Saturday Gardening Thread: Things to do in December [KT]

bird santahat.JPG

Prepare for a Christmas Bird Count?

Happy December, Horde! Got garden plans for the month? Shopping for gifts for gardeners? The bird count described above is actually on December 17, not on Christmas, and is described as "our Chapter's contribution to the world's largest, oldest citizen science project on Earth."

Hmmm. Sounds like it might possibly take you away from the garden. Unless you have lots of birds visiting your garden. You could always go down to the basement and make a bird house or other shelter for our Feathered Friends.

december-gardening-2.jpg

Help wintering backyard creatures?

Some members of The Horde might want to discourage certain backyard creatures. Heh.

The RHS gardening advice for December includes sort of obvious reminders like, "make sure the heater in your greenhouse is working". But there is also a very nice video at the top of the page explaining the difference between summer pruning and dormant pruning (of apple trees in this case).

The Missouri Botanical Garden has a calendar of garden tips for December. Nice list, especially if you are caring for poinsettias or other indoor plants.

It is followed by links concerning December Pests and Problems. Wish we didn't have to worry about Pests and Problems in December. Watch out that tree trunks don't get girdled. Careful when planting trees from containers. Circling roots, even one, can doom your plant later.

circlecontainer.jpg

Look familiar?

I did not realized that "mulch volcanoes" were such a common problem. I did know that mulch donuts were much better.

Girdling_Roots501.jpg

Mulch Volcano

Speaking of volcanoes, here is a follow-up to last week's orchid photos by Don, Leomesezia (syn. Howera) 'Lava Burst'. Looks Christmas-y to me. He updated his site with a note to The Horde kinda late last Saturday, in case you would like to visit.

Leomesezia.jpg

If you are in a mild-winter climate zone similar to Austin's, you might think about floating row covers for your veggie garden for protection from light frosts. And maybe errant reindeer a little later.

winter garden.jpg

Shopping for Gardeners?

I got my Pinetree Catalog a while ago. It has a bigger gift section than most garden catalogs. The desktop plant light looks nice.

Do you have a favorite place to shop for garden gifts? Have gifts in mind?

Gardens and workshops of The Horde

Nothing much going on around here. Haven't started decorating yet. How about you?

Posted by: Open Blogger at 12:55 PM




Comments

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1 Good afternoon greentumbs

Posted by: Skip at December 03, 2016 12:57 PM (5sOEp)

2 Hi, Skip.

Posted by: KT at December 03, 2016 01:00 PM (qahv/)

3 How did I get a first? I should get my bird feeder out as my over winter birds need help. I took in my water bath but did notice a large puddle after a rain not long ago had dozens of birds in it.
Still collecting leaves today and noticed my compost pile is starting to heat up. I covered it in clear plastic to retain its heat.

Posted by: Skip at December 03, 2016 01:01 PM (5sOEp)

4 The plastic covered beds looks like a bodies in a morgue. Too funny.

Posted by: Skip at December 03, 2016 01:03 PM (5sOEp)

5 You always get first, Skip. We still have weed seeds for the birds. Our kitties are catching a few mice closer to the house than I like.

Posted by: KT at December 03, 2016 01:04 PM (qahv/)

6 This week I have off work, and I plan to build a tool shed that will later be converted into a greenhouse.

Stupid birds ate most of my oats I sowed for a cover crop

Posted by: Kindltot at December 03, 2016 01:04 PM (yLUuz)

7 "The plastic covered beds looks like a bodies in a morgue. Too funny."

Yep. Not exactly decorated for Christmas.

But I think that's floating row cover. Spun fabric. Breathable, gives just a little frost protection. And pest protection.


Posted by: KT at December 03, 2016 01:06 PM (qahv/)

8 Good afternoon KT and the gardening thread people.
Love the bird photos, especially the top one. And thanks for the reminder about the December bird count. We haven't done that in years but it was fun. Time to start again. (My attempts to learn to draw, with little talent alas, have renewed my interest in bird watching.)

Posted by: JTB at December 03, 2016 01:07 PM (V+03K)

9 Kindltot,

A tool shed is a YUGE project. Good luck.

When birds were eating corn seed I planted, I strung some black thread here and there, tied a couple of inches above the ground. They don't like walking into it.

A radio or flash tape are other alternatives.

Posted by: KT at December 03, 2016 01:08 PM (qahv/)

10 Have a great time counting and watching birds, JTB.

Posted by: KT at December 03, 2016 01:10 PM (qahv/)

11 Anybody know which species the birds in the photos are?

Posted by: KT at December 03, 2016 01:10 PM (qahv/)

12 Know of it but not sure how to count birds. I have my usual Cardinals, and Chickadees. I get in deep winter little black and white birds I guess from northern Canada. I have a few books on birds.
How do you not count the same two Cardinals 32 times ?

