Sunday, April 30, 2006

Swamp Critters

Life on the swamp is busy as usual. One afternoon, Shannon and I saw racoons, rabbits, the always present squirrels and a white cat (he appeared from nowhere a few days ago and shows up from time to time, hiding under the azaleas hoping to catch a bird). One of the racoons has a bum leg and seems to feed more and shows up earlier in the evening than the others.

The Indigo Buntings are here and I think they are my favorite! They have taken over the thistle feeders overflowing to the regular feeder as well. I love their color of blue! I think I need a dress that color.
Daughter and son-in-law are celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary with a trip to Hot Springs, so it has been quiet around here. The buntings are a reminder of their wedding. The reception, as I said in an earlier post, was held in our back yard and we saw the bride and groom off by throwing birdseed. To my surprise and delight, for the next few days I had a flock of Indigo Buntings feeding outside my kitchen window and I have looked forward to their return every year.
We have had rain so everything in the yard is green and the newly planted annuals along with the returning perennials are looking good. April, May and part of June are the best times for flowers in my part of the world. After that, the heat and humidity start taking toll and it is a battle just to keep things alive.
Since all is quiet, I think I will take a little afternoon nap, it's Sunday, but Monday's a comin' soon!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

A Rose by any Other Name....

As I mentioned in a previous posting, my mother has a green thumb which results in a beautiful yard. She has next to her patio a rose bush that is a real beauty and she told me the name was Rio Samba(or Rio Somba not sure of spelling). Well, I decided I had to have one, so I went last spring to my local nursery and purchased the very last one they had on the lot. I watered, fed and waited with great expectation for the blooms. In case you are not familiar with that particular rose, the blooms resemble a flaming sunset, with all the red, yellow and orange that go with it. Each rose is different and breathtakingly beautiful. Imagine my surprise when my rose bloomed red. It is a really pretty rose and the blooms are large and showy, it's just not a Rio Samba!
As disappointed as I am, there is a bright side. I like the rose I have, it is disease resistant and a good bloomer, and best of all, I get to make another trip to the nursery to purchase still another rose and probably a few more plants as well!!!
I went to Jefferson, Tx today with my daughter and son-in-law to hit the antique shops. A classic car show was in progress, so we shopped minus the son-in-law. Lots of really amazing cars...much time and $$$$ spent on restoring or building them. I rescued another vintage dinette cloth (that's how I justify having all these tablecloths in my closet) and found a couple of pretty dishes. We traveled the backroads to get there and the wild flowers are worth the trip if nothing else. It was a good day.

Friday, April 14, 2006

For the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers are springing up and the time of the singing of birds has come. Yes, spring is here.
Song of Solomon 2:11-12

Another pass-along plant from a former co-worker is blooming and it is truly one of my favorites - mostly because of its color. It is not the usual dark purple or light blue iris, but a gorgeous lavender color. It is planted in several places in the yard and every time I get a glimpse of the color it makes me smile.
The Louisiana iris is blooming now also and the roses have begun to open the fat buds of first bloom which are always the largest and most beautiful of the season in my yard. This is Good Friday and I have the day off. The grocery store is a must today in order to be ready to cook Easter dinner but I hope to have time for the yard also. Shannon helped me clean the gazebo yesterday, washing away the thick layer of yellow pollen from the floor and all the furniture. It's now ready for anyone wanting to spend a little quiet time reading, bird watching (or I should say critter watching, you see much more than birds if you sit quietly for a while) or just catching a quick nap.

While nature has been in resurrection for several weeks now, it serves to remind us of the most important Resurrection. We celebrate The Resurrection is this Sunday. He is risen! He is risen indeed! May the Risen Lord bless you this day!

Friday, April 07, 2006


Character: to be true to your work, your word and your friends. (author unknown) Wouldn't it be a wonderful world if everyone had character?

The clematis I planted year before last is blooming like crazy. I took this picture and didn't realize until I had downloaded it that I had captured a lizard also. (click on the picture to enlarge)
I took a bouquet of purple iris, blue and pink Spiderwort, pink and purple verbena and wild phlox to work today. The perfume of the phlox was heavenly and made me want to be outside working in the yard instead of inside answering the phone.

Red-bellied woodpeckers, doves, and a red-headed woodpecker were seen at the feeder and on the tree behind today. The yellow warblers are back, building their nest in the little blue box. We see the ducks from time to time swimming in the swamp. Sorry my camera is not powerful enough to get a good shot of the hawk nest. It is very high up in the tree, but very large and the most interesting thing to watch, especially when the babies have hatched. The swamp is busy day and night and there is always something to watch. Just not enough hours in the day! Especially with working on my character and all..........

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Pass-along plants

I love pass-along plants and one of my favorite
is the St. Joseph's lily. I have had this plant
since we moved into our first home on the lake.
It was in the yard when we moved there and
I brought it with me 25 years ago when we
moved to our current home.
It is a bright, gaudy red and it makes me
happy everytime it blooms

It brings back fond memories of our daughter Shannon's wedding. The reception was held in our back yard and the St. Joseph Lilies were spectacular that April. The wedding was on the 26th and I was praying the blooms would last until the reception and they did, dying out the day after. I have divided and shared this plant with many friends.

Other favorite pass-along plants I have received and shared with others include rosemary, shasta daisies, verbena, English dogwood, red honeysuckle and the list goes on and on. If you are a gardener, you probably have your own favorites passed from friend to friend, generation to generation. The return each year of a favorite plant or flower is a precious reminder of the one who passed it along to you. I have some plants from David's grandmother's yard in Alabama and treasure them each time they bloom. Sights and fragrances bring memories of time spent with friends and family like few other reminders.
Happy Gardening and enjoy the walk down memory lane!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

April on Cypress Knee

Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection not in words alone;
but in every leaf in springtime. -Martin Luther
I read this quote for the first time today and identified with those words written so many years ago. Every thing in nature seems to be coming alive again. April has arrived on the swamp with warm temperatures and soft breezes. The lake is still up but there has been no sign of the ducks for several days. I am hoping they are busy nesting somewhere. I heard the hawks screaming a call to each other several times today. David saw a copperhead on the street during his run the other morning so I guess warm weather is officially here to stay. I am watching the wild pecan trees for leaves. They are the last to leaf each spring.
I had lunch with some friends at a tea room today and enjoyed visiting with the hostess. Her name is Carolyn also and she is a very talented lady and a wonderful cook. I enjoyed the meal and most of all the time spent with precious friends. As I arrived, to my delight, the lawn was covered in lavender wisteria blooms. The tree at the corner of the driveway had a large wisteria vine winding around to the top of a very tall tree and the blooms were falling like rain. It was like walking in a fairy tale! I'm looking forward to more April flowers.