Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Saturday, May 31, 2014

wild saturday ~ mexcan grey wolf needs help

March 29, 2013 marked the 15-year anniversary of Mexican gray wolves' reintroduction to the wild — what should have been their second chance at survival. But today there are only 75 Mexican gray wolves in the wild. Without more wolves and a concrete plan to continue their recovery, Mexican gray wolves will eventually become extinct. Help us tell the USFWS that it's time to get serious about Mexican wolf recovery — before it's too late! here is a short video by Jamie Rappaport, President of Defenders of Wildlife- explaining the Mexican Wolf Rescue Plan.

please share this with everyone you know, it is our human duty to protect wildlife

Thursday, May 29, 2014

thursday's garden ~ busy Gardening for Wildlife month

This is the last week of May, and the last week of Gardening for Wildlife Month.  I think I have finally finished my wildlife garden...or at least the basic plan; now it is just tweak this, add that, according to what my visitors request...ha!

I was able to find something for Mrs S ~who, by the way, got called Mike for awhile, she came from a different direction in our yard and we thought she was a new visitor~ nope, it's her taking a different route from our neighbor's yard, depends on if she wants to eat from the dishes on the wall—or her new feeder... the feeder is working great, she leaves the dishes alone for the most part and Bart, Bertha, JJ, and Screech don’t eat all her peanuts and other treats.

I also have a new pair of winged friends. It is a Black Headed Grosbeak. At first I thought it was another set of Spotted Towhees, looks similar but different too. After a little research in my bird book I found it was a Grosbeak, which has a black cap that just covers his head- and the biggest difference is the beak, it is much thicker.

my little Towhee's cap goes to the shoulders and he has white on the chest- and of course you can see the difference in their beaks.

As I had mentioned last week I set up a hummingbird feeder and these little guys love it. I suppose I should not have been surprised that they still go to the flowers just as much as before.

The people at the WildBirds Unlimited store suggested since I have so many nesting pairs of birds that I should make sure to have plenty of nesting materials for them. So, as I was going around in the yard weeding and trimming I left little piles of twigs and such for everyone. I also left a pile of bigger sticks, unsure who would like them, and lo-and-behold. Bertha, the raven, came down as I was there and snatch several choice pieces; okay, that worked.

I also, put out a clump of nesting cotton, some string, yarn, and pieces of muslin for the smaller birds in a hanging basket for all to take when needed. (it would be great if Jesse was still around, his fur was soft, warm, and aplenty)

surprise-surprise- I saw two butterflies yesterday, one a monarch for sure, the other don’t know what kind, it was a very bright yellow. Of course they both were gone before I could get the camera up to take a shot. Both were enjoying the butterfly dish.

I just purchased a new telephoto lens for the mama Nikon, and getting the big windows cleaned in a couple of weeks; plan on having photo-shoots and hoping to get some fantastic shots.                                                                    
This past week in the garden there was so much activity that I could go on for a long while, but I think i’ll save some of the stories for another time. The one you will really enjoy is: Mrs. S has a Bunny friend that follows her around the wild-outback, waits for her as she gets her peanuts, then both dash off to... whatever they have planned next. Can’t wait to show you some pics.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

meal ideas ~ summer pasta salads

Pasta salads.... I love pasta salads as a meal, side-dish, or even a snack- you just can't go wrong. - it’s a foolproof main dish or side dish to bring to any backyard barbecue or potluck. Here are three of my favorites-

Basil and Tomato Salad
This is by far my favorite pasta salad. I have been known to add some leftover chicken, steak, or pork for a complete meal. I know this one has been featured in the Meal Ideas before, but it never hurts to re-post something this tasty. As a general rule, the more color on your plate, the better! The reds, yellows, purples, and greens of this spruced-up caprese salad represent a variety of vitamins.

 1 pound dried gemelli pasta (or other similar type)
 1 pound red and/or yellow tomatoes, chopped
 1 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)
 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
 1/2 cup quartered pitted kalamata or ripe olives
 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, roughly chopped
 2 tablespoons snipped fresh oregano, lightly mashed
 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
 2 cloves garlic, minced
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
 2 tablespoons olive oil

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; rinse under cold water until cool. Drain again.