Posted by: Skip at December 03, 2016 01:13 PM (5sOEp)

13 Hard to garden here with ice on the ponds and the ground frozen.

Posted by: the littl shyning man at December 03, 2016 01:14 PM (U6f54)

14 Gotta run for a bit. I'll be back.

Posted by: KT at December 03, 2016 01:14 PM (qahv/)

15 Bottom photo is a magpie, no idea what the fluffy one above is.

Posted by: Pug Mahon at December 03, 2016 01:17 PM (n2teT)

16
The KT Home Outdoor Alien Autopsy Kit

Posted by: IllTemperedCur at December 03, 2016 01:17 PM (LuZz8)

17 This time of year I mostly see magpies, crows and bluejays. Sometime little teeny round tweety birds with black and white. Kind of like chickadees, but I don't think they are. Oh, sparrows too.

Posted by: Pug Mahon at December 03, 2016 01:19 PM (n2teT)

18 A lot of hawks, turkey vultures and even eagles overhead, even in town.

Posted by: Pug Mahon at December 03, 2016 01:20 PM (n2teT)

19 Our wild birds can go in various 3-sided sheds for shelter. They have Russian Olives and many snack on the dog food our Great Pyr doesn't clean up. That plus any spilled horse feed and bountiful weed seeds apparently provides food to sustain plenty of birds w/o me doing anything to encourage them.

Posted by: PaleRider, link to funeral expense fund for SMFH's Carl at December 03, 2016 01:21 PM (Jen0I)

20 Crows are always around, I hate when a few dozen (murders Ithink) get in my trees and start carrying on.

Posted by: Skip at December 03, 2016 01:21 PM (5sOEp)

21 Anyone have a pellet gun w/scope recommendation?

I'm so sick and tired of the squirrels that eat me out of house and home. I have a wonderful variety of birds for living in a small village. But, damn the squirrels. About 10 of them that feed at any one time.

Posted by: Misanthropic Humanitarian at December 03, 2016 01:26 PM (voOPb)

22 13 Hard to garden here with ice on the ponds and the ground frozen.

Posted by: the littl shyning man at December 03, 2016 01:14 PM (U6f54

I want ice. NOW

Posted by: Misanthropic Humanitarian at December 03, 2016 01:27 PM (voOPb)

23 I don't participate in the bird counts because my feeders attract every fat, lazy sparrow in east Omaha -- certainly more than I'm willing to try and count. On the other hand, I've been told that my sparrows attract hawks. I once saw one perched on the mailbox surveying the lunch buffet; I just wasn't able to identify it. My next door neighbor says he sees them out there quite frequently. Maybe now that I have joined the great unemployed, I might see a few myself. Hopefully, I'll see a couple of hawks munching down sparrows.

Posted by: Deplorable lady with a deplorable basket of deplorable cats at December 03, 2016 01:28 PM (VCkDW)

24 Lol, Skip.. yes, a group of crows is called a 'murder'. (Probably because they're so annoying, one would like to murder them)

Thank goodness for Air-soft! Doesn't hurt them, but annoys them right back!

Posted by: JQ Flyover at December 03, 2016 01:28 PM (044Fx)

25 Posted by: Misanthropic Humanitarian at December 03, 2016 01:26 PM (voOPb)
I have a Gamo bone collector .177. It came with a scope. I bought it at wal mart. I like that thing.

Posted by: CaliGirl at December 03, 2016 01:34 PM (Q5Ymk)

26 Trump lied to my black Ptesdent and that bothers us in Brattleboro !!! Just like having Bush as Ptesdent again !!;

Posted by: Mary Clogginstien from Brattleboro, VT at December 03, 2016 01:35 PM (MiXUc)

27 Learn something new everyday. I didn't think airguns/air rifles would be sold with a scope but Cabelas has multiple models that do and sells an add on scope for what I guess is a higher end air rifle model.

Posted by: PaleRider, link to funeral expense fund for SMFH's Carl at December 03, 2016 01:35 PM (Jen0I)

28 I posted this the other day. The guy that works here caught this sparrow hawk. He did let him go. I petted him.

http://tinypic.com/r/2hgz7rl/9

Posted by: CaliGirl at December 03, 2016 01:38 PM (Q5Ymk)

29 Pug Mahon at December 03, 2016 01:20 PM

Cool. What region do you live in?

