Tuesday, January 15, 2013

bird-nerds in a hot tub

 after 2 hours sleep i forced myself up and out into the first sunny morning in weeks. we went to nearby North Mountain Park to view feathered fauna with a birding expert and a group of bird-nerds. we walked over loud crunchy snow covered paths, footbridges over frozen solid ponds, icy creeks, and listened irritably while hearing stories of all the great birds our guide has seen here, none of which we saw today.
grizzly peak was spectacular, the mountain is greening up under the heavy snow we had this week.
What we saw- white crowned sparrow, song sparrow, red shafted flicker, grey(tree)squirrels, pine siskin, varied thrush(shown above), spotted(previously ‘rufous sided’)towhee, mallards, ruby crowned kinglets, hermit thrush, purple finch, acorn woodpecker, female red winged blackbird. 
 i accidentally posted this photo on Wunderphotos http://www.wunderground.com/wximage/cloudysnack/77?gallery=EDITORSPICK thinking it was ugly. The photo was placed  in the ‘approvers choice’ gallery! the leaves are oregon grape, a plant i fought with in my garden last year.  We yanked one huge bush of this out of the yard with our truck.  i was supposed to be noticing female red-winged blackbirds.  
this box for nesting screech owls is much lower than the birds would ever go for. 
ruby crowned kinglets (they move like  fluttery hummingbirds)
we are learning more about birds as we are living in a forest with  wonderful birds, hence our presence at this bird walk.   but the art was more stunning than birds this 23 degree morning.  this huge tile encrusted snake slithered through drifts of frozen sand.
this frosted carved iron firepit cover keeps the hobo fires out. artist sheryl garcia. they put a bird on it!
ice-encrusted interpretive sign about the rather rare beaver.  i would love to make seeing a beaver in this park a goal of mine.  oh, and otters, too.
acorn woodpeckers were behaving agitated, a sign of roosting pygmy owls, we hoped.
a scale on the giant snake sculpture
my spirit is soaring with my new home, neighborhood, health, and wonderful family.
pine siskins - they were very far away, like all the birds we saw.   it was too cold to hold on to binoculars and our breath kept steaming them up.  our group made so much noise walking on the frozen ground, we scared the birds away.
bedrock mortar?  jumbo icecube
detail of large compass rose mosaic.  our valley runs from northwest to southeast, putting one off-kilter to the directions.  this confusion is a condition i enjoy.  the world seems to be less static.
the north mt park visitor center has an excellent native plant display garden. i need to visit sometime when the plants are not frozen orbs of ice.  visit when i do not have a bored husband at my side. at well after ten am the crunchy cold discomfort of frozen feet continued. here i am hot tub and nap bound.  our future winter birding will be done from the hot tub.

Monday, January 14, 2013

new beginnings and jack-pots and deleted posts

Be afraid of Carson’s death glare. Be very afraid. 

actual blah winter brown as seen in the reflection of the hot tub lid
i did not forget my garden toys when we moved. 
these toys go with us wherever the tent trailer goes

JACK-POTS and my six foot tall theatre cage.  a birthday gift from my son, from the oregon shakespeare festival production of 'Twelfth Night'
the cage at our old house, covered last summer  with  hops and morning glories
first time i ever grew morning glories, variety 'grandpa ott', on my cage.  we specified that the cage was not staying when we put the house on the market. 
august 11, 2012:  the NBC national Olympics broadcast did a feature on Shakespeare, with four images from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. That cage, that cage out in our yard, was seen by all the world!  Theatre nerd win!

more blah
before picture- i have 18 of these mostly buried plastic planters, some with scrappy sedums (and mostly with nothing in them) in the front yard. Jack tended these and this house since 1967. we are honored to be the second owners of this place. i call them "jack-pots".
sedums in this jack-pot, likely uprooted by the deer.  planted alongside is phlox.  lots and lots of phlox.  it was their favorite perennial.  pretty blooms in spring for a short time and mostly ugly the rest of the year.  it is in for a severe pruning.
JACK-POT AND/OR ROCK?  BOTH!   it is a boulder that holds a one gallon can and has no drainage. yay! worthless for plants. i think i will fill it up with troll dolls. that sword fern is the only plant of value in the entire bed, and it appears to need more shade and/or water.
ok, this jack-pot is wooden and sorta cute. this one will stay in respect to Jack.  we may not have the same gardening style, but he took such care of the lawn and trees for 45 years.   however, eventually all his lawn with be replaced with other plants.
sungold tomatoes gathered green before the frost on the way to the compost pile.  edible in october and november.  lovely and tasteless in january.   

