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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday Nuthatch, Hoya


Autumn is swiftly coming to a close, yet we still have some leaves left on some trees.   Today I am linking with-

Wild Bird Wednesday hosted by Stewart M.

Saturday's Critters hosted by Eileen

Today's Flowers hosted by Denise

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma and Mystical Magical Teacher

I Heart Macro hosted by Laura


The birds are eagerly awaiting seeds when I go out in the morning, and flit nervously in to grab a seed then escape.  So it is hard to get good photos, here is one of the fastest that often gives me a blur, the tiny Red-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta canadensis-   
"Now you see me, now you don't!"-

Like the Chickadee, they like to roam conifer forests in groups, and can hunt bugs upside down on the undersides of the branches-   "Score!"

"The Masked Marauder Strikes Again!"

"I'm nutty and I know it!"

"I work out!"

Stealth-

The next houseplant in my continuing bloom series is another yellow line plant, leave it on the yellow line of the road and it will survive as long as no one drives over it, Hoya carnosa.  Hoyas are tropical relatives of Milkweed, and share the pentagonal buds that open into 5 pointed stars.


The leaves are thick, dark glossy green with some silver frosting.   The plant blooms on permanent bloom stalks, the spent flowers falling off leave little scars and the next bloom cycle grows from the tip, the flowers arranged in a half-spherical shape.   

The fragrance is delightful, some find it too sweet, and the flowers exude wonderful drops of nectar, which I like to taste, very fragrant.

The Hoya vines are very easy to propagate as well, like tomatoes they form little bumps on the stems, which are precursors of roots, so just cutting the vine above some of the bumps and putting it in a glass of water causes the roots to grow out from the bumps, and when sufficiently long, I just plant them in some good potting soil and stick the plant in a sunny west or south facing window.  Water perhaps once a week, they are not fussy, and in spring, summer, and even into fall they will bloom.   It will take new cuttings a while to grow enough to start making the bloom stalks, or you can be sneaky and root vines long enough to already have some bloom stalks for faster bloom.

In the tropics there are many colors, textures, and sizes of Hoya vines and flowers.   Enjoy!



Wishing everyone a Happy Chanukah, December 16-24, and joyous Christmas season.    Hannah

                                                                                   or cameras are macro

©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.   I enjoy visiting your blogs and leaving comments, but can't if google+ is the only option so will comment here instead.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Jumble of Juncos and Triangular Oxalis December 6, 2014

Featured birds coming for seeds this week are Dark-Eyed Juncos.  The Oregon type comes in a range of colors, the male having a near black hood and the female lighter grey, and is around 5.25" / 13.3cm long.  They nest on the ground and once I uncovered a nest with eggs.   I came back once and the nest seemed to be empty, just a round circle of down remaining.   Then I realized I could see the outline of tiny baby bird beaks flush with the down, they compressed themselves so flat they looked like a uniform flat surface.  I didn't look at them again, not wanting to disturb them.  This website has a photo like the nest I saw, and interesting information.  "Inquiring minds..."




"So long and thanks for the seeds"

The male has a black head- "Nom!"



Linking today with-

Wild Bird Wednesday hosted by Stewart M.

Saturday's Critters hosted by Eileen

Today's Flowers hosted by Denise

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma and Mystical Magical Teacher

I Heart Macro hosted by Laura


Featured houseplant in my continuing bloom series is a good foliage plant with 3 triangular leaves with near-black edges and dark magenta centers, Oxalis triangularis, which can also bloom in a lot of the spring, summer and fall.   When needing water they close and look like butterflies.  S-facing window-






 It will stay evergreen in the winter if watered, but if I want to divide the plant or give some to someone else I stop watering then and let the tops die down, then I can just knock the plant out of the pot and divide the little bulbs, then replant into several new pots.   Like most houseplants I grow, it is hard to kill and is not bothered by neglect.  If you think it's dead just water and it will probably come back from the dormant bulbs.

I hope you find time to relax and order some vegetable and flower seeds during the holiday season.  I added some new beans and lots of annuals to my grow list for next year.    Hannah


                                                                        or cameras are macro

©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.   I enjoy visiting your blog and commenting but can't do so if google+ is the only option, so will comment here.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving Wild Birds and Geraniums November 29, 2014

Welcome to my post.  Flocks of Chickadees roaming through the Western Red Cedars stop by for a snack of black sunflower seeds on my deck, they are getting braver as the fall goes on and sometimes fly up even when I am out putting on more seeds.   Some are definitely Chestnut-backed Chickadees-

"Float like a chickadee, sting like a bee!"