Posted by: KT at December 03, 2016 01:38 PM (qahv/)

30 PaleRider,

I used to use dog food to lure crows away when fruit was ripening.

Posted by: KT at December 03, 2016 01:39 PM (qahv/)

31 Benjamin 397. No scope. Accurate.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at December 03, 2016 01:41 PM (044Fx)

32 Ooh. The bird count. I think I'll participate this year. Thanks.

Sadly, I quit feeding the birds for three reasons.
1 - money. I was going a little overboard there at the end
2 - cats. I watched a neighbor's cat eat a beautiful, innocent songbird from my feeders more than once.
3 - rodents. The possums, coons rats & tree rats were getting ridiculous.

Posted by: Chi - #FreeCthulhu at December 03, 2016 01:46 PM (+wNVP)

33 CaliGirl at December 03, 2016 01:38 PM

Sounds fun. I caught a big bird inside a house I shared with roommates once. In a dishcloth. It had fallen down the chimney. It didn't want to be petted.

Posted by: KT at December 03, 2016 01:47 PM (qahv/)

34 Starlings moving south....

Geese moving south. Geese can travel 1500 miles in 24 hours. Amazing.

Posted by: Hairyback Guy at December 03, 2016 01:47 PM (ej1L0)

35 Although dry, we've had typical autumn temperatures this season. Turns out our flat leaf parsley is doing great. And we have some young (from last season) rosemary that is thriving. Just brushing a hand against it leaves a wonderful scent.

Note to self: do more with herbs next year.

Posted by: JTB at December 03, 2016 01:47 PM (V+03K)

36 Putting up Christmas lights today. Garden related, because I'll have to walk carefully within a flowerbed to put them up.

Now, if I can just remember where we put that big bag of zipties...

Posted by: JQ Flyover at December 03, 2016 01:48 PM (044Fx)

37 6 Cardinals out in the woods while deer hunting this week. Heard some woodpeckers. At least 3.

Posted by: Iron Mike Golf at December 03, 2016 01:48 PM (di1hb)

38 Posted by: KT at December 03, 2016 01:47 PM (qahv/)
You are braver than I am. The hawk did not like me touching him, he didn't try to bite me though.

Posted by: CaliGirl at December 03, 2016 01:50 PM (Q5Ymk)

39 36 Putting up Christmas lights today. Garden related, because I'll have to walk carefully within a flowerbed to put them up.

That's next after I finish my teriyaki skewer lunch. Burned a bunch of brush and tree limbs this morning.

Posted by: Iron Mike Golf at December 03, 2016 01:50 PM (di1hb)

40 Mis. Hum., Don't know about killing squirrels, but to drive them away even a Daisy Red Ryder will do the job. Accurate enough up to ten yards.

Does your wish for ice mean ice fishing?

Posted by: JTB at December 03, 2016 01:52 PM (V+03K)

41 I think the bird in the first picture, wearing the little hat, is a catbird.

Posted by: stace at December 03, 2016 01:53 PM (Bk0n1)

42 Hmm. Only bird question I've ever had was 12 vs 20 guage...

Heh

Posted by: Anon a mouse... at December 03, 2016 01:55 PM (C9pBZ)

43 A lot of my Marine friends are pumped for General Mattis becoming the SecDef as am I. It remains to be seen if he makes the 180 degree turn back to the original intent of the armed forces.

Posted by: Gmac@hiwaay.net - now with extra shadenboner at December 03, 2016 01:58 PM (Y9g6h)

44 The scopes that come with air rifles are usually not that great. Better than nothing. I have a Crosman .177 and a Benjamin .22. Can't seem to keep the .22 sighted in. The Benjamin came with a real cheap scope.

Posted by: Ronster at December 03, 2016 01:58 PM (GF+AN)

45 I've made a list of 77 species of birds in 15 years at this house. Three or four are kind of cheating cuz I only saw them flying way overhead.

We're in the city, but down in a floodplain forest bottom. I'm going to miss the birdies when we move, but the new house at least has the usual suspects, the grackles, white wing doves, and one very energetic mockingbird guarding HIS berries in the side yard.

Posted by: stace at December 03, 2016 01:58 PM (Bk0n1)

46 99 cent store wild bird seed, and I get finches, dove & sparrows plenty. Feral cats love me and hate me - I bring birds, but to where cats cant get em.

75.83.34.179 got banhammered, why?

Posted by: Adobe Juan Kenobe at December 03, 2016 01:58 PM (g/zpC)

47 The Pinetree catalog arrived but I'm trying not to obsess over it yet. We'll have 4 or 5 more catalogs coming this month. After Christmas is when we get a little crazy with them.