 In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, tomatoes, cheese, red onion, olives, basil, oregano, capers, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add olive oil; toss gently to mix. Cover and chill for 2 to 4 hours. Makes 16 (3/4-cup) servings.

note: you can use dried basil and oregano, but it tastes a whole lot better with fresh.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving 152 cal., 4 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 4 mg chol., 161 mg sodium, 23 g carb. (1 g fiber), 6 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Starch (d.e): 1.5; Fat (d.e): 0.5

Poblano Pasta Salad
Bring this spicy Southwestern salad recipe to a cookout to give the party an extra kick. Top the light, cold pasta salad with crunchy, heart-healthy pumpkin seeds and some queso fresco.

 1 medium fresh poblano chile pepper
 1 medium red sweet pepper
 1/2 of a medium sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices
 4 ounces dried whole wheat rotini pasta, dried whole grain penne pasta, or dried whole grain bow tie pasta (about 1 2/3 cups)
 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
 2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro
 2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seed (pepitas)
 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
 1 tablespoon olive oil
 1 clove garlic, minced
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
 1 ounce queso fresco cheese, crumbled

 Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Halve poblano pepper and sweet pepper. Remove seeds and membranes. Place poblano pepper, sweet pepper, and onion slices cut sides down, on foil-lined baking sheet. Roast in oven about 20 minutes or until pepper skins and onion are lightly charred. Wrap peppers in the foil and let stand for 20 to 30 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Peel off skin. Coarsely chop peppers and onion.

 Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well. Rinse well with cold water; drain again.

 In a large bowl combine cooked pasta, poblano peppers, sweet pepper, onion, tomatoes, cilantro, and pumpkin seed. Set aside.

 For dressing, in a screw-top jar combine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cover and shake well. Pour dressing over pasta and vegetables; toss gently to combine. Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of queso fresco.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 146 cal., 5 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 3 mg chol., 138 mg sodium, 20 g carb. (2 g fiber, 3 g sugars), 5 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Fat (d.e): 1; Vegetables (d.e): 1; Starch (d.e): 1

Greek Garden Pasta Salad
No garden needed for this pasta side dish—just fresh veggies! Fat-free or Greek yogurt mixed with light mayonnaise forms a creamy base without the calories and carbs that an everyday pasta salad dressing brings.  This is great with a Roasted Greek Style Chicken.

2 2/3 cups whole grain or multigrain bow tie or rotini pasta
 1 6 - ounce carton Greek-style plain fat-free yogurt (2/3 cup)
 1/3 cup light mayonnaise or salad dressing
 2 tablespoons fat-free milk
 2 tablespoons snipped fresh dill or 1-1/2 teaspoons dried dill
 2 tablespoons snipped fresh flat-leaf parsley
 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
 1 tablespoon lemon juice
 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
 1 1/2 cups chopped English cucumber
 1 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes
 1 medium green sweet pepper, chopped
 1/3 cup sliced green onions
 1/3 cup quartered pitted kalamata olives

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well. Rinse with cold water and drain again.

For dressing: In a large bowl, stir together yogurt, mayonnaise, milk, dill, parsley, lemon peel and juice, and pepper.

Stir the pasta, cucumber, tomatoes, sweet pepper, and green onions into the dressing. Toss gently to coat. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 3 to 6 hours before serving. To serve, fold in kalamata olives. Makes 12 servings (1/2 cup each).

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 98 cal., 3 g total fat 3 mg chol., 100 mg sodium, 15 g carb. (2 g fiber, 3 g sugars), 3 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Fat (d.e): 0.5; Starch (d.e): 1

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

healthy living ~ heaven in a balm

This balm is absolute heaven! You can’t help but be lured into dreamland when you take a deep whiff of this citrus-floral dream enhancer. These essential oils are said to open channels for peaceful dreaming and creative visualization while aiding in the relaxation of mind and body. I also like to use this balm to help relieve headaches, neck, shoulder tension, or use when I am feeling anxious or irritable. With or without the essential oils, it also performs wonderfully as a hand, foot, nail, and elbow balm. 

5   T soybean base oil
1   T beeswax
1   T cocoa butter
1   T shea butter
20  drops sweet orange essential oik
20  drops tangerine essential oil
15  drops geranium essential oil
15  drops lavender essential oil
10  drops neroli essential oil
5  drops vanilla essential oil (optional)
4  drops rose otto essential oil (optional)

In a small saucepan over low heat or in a double boiler, combine all ingredients except the essential oils and gently warn until all solids are just melted. Remove from heat. Stir a few times to blend the mixture thoroughly, and then allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Add the essential  oils and stir again.

