Eve Grosbeaks, hummers, garden, wood work, bread baking, etc

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Monday June 1, 2015
Once again......just to use as reference for next year.....notes on happenings at 9336: 1* EVENING GROSBEAKS. evens 1 It's finally been OUR turn once again to host the BIG flock of Evening Grosbeaks....only ONE other time has the crowd been this big and lasted, now, for 3 months.....somewhere been 30-35 birds arrived at the neighbors 3 doors down in January...and soon moved over to our place since the feeders were in BACK away from the road....and we went to work encouraging them to stay.....4 feeders put up that THEY like... SOON, all trees around us, at the tops, in the mornings, were alive with the calling, and it was rather thrilling....so ALIVE. evns3 They spent 3-4 weeks like this, and then sort of seemed to split up....we began to see pairs at the feeders, less calling ......but....that stayed that way only about a week or two...soon all were back, and HAVE nested.......and JUST this past week, been bringing fledges to the feeders....Fun and yet sad.....FUN to see chicks staring at all the others feeding trying to figure out how it works, and STILL nestling up to a parent who shoves them away now.....it's a tough world kid! So here we are June 1.......my "SUSPICION" is......once these chicks are adjusted and well, this entire flock may move on........these birds are rather well known for being unpredictable. IF they do, glad they stayed to long, and yet, their beauty and company will be missed. 2* The Other Birds: **The Speckled Junco....is a real beauty....most slate juncos are just varying shades of dark gray with a black head...no, this little guy has white spots everywhere on his back....and it's been fun to see how often he's at the feeder.....given me an inkling of how many juncos there are. I NEVER knew......since they were often here.... but since HE's often here, it could just be a 'few' that are nesting around us. **the SAD story.....Juncos are ground nesters....but ONE chose to nest up in a roof corner......12' up. Her chicks just fledged prematurely...one died landing on the sidewalk below....She called for hours there....trying to scare us away and get the chick to move. Sigh. **Black Headed Grosbeaks.......we have 3-4 pair......and the males calling from the very tops of the tallest trees in the mornings.. . .. NICE way to say HI......I'm here, Ladies! Are you ready? **They're nesting NOW. **WITH our VERY WARM/DRY spring, water's become a precious commodity even here in the rain forest.....we're seeing some birds we rarely see come in just for water and bathing: the Western Tanager, Townsend's Warbler, and some kind of sparrows......it's FUN....since the best bath is right at the back window. 3* GARDEN. **As is expected now, every spring, our perennial plants came up perfectly and early since it was dry.....so we BEGAN summer with potatoes, oregano, leeks (from last fall...ready to eat now), rhubarb, rhubarb 040915 and finally garlic and shallots are on their way. I used the little tiller to get a place for whatever we'd find at the Canby SALE May 1, and Millenium Farms Mr. Michael & Ms. Missy Stucki about the same time.....so NOW.......out there are -24- Walls-o=Water surrounding 13 tomato plants and 11 pepper plants...WHEW! wallsowater1 ======= gardn may 2015 always a tiring day to get that all set up, but now it's there and roots growing....most COOL. The NEW "trendy" tomato seems to be the PINEAPPLE EXPRESS from Michael....we're testing that....but we have our fav's: Stupice, San Marzano, Sungold, a Siberian experiment and a couple others....this will be fun....... ALSO WELL on their way Lettuce, Chard: chard Celery, Parsley (eating it now)....that's leaving us 3-4 rows yet to be planted and it's TIME to get that done. **on a sad note, the BIG tiller wouldn't shift into gear ....I KNOW,should have found that out in March .....and taken it in then.....got it to Roy Boys who by now were all backed up, so it took a month to find out it was rusted to bits....and repair costs would be around $500. It was sent to recycle.........and the little tiller finished the work out there......... **SO WHAT IS GOING TO GET PLANTED? *corn? *Tomatillo? * ??? 4* Company: John, Toni, Maeve, & Leah Cunningham were here in May for a few nights....what a blast that was.......seems we may have to visit Boston someday! 5* Company: Jim Tueller & John Zimmerman visited from Florida! What a blast again, as always....seems I've known Jim all my life..... after all, he even held the same Missionary Jobs in the Mission Office that I did, just a couple years after I returned home......a favorite life friend! Maybe a Florida Visit will be needed too! 6* Downing TREES! 4 of them! The huge maple right at the top of the slope, and right by one old tool shed.....was rotting and leaning toward the house........... I used my BEST personality flattery traits at the Portland City Permit Offices to get a rush job on what usually takes a month: permits are NOW required to remove any tree in Portland....this guy got me an inspector out in 2 days.......and soon we were watching Roots and Shoots Justin Keane & Crew dancing up in those tree tops getting them cut down......with ALL finish work to be done by US..... hence, their one day fee: $1600. OURs? a lot of back breaking work stacking, moving, unstacking, moving, re-stacking firewood for this winter. woodpile2 ......and cleaning up the slope below......and spreading a truck load of woodchips all over the yard woodchips before (mark's job)......I've gotten the chips around, Rodger's cleaned the slope, and now, the REAL hard work of the splitting/stacking, etc etc etc.....can be stretched over a few weeks so I won't end up dead. What a fun kind of torture/adventure. 7* MISC good times have been plenty here.....it's been a GREAT wonder spring......hope it continues......and can't forget....the Julie Teal Strawberry Shortcake Party at her house out on Sauvie Island right ON the Columbia River.....with Nancy Grossenbacher, carol dubosh, and a crowd.....that's one of the highblights of the year. 8*....oops, HUMMINGBIRD NOTE: Seems like there's been a LOT of them, BUT.....only my luck at keeping records of how much sugar/water I cook for them for the past 8 years can prove changes in how many come........AND............ LAST may........there were enough hummers here to average consuming at least 2-4 cups daily MORE last year than now........ given we have been warmer and dryer, I wish I could translate that into numbers of birds.....I AM left with some wonder if we lost a few that tried to fly up from MX through drought stricken California. Sigh. I can only HOPE the rest of this summer is one I can keep up with.......this moving/stacking wood thing is about the first time I've truly felt being 68 years is not a good thing. .

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