Welcome reader to my blog - a mixture of this and that. Now that we are living in a retirement community in downtown Columbia, MD my personal gardening activities are somewhat curtailed. I still enjoy visiting gardens, reading, watching wildlife on my walks, traveling, and occasional food commentary. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so. I read every one of them.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Regular Stop



Wild things have habits and the fox has made our backyard a regular stop in its search for nourishment. After the last snow we could see the deer hoof prints in a straight line and then the fox foot prints in large circles.  Searching circles. 

I took this set of photos in the last hour.  It had obviously found the dead bird that was outside a bedroom window for days, frozen because I could see it in its mouth.  I then checked to see if the bird was gone and it was.





I wonder if it got the mouse I threw out of the trap several days ago?   That mouse got unlucky because it was caught in a trap that had no bait.  I baited traps yesterday with peanut butter because I thought I heard a mouse in the kitchen the night before.  Two traps went into the garage and one into the mud room.  This morning I had two mice caught in the garage.  Those went out into the snow.  I wonder if the fox found them.







It's a lovely creature.  I'm glad it feels so at home here to come up on my deck.








Saturday, January 25, 2014

Answer to My Question

My husband was the one who came up with the answer to my question.  He found it in this article in Slate.  There's a link there also to a video showing crows roosting in Maryland!  I'm thinking the crows I see are coming from that roosting site which is southeast of here.

Thank you, Dan.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Crow Question

I was out early this morning with Dan working to clear the snow off the driveway and spotted the crows.  They fly singly or in small groups, but all are headed west in a fairly straight line.  This isn't the first time I've seen them do this.  It happens most mornings that I look out between 7 and 8 am.

Where are they going?

Where have they been overnight?

I even went on Google maps to see what is to the east of us and I thought maybe it's the Patapsco River but I'm not so sure that's in quite the straight line east.  West of us?  I don't know.

Can anyone answer my crow question?

Here's the only one I captured on a photo this morning.


Wordless Wednesday - Snow!

Tuesday, 9:00 am


9:30 am


10:40 am


11:15 am


12 noon


1:00 pm


3:30 pm


4:15 pm


5:00 pm


Wednesday, 7:00 am


8:00 am


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Bird Feeder? NOT!

I'll let these photos speak for themselves.










This feeder is not 10 feet outside my husband's study window.  Dan was practicing the guitar at the time and the deer was obviously listening but not frightened in the least.  When I stood at the window to take the photos it could see me but again it wasn't frightened away.  It was set on feeding on the sunflower seeds.  Dan said that on Wednesday as he worked at his computer the deer was there eating too.  It emptied the feeder then.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Good Deed Crochet Project



My friend Janet lost her mother several years ago.  Her mom was a crocheter and had been working on a granny square afghan for Janet's daughter until her eyesight failed her.  The afghan only needed to be assembled but neither Janet nor her daughter are crocheters.  In sorting her mother's belongings in the months after her death Janet came across the squares and the yarn left.  She told me about it and I offered to finish it for her daughter.  Trouble was when Janet looked for the squares she couldn't find them - only this one and the yarn.

Fortunately her brother also had some of her mom's belongings and came across the bag of squares.  Just this Tuesday I got them to assemble.



I've never made a granny square afghan before, but my book 10-20-30 Minutes To Learn To Crochet does have a baby granny square quilt.  I'm using those directions to assemble the 111 squares.  Actually there will be one extra square.  I have completed one vertical row of 11 and now have 9 more rows to go then the edging.



Friday, January 17, 2014

Totally Random

It's Friday!  And we're halfway through January!

1.  I'm excited for this morning because a landscape designer is coming to help me with my front bed.  I received a 1/6 portion of Mom's life insurance so I'm using it to dedicate this garden to her memory.  I'll keep you posted on what develops there.  I'm not looking for a complete overhaul just a tweaking so to speak.

