Decisions Are Made…Frick and Frack Part II

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Frick and Frack have decided on a nesting site.  They carefully pluck moss from the moss rocks.

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The moss is used on the nest roof.

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Pine needles make the entry hole. Leaves and spider silk are also used.

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Frick has decided on the large pot on the patio.

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And Frack has decided on a the vine growing up the pillar.  Is this a nest building contest? A spousal disagreement? So which nest will be used?  Stay tuned.

Enlarge to see the anole lizard checking out the nest.


Bluebonnets…Spring is Officially Here

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Bluebonnets are the beloved flower of Texans.  Their seeds are scattered throughout the state along roadways and fields.  Every Texas child has had their photo taken in a patch.


Peek-A-Boo

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Peek-a-boo!

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Now there’s two.

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There is nothing like a sunny day to bring out the cold-blooded.  The big Ribbon Snake, or one just like, it has been in the garden for years.  It will curl up and watch me work and sometimes it will slither across the porches.  The snake helps out by eating insects and other varmints.


Frick and Frack

Frick and Frack are Carolina Wrens that have been in the garden for years (or their offspring).  They are named after a skating duo that did incredible, but silly feats.

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Frick (the female) and Frack are always together.  When one is hunting for food, the other stands guard.  They are in constant communication with very loud vocalizations for such small birds.

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Nest location is important business that takes lots of discussion.

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Frick thought this pot would be a good place for a nest, made a hole and started to add moss and Loblolly needles.

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But Frack thought maybe this taller planter might work.

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The Wrens found the frost cloth in the garage and tried it until the door shut them out.

In past years Frick and Frack built their nest in a hanging pot and in a vine.

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Here is the story of how Frick and Frack got their names.  Several years ago they decided to build a nest in a gourd left on the porch in the table rungs. They worked all day bringing bits and pieces of moss and Loblolly Pines needles to the gourd.

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The next morning Frack was on the porch jumping around and tweeting loudly.  The gourd was stuffed full of pine needles and hole was blocked by about 3 inches of needles sticking out (similar to this photo).  Definitely a silly stunt. Was Frick stuck inside?  Later she showed up.  After much discussion or cussing, they abandoned the gourd.

 

On to the next porch which contained fountain made from a coffee pot.  And that became their nest.

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Weeks later it was time to get the kids out of the nest.  First came Fred, who immediately flew into a window and knocked himself out.  Frick and Frack were not too concerned and kept working on getting the others out of the coffee pot nest.

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Fredericka and Frances made their way out of the coffee pot, but Francie just was not going to leave it.  That lead to quite a long period of  time with Frick and Frack  encouraging (or yelling at)  her.  Finally, Francie appeared and Fred finally came to.

The Carolina Wren parents lined up Fred, Fredericka, Frances and Francie on the brick wall and all jumped into the flower bed to search for their own lunch.

 


Happy St. Patrick’s Day

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Our version of Shamrocks.  This is an Oxalis from the grocery store that was purchased 18 years ago.  It is very happy in the Automatic Garden and it has sent its offspring throughout the property.


From Drought to Drown

After several years of drought and water rationing, we are back to having rain.  My area received 4.20″ in that last 7 days with most of it coming within 2 days and 51.44″ for this year to date.  Some neighborhoods received more.  Plants are sitting in water and all the drought tolerant plants we were encouraged to  plant probably aren’t happy.

The stepping stones through the wooded part of the garden are covered with water and the yard makes sucking noises as I walk.  Gutters are still running even though the rain has stopped.  We are on alert as our local river may spill over its banks, in contrast to the new “islands” that showed up in the river during the drought.

The yard is drained by a underground French drain which is still flowing out towards the street.

The earth is ever changing with warm winters turning back to cold and dry times reverting to wet.  The amazing native plants and trees of the Gulf Coast take it in stride and continue on.

 


Hot Tropical Color

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Bromeliads show their hot colors just when needed in the colder months.  This amazing color combination belongs to the Aechmea gamosepala.

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The hot pink colors of Billbergia nutan really catches the eye.  These two Bromeliads have been in the garden for years and easily reproduce.

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The Mother of Thousands is included in this post as it is still blooming with those brilliant colors of warmer climes.


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