Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Newsletter - 3/15/11

Hello Dear Friends!

With all the excitement of the last issue's mention of our visit of a Bald Eagle in our habitat, there's certainly been nothing that exciting to mention.  It's been cold and rainy until this past weekend, but as soon as it turned warm again with some sun, we headed outdoors.

March 11 - Hellebore in Bloom
We don't rake the leaves in the Fall, but leave them to naturally protect plants, but now's the time to suck them up and chop them for mulching our flower beds and around the bushes.  It's been the best ever mulch from all we've ever used.  I wished we'd known this for our entire gardening time, but we only started doing it 5 years ago and within a couple of years we had oodles of earthworms.  Later I read it's one of the best ways to attract worms.

And if you don't know the benefits of having earthworms providing free fertilizer to your soil, read the post at the link.

The first blooms I've seen in the yard are the Hellebores.  They are such a gorgeous color.  They were given to us by a friend.  They took a couple of years to bloom, but they were surely worth the wait.

Looking Inside the Bloom
Although they are a beautiful flower, as you can see, the bloom hangs downward which keeps them from being showy.  I guess you could call them a humble plant, not lifting its head proudly to the sun.  The inside coloring is so pretty and it's quite interesting how the inner parts of the plant develop.  It begins with a really tight head.

I love the veins in the flower petals since it reminds me of wild orchids in Costa Rica.  The coloring is so "old-fashioned" which does not show up well with my camera since I didn't use a flash.  They are planted on the north side of our home outside the office window where our polk weed will be coming out of the ground soon.  That's one of our very favorite plants, although down south it's considered a weed.  It produces so many berries and we have all kinds of species all over it in the Fall so we have nothing but love for the plant since it's totally carefree too.

Center Maturing Into Seed Pods
The head turns into seeds as the plant matures.  It's so interesting to see the evolve and since they are the first blooms we get, it's like a long lost friend returning every year for a reunion of soul and spirit ... after what we consider a long winter here in Central Virginia.

The bloom actually turns green as the seed pods develop.  It's really odd.  It's like we females that change our entire look with a new hairdo.  View photo of last stage of the plant.

Our winter bird buffet on the front porch has been well visited and there's one little squirrel that has developed a taste for the meal worms we put out for the wrens and bluebirds.

We have plenty of Common Grackles now.  Years ago I thought we might have one dead on our deck, but I was able to hold it and help it back to life and the skies again.  The Grackle Rescue was an awesome experience.

Many folks don't like to have them, but we welcome them since they are temporary visitors.  They will stay and store up for their trip further south.  I've not refilled the suet feeders out back since they can finish one off in a day.  The two hanging under my front porch are too close for comfort for them, so we've had plenty of woodpeckers on those, along with the pine siskins, bluebirds and wrens.

Hope you're seeing exciting things in your own habitat ... let me know what they are!  Share with everybody by leaving a comment below the newsletter on the website.

Love, Hugs and Blessings!

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Choice of Garden Plants Matters to Bird Survival

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Being 60, Winter Trims Adventure Possibilities #36 - 41  (DLW)

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Newsletter - 3/1/11  (DLW)

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Canine Joint Disease - Does Your Dog Have It?

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Pray This Prayer of Peace Over Yourself

Scripture Cards - Part Four  (DLW)

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The Great Wind Scam

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Self-Hatred Is Sin

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146 Dams Threaten Amazon Basin

Newsletter - 2/15/11

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The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either of them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website: © 2010 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from TheNatureInUs.com. The link to use is: www.TheNatureInUs.com.

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