Monday, May 07, 2012

A Fall Bird and Spring Gardening

Each fall, the Cedar waxwings come to feast on the crabapple trees in the yard. Sometimes they are only around for a day, on their way to someplace else. I love the sleek look of these birds with their little black masks. Painting wild birds is a bit of a departure for me, because I am not much of a wildlife photographer, but sometimes I get lucky. There has to be some pretty enticing food available for the birds for them to let me get close enough for a good shot. I have been looking for the orioles that usually make an appearance in the spring when the apple trees bloom, but I have not seen any this year. Perhaps the unusually warm spring and the early blooming of everything has messed with their travel schedule!

I am so pleased with the new cold frame that my husband built for me. This is the first year I have started seedlings with some grow lights, and I have been able to harden off the plants before putting them in the ground. I only left the broccoli plants in the frame for a few days, since broccoli doesn't seem to mind cool temps anyway. It was a lovely day for gardening yesterday--the beans and carrots are planted, the pea trellis is constructed. So--let the growing season begin!

Notice my dense row of lettuce seedlings in front of the cold frame. One thing I have learned--when you plant seeds in a starter tray indoors, only some of them may germinate. When you plant a row of lettuce seeds in the garden, every single seed germinates, requiring meticulous thinning--a chore akin to weeding in my opinion!