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Showing posts from April, 2012

Red-tail Hawk Watching and Cheesecake

This blog leans toward gardening, but it rambles through a world full of wonder on the way.  My post today is the result of meeting some fun, entertaining folks on a similar journey.  If you've seen  The Big Year , you've probably formed an opinion of birdwatchers.  No matter.  Having spent waaaaay too much time over the past couple of weeks hanging out with the other people glued to the  New York Times hawk nest cam , I can attest to their broad range of interests and sharp wit.  Regardless of our different time zones and backgrounds, it seems that sooner or later the chat turns to the common themes of music and/or food when the objects of our adoration do a face plant and go into food comas after their parents, Rosie and Bobby, have served up a good meal to the little eyases.   (Go on, look it up.  Like poikilothermic, it's a good word to know.  Special thanks to JB for that one.) Boo and Scout on April 23, 2012 This post is for my new nest watching friends.  

Manfredas and Moths

As much as I enjoy watching the changes in my garden this time of year, this week brought a couple of real standouts.  The larkspur thicket is hosting a NectarFest for several White-lined Sphinx Moths, also referred to as hummingbird moths, and the Manfreda 'Chocolate Chips' is competing for attention nearby.  The White-lined Sphinx Moth is one of three "hummingbird moths" species found in the Austin area.   The shot above shows the wing colors, although in flight its wings seem to disappear.    These moths zip and hover just like their namesake bird, and in my garden are often spotted just before dusk rather than at night.   Although I'm not much of a photographer, I somehow managed to capture a close-up showing the long proboscis of this interesting creature.   My other current garden standout is one of the most interesting pass along plants I've ever received.   A couple of years ago it migrated my way from  Eleanor , another Austin garden b

The Moment

Every gardener's had one - that moment you see a plant that's irresistible even though there's no room for it, it's probably going to freeze dead its first winter, it's exotic and you now have a native plants only policy, or some other perfectly good argument that is somehow easily dismissed until you get past the check out area and are on your way home with the plant.   Of course, we have the willpower of an addict when presented with our drug of choice. I experienced such a moment last summer when I stumbled upon some fairly pitiful 6 foot tall trees that were labeled Bauhinia mexicana and priced at a mere $5.  They had seriously outgrown their nursery pots, likely had circling roots, definitely had yellowing leaves, BUT they were only $5 and they were supposed to bloom pink!  How could I not?  My garden is already home to four other Bauhinias, all with fairly small but lovely white flowers.  Needless to say, within an hour my guilty pleasure had been lovingly a