inside making soup... to go outside and fill the feeders

ah,then Tilly Cardinal showed up in the next tree

So far this year they have been daily visitors
I hope they nest again in my garden...joy
I have been keeping a bird journal again this year
Downy woodpecker
red finch
Cooper...but who cares ;)
one seagull
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Monday, January 16, 2012

wrought iron tulips

Up early this morning
The garden called to me to come out,
be with it.
I grabbed my camera,boots, and opened the door.
The sun was just rising in the east
a pretty sky of blue and pink...golden rays of
light casting over trees and buildings,
so pretty.
The snow crunched under my feet as I walked around the garden.
Doesn't look like much this time of year...not
the Janis Joplin wildness that it will become by July
yes, Jennifer, I have that wildness in me
I'm a wench...a bawdy lover of the garden
in its wildest behavior
I seek to tame little....just a bit of order
This morning the little tulip wrought iron fencing
stopped me to ponder upon it
My son-in-law went to a lot of trouble rescuing this bit of
Chicago Lutheran history for me
....I was supposed to get the entire fence..but a thief
beat him to it.....but I am happy ...so content to have this bit of
of Trinity Swedish Lutheran Church, that is no more.
The convergence of these thoughts makes me a bit sad
for my son-in-law is going through so much right now
and being a human and a grandma....I ask ..why Lord?
But this fence of tulips humbles me
Tulips in the dead of winter...joy
and my son -in-law gave this to me
Thank you garden for calling me out
to see this...feel this
accept this
Look, there is my buddy the squirrel
who I saw a few days ago doing the wild thing in my Horsechesnut tree
when it was 50 degrees out
..we must operate on hope,faith and love.
how else does the garden grow?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

the quiet beauty of the aftermath of a snowy day
blue skies above
the flittering about of birds
the footprints revealing
someone was there before you looked out
trying to survive another day
as are you
and you cast out some seeds
do what you can
for survival

Saturday, January 14, 2012

We finally got snow...real snow...heavy,wet snow
My garden wards need me
I need them
Little squirrel
your playfulness looking for something in the deep snow
made me quiet inside
for a moment
thank you

Friday, January 13, 2012

the corner of my lips moved to an almost smile as I saw the little squirrel
outside my door this morning munching away on my gifts of seeds and peanuts
unaware of the giving
and I aware of the reason they come
a reminder of ordinary joy

Monday, January 9, 2012

...and it is a fact
that the garden can comfort in different ways
reflect on the outside how you feel on the inside
lost abandoned frightened alone
an ill wind blowing your parts around
it is good that the garden can speak
the unspeakable
why it would be a sin for flowers to bloom now

Friday, January 6, 2012

This morning I peeked through the shutter and saw the female cardinal
munching on sunflower seeds
How there were any left after yesterday's theft by the rascal squirrel
I'll never know
I guess he must be up the tree with a huge belly ache...not..little fur piggies they are
All I did was to put the bag down for a minute to pick up some garbage
that had blown around the yard...and whammo..off he ran with the bag of seed
This happened to me once before...only it was a paper bag of tulip bulbs!
They were the color of a candy lipstick I used to treasure as a child
a pretty pink stick wrapped in gold foil......ah, I thought...lipstick candy growing in my garden
ha!....off ran the thief with my tulip bulbs...and there wasn't thing I could do about it
except learn...never leave any munchies within sight of a squirrel
Well, I'm glad there were a few seeds left for the cardinal
It was  morning joy to see her.
I'm off to get my haircut today...I am weeks overdue for a cut
oh , I am a sight
I only hope Tom doesn't give me a cut like hers

Thursday, January 5, 2012

This is what happens to a squirrel who runs off with the seed bag...
the whole bag!
care to throw a rotten tomato?
tomorrow... ankle bracelet
I will have to plant more of them this year,
such butterfly magnets.
Usually I think of this when it is about late July and too late,
...when I see them at public garden displays,
or worse, my neighbor's yard.
Planning...it takes planning
and speaking of this, I have spent a few hours scouring my garden books
yes, garden books in January
I have been searching for some ideas on how to change my garden
I am taking down the deck...don't know why I even put it up-
it separates you from the garden...be done,be gone.

However..I paused.....my animal guide,the old fox,is under there
it's his burial ground....I know because I looked and saw all of his bones
lying in perfect form....like he just laid down and died there..which is what he did.
What do I do about that?
plan around it? Will the landscapers think I'm loco for sure,
after all I am the one who calls them to trim, then stops them when I spot nests in the honeysuckle-
they nod...but I know they think I'm loco.
What will they think when they start to take down the deck and find these bones?
Oh my ...what if they find Handsome's bones or the tortoise shell of my missing turtle?
Oh my...I better do some more thinking and reading.
I wonder if there is a book on this?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ah, (I say that a lot, don't I?)
ah, a glorious January morning
sunny, blue sky,brisk air
air..so wonderful to walk in
refreshing..what else can I say?
You who live with warmth all the time
you don't know what you are missing
The garden was welcoming this morning,
the ground stiff from freeze as I walked along its path,
a slight crunch under my feet as I stepped on the stiff blades of summer's grass
now asleep
Sleep on
The birds were eager, perching on nearby branches
begging as a high art form
joy....I hear the blue jay, and the chickadees
and just beyond the yard,the goldfinches.
As I filled the feeders and scattered seed on the ground for the mourning doves
I happened upon a rabbit hunched behind the trellis,
he stayed as still as guilt,
not even his nose moving.
How happy I was to see him...he has been absent lately
 from my cast of characters that make my garden home.....
But the wards gathered here this morning on this beautiful January morning
to announce...it's here
winter.....feed us
and keep the water bowl full
Sadly...there will no stray kitty for me to take care of this year


my beloved Handsome
oh how my heart aches and breaks to see you again

Such a joy to spot an unknown nest in bare branches of trees in wintertime

and the cheerful chickadee dee dee of this wonderful
bird as it darts among the branches of the alder tree

and bunny hiding  :)

and before I go inside to get to work
I stop to notice the morning sun
gliding across the Terra cotta pot

a flash of red in my peripheral vision

Squirrel doing his sun salutation

I stepped inside filled with January morning joy
and the wench is happy

Monday, January 2, 2012

A dusting of snow this morning, and of course the beggars showed up
so I tossed out a handful of seeds-too lazy to put on my coat and fill the feeders.
Yes, lazy...winter does that to me...too often
I heard the weather report...it is going to be in the teens by evening...with bitter winds
and by Friday it may be 50.....what is happening ?
I have this sense of delayed misery....I was agonizing over the inevitable bleakness of winter
as I was standing in the glory of red and yellow leaves...and I have been waiting for it to happen
The garden hasn't really gone to sleep..why there are plants that are still green
and I even scoured the yard for a flower...so ceratin I would find one hiding just under
a cover of green leaves!
Come, oh winter, come
I have prepared my heart for you
Do not make me wait any longer
for I will be vanquished with longing
for your treasures.....that I know you will bring
warm cozy house
good simmering soups
the joy of indoor flowers on my violets and oxalis
come winter come
slay me with your romantic blizzards
your tingling breath in my nostrils as I clear away the path of white
come winter come
I have made way for your return
so come winter come

Sunday, January 1, 2012

I like lichen, moss,green stuff on trees.
If I squint a bit I can use my child's eyes and see
as if I were looking out of a helicopter ..looking down seeing the rainforest
yes I could....now if a native steps out and waves...I'm in trouble
But bless the child that still sees and still takes a breath of joy
of secret discovery all her own