Friday, May 16, 2008

It's Michele's Fault!

Okay. You can blame Michele for this. Her blog yesterday on her ‘green’ things got me all wound up and appreciating the beautiful flowers and birds I’ve been enjoying from my office window this spring. And since I’m in the process of writing the third of three back to back books, I’m spending a lot of time in my office these days.

Now, so you don’t get the idea that because I’m waxing soft and poetic over feathers and blooms, I want you to know that I wrote an abduction scene and edited a bombing extravaganza while watching this Baltimore Oriole sip grape jelly from the jar lid that I duct-taped (Yes, duct taped. I, too, was a McGyver fan) to my shepherd’s hook which stands 6 feet from my west window.

And the red-breasted gross beak on the little cabin feeder? I wrote a really hot love scene the day he showed up. Hey, you take your inspiration where ever you find it, right? And this pretty boy was hot! (Did that sound wrong?)

Anyway, because I'm up to my eyeballs in this @#$#$@$ deadline, I'm making this short and sweet and going 'the picture is worth a thousand words' thingy.
Enjoy the photos of my heirloom African Violets (I raised them from leaves from my mother's and my aunt's plants), our flowering crab, the red bud, and my favorite, the bleeding hearts. Have you ever seen anything so perfect?

So, aside from the plant discussion yesterday, what are your favorite spring blossoms? Spring birds? And should I be living in fear that I'll become a crazy old flower watering, bird feeding, cat petting woman who will be content to spend my days watering, feeding, petting and blowing up embassies on paper while life goes on outside my window? Seriously, these are questions I ponder...


Playground Monitor said...

Grape jelly? I never heard of giving that to the birds. Hmm... where's my duct tape?

I love daffodils. There's something about those bright yellow blooms that say "Spring is here and all's right with the world." And wild violets. I love seeing patches of those purple flowers because they're just so daity and perfect.

So far this spring I've had one family of bluebirds in my birdhouses, two families of house sparrows and the second brood of kildeer are being incubated as we speak. My feeders attract finches, cardinals, robins, sparrows, blue jays, blue birds and occasionally the red headed woodpecker from down the street.

Love your photos, Cindy. And those african violets are gorgeous. I may have to look into planting bleeding hearts too. I love them.


lois greiman said...

I never used to really appreciate birds and flowers, but I find that as I age, I do more and more. The colors and the sounds and the scents. My daughter told me yesterday that she thought her dad and I should become 'hard core' birders. Which I thought was something of an oxymoron. But he and I meander through the local park reserve every morning, and I find that more and more we stop to watch the birds. He's a goldfinch (Iowa's state bird, I'm told) fan and we tend to drawn them in with thistle seed. So bright and pretty.

Hey, best of luck with your deadline.

Cindy Gerard said...

Marilyn. I envy you your cardinals. So far, they just stop and look and off they go. I fed 4 different varieties of woodpeckers this winter. Pretty, pretty birds. As I type this, there are a dozen little goldfinches eating me out of house and home.

and yes, Lois, the goldfinch is Iowa's state bird. We also have purple and red finches.

I have this long tall window in front of my feeders and my cats love to sit in it, their tails thumping as they watch those juicy little birds, just out of their reach. it's too funny.

See, I am a crazy old bird feeding, cat petting woman. Yikes. I'm turning into my mother. Which, when I think about it, isn't such a bad thing :o)

Cindy Gerard said...

Oh - and Marilyn, yes, oriole's love grape jelly. I have an oriole feeder hanging nearby and orange slices stuck here and there but they always go for the jelly.

Betina Krahn said...

Cindy, you're a woman after my own heart. I haven't seen a red-breasted grossbeak in years-- since I left the house where my boys grew up. I had a bird feeder that became a legend among the local feathered set. Had chickadees, nuthatches, grossbeaks, finches--especially the American goldfinch-- blue jays, and yes, the occasional cardinal. I had never really watched birds before that. . . now I really appreciate them and wish there was more variety down here.

Chickadees and goldfinches are my favorites. . . love their song. But my heart belongs to robins and cardinals, too. And down here, the mockingbirds-- which have nested in our shrubs-- are remarkable singers. They perch on the highest thing around, like the very top of a tree, and sing several different songs, all remarkably clear and catchy. And right now the magnolias are out but fading. . . I'm told they smell great, though I can't smell them myself. But on either side of my front door are gardenia bushes that have been blooming overtime this spring. And the fragrance is wonderful. . . as are the creamy white blossoms. My mom had gardenias as her wedding flowers. . . so I'm really sentimental about them.

I feel lucky to have learned to appreciate spring in different climates. But I still miss the dogwoods and redbud trees of the Appalachians.

Betina Krahn said...

