After the storm

I have to tell you, I’m in a state of disbelief and mourning, and not just for the robin family.

We installed a gazebo over the Memorial Day weekend.  I love this thing – it’s a very large 10’x12′ double canopy that will shade the deck perfectly in the early afternoon.  Up until now, we had to avoid the deck at lunchtime, as the boards get so hot in the sun.  I love eating out in the summer, and this gazebo has a mosquito net that will keep the bees and flies at bay.  I got one with sturdy legs so that it wouldn’t get whipped around in storms.  We built it on the deck and secured it with bungee cords, with the intention of securing it permanently once we decided the location was right.

Well, Sunday afternoon as I was finishing up a weekend filled with weeding, I looked up to realize that black clouds were rolling in.  I quickly put away all my weeding tools and headed inside.  I moved the cars to the back just in time to get in from the impending storm.  As I walked inside, the wind started.  And it got pretty fierce.  And it lifted my gazebo like a child’s umbrella, over the side rails of the deck and into the yard below.  Thank goodness we had it secured with bungee cords.  One set held, and the gazebo just missed crushing the side of our new pool.  It landed with legs in the air, and just missed smashing my car.  I have no idea how we were able to avoid real tragedy, but I have to believe my angels were watching over.

Shortly after the storm passed, my kids ran outside to see the most spectacular double rainbow!

Two Pots ‘o Gold?

We snapped a few pictures, but they truly don’t do justice to the intense colors – I have never seen such vivid colors in rainbow.  There appeared to be more colors below the purple – simply glorious!

So I’m back to wondering how I’m ever going to get the nerve to reinstall the gazebo, if I even should.  I’m investigating ways to secure it to the deck boards.  I’m probably going to have to drill holes through the floorboards and secure it from below.

Sad day on Wisteria Lane

On my way to the car this morning, I strolled past the robin’s nest in my wisteria that now holds 4 eggs!!

At least it held 4 eggs yesterday.

Last night while lying in bed, I thought of the nest.  Thought I should take a picture of the 4 eggs, just in case they hatched soon and I would miss my chance to record them as eggs.  But it was late, too dark for good pictures, it will wait for tomorrow.

And  now the eggs are gone.  The nest was EMPTY when I went out this morning.  I am so sad about this.  I was looking forward to watching the birds hatch and grow.  But I guess my railing was just too exposed, and those bright blue eggs must have been a tasty treat for some unknown predator.  I have no idea what creature would have done this, but our neighborhood has its fair share of large black crows that I’m very suspicious of.  There was no evidence of what visited the bird family, no pawprints on the steps, not even a speck of shell left behind.  Just the nest.

I glanced over at the fence and spotted momma.  She was just watching me look at the nest.  Not sure if birds have emotions, but I imagine she’s pretty sad too.

Bloom Day – May 15, 2012

As per my usual, I’m late with my May 15 posting of Bloom Day for the Garden Bloggers Bloom Day!

Here’s what’s bloomin’ in my yard this month.  The clematis climbs the mailbox trellis.  The spiderwort is my personal favorite – this photo really doesn’t do it justice, as the blooms look electric in person.  Methinks it may be time to divide this one, but timing is always an issue.

The chair is a ‘new’ addition to my front yard.  I rescued it from the curb of a neighbor on trash day!  I really just want to document how it looks each month.

Ivy Outlaw

I remember the event like it was yesterday, when in reality, it must have been about 15 years ago.  We had just moved into our new house and I was sprucing up the yard with a few plants I bought at the local nursery.  This ivy was call Hedera helix, or English Ivy, and it was just three tiny plants.  The first year, it lulled me into a false sense of security.  It did it’s job very well, spreading slightly to cover a bare patch between the Driveway Sideway garden and the sloping garden I have yet to name.  But like all things that are left to fend for themselves, I lost track of where it was going and what it was doing.

Fast forward about 5 years, and not only is the bare patch completely covered with ivy, but the wall was obliterated, the emerald arborvitae was sporting an ivy skirt, and the concrete block of the house foundation was growing green.  I knew at that moment that I had to keep a better eye on that ivy.  I also understood the term “invasive” when referring to certain overbearing plants.  In fact, I’ve since read that you really should avoid planting this ivy because it is so hard to contain.

This was also the year I discovered that Poison Ivy likes to hang out with its cousin, English.  Hmmm.

Fast forward 10 years (to yesterday) and I’m in total disbelief as I try desperately to re-own the wall.  I’m pulling ivy out by the root, and this stuff is tough.  Each piece of ivy has a root system that defies logic.  This root grabs on tight to whatever is in its path, and it just keeps climbing.  Not sure what kind of moisture it’s extracting from the concrete block foundation and the stone wall, but it’s thriving in places that no living thing should be able to thrive in.

It’s not easy being green . . .

I really do my best to reuse, reduce, and recycle.  I gather the newspapers and bundle them, I sort the plastics, cans, and glass for our bi-weekly pickup, break down the cardboard boxes for the pickup.  The biggest problem with all of this preparation is, where in the world do you keep it before disposing?  This is the one thing that sabotages my efforts.

The Hub is very good at throwing things away.  He’s always been that way.  His mother used to tell stories of dumpster diving for homework assignments way back in the day.  So for me to expect the pile of newspaper stashed under the buffet in the dining room to be there come recycling day is a pipe dream.

Since the recycling has to be segregated from the everyday trash, I have separate bags next to the trash can specifically for the recyclables.  My kitchen was built in the days before Earth Day, so there’s not much room for an extra trash can.  The recycling bags hang on a cabinet handle – not very attractive.

And speaking of bags, I have a very nice collection of reusable grocery bags that never seem to make their way to the grocery store.  They adorn the trunk, even make their way to the back seat on grocery day.  Then their location crosses my mind as I’m checking out at the grocery store.  Our grocery stores use those thin plastic bags, and they do offer a recycling service for those.  Of course, there are bags of plastic grocery bags hanging out in the trunk, just waiting for the day I remember to take them and their friends, the reusables, into the store with me.