We don't have any gardening gifts to give this time. But our best friends retire next year and there has been talk of starting a garden after many years without. That will open up some fun gift giving ideas.

Posted by: JTB at December 03, 2016 01:58 PM (V+03K)

48 There's a bag of cranberries in the frig., didn't use them at Thanksgiving. Think I'll string them and hang out for the birds.

Maybe string some popcorn too?

Haven't done this since gradeschool, lol.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at December 03, 2016 02:00 PM (044Fx)

49 stace at December 03, 2016 01:58 PM

Wow. That's a lot of bird species. Let us know if you see any interesting ones this winter.

Posted by: KT at December 03, 2016 02:02 PM (qahv/)

50 Here's the winter refuge I cobbled together for Mrs IMG's cacti and fairy gardens. First did it last year with just the table and one light. This year, I hung a light under the table and put up 2 ft fluorescents to the right of the table. I also plumbed in a watering hose. "Lice changing!" is what she said.

http://tinypic.com/r/294m9es/9

Posted by: Iron Mike Golf at December 03, 2016 02:04 PM (di1hb)

51 great website (has an iPhone app as well):
http://www.gardenate.com

Ever walk through a forest and notice all the tree mulch volcanoes? Me neither. Don't build them.

Build a simple berm around the base of the tree with dirt about 6" high to inhibit water run-off and then fill with a 1" layer of hardy, long-lasting mulch such as pine bark.

New trees - deep soak the tree every other day for 1 week. Then move to 1X week for 2-3 weeks. Then leave it alone.

Posted by: Paul A'Barge at December 03, 2016 02:07 PM (1M/iC)

52 The only birds I see this time of year are Junkos, Sparrows, House Finches, Asian Doves, Great Horned Owls and Magpies.

Posted by: Ronster at December 03, 2016 02:08 PM (GF+AN)

53 Nice, Iron Mike--

Beautiful array of plants!

Posted by: JQ Flyover at December 03, 2016 02:08 PM (044Fx)

54 I mean, "Life changing!" Heh. Sausage fingers.

Posted by: Iron Mike Golf at December 03, 2016 02:08 PM (di1hb)

55 Wow Iron Mike. that is quite a set up and a lot of plants compressed into a small area for wintering. Now you have to post pics when the plants are back in their summer positions.

Posted by: PaleRider, link to funeral expense fund for SMFH's Carl at December 03, 2016 02:09 PM (Jen0I)

56 Thanks, JQ. All I do hump 'em in and out. And dig holes, mulch, etc. She's the flower person.

Posted by: Iron Mike Golf at December 03, 2016 02:09 PM (di1hb)

57 Time to get up off my duff, those lights aren't suicidal...

Posted by: JQ Flyover at December 03, 2016 02:09 PM (044Fx)

58 I havd nesting Broad Wings every year in or near my yard but they leave by early fall.
I have never had a problem with grey squirrels other than them getting into my bird feeder. They have never tried to get into my house or out building.

Posted by: Skip at December 03, 2016 02:09 PM (5sOEp)

59 Iron Mike,
Nice setup!

Posted by: CaliGirl at December 03, 2016 02:12 PM (Q5Ymk)

60 PaleRider, I'll dig around for outdoor pics. They are all from the front porch and walk. Some of the cacti are blooming since moving inside. Come spring, I'll surely post after moving them back outside.

Posted by: Iron Mike Golf at December 03, 2016 02:12 PM (di1hb)

61 Time to get up off my duff, those lights aren't suicidal...

Heh

Posted by: Ronster at December 03, 2016 02:12 PM (GF+AN)

62 Thanks, CaliGirl. Oh, and this year I put down a horse stall mat underneath it all. Since it will be a regular thing and all.

Posted by: Iron Mike Golf at December 03, 2016 02:13 PM (di1hb)

63 Iron Mike, That is one impressive array! Thanks for posting the picture.

Posted by: JTB at December 03, 2016 02:16 PM (V+03K)

64 We made an owl nest for the great horned owls and put it in the same spot where they had the owlets last year. I hope the use it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Posted by: CaliGirl at December 03, 2016 02:17 PM (Q5Ymk)

65 Another vote for the top photo being a catbird. I think the feathers are fluffed out which made me question the ID.

Posted by: JTB at December 03, 2016 02:17 PM (V+03K)

66 I read that Great Horned Owls can't make their own nest so the use an abandoned Hawk nest (or maybe a human made one.)

