Friday, October 31, 2008


We hadn't had any measurable rain since May 24th, '08, so this totally dust settling wetness that started late yesterday afternoon is most welcome. Now if we can just have a nice wet winter and a fabulous snowpack in the Sierras, we might ease our drought situation. The nearest lake to me, Folsom, is at 25% capacity. That pretty much makes it a puddle.
Nice to have a puddle from sky droppings instead of a forgotten running sprinkler...

This rain does mean that the Chasmanthe will now be springing out of the earth in great green masses, covering all manner of lawn mower obstacles and turning next spring's first mowing into an...adventure... Sure do wish the deer would develop a hunger for Chasmanthe.
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Thursday, October 30, 2008

October birds in my yard

Bird list for far...
1. Scrub jay
2. American Goldfinch
3. Oak Titmouse
4. Mourning dove
5. Northern Flicker
6. Bewick's wren
7. House finch
8. White breasted nuthatch
9. Anna's hummingbird
10. Sharp-shinned hawk
11. American robin
12. Cedar waxwings
13. White crowned sparrow
14. Bushtits
15. Nuttalls woodpecker
16. American crow
17. Black Phoebe
18. Lesser goldfinch
19. Gold crowned sparrow
20. Dark eyed junco
21. Red tail hawk
22. Yellow billed magpie
23. Yellow rumped warbler (Audubon's warbler)
24. Northern mockingbird
25. Mallards (fo)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

some fall color

Angela's Strawberry tree, Arbutus Ericaceae.
My Virginia Creeper. Parthenocissus quinquefolia.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

the Vinca Battle

To make room for new and improved, I hope, landscaping, this patch of Vinca Major had to be removed. I'd been wanting to do this for years but its such a formidable task that it was easier to just Grinch about it. But then my wonderful neighbors came over a couple of weeks ago to move chips into other parts of this Not-So-Secret-Garden and that finally got me in gear.
This was last weekend. The little patch in front is mostly Japanese Anenomies that the deer had forgotten to eat. Of course, now that all the vinca has been removed the deer will probably dine on what's left of the anenomies. Did discover that vinca is not too hard to remove using one of those little claw/blade thingies. (if I was clever the photo of such a tool would be here). Naturally there are always a few hidden roots that suddenly grow leaves and start the process all over but if one pays attention and gets them in their youth so to speak, the stuff can be kept under control.
Here is how it looks at the moment. It will eventually have some ornamental grass clumps, and lots of Mexican Lobelia, Sticky Monkey Flower, California fuchsia, and other things native and/or drought resistant.

My intention was to work more on it yesterday but my back muscles finally went on strike and I decided to get a haircut instead. Oy, did I ever get a haircut! I won't need another one for months! Yikes!
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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fabulous neighbors!

This is chip pile #2. It is mostly, if not all, eucalyptus judging by the nice odor. Some of us were smart enough to actually wear the provided masks, others of us will probably cough for a few days. Breathing dusty-moldy air is probably not the healthiest of activities. Luckily there was a brisk wind blowing the cloud of dustmold away from us.
I thought I wanted to move back to Oregon. What was I thinking? And leave wonderful, crazy, fun neighbors like this behind? Karen, Jan, Elisa and David moved, in 90 minutes, the amount of chips it took me four days to move by myself. Plus they all took some excess plantlife from my overcrowded space to theirs. We now must decide who's yard gets The Crew next.

This is where the pile went. There WAS a photo of what's left of The Pile but my computer just ate it. Looks like she-who-knows-not-how-to-use-her-camera (that would be moi) had macro on for this shot. oops. This is the 25' x 75' not-so-secret-garden that will eventually sport mostly native plants. It will be pretty eventually, trust me. There is still much vinca major, Bermuda, mint, and other things to remove and then some of the existing plants will be divided and moved hither and yon. Or yawn. Unfortunately this shot does not show either of the two OBAMA signs posted. It does show the American flag which I've decided is NOT just the symbol of the republicans. Its OUR flag too. I'm not a "flag waver" but I am tired of the assumption that only republican houses post our flag.

I love my neighbors!
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