Monday, August 31, 2015

Celosia cristata (cockscomb)

I posted a picture of this flower the other day.  It's very striking so I looked it up.  Celosia cristata (commonly called "cockscomb") comes in different colors.  I believe this is Cramer's Burgundy.  This yard on our walk also has gold flowers.  It can have spikes, plumes and crests.  It's referred to as cockscomb because it resembles the head of a rooster.

Here is more of a crest and another bee shot...

 
 

This is as close as I will get...

This is in a maple tree near our mailbox down the street.  This appears to be a Bald-Faced Hornet's nest.  They are actually a yellow jacket and not a true hornet.  I'm not sure what I would do if this were in my tree.  I would hope I'd catch it before it got to this size.


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Bush update

It's been over a week since I planted my butterfly bush.  We've had some rain which is helpful.  I wasn't expecting the blooms to last.  I was more hoping the leaves would look healthy.  Upon inspection this morning, all looks well and I think I seeing some new buds/blooms starting.

 
I see the words "blooms", "buds" and "shoots" used so not sure which to use but most look like this...(look closely in the background...looks like a new bud)
 
 
Here is my encouragement...looks like new growth...
 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A second thistle sock

Ruth gave me a sock with nyjer seed that just wasn't attracting any birds at her house.  I hung this in a maple tree off our driveway.  I've been getting good activity at both socks in my front yard.  The American Goldfinch seem to like maple trees...thank you Ruth!


Bee still

Here's a pretty sight from a walk the other morning...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Brick update

This week's weather would be ideal for this project but I'm not quite ready to start.  What I did need to do was move the bricks from the front of the house closer to the project sight and that is what I did over the weekend.  Glad I kept Jake and Maddy's wagon...

 
Russ likes to come out to see what I'm doing...

 
You can see how interested he is...



Last load...

 
All moved...

Friday, August 21, 2015

I got a butterfly bush for my birthday!

Faithful reader and wonderful mother-in-law Ruth surprised me with a butterfly bush for my birthday.  She knew I was bound and determined to attract butterflies and she thought this would help.

It's a Black Knight butterfly bush which will result in purplish blooms.  We debated on putting it in the yard but are always worried what Russ will get into plus he seems scared of bees.  And we decided not to put near our front porch for the same reason...didn't want to attract bees.

I have longed wanted a splash of color beyond our back fence and this fits in nicely.  Plus, that is where the action is for hummingbirds and butterflies.

Fern was nice to offer some of here chicken wire/netting to protect the bush from critters.  So I thought I better get it into the ground.

Here is the bush a few days ago.  The blooms looked a little dry from the trip to Des Moines and my wait in getting it outside.

 
I watered the bush and I'm going to build on this promising sight...
 
 

I went out last night with my wagon of tools, wire, stakes, zip ties...whatever I thought I needed. 
 

 
 I cleared an area with an L-shaped weed whip.
 
 
While I was out there, I put a quick protector around my sole milkweed plant...
 

Ready to plant...
 

In the ground (hard to see)...
 
 
First piece of wire (I used stakes from an old volleyball set to hold down)...
 

Here is a picture looking over the top of the bush back at our house to give you an idea of placement...
 
 

Close-up of a healthy bloom...
 

Here is the bush with a 2nd "layer" of wire...
 
 
Here is a view of the finished project from the house...
 
 
Another shot from this morning...
 

And one more of my milkweed cage...
 

Thank you Ruth!  And yes, you will see updates in the future...