Pour into storage containers. Lightly cover them with a paper towel and allow the blend to cool for 15 minutes, then cap. Allow the balm to harden overnight at room temperature. Because both cocoa butter and shea butter are included, the balm may continue to change texture slightly for another 24 hours. 

Application: spread a bit of balm under nose, on your throat, temples, chest, back, or even on the soles of your feet. Inhale deeply and feel blissfully Zen-like.

Note: This formula contains highly volatile citrus oil. Their scent and healing properties evaporate more rapidly than those of other essential oils resulting in a shorter shelf life. No refrigeration is required, but for maximum freshness and potency, please use within 6 to 8 months.

the best place to purchase essential oils is MountainRose Herbs. also, a link to their essential oil page to find out more about  Essential Oils

Monday, May 26, 2014

memorial day ~ thank you !

Pause a moment in your holiday celebrations
 to give thanks to those Souls who gave
 up their lives to provide us the Freedoms
 that in many other countries are forbidden.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

thursday's garden ~ making gardening a breeze

From using leftover coffee beans to preventing dirt from getting underneath fingernails, here are 10 ideas and shortcuts to make gardening a breeze.
1. To create perfectly natural markers, write the names of plants (using a permanent marker) on the flat faces of stones of various sizes and place them at or near the base of your plants.

2. To prevent accumulating dirt under your fingernails while you work in the garden, draw your fingernails across a bar of soap and you'll effectively seal the undersides of your nails so dirt can't collect beneath them. Then, after you've finished in the garden, use a nailbrush to remove the soap and your nails will be sparkling clean.

3. Turn a long-handled tool into a measuring stick! Lay a long-handled garden tool on the ground, and next to it place a tape measure. Using a permanent marker, write inch and foot marks on the handle. When you need to space plants a certain distance apart (from just an inch to several feet) you'll already have a measuring device in your hand.

4. To have garden twine handy when you need it, just stick a ball of twine in a small clay pot, pull the end of the twine through the drainage hole, and set the pot upside down in the garden. You'll never go looking for twine again.

5. To remove the salt deposits that form on clay pots, combine equal parts white vinegar, rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture to the pot and scrub with a plastic brush. Let the pot dry before you plant anything in it.

6. Place a mail box in the garden with some extra tools, gloves, or sprinkler repair kit. They stay dry and ready for when you are out there just visiting and need something quick. Found this one on Pinterest.

7. The next time you boil or steam vegetables, don't pour the water down the drain, use it to water potted patio plants, and you'll be amazed at how the plants respond to the "vegetable soup."

8. Use leftover tea and coffee grounds to acidify the soil of acid-loving plants such as azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, gardenias and even blueberries. A light sprinkling of about one-quarter of an inch applied once a month will keep the pH of the soil on the acidic side.

9. The quickest way in the world to dry herbs: just lay a sheet of paper on the floor of your car, arrange the herbs in a single layer, then roll up the windows and close the doors. Your herbs will be quickly dried to perfection. What's more, your car will smell great

10. Apple Cider Vinegar- 1 capful- in the water to keep bird bath clean and reduce algae growth. Also provides vitamins & minerals to birds

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

meal ideas ~ open-faced sandwiches

Sometimes I just don’t want a lot of bread with my midday meal; so, I turn to the open-faced sandwich. The open-faced sandwich is a simple concept. It's pretty much just a normal sandwich that omits the top slice of bread. It's not groundbreaking. It's not revolutionary. But it's really, really good.

Why is it so much better than a regular sandwich? Well, think about it: the best part of the sandwich is almost always the filling. And when you have an open-faced sandwich, the filling-to-bread ratio is twice as high. This sandwich design is genius in its simplicity. And we have the Danish to thank for that, who by the way have turned it into an art form – check out this site for some beautiful and tasty ideas- Danish Open Faced Sandwiches. And of course here is some Wiki-History-open sandwich-.

But most are a few of my favorite lunch ideas.

