Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Clutch is Hatching

It's been difficult for me to snap a good photo of the eggs that have hatched.  We ended up with 5 eggs in the nest.  I believe all 5 have hatched, but they are so crowded in the nest it's hard to determine whether or not they are all hatched. 

I try to stay at the next as little as I can because both Momma and Papa are diligent in feeding their little clutch.

Sitting in my chair and depending on which direction the fern is slowly turning I can see the chicks eager little beaks wide open waiting for their meal.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Spring Cleaning 2013

It's been a busy March and April for me and I haven't spent the time I need to in the yard.  I have been( able to get out and do some cleaning, trimming and planting in the front bed. 

Lamb's Ear (Stachys byzantine) is not a baaaaad plant to have in the garden.  OK, that's pretty corny, sorry.  I love the thick, velvety leaves.  During a trip to Virginia one year Lovey and I toured the homestead of James Monroe, Ash Lawn-Highland.  It's not far from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and is a much, much more modest farm.  The  most interesting thing I recall from that visit was their colonial herb garden.  They grew a large variety of herbs that had medicinal purposes.  They used the leaves of Lamb's Ear as a band aid, to stop the flow of blood on cuts.

I cut back the purple fountain grasses (Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum').  There is debate whether or not this will come back.  Most of what I read is that it is an annual but in warmer climates it comes back like a perennial.  If I don't see new growth by the time the weather decides to stay in the 80's I'll have to buy more.

The zebra grass (Miscanthus sinensis) is coming back after its little trim.

Behind these whispy volunteers of Mexican Feather grass (Nassella tenuissima) are the plants from whence they came.  I cut the older ones back then dug these two up and planted them at the back of the driveway.  There are actually tons of these new plants throughout the garden and I'll transplant those as well when they grow to a certain size.

The muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) received a trim as well.

 The Threadleaf Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum var. dissectum ) is returning to its pretty little self.

My two Red Yuccas (Hesperaloe parviflora) are donning their flower spikes for the first time.  I bought these as very young plants at a plant sale so it has taken them a couple of years to flower.

Finally, an update on the Finch family.  5 eggs seems to be the final number in the clutch.  Momma is sitting on the nest.  I checked the nest yesterday evening and none have hatched yet.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Finch Family is Growing

We've had rather nasty weather the first part of this week so I have stayed away from the nest in the fern.  I was watching Howard and Harriet as I was potting up some plants and when they flew away I took a peek.  They now have five!  According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology House Finches have from 3 to 5 eggs.  I am assuming Harriet will begin to sit and stay on her nest now. 

Learn along with me;  we'll see.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Howard and Harriet House Finch Start a Family

This nest-in-progress I told you about last week is all finished now.  Harriet worked hard weaving her new little home out of fine grass, leaves, and rootlets. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, she uses finer materials such as thread, wool, and feathers for the lining.
And Harriet is making sure it's occupied.

On the evening of Sunday the 31st she had laid one egg.  This isn't a very clear photo.  I guess I was a little excited about there being a tiny egg there and moved the camera a bit too much.

When I got home from work last night I walked past the fern on the front porch and craned my neck to see if Harriet or Howard was sitting in the nest.  Seeing that is was unoccupied I used the step ladder to peek into the nest; careful not to touch anything.

Now we have two.

I can't wait to see if there is a third this evening!