Category Archives: Garden

Postcard…dreaming

I see a rhubarb pie in our future!!!

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Filed under Food, Garden, Postcards

A peach by any other name…..

Who knew a nectarine was simply a variety of peach………..possibly domesticated in China over 4,000 years ago!?!  Although bearing tiny fruit, our nectarine tree continues to ride out the drought.  Searching for a way to use the small, but delicious fruit, I adapted a recipe found on the internet.  An immediate hit, the pie has been on repeat now using amazing nectarines from Trader Joe’s.

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Filed under Food, Garden, Seasons

Prickly Postcard

Drought-driven…learning to embrace alternative beauty

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at Santa Barbara Stone

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Filed under Exteriors, Garden, Inspiration, Postcards

Flown

Though no longer providing shelter, the owl box has now become a favorite landing spot along with the nearest oak tree.  Regular take offs and landings take place each evening, lasting well into the night with all the accompanying chatter of youngsters at play.

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With the moon inching its way toward fullness over the last few nights,

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we have been treated to amazing views of white heart-shaped faces atop the box, swiveling in search of dinner.

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Next day, the ground below the box is salted with white, downy feathers.

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What fate awaits the gopher foolish enough to surface so near the box…???

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Filed under Garden, Nature

Overcrowding at the Wolery!

An update on happenings at the Wolery is long overdue!

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My last report on March 30 was one of cautious optimism: this year’s owl couple was still in residence…much has happened since!!!

Not only one owl…

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but three…and a fourth caught poking its head out in this light-enhanced photo!!!

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Now imagine four owls atop the box, a fifth head emerging…and a sixth flying by delivering dinner…the menu:  a largish rat dangling by its tail!!

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Our evenings are filled with the sights and sounds of their comings and goings; our dreams interrupted by the fledglings crash-landing on the roof of our house while perfecting their flying skills.  One morning before dawn, a crash…I turned to see a big baby gripping the muntins of the family room window after flying into the glass – not so hard to understand when I realized the Wolery can be seen clearly from that spot through the other side of the house.  As if to underscore the overcrowding in the box, apparently I interrupted a nap in the oak tree as I gardened today, then watched an owl fly off to a more distant tree.

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Filed under Garden, Nature

Monarchs and milkweed

Constantly on the lookout for a particularly noxious vine which winds around the branches of our lemon trees, rapidly enveloping the entire tree with lovely green foliage and pretty flowers which become large pods containing zillions of air-born seeds…..

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I enlisted the help of the four year old in pulling up the new vines in the orchard before they reached the lowest hanging tree branches to begin their ascent into the canopy.

In the process he found the most interesting caterpillar.

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Realizing simultaneously:  a monarch caterpillar eating the very weed I have been trying to eradicate.  Therefore, the weed/vine must be a member of the milkweed family, the only food of choice of the beautifully striped caterpillar; further supported by the fact that the vine ‘bleeds’ white milk when cut.

As little boys love to do, we took the found caterpillar (and a few friends) back to the house with vine seedlings we had pulled.  Installing them in a large glass vase with vine, water and a screen over the top, we hoped for the best.

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They began attaching themselves to the wire with silk threads

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hanging upside down for a few days, then wrapping themselves,

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forming a chrysalis of amazing beauty.

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About two weeks later – miraculously – a perfect butterfly!!!

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Set free

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into a nearby avocado tree

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Godspeed winged beauty!!!

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Filed under Family history, Garden, Nature

Postcard from the garden wall

For the last several seasons I have not planted annuals, choosing instead to work to keep my established perennials alive and as healthy as possible in the midst of drought.  Now in this first week of spring, I am missing fresh blooms to bring into the house.

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Always struggling to keep the creeping ficus on the garden wall under control; cutting lovely new shoots nuanced with color from spring-green to rust…rather than relegating them to compost, why not first bring them inside…

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Adversity, at its best,  can introduce us to new ways of looking at and appreciating our individual worlds.

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Filed under Garden, Nature, Postcards, Seasons