Posted by: Ronster at December 03, 2016 02:20 PM (GF+AN)

67 That sparrow hawk was cool CaliGirl.

Posted by: PaleRider, link to funeral expense fund for SMFH's Carl at December 03, 2016 02:20 PM (Jen0I)

68 OK, time to tackle my lights. Enjoy your afternoon, folks!

Posted by: Iron Mike Golf at December 03, 2016 02:22 PM (di1hb)

69 Posted by: Iron Mike Golf at December 03, 2016 02:13 PM (di1hb)
We put a hoop up for wintering plants. I used to put them in a porch and cover them when it might freeze. Everything made it except for a couple of tropical plants.

Some plants I try to bring in my house for winter but they do worse than if I left them outside. They go into shock from the low humidity I think.

Posted by: CaliGirl at December 03, 2016 02:22 PM (Q5Ymk)

70 Another vote for the top photo being a catbird. I think the feathers are fluffed out which made me question the ID.
Posted by: JTB at December 03, 2016 02:17 PM (V+03K)

Yeah, it's all puffed up, but I think I can see a touch of black on its head and a little bit of the red that catbirds have around their assholes.

Posted by: stace, deplorable at last at December 03, 2016 02:25 PM (ozZau)

71 This thread is dangerous. We were enjoying sitting in the backyard, nice sunny day although cool. We talked idly about attaching a screened in porch to the prefab cottage. The conversation, specifically hers, turned to the possibility of a small greenhouse as well. (The connection, which I didn't make, was they are both outdoor structures. You would think after 35 years I wouldn't be blindsided like this. But I always am.) More planning. And more coffee required.

Posted by: JTB at December 03, 2016 02:26 PM (V+03K)

72 My aunt has two or three Husky dogs (my cousin runs a rescue, she's what they call a "foster failure", I guess); last fall, she said something about filling one or two of her bird feeders with hair she had brushed from her dogs, to give the birds and whatnot something to build nests with.
The way my Lab sheds, I could probably furnish every bird in North Carolina with prime building materials year 'round...

Posted by: antisocialist at December 03, 2016 02:27 PM (W2wn0)

73 Posted by: Ronster at December 03, 2016 02:20 PM (GF+AN)
They don't build their nests. The nest they used last year was a sparrow hawk nest from the year before. It fell apart before the owlets could fly very well. One of the owlets was on the ground for a week. The parents still fed it. That one that was on the ground I named lucky.
The guy here made a cone type nest out of rebar and chicken wire. We filled it with sticks and leaves. We just bought a used bucket truck, he put it up there about 40 feet.
Last year the mother was in the nest on February 13th.

Posted by: CaliGirl at December 03, 2016 02:27 PM (Q5Ymk)

74 Iron Mike Golf at December 03, 2016 02:04 PM

I'm impressed! Thanks for including the link to the photo.

Posted by: KT at December 03, 2016 02:28 PM (qahv/)

75 Where is my BB GUN,,,blow that Santa Hat off in a nano second.......I need a BIG BIRD for Xmas.....not bones & feathers.....

Posted by: saf at December 03, 2016 02:30 PM (+zN6H)

76 Cali Girl why did you catch the sparrow hawk?

Posted by: keena at December 03, 2016 02:31 PM (S0CK0)

77 JTB at December 03, 2016 02:26 PM

Well. That's a surprise.

Posted by: KT at December 03, 2016 02:31 PM (qahv/)

78 Sorry didn't look at top bird other than its Santa hat.
Top bird is definitely a Cat Bird, I have them here. They like my Rhododendron bushes in front of my house.

Posted by: Skip at December 03, 2016 02:31 PM (5sOEp)

79 Posted by: JTB at December 03, 2016 02:26 PM (V+03K)
I have 2 screened porches. One is on the north side of the house and it's cold in there. It's called a summer porch.
The other porch is on the ranch managers cottage. It faces east. It's cold in there too. That's where I use to winter the plants.

Posted by: CaliGirl at December 03, 2016 02:32 PM (Q5Ymk)

80 CaliGirl, I hope the Owls come back and use your nest.
We had five GH owlets around here one year. They didn't hatch here and were able to fly from somewhere nearby. They were sure fun to watch when they were play fighting on the ground.

Posted by: Ronster at December 03, 2016 02:34 PM (GF+AN)

81 One nice thing about winter is it brings different birds to the yard. When the serious cold hits the Blue Ridge we start seeing juncos and several types of finches and sparrows never around the rest of the year. As soon as things warm up come spring, they are gone.