2. The days are getting noticeably longer and it's getting easier to rise in the morning.

3. I took on a major crochet project.  A friend's mother had made granny squares to assemble into an afghan for her grand daughter.  She finished the squares but couldn't see well enough to put the squares together before she died.  I volunteered awhile ago to do this for them but my friend couldn't find the squares only the box with needles and yarn and one square.  Well, her brother had the bag of squares so now she's passed them on to me.  It's in lovely shades of purple.

4. That same friend and I went to the Maryland Historical Society yesterday.  There were several very interesting exhibits on the Civil War in MD, and the War of 1812 that was fought here in Baltimore in September of 1814 but my favorite was on Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte.  At 18 she was supposed to be a ravishing beauty and the younger brother of Napolean, Jerome came to Baltimore to see her and fell in love.  They married here, she got pregnant but on returning to France Napolean refused her admittance and refused to recognize her marriage to his brother.  It's quite a story and she had quite a life.  Fascinating.

5.  Finally we had a nice stroll over to the Peabody Hotel for lunch and here are some shots of some interesting things with the beautiful blue sky we had yesterday for awhile.


The Washington Monument



MD Historical Society (original building)



Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tally - Ho!

Isn't that what's called on a fox hunt?  What does the fox call when it hunts?

We've been seeing the fox in the last week just passing through along the edge of the glen heading east each time.





This morning it was hunting in the backyard.  First it went for the mourning doves under the bird feeder then chased a squirrel that found refuge climbing one of the beams on the deck.



It obviously was hungry and took off running after something then returned twice.



Forgive the photos.  It was constantly on the move.

Don't know if its related to this one or this one or even this one.

Linking to Eileen's Critters

Friday, January 10, 2014

Random Friday

Five random things about me on this date.

1.  I'm ready for spring.  I placed my seed order this week and am looking forward to starting some lettuce, Chinese cabbage and spinach inside come February.

2.  Just finished reading a good mystery called "Death Toll" by Jim Kelly.  The detective reminded me of Christopher Foyle of the Foyle's War series.

3.  Dan and I are addicted to Foyle's War.  We started season 3 this week and the second episode is waiting for me at the library.

4. I've taken up watercolor painting with mixed results.  Yesterday I tried to follow some of the instruction in a book I got for my birthday to a frustrating conclusion.  Good thing I'm signed up for lessons that begin next week.

5. Look who's up close and personal outside my study window.


I know she's doing me a service trimming the liriope.



 I think she's pregnant too which means she'll be bringing her offspring by later this year. 


 I will definitely start the Liquid Fence with the warm weather.




[I know there must he a host for this post for me to link to but I'm clueless.  So if you read this and know the host please let me know.  I've been reading Latane's random 5 things for a long time but couldn't see her link today.]

1-11-14: My husband found the link for me.  Random Five Friday


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Winter's Grasp



We woke up to snow on Friday morning the 3rd.  I think we got between 5-6 inches of the white fluffy stuff.  Dan did his snow blowing chore while I used our plow shovels to push the snow off the area outside the garage. But there was a lot of snow and even with our efforts we didn't get it down to pavement because there was ice under the snow.






The wind was fierce and blew the snow all over.

It's beautiful but limiting when you live on a hill with a very steep driveway that empties not on a road that gets maintained by the county plows but a lane which is salted or plowed by neighbors who have that equipment.  Dan managed to drive out on Friday but my car a Prius does not like this kind of weather so it stays put which means I stay put.

Bitter cold has followed this storm which means nothing is melting.  The birds know they need to keep feeding.






Do the birds use these birdhouses I leave up for them?


This morning it's raining expect that it's below freezing so everything is getting a coating of ice.  I wonder if our driveway should be a location for the winter Olympics?  Does it classify as a flume run?

View of the driveway outside the garage from my study window

The deer come through looking for food.  They even have moved the snow to get to the liriope and have trimmed the little volunteer cedar tree.


It's supposed to continue to rain today but the temperatures will get above freezing so the ice and snow will melt.  I sure hope so.  I have things to do and places to go next week and my Prius wants the driveway clear.

Note: all photos taken from the warmth of my house.
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