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22 June 2010

Overwhelmed Novice

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We are in the process of buying a new house (yay!!). I am blessed to inherit some AMAZING gardens, and although I can identify a whole lot more than I could 3 years ago, I still don't know half of what is in the garden or how to care for it! Help please Garden Web members! Please comment if you know any of the plants in these photos!

14 June 2010

Can squirrels fly?

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Yes they can!!  we have a bird feeder on a second story deck on stilts basically and I figured there was NO way a squirrel would ever make it into the food.  I was right for a few months, but then along came a very brave, persistent squirrel that braves a giant cat, dive bombing robins and a 2 story drop to get some decent bird food.

Here is crazy squirrel (his native american name...known from here on out as CS) after facing off nose to nose with Thor for at least 2 minutes.  Neither of them moved and they were about 5 inches apart.  CS finally made the first move and it was definitely a strategy of retreat.

So I come outside with the camera and poor CS just about has a heart attack.


You can't really tell how scared he was, but every muscle in his body was tense.  You could tell CS was trying to decide whether the 2 story drop to the ground or the cat and the camera held more of of threat.  He finally got up the nerve and decided to JUMP!



...but it was a bit more of a drop than anticipated...



...so he held on for dear life...


Should I stay or should I go now?


He took the plunge and jumped halfway down...and gave me a last look goodbye.



The best part I didn't capture on camera because I only had a short lens on at the time.  That little nook where CS landed halfway down houses a nest of robins.  I always thought robins were sweet - being the harbingers of spring and all.  Apparently, they are sweet until you try to raid their nest because as soon as the squirrel scampered down the pole into the woods, three robins started dive bombing him and attacking him with their beaks - NO JOKE...it was like a Hitchcock movie with robins.

...you would think after all that CS would give up and find food elsewhere.  No such luck.  He must be a glutton for punishment because while the birds stay away when the cat is eating on the porch, CS just runs right up the post and chows down.  By now, you might be wondering about the title of my post and how nothing I've written mentions a squirrel flying...well, after the robin attack, CS was smart enough to start flying from the feeder directly into the woods.  He sits on the end of the feeder, kicks off with his back haunches, spreads his tiny arms and legs like a parachute and flies into the woods.  It's absolutely incredible.  The first time (yes...he has done this multiple times!)  I ran to the edge of the deck thinking he would have hurt himself (if not killed himself!), but he was fine.  He was also fine the 2nd, 3rd and 4th times I saw him fly off the porch.  Stay tuned for more adventure of CS and Thor :)

Part 2 Cumberland County Coop Extension Garden Tour

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As I started looking through photos for this post, I realized blogging is really similar to those times someone sits you down and makes you look through every one of their vacation photos and you have to act interested, even through you are actually bored out of your mind.  At least with blogging, you read and view as quickly as you want, right? 
Anyway, here are a few more photos from the garden tour (if you're interested :)  There were many pots of succulents in various gardens, but I think this was my favorite.  I love the dark brown pot...looks like chocolate :)  There was also a great little succulent garden in a sink...in the same garden that had a bathtub pond!  :o)


You would think rain would ruin a garden tour, but it was actually so flaming hot that the downpour felt good.  BebeRed and I hid under trees and on benches to escape the worst of it which was a fun little adventure in its own right.  By the way, I must mention how fun it was to hang out with Red alone for the whole day.  He did a great job considering the 4 hours of garden touring we did and it was so nice to just focus on him instead of focusing on three little babies.  I could actually pay attention to all his comments.  Usually, I am just focused on getting everybody safely where we are going and not losing anyone.
Back to the rain though...it made for some delicious looking plants with water droplets all over them and that "after rain" light was just amazing.


Speaking of amazing...check out this wheel....


I thought these silverware chimes were pretty cute too...especially with that cute little baby hand :)


Hello fellow garden tourer!

Hello gorgeous blooms loaded with pollen!

13 June 2010

Penn State Master Gardeners Garden Tour

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Have you ever been on a garden tour?  Not the kind of tour where you go to a fancy garden like Longwood or Chanticleer, but tour of small home gardens.  Gardens that have one gardener, that is gardening in their spare time, with limited resources and limited space.  

 THOSE are the gardens that you can really learn from.



Today Stu and I went on the Penn State Master Gardeners tour for Cumberland County. The tour spanned Mechanicsburg, Camp Hill and Lemoyne and was far and away the best gardening activity I've ever participated in. The tour was far more organized than I expected and the gardens were fantastic. The tour included a free plant (lavender for me!) and even an ice cream cone at a local shop. In the middle of the tour, there was a downpour, so I didn't get to take photos at all the gardens, but here are a few of my favorites with more to come!

I loved the idea of using these wire baskets as shields for transplants and loved that this gardener left her tools out in such a picturesque way.

LOVELY cannas...I want them...
...not sure what this hairy creature is, but isn't she beautiful?  Master gardeners feel free to chime in with actual plant names at any time!
I'm rethinking hydrangeas...I think I might prefer these lacecap varieties...
Hello!!

I thought these were so adorable...future project file! 
I loved these painted tomato cages too...so simple... why didn't I think of that??

02 June 2010

ELIM and the D5000

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Playing around with the video functions on my new D5000 at Pop's little cabin in the woods...Turn up your volume! :) You might want to let the video buffer before viewing - just press play and then pause, wait a minute and then press play again - Happy Viewing!

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