Tuesday, May 31, 2011


This time of year we have a layer of yellow dust on just about everything….pollen; pine pollen to be specific. The front porch is yellow; the flowers have yellow dust on them, the dog’s water has pollen floating on it. Duane has dug little ditches in the yard by the downspout to avert water away from the house and after the water has gone the ditches are yellow. Sweep the front porch and it’s back the next day. I’m not trying to complain, just to explain this natural phenomenon that occurs each year around here. Hmm...maybe we should call it "yellow fairy dust" instead. Sounds way more romantic:)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bird watching

I've enjoyed bird watching for some time. Even when we lived in town, I had a little feeder in the back yard. We didn't have near the variety of birds that we now have, though. So outside my kitchen window we have a couple feeders. As we sit at the table to eat or if I'm at the sink doing dishes, I can gaze out my window and enjoy their busy munching and fluttering around.

I used to get the wild bird seed mix, but found out most of it goes to waste, because there's so much of it they don't eat. Now I buy only black oil sunflower seeds. They eat all of it and we still get a wide variety of birds visiting. I don't know all the names of the visiting birds, but there's a few I recognize. In the winter we mostly have the nuthatches, chickadees, and Stellar Jays. Spring has brought Mourning doves, Evening Grosbeaks, Goldfinches, Crossbills, Juncos, Pine Siskins, probably sparrows, and finches. Those I've yet to figure out. I think I had a purple finch and a house finch today, but I still haven't been able to tell those two and the Cassin's finch apart!
In previous summers when I would water the garden, the birds would come bathe in the puddles that formed or shower under the spray of water coming from my hose. This year I decided to add a bird bath to the yard. Now they always have a place to come for a drink (although, I think they still like the dog dish by the faucet) or a bath if need be. And I have another place to watch them and be entertained. Austin picked out the bath with the two bird statutes on it. Maybe that makes the birds more confident to come try it out; because there's already "somebody" there. :)
"All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful, The Lord God made them all.
Each little flower that opens, each little bird that sings, He made their glowing colors, He made their tiny wings."
And I'm so glad He did!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Spring in Washington

Here's my take on spring in Washington...go outside to work, take coat off, take sweatshirt off, *hail* put hat on, put sweatshirt back on, *rain*, go in house for drink, *rain stopped* go outside, put coat back on, take coat off *sunshine*, think about putting T-shirt on, go in for drink, Repeat as needed:P

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The mini mower

This is an addendum to my last blog…..
Like I mentioned these organic lawn mowers do come in different sizes. And so, I present the mini mower! For those smaller people (aka children) this is a safe mower for them to use and also gets into those hard to reach areas that the bigger mower can’t. (Notice how it fits nicely in between the composter and raised bed?) This particular model, The “Wally” comes in a natural dirt color. I just can't say enought good things about these organic mowers!

Lawn Mowers

I always love this time of year. The grass is starting to grow and turn the yard green again. The horses have been cooped up in their “pasture” all winter long. (We really don’t have pasture, it’s just what you would call a “dry lot” and the horses are fed hay year round). So when the yard starts to green up again I like to turn them loose to graze. They’re my organic lawn mowers! The yard is all fenced so all I have to do is put a fake “hot wire” across the driveway which keeps them from heading off to visit the neighbors. 

They’re happy when I open the gate and let them out. Hungrily, they cruise from blade to blade, nipping off the sweet, new grass and eating like they might not get another chance. I head back indoors as they continue. Every once in a while they get a wild hair and go thundering around the yard, which always gets the dogs barking and me usually heading to a window to see what’s going on. 

Their winter coats are shedding out, so occasionally they find a comfy spot and drop down to roll back and forth, scratching their hide and ridding themselves of their winter leftovers. After several hours their tummies are full and they find a warm, sunny spot to lie down and nap. Ahh…they look so cozy and content! It’s relaxing just to watch them.

At this point I head for my camera to snap a few pictures… my lawn mowers have run out of fuel. But when I open the kitchen door they are curious and rise from their resting spots to come investigate. Austin quickly grabs some refueling food out of the frig for them…..carrots, of course. They happily take the treats and munch away.
FOR RENT: Organic, ride-on lawn mowers. Mows, fertilizes and re-fuels automatically, and at the same time! Comes in various sizes and colors. Models may vary, depending on availability. Even trimming and fertilizing not guaranteed! Prices and availability subject to change.