Shrimp Po' Boys
 1 1/4 pounds fresh or frozen large shrimp in shells
 1/3 cup light tub-style cream cheese, softened
 1 tablespoon fat-free milk
 1/2 cup finely chopped celery (1 stalk)
 1/2 cup jarred roasted red sweet peppers, drained and chopped
 2 green onions, thinly sliced
 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
 2 teaspoons canola oil
 4 1/2-inch slices French bread, toasted
 3 cups torn or shredded romaine lettuce
 Snipped fresh parsley (optional)

 Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Peel and devein shrimp. Rinse shrimp; pat dry with paper towels. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and milk, stirring until smooth. Stir in celery, roasted red peppers, and green onions. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine shrimp and Cajun seasoning; toss to coat. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until opaque, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

 Divide bread slices among four serving plates. Top with cream cheese mixture, lettuce, and shrimp. If desired, sprinkle with snipped parsley. Makes 4 sandwiches

Nutrition Facts Per Serving 280 cal., 8 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 182 mg chol., 486 mg sodium, 22 g carb. (2 g fiber, 3 g sugars), 29 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Fat (d.e): 0.5; Lean Meat (d.e): 3.5; Vegetables (d.e): 1; Starch (d.e): 1

Bacon Tomato Melts
 2 large tomatoes
 1/4 cup light sour cream
 1 green onion, thinly sliced
 1 clove garlic, minced
 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1/4 teaspoon paprika
 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
 4 1/2-inch slices bakery-style or sandwich-style whole wheat bread
 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
 8 slices turkey bacon, cooked according to package directions
 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-style cheese blend (2 ounces)

Preheat broiler. Slice tomatoes. Seed and chop one or two of the slices to make 1/4 cup chopped tomato. Set remaining tomato slices aside. In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup chopped tomato, the sour cream, green onion, garlic, cayenne pepper, and cumin. Set aside.

Place bread slices on a baking sheet. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until toasted, turning once. If desired, set aside some of the spinach leaves for garnish. Top bread slices with the remaining spinach leaves, tomato slices, sour cream mixture, and bacon. If desired, top with the reserved spinach leaves. Add cheese. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Makes 4 sandwiches.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 206 cal., 10 g total fat (5 g sat. fat), 42 mg chol., 623 mg sodium, 15 g carb. (3 g fiber, 3 g sugars), 12 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Vegetables (d.e): 1; Starch (d.e): 1; Fat (d.e): 0.5; Medium-Fat Meat (d.e): 1

Open-Face Eggplant Parmesan Burgers
 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
 1 egg white, lightly beaten
 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
 4 1/2-inch thick slices of peeled eggplant
 Nonstick cooking spray
 8 ounces 95% lean ground beef
 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
 2 tablespoons refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 1 egg white
 1/2 cup marinara sauce,* heated
 1 ounce shredded part skim mozzarella cheese (1/4 cup)
 1 cup arugula

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly brush a baking sheet with the olive oil. Place egg white in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish combine 1/3 cup of the panko, 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan cheese, 1/8 teaspoon of the black pepper, and the parsley flakes. Dip each eggplant slice in the egg white, then dip in the panko mixture to coat. Place eggplant slices on prepared baking sheet and lightly coat with cooking spray. Bake about 30 minutes or until crisp and golden, turning once.

 Meanwhile, combine ground beef with remaining panko, 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, the garlic powder, and egg.  Evenly divide mixture into four 1/2-inch thick patties.

 For a charcoal or gas grill, place patties on the grill rack directly over medium heat. Cover and grill for 8 to 10 minutes or until patties are done (160 degrees F), turning once

To serve, top each eggplant slice with a beef patty and some of the marinara sauce. Sprinkle with cheese and top each serving with 1/2 cup arugula.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 344 cal., 12 g total fat (5 g sat. fat), 82 mg chol., 580 mg sodium, 20 g carb. (3 g fiber, 6 g sugars), 36 g pro.  Diabetic Exchanges Lean Meat (d.e): 4.5; Starch (d.e): 1; Vegetables (d.e): 0.5; Fat (d.e): 1

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

healthy living ~ organic dos and do nots

Everyone faces the “do I buy Organic or not?” question. Organic is expensive, and not everyone can afford them in their budgets. Nevertheless, we do have options, not all foods need be purchased organically.    

While not without controversy, many experts agree that buying more organic foods is a move in a healthy direction. Research shows that certain conventionally grown produce items do retain pesticides. In particular, if you can dedicate some extra money to organic purchases, start with the “Dirty Dozen” — 12 fruits and veggies found to be most susceptible to contamination according to the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit public health organization:
Dirty Dozen
Apples (ranked first for pesticide residue)
Imported nectarines
Imported grapes
Sweet bell peppers
Domestic blueberries
Kale/collard greens

On the other end of the spectrum, you might be able to save some money by going conventional with the “Clean 15” — items found to contain the fewest pesticide residues:
 Clean 15
Sweet corn
Sweet peas
Domestic cantaloupe
Sweet potatoes

 A good place to get some wonderful information is The EWG, a group who publishes its annual rating of conventional foods with the most and least pesticide residues to fill the void left by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has largely failed to tell Americans they have a right to know about the risks of pesticide exposure and ways they can reduce pesticides in their diets. (p.s.- you do not need to sign up to get information, but their newsletter is extremely informative.)
Their shopping guide ~ full of information comes in a PDF format that is downloadable to your computer or device.