I hope the owl cam that's been up the last couple of years has occupants again. I spend more damn time watching that thing. The owls are gorgeous, there's the suspense of waiting for the eggs to hatch, then watching the owlets develop. Fascinating.

Posted by: JTB at December 03, 2016 02:35 PM (V+03K)

82 Posted by: keena at December 03, 2016 02:31 PM (S0CK0)
It was in the chicken coop. It went through the dog type door and was up where the nest boxes are. I think it was after a dove.
The guy that caught it is an animal whisperer. I think he wanted to get it out of the chicken coop. I don't know how he caught it. The ceiling is at least 8 feet.
The hawk was resting on his hand. He also will catch quail. They just rest on his hand. He has no grip on them.

Posted by: CaliGirl at December 03, 2016 02:38 PM (Q5Ymk)

83 Posted by: JTB at December 03, 2016 02:35 PM (V+03K)
If I can get the GHO to nest in that tree I want to have a camera up there. I don't know how that would be done though.
That's a next year project.
I love the owl cam.

Posted by: CaliGirl at December 03, 2016 02:40 PM (Q5Ymk)

84 Paul A'Barge at December 03, 2016 02:07 PM

Site looks well-organized. Think I'll link it next week. Thanks.

Posted by: KT at December 03, 2016 02:44 PM (qahv/)

85 I'm kind of discouraged with the whole gardening thing. Since I moved out of my parents house I'm not in a position to maintain the garden over at their place, and they don't have much interest in doing anything with it themselves. Last spring/summer they cleared the weeds out, with a little help from me, and were planning to plant it with berry bushes. I wanted to at least put down some opaque plastic to keep the weeds from growing. They did neither, and now it is a thicket again....

Over the years I've spent (and before me, they spent) quite a bit of energy clearing that garden patch, turning it over, adding fertilizer, etc., to get it ready to plant, and I hate to see it go to waste, but it is pretty obvious that nothing will ever be done with the vegetable garden.

Oh well. It isn't as if I enjoyed gardening anyway - I only started when I had just got back from grad school, broke, unemployed, and worried about the economic future. Getting a garden planted was the only thing I could do to prep, so that is what I did.

/whine and complain

Posted by: Grey Fox at December 03, 2016 02:46 PM (bZ7mE)

86 Went to Jasper-Pulaski day after Thanksgiving 15,000+ Sandhill Cranes is a lot of birds.

Posted by: DaveA at December 03, 2016 02:46 PM (8J/Te)

87 Posted by: Ronster at December 03, 2016 02:34 PM (GF+AN)
I loved those owls. I would sit and watch them every evening.
Long story short, a photographer got a shot of them in my backyard.

http://tinypic.com/r/dfxh0o/9

Posted by: CaliGirl at December 03, 2016 02:46 PM (Q5Ymk)

88 CaliGirl, I bet your owl project will turn out great.

I've never watched the owl cams, but I follow the West Texas hummingbird cam on twitter, and sometimes watch it live.

In October they had a hummingbird species that had never never been recorded in the US, the amethyst-throated hummingbird.

Posted by: stace, deplorable at last at December 03, 2016 02:50 PM (ozZau)

89 a photographer got a shot of them in my backyard.

They are cuties.

Posted by: Ronster at December 03, 2016 02:51 PM (GF+AN)

90 Sounds like my mom's garden area Grey Fox. We don't really have extra water to put on a garden and I wont take time from horse fun to tend a garden so the patch is unused now. Dad had disked it in previous years but it didn't happen this year.

I want to get the big weed stalks pulled out of there and put down cardboard and/or plastic to keep the weeds down next year. I suppose I could try to plant a cover crop but clover or something that would just stay low would need to be watered ...

Posted by: PaleRider, link to funeral expense fund for SMFH's Carl at December 03, 2016 02:51 PM (Jen0I)

91 Posted by: stace, deplorable at last at December 03, 2016 02:50 PM (ozZau)
I didn't know there was a hummingbird cam. I am going to find that one.
The owl cams are fascinating. Baby owls are so cute they don't look real.

Posted by: CaliGirl at December 03, 2016 02:54 PM (Q5Ymk)

92 OMG CaliGirl I didn't think GH owls could be cute. These were the owlets?

Posted by: PaleRider, link to funeral expense fund for SMFH's Carl at December 03, 2016 02:54 PM (Jen0I)

93 Posted by: PaleRider, link to funeral expense fund for SMFH's Carl at December 03, 2016 02:54 PM (Jen0I)
Yes, at the time that photo was taken they were flying from tree to tree. I forget how old they were.
They were sleeping together on a branch in my backyard. The mother and father were right above them.
I made the coughing noise the mother makes to get them to turn around and look at us. The photographer got some beautiful shots.

