Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bird Watching

Summer vacation is finally officially here! I've already told the kids that if they tell me they're bored, I'll find chores for them to do. I'm not going to be their entertainment all summer. Fortunately, we'll be seeing family this weekend, and in a couple weeks the summer program through the school starts, and VBS in early August. They'll only have a few totally un-preplanned weeks to deal with before school starts again. We'll do a bunch of field trips, since there are places we like to go regularly, and some special places we haven't been to in a while or are new to us.

I refilled the bird feeder, after letting it lie empty for a week to discourage those dratted grackles. Now I've got my small songbirds back: gold finches, house and chipping sparrows, tufted titmice, the occasional cardinal. Last week I saw a red-winged blackbird - not our usual feeder guest. The bluebird pays an occasional visit too.

Our cats, especially Molly the tuxedo cat, love to watch the birds at the feeder. That's Molly above, riveted by the sight of hors d'ouvres, so close yet so far. She chatters and twitches as she stares, and the birds just ignore her.

More daylilies blooming here, including many of my seedlings. So far I've got 4 tagged to keep for another year, a bunch to give away, and a bunch that haven't bloomed yet. I'll have to learn to be ruthless, or I'll be overrun with seedlings in a couple years. Fortunately, I've got friends who like free plants and have lots of space to fill. I'm trying to get flowers with nice, clear colors, strong plant growth, and lots of buds. I've got a nice deep scarlet red, a lavender with an eye and edge (a little muddy, but fantastic plant habit, buds and branching), a soft yellow with a cinnamon overlay, and a soft pink-peach with a heavy gold edge. We'll see if they improve next year. It often takes a daylily several years to form a clump and show off its full potential, so I don't want to toss things too soon, but space constraints will keep me focused on keeping only the 4-5 best each year (I hope).