~~  GMO'S ... no ! NO! no! NO! no! NO! no!! ~~

Now let’s talk a little about GMO’s- actually get me going and you can actually hear me rant & rave about how much of an insult to life and the living these products are. But, I will save that for another day; however, here is great website loaded with information if you wish to research or verify what you already know.
The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization committed to preserving and building the non-GMO food supply, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices. We believe that everyone deserves an informed choice about whether or not to consume genetically modified organisms.

one last thing regarding GMO’s ~ in my constitutionally protected opinion this is how I envision humans will look like in the future if we continue to become a GMO society.
 Mr. Universe 2034  ~in a GMO world

Monday, May 19, 2014

when there, be there

Last weekend Steve and I visited the Fullerton Arboretum; as we walked around this beautiful niche of the Fullerton University, I notice many people with their cameras and sketchbooks, enjoying being a part of nature. However, I saw a disarming number of people, not all young, talking away on their cells phones. Two young adults were playing a completive game on their iPhones, nearly walking into a beautiful plant. The number of people who were talking vociferously about everything but where they were, without concern for others who might want a quieter moment, was mindboggling.

 We were enjoying the turtles at one of the ponds when a father and two kids came near. The son immediately looked around for a rock to toss so he could scare a particular turtle into the water. One look from me at the father was all that was needed to stop this event from playing out. I kept asking myself, why are you here? If you want to run, play, climb on things go to a park.

For better or worse, much of the world we experience is dominated by human beings. We spend our days in houses, cars, and buildings, and inside these structures, we are in control. We assert our wills and manipulate our environment. Within the context of the human world, this is natural.

However, we often carry this attitude with us into the world of nature. We forget when we enter the forest, or sit on the edge of a pond, that we are moving into another realm, one that asks us to drop our baggage and surrender to a different sense of order and meaning.

When we move from our everyday world into the world of nature, we may not even notice at first. We might continue talking loudly into our cell phone or to a friend that is with us. We might walk as quickly as if we are on a busy city street, our eyes downcast, and our thoughts hectic and hurried. In the best case, if we are sensitive to our environment, we will soon notice that it has changed, and then we can begin to enjoy this new realm. We may hear ducks calling, or wind moving through the leaves on a tree. If we notice the shift of environment, we should naturally shift as well. If we don’t, we may get all the way through a beautiful park without having even lowered our voices. 

Next time you find yourself in the presence of wildlife -even if it’s just a duck in the midst of urban hustle- try to move into a receptive state of openness and listening, no matter how much or how little time you have. Allow yourself to be captivated and calmed by the energy of the wildlife that covers this earth. Teaching our children to be respectful of nature and to stop and observe is a gift they can always cherish.

We preserve pockets of nature in our urban centers and large expanses of nature in our national parks because of the magic we feel in its presence. It reminds us of our smallness and calls us back to a deeper, quieter part of ourselves. When we honor nature by being respectful in its presence, we honor the mystery and wild beauty of our origin.

This week let’s all take a moment, even if just 5 minutes, go outside into our gardens, to a park, beach, or a forest and connect with nature. Take off your shoes so the souls of your feet can touch the soul of this earth; just listen, feel, smell. Appreciate the sounds of the earth instead of the noisy bustle of daily life, sift into nature’s world.  When there, be there, you might be surprised of the gifts it has to offer.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

wild saturday ~ nest-ventures galore and they grow

what’s been happening with our little eaglets? well, a whole lot of growing~ they is not so little anymore... ha!

although it is getting harder telling them apart, there are still little signs of the stages their pin feathers go through before it becomes really difficult. When that time comes it will be more personality that distinguishes these adorable guys. And personality traits they are getting. D20 seems to be Mom and Dad’s little rascal, while D18 is the big-brother/sister of the other two. D19, well he/she is the middle child usually mellowing disputes of the other two. They all were hanging close to the nest rail looking around when it started thundering. D18 quickly went into the center of the nest and guided the other two into a safety pile, his wings trying to cover them all. After a short while it started to rain, and although Mom is trying to teach these “kids” to make it on the their own, she came down into the nest and spread her wings over everyone, it was very difficult... I remember when they all fit under her chest. LOL

Here are some recent pictures; however, I strongly suggest you check out the Raptor Resource Facebook page for more stories of their daily nest adventures by Sherri Elliot.