Posted by: CaliGirl at December 03, 2016 03:00 PM (Q5Ymk)

94 After the hurricane hit Georgia and the Carolinas I wondered if the Savannah owl cam would still be viable. Just checked. The camera is up and running. The tree limbs around the nest appear broken off but the nest itself is intact. Here's hoping the owls like it again this year.

Thanks for mentioning the humming bird camera. Fascinating creatures. I had a male at the wisteria last summer that let me get within a few inches of him. I never expected to get so close to one except in pictures.

Posted by: JTB at December 03, 2016 03:02 PM (V+03K)

95 I can get a Hummingbird to land on my finger if I put it by the feeder.

Posted by: Ronster at December 03, 2016 03:07 PM (GF+AN)

96 Ronster at December 03, 2016 02:08 PM

Seems like a nice list to me. I'm impressed that you know what the all are.

Posted by: KT at December 03, 2016 03:08 PM (qahv/)

97 I loved those owls. I would sit and watch them every evening.
Long story short, a photographer got a shot of them in my backyard.

http://tinypic.com/r/dfxh0o/9

Posted by: CaliGirl
----------------

That right there is all the awesome.
I get some hawks here, and the occasional pileated woodpecker (a favorite), but I never see owls at home.

Posted by: Chi - #FreeCthulhu at December 03, 2016 03:09 PM (+wNVP)

98 Posted by: Ronster at December 03, 2016 03:07 PM (GF+AN)
You are officially a animal whisperer too. How do you do that? A hummingbird? That's amazing.

Posted by: CaliGirl at December 03, 2016 03:11 PM (Q5Ymk)

99 Grey Fox at December 03, 2016 02:46 PM

Gardening at a home you don't live in is really difficult. Concerning berries, the best option I can think of for a place like that is everbearing raspberries that you can just mow down at the end of the season. You don't get a summer crop, but the fall crop is nice. If your season is long enough.

Hope you can plant some herbs or something where you are now.

Posted by: KT at December 03, 2016 03:13 PM (qahv/)

100 Caligirl, Thanks for the baby owl photo. Can't have too much cute.

Ronster, I've heard of that happening with humming birds. I envy your experience.

Posted by: JTB at December 03, 2016 03:13 PM (V+03K)

101 I'm impressed that you know what the all are.Posted by: KT at December 03, 2016 03:08 PM (qahv/)

I try to ID every bird that stops by my place. I planted many trees and bushes years ago, so my place is like an oasis on the prairie. I see many different kinds of birds when they are migrating North and South.

Posted by: Ronster at December 03, 2016 03:18 PM (GF+AN)

102 Posted by: Ronster at December 03, 2016 03:18 PM (GF+AN)
That's cool you know what type of birds you have. I have these sort of small black birds that I don't know what they are. I call them frog birds. They imitate frogs and quail. It's funny to watch a bird croak like a frog.

Posted by: CaliGirl at December 03, 2016 03:25 PM (Q5Ymk)

103 sort of small black birds that I don't know what they are. I call them frog birds. They imitate frogs and quail.

You got me there.
Frog birds. Heh

Posted by: Ronster at December 03, 2016 03:30 PM (GF+AN)

104 Ok horde, time for some help

I realize this should go on a food thread, but here goes

Every year my wife makes something homemade for all the guys on my crew at work.
This year she made some 'spiced honey' earlier this summer
Contains lemon, cloves
Tastes ridiculously yummy

We are having a hard time thinking of something to pair with this

Ideas?

Posted by: PMRich at December 03, 2016 03:32 PM (w5Qj0)

105 Hope you can plant some herbs or something where you are now.

Can't even put screws in the walls where I am now! I could get some pots and put them in the window sills, I guess....

Posted by: Grey Fox at December 03, 2016 03:33 PM (bZ7mE)

106 PMRich. I'd just go with some biscuits or home made bread. Honey and biscuits yummmm.

Posted by: PaleRider, link to funeral expense fund for SMFH's Carl at December 03, 2016 03:44 PM (Jen0I)

107 PMRich,

Ham is the first thing that springs to mind. But I'm wondering if maybe something like zucchini or orange quick break might work. Would be luxurious with a little bit o' butter.

Posted by: KT at December 03, 2016 03:48 PM (qahv/)

108 Quick bread. Not quick break. Heh.

Posted by: KT at December 03, 2016 03:50 PM (qahv/)

109 104 We are having a hard time thinking of something to pair with this

Old Bushmill's?


