Christmas Miracles in the Garden

There has been a few small miracles in the garden. Nature somehow knew this was the year that something was needed to lift spirits. The bougainvillea has bloomed for the first time since it was brought home from the nursery many years ago. The plant didn’t put on much of a show, but it was enough to brighten the season with its reddish flowers.

This plant, which I believe is a Aechmea recurvata Bronze Age and if anyone can identify it please do, has taken a lot of abuse over the years. Rabbits have eaten it back and it had to endure flooding rains. But, this year the plant has finally decided to make some flowers.

The flowers are slow growing and I will update its progress.

Another small miracle, which is personal for me, was a flock of Robins that landed in the yard. The birds busily finished off the berries on the Yaupon Holly and headed to the lawn to look for bugs. Robins always remind me of my childhood up North. In the early evening when we were playing outside, the Robins were always hopping nearby looking for their last meal of the day.

I hope in this difficult year, you all have found a small miracle here and there to bring a bit of joy.


A Spring Day

Today is a beautiful Spring day and some new flowers decided to open.  The Amaryllis that I got at a plant exchange put up two stalks and all four flowers opened at the same time.

This Iris was found in a mulch delivery many years ago.

These big bees are everywhere.  I haven’t been able to photograph them, but there are Robins singing in the trees.  They are probably refueling for their trip north.  The Ruby Throated Hummingbirds have arrived.

Happily, the next generation of Monarch butterflies are in the making.

I’ve had several Monarch butterflies floating around the garden.  This one seems a bit beat up.  Maybe it made the flight from Mexico.  Can you see the caterpillar on the leaf?

I hope you can find some beauty in your day.


Cedar Waxwings Feeding Frenzy

We recently spent an afternoon watching Cedar Waxwings descend upon a holly bush loaded with red berries.

The Cedar Waxwings are beautiful birds with their black masks and pale yellow belly.  This photo caught the red tips on this one’s wing.  The birds have a bright yellow tip on their tails.

There were probably more than 50 individuals in this flock.  They arrived in waves, occasionally taking breaks.  The Waxwings had already stripped a nearby holly.  Earlier in the winter they ate all the berries from the native Yaupon Holly trees in the yard.

They were so eager to feed that they flew closely over our heads and under the front porch.  A few hit the windows, but survived.

Across the street a large flock of American Robins had been gathering and one finally came over to check out the action.


This Guy Needs a Mate and Other Happenings

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Several times every morning, this Red Bellied Woodpecker drills on that same piece of gutter.  It took a few times of running out of the house to see what the noise was about until I discovered the Woodpecker.  This behavior has been going on well over a month.  This guy needs to find a mate!

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Frick and Frack, the Carolina Wrens, built another nest on the porch in a pot next to the back door.  They wisely decided to abandon it, probably due to the constant slamming of the door.   The Wrens did not go far and have been in the yard with their new brood.

Another bird sighting that I was unable to photograph, is several young American Robins.  Robins usually head north for the summer, but in recent years they have begun to stay here on the steamy Gulf Coast.  I am thrilled to have them singing in my trees.