D20 on 5/7
D20 on 5/16

big difference in a week
pin-feathers almost all in
still gots her big feet ~lol

wing-ercizing - lots of that going on-
 make them strong my little eaglet
you can see in this close-up that our littlest D
still has some "downy" baby feathers,
you can also see some damage to tail feathers
most likely from everyone stepping on and over
each other while trying to learn how to maneuver
yes, she will get new ones before fledgling flight time.

what do you mean you haven't visited our page yet!
get on over there and read all about our fun nest-ventures
and don't forget to watch the videos... we are hilarious

Fun YouTube Video~ those little rascals ~  May 16 - 8:13Am to 9:50AM, Begins with Mom bringing in a stick, but D19 steals it from her she bonks the eaglets while moving it! While Mom is digging in the nest, D18 takes the stick, and Mom uses that opportunity to regain control. then, we have an eaglet breakfast, but, D18 decides to perch on the nest rails once again. After perching, D18 rejoins the chow line, and then we have a cuddle-puddle eaglet nap.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

thursday's garden ~ B&H corner now open for business

Finally I have my Butterfly- Hummingbird garden area finished. I moved all feeders for the birds from that corner to another- didn’t want the birds eating the caterpillars if I am so lucky to get some butterfly larva. Now, I just need the adult butterflies.

Hummingbirds I have. As a rule, we never use a feeder for my hummingbirds; I felt that they were better off with the plants in my yard. But I have learned that they do from time to time need the nectar ingredients, sugar, from a feeder. I purchased a recommended brand, non-colored, Pennington ElectroNectar. It has some added electrolytes to keep these little guys hydrated in the upcoming heat of summer. My guys visit the fountain a couple of times a day as well. We’ll see how it works; this is new for both of us.

When creating a butterfly garden the first and most important aspect I learned are flowers that attract them to your yard. And with the Monarch reduction problem I make sure I have plenty of milkweed plants. As well as some other host plants for the caterpillars to feed on to keep them around in all stages.  But I have been told that won’t be enough to bring them back time and time again. To have a really successful butterfly garden you will also want to provide them with butterfly nectar, fruit, and fresh water in a butterfly puddler.  Butterflies drink by “puddling.” They sip at shallow puddles of water in mud or sand instead of landing in large open water areas.  Their wings can be damaged if they get too wet.

 My puddler was quick to put together. I used the same type of terracotta plant dish I have for my birdbath, large and shallow.  You can use any type of flat container, but use one at least 18″ wide. Next you need to fill it with sand. Make sure it does not have any chemicals. I had planned on getting down to the beach for some beach sand- perfect for these guys because it contains the salt they need for breeding. However, I did not make it there and ended up purchasing some sand from the nursery; then, mixed my first batch of water with 1 tablespoon salt to one gallon water. Add water to your dish until soil is just moistened. Add several stones or sticks throughout the sand for butterflies to rest on. Keep your sand just slightly moist and do not overfill, butterflies cannot land in open water

Another way to make butterflies feel welcome is with food other than just your plants. One thing is to offer them butterfly nectar scattered about, hanging in trees or placed in shallow dishes. I could not find a definitive answer where to place these, in the shade or sunny spot. Since butterflies need warmth I went with a sunny location for both my “puddler and treat dish.”   I filled the dish with a couple of colorful sponges soaked in Butterfly Nectar and added some old, previously frozen bananas and watermelon. In addition to flower nectar, butterflies enjoy drinking the nectar from fruit. Because butterflies must drink their food in liquid form, overripe fruit is best. You could also use stale beer- butterflies are quite the beer drinkers. Fruits that butterflies enjoy include oranges, nectarines, bananas, watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, pears, and apples
How to Make Butterfly Nectar Recipe 
 NEW Sponges – purple, pink, yellow, and orange- cut into thirds
1 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Make sure they are not the antibacterial kind and you have rinsed new sponges completely before using. Bring water to boil on stove or in microwave. Add sugar, dissolve, and cool completely. Soak sponges until sopping wet and place in dish...or you can tie a string to a full sized sponge and hang around your yard in trees and on bushes.