Posted by: Iron Mike Golf at December 03, 2016 03:50 PM (di1hb)

110 Yes, we have no Banana Belt (action)... not much going on at this season in southwest Idaho. Still raking leaves and burning them - but the wet season is coming, so the rest might end up in the trash.

First snow flurry on Wed. 30th! More probably coming this week. We'll see if it's enough to stick. (There have been enough freezes that the fall snow pea crop is gone.)

We did get rid of the corn stalks that served as autumn porch decor - they went into a burn pile. I would *like* to be getting the Christmas decorations and lights up!! - but husband is trying to build an apple scratter, to go with the cider press. (We tried pressing hand-chopped apples earlier in the season, and broke the press plate. Not sure if it was too early in the season and the apples needed to soften; or if we just really need nearly-ground-up apples for a press. Either way, husband loves building things and tinkering.)

There are still some apples on the probably-Jonathan (picked some Friday afternoon), though I'm not sure how long they'll last, given that it's supposed to stay below freezing here this coming week, all the way from Monday night to Thursday afternoon. They're the only crop left now that the pea vines froze.

The garage has gotten cold enough that I brought all the vegetables stored there, into the house - Russet potatoes, butternut squash, and pumpkins.

I'm still chopping and freezing butternut squash - I'll probably be at that for months...

I should be keeping some level of bird journal, I guess. (I know the goldfinches fly away for the winter, so I should keep track of when I see the first one next year.) At the least, it would be useful to know how much I spend on the bird food ingredients! - millet, unsalted sunflower seeds, unsalted dry roasted peanuts. I've also decided to keep a bucket of water on the porch--

Now, at first I was annoyed to see squirrels coming to eat the seeds that fell from the seed feeder, and drink from my plant-watering bucket. But then I realized, the squirrels clean up the seeds that the sparrows drop, so they're actually helping me. And when I saw them drinking, I thought, imagine if *you* were out there, cold and thirsty... So I'm committing myself to keeping the bucket on the porch, and going out to unfreeze it each morning. (My birds do drink from it as well.)

I think I have just finches and sparrows at this season. HELP, O HORDE: does anyone know if these types of birds will eat from a suet feeder? It's about $5 for a suet cage and $2 for suet blocks at the local garden store chain; but I don't want to waste money if these types of birds never eat suet. (If not, what birds *will* eat from a suet feeder? - and I'll find out if I have that species around here.)

Everyone take good care of yourselves and your loved ones this season!

Posted by: Pat* at December 03, 2016 04:40 PM (qC1ju)

111 Guess I got banhammered at work somehow. Tried to post on this thread from there and no post appeared.

I like Gardener's Supply for my gardening needs.

Only gardening here is putting a couple of geraniums in pots that I have in water. Broke off some pieces w/ roots and will pot them for next spring. I have the main plants drying in the basement, but I only get maybe half of them to grow again in the spring.

I'm tempted to bring in the huge spike plant we've had for a couple of yrs, but it's really too big. It's still survived a few frosts, I think it is taunting me and wants to get inside rather than die. LOL

Posted by: Farmer at December 03, 2016 06:04 PM (o/90i)

112 Pat* at December 03, 2016 04:40 PM

When I think of suet feeders, I think of small birds. Especially those that eat insects at other times.

You can also smear peanut butter on a pinecone and hang it up.

Posted by: KT at December 03, 2016 06:12 PM (qahv/)

113 Farmer,

What's a spike plant?

Posted by: KT at December 03, 2016 06:14 PM (qahv/)

114 Whew-- got the lights up!

And raked some more... Wish we could burn the walnut leaves, (they're not good for compost) so bagged them for trash...

Pat*, many small birds like suet! Here's a link (copy/paste):

http://www.birdsforever.com/suet.html

Ran out of daylight today, but there's still so much to do!

Got the 'lectric bucket out for Doggy since we're going to get very cold this week too. Maybe snow by next weekend.

Posted by: JQ Flyover at December 03, 2016 08:18 PM (044Fx)

115 Soil knife
Good garden gift
Cuts dirt

Posted by: H at December 03, 2016 10:21 PM (xrgKT)

116 JQ Flyover, I bookmarked that site, and will compare their bird list, to a list of Boise-area bird species. (But KT's PB-in-a-pine-cone idea might be a good, cheap way to see what birds might be attracted, too. I'll put chunky PB, no additives or salt, on my grocery list.)

Posted by: Pat* at December 04, 2016 12:20 AM (qC1ju)

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