Oh, and if you're going to be an old bird-talking cat-patting lady. . . you'll have a lot of company. We often joke about the "Old Romance Writer's Home." Flowers, birds, and critters aplenty.

Michele Hauf said...

I'm joining the crazy lady, cat-petting, bird-watching group! I have a feeder right outside my office window and more often than not, I'm watching the goldfinches nosh outside. The cats have a perch there too, so they're literally two feet away from the birds. It's fun to watch them freak over them, knowing they can't catch 'em.

I love the blooms! I think my crabapple will blossom in a few days. I look forward to the lilacs. They don't last long, but man, do they smell awesome. A bouquet perfumes an entire house!


Michele Hauf said...

My cats' perch is INSIDE the window. They don't sit outside with the birds. Though I bet they wish they could. :-)

Debra Dixon said...

Blogger ate yet another comment!!

Long story short:

Nephew does our yard.
Nephew not so reliable this spring.
Last time my husband called he said, "Son, the neighbors are offering to loan me mowers."

Nephew beat a path to the door because if we learn we can actually mow our own lawn...we might do and there goes HIS green.

Keri Ford said...

I stopped to smell my jasmine just the other day. I love those plants. I put them in the ground two or three years ago, haven't touched em since and flowers galore!

Right now there's some honeysuckles growing wild next to my house..mmm...swoon.

My favorite wild flower of all time would have to be the Naked Ladies. As my grandma introduced me to this plant when I was a kid, I imagine the name is what is keeping my appeal, but the red petals are beautiful.

Oh, and birds! I'm seeing cardinals here and there, they don't stay long and the hummingbirds have dropped by for a quick visit (but only because they probably got lost going to my grandma's house who usually has them by the hundreds every year--yes, she keeps them well fed)

Cindy Gerard said...

Michele - Sorry I mispelled your name. Yikes. That's what I get for hurrying.
And while I blamed you for my blog I forgot to thank you for raising my awareness of all this wonderful 'spring' stuff around me. So thanks for that. I enjoyed taking the photos.
And as I write this I have a bouquet of Lilacs on my desk. they smell amazing!!
My kitty's perch in INSIDE the window, too, BTW :o)

And I'm glad for the crazy bird lady company, Betina :o)
Deb. good luck with that lawn

Cindy Gerard said...

Keri. I haven't spotted any hummers yet either but they should be arriving soon.
And naked lady? I'm going to have to look that up.
We have something called Lady Slippers growing up near our cabin in northern Minnesota - they're like mini orchids and they grow wild in the ditches. beautiful.
Okay. Back to an armed assault where I'm pretty sure my hero is gonna save the girl :o)

Michele Hauf said...

Oh, Lady Slippers! The state flower. And illegal to dig up from the ditches. But that didn't keep my mother from dragging her kids around (I must have been around 6 or 7) to rural areas, parking on the roadside, and digging them up. We had lots of Lady Slippers in our yard back then.

I've only ever seen a hummingbird maybe twice in my life! I so want them in my yard, but I hang out the nectar stuff for them and it just attracts bees. What to do?

Keri Ford said...

okay, dug around on the interent for a naked lady picture and from what I can figure, it's a common name given for flowers (mostly liles) who have not leaves on their stems...they're naked!

The kind I'm talking about have thin, crimson red petals and I think these stalky things sprouting from the top (pulling from memory here!). If I'm not mistaken, then grow first of spring.

Cindy Gerard said...

Michele - Hummingbirds are also attracted to just about any kind of flower. I have wave petunias in my flower boxes beneath a south window and I see them there often. As a matter of fact, they frequent flowers more often than they do my hummingbird feeders.

Keri - I just googled naked lady flower plus photo and oh, my, they are beautiful lilies! Love 'em
We have morning star lilies as well - among my favorites.

Susan Kay Law said...

We have a tree in our front yard . . . I have no idea what it is, it has tiny clusters of white flowers for about three days every spring, and it smells better than anything on earth. It just started last night. We all keep running out to the yard and inhaling, because we know it won't last long.

Wish I knew what it was.


Cindy Gerard said...

Susie - you know all you need to know about the tree. It's pretty, it smells good and it makes you happy:o)

Ellen said...

Your picture of the redbud looks like my picture of my redbud. I just love the tree when it is in full bloom. I also have a golden rain tree that put on yellow blossoms and the blossoms turn into red seed pods so you get two colors out of one tree.

Cindy Gerard said...

Ellen - your tree sounds amazing! I'll be looking it up too :o)

Fiona said...

Spring flowers in Minnesota---heaven.
I have daffodils, tulips, and the last of my squill blooming in the front garden. The crab apples are blooming in the back yard and the azaleas are starting to open. *sigh*

Soon (in a day or two) my early, fern leaf peonies will be in bloom. They are my favorite spring flower.