"just walkin' on sunshine, woh-oh"

Others are more brown, possibly the Black-capped Chickadee, I'm not up on the latest names.  "Score!"

Today I am linking with-

Wild Bird Wednesday hosted by Stewart M.

Saturday's Critters hosted by Eileen

Today's Flowers hosted by Denise

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma and Mystical Magical Teacher

I Heart Macro hosted by Laura

They are delightful little birds, very quick.  At a camp in California some would eat nuts out of my hand.  Maybe one day....

The next in my series of featured tough houseplants is one that has been in flower for most of the spring and summer in my windows, a Pelargonium type geranium.   This variety stays small in a pot, and I have been growing this plant several years.   At one point it had split enough to be divided into 3 plants.  I also had the plant on the left next to the then-empty pot on the right and it dropped seeds onto the soil which grew and started blooming this summer as well.   Here they are with one series of spent flowers, still kind of pretty, and new flowers budding out-

And here they are trimmed to show off the new flowers-

I love the salmon / peachy color which makes me think of my favorite time of day in the garden, sunset and twilight.



More budded out-

With more light the peachy colors come through-

And floral arrangements with Thanksgiving colors-


I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving.  I got together with some of my grown children and grandkids.

Hannah

or cameras are macro

©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.   I enjoy visiting your blog and commenting, but can't do so if google+ is the only format, so I will comment here.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday, Post-Frost Houseplant Revue November 22, 2014

Today I am linking with-

Today's Flowers hosted by Denise

Wild Bird Wednesday hosted by Stewart M.

The Bird D'pot hosted by Hootin' Anni

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma and Mystical Magical Teacher

I Heart Macro hosted by Laura

Now that we have had killing frosts, I am going to feature flowering houseplants that give me nearly  continuous bloom indoors.   Blooming now is my Thanksgiving Cactus, some other blogs have this same plant blooming now.  The trick to getting them to bloom for me is to have them in my basement by a south-facing window where they don't get artificial light at night.  If they are behind a curtain it can shelter them from light so that they can bloom as well.  Taken outdoors a couple of weeks ago-

And in the house later-

The flowers make me think of bird spreading their wings to fly-

Speaking of birds, I finally got a few shots of birds eating black sunflower seeds on my deck, here is a raucous but timid Steller's Jay, even though they are a big boisterous bird they fly away if they even see me in the window-

"I've got my eye on you!"

"Don't point that thing at me!"

Cracking a seed- Oof, you can do this!




It's fun to see the birds come for the seeds, they seem to be a little less cautious over time.    What birds visit your yard?      Hannah

or cameras are macro

©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.   I enjoy visiting your blog and commenting, but can't if google + is the only option, so will comment here.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Skywatch Friday, GBBD, Last blooms of the Season November 8, 2014

Welcome to my Skywatch Friday post, hosted by Yogi, Sylvia, and Sandy,  click on the link to see other sky photos from around the world.


Today I am linking with-

Today's Flowers hosted by Denise

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day hosted by Carol

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma and Magical Mystical Teacher

I Heart Macro hosted by Laura

We had our first killing frost which also went down to 24ºF / -4ºC a couple of days ago, but I took these late roses earlier in the week, Evelyn-

Apricot Nectar-

A new Persicaria affinis I planted last year from a little 2" pot, and now spread out 12 x 18" and blooming, I'm very happy with it as a new ground cover-

The flowers start out white-

And deepen to a nice rose color-

Other flowers that were still blooming include Polygonum capitata, Browallia americana, and Camellia Apple Blossom.

In preparation for the frost I cut greens and pulled winter radishes-

The rows I didn't finish I put up some makeshift tunnels with pvc pipe supports at the ends, I finished in the dark-

Some white, red, black above the 5" knife blade, and a large Luo Buo from last spring-

I steamed the greens and froze some-

The view from the hill to the west of us, looking east, the power line at bottom right is one in the series that runs behind our house in the big pasture.  We can't see the mountains from our house, just trees.

I hope you are warm in the cold temperatures, safe driving!   Hannah

or cameras are macro

©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.   I enjoy visiting your blogs and commenting, but can't if google+ is the only option, so will comment here instead.