the nursery: 80 linear feet of plants, 125 pots under our new forest trunks of white oak, doug fir and incense cedar, with the coastal redwoods beyond. 
twisted corkscrew willow goodness i grew from the first two prunings of what became my beloved willow tree arch. two well rooted trees ready to form my new willow arch. how do you like that metal barn? he barn is so old and tacky that it is a heartbeat away from retro-cool. that scrap of torn out vinyl is so uncool that the dump will not take it. if it is that toxic, why do people install it in their homes? 
another pieris, at bottom of photo, for one dollar!   tall reddish vine is a trumpet flower vine that would have loved the hot sun of the new south facing fence at the old house.  hope i can find a place for it here.   
this is my perennial nursery and in the background is the dead plant ugliness i hauled away from moms apt landing. she is such a gardener at heart, but she does not make it pretty enough for the apt managers approval.

this is how you treat severely rootbound nursery stock,  go at those dense roots with everything sharp and dangerous you have got, until the roots are a lovely loose arrangement. 
cast off curbside suitcase looks excellent with my lovely blue pots. i may wire it partially open and grow plants out of it.
'Chenault' Coralberry and my prized bay laurel
pieris 'flaming silver', one dollar. 
crapped up front porch area -but these containers and plantings are quite acceptable and looking excellent in winter.
a pair of birds nest spruces, two bucks.

while out surveying my plant nursery this gentlemen, my son, arrived home from his first day of his second term at university where he is studying theatre.   i want to thank him for helping me to put this post back together, after it got deleted twice.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

spunky cats, troll doll literature, pickle sludge, and willowsprettyshop

yep, a vintage 1992 norfin troll tv tray.  from back in the past when every night for many many nights i read my son to sleep from a norfin troll picture book that was very poorly written. 
my son and I learned about Garbage Disposal Do's and Don'ts. do not combine grandma's moldy xmas bread AND five pints of very old home-canned-dried-up-green-brown-pickle-mystery-substance (bottom shelf, left side) with two people who have not used a garbage disposal before. DO ADD a genius husband who knows how to fix the mess.  this is the only cupboard the previous owners left full.
 i created an etsy shop as my last project of 2012, with one poorly photographed item, and a  banner photo of the first morning glory flower i ever grew.  now it is time to grow my little crafts and cut flower businesses.  i will fill the etsy shop up as time allows.
Juliet and her freshly shed new collar.  One day as an born-again outdoor cat and she has her spunk back.
How to pack a troll very well and create a creepy troll photo, too. why am i goofing around buying trolls on etsy?  research for having my own etsy shop. troll dolls make me happy.  always have.  i now have more trolls than i did back in the day, and these ones are clothed.
The village people arrived from phoenix, arizona.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

New years celebrating, cleaning, demolishing, building, unpacking, repacking, sorting, baking, dreaming, planning, writing, and, of course, ranting

thirteen months of stress about my health, the neighbors, the agonizing decision to leave my garden,  selling and buying a home. sometimes a little thing tears one apart.  Stupidly missing an amazingly perfect cabinet hardware solution sent me over the brink.  i recuperated from my ebay tantrum with the kitty, the ipad, and a new angry birds game (with my gamer son's help, which delights him).  http://www.amazon.com/BeBop-Garden-Riffing-kingdom-ebook/dp/B005EBZT3I
i am enjoying reading my first e-book  waiting for spring to come.
 how long will it be before i lose my sense of smell and am unable to breathe clearly?  i feel like i have to live quick and do everything while i am well.  sudden happiness - a box that the table leaves will fit in perfectly. 
the living room as we first saw it.  my husband ripped out all the carpet and padding before i ever set foot in the house

you can see one last icky scrap of particleboard on the left, and my tireless guy, and the mint brick fireplace
 he removed a nasty layer of particle board and discovered we had  a perfectly serviceable layer of plywood upon which to lay the new flooring
prefinished birch floor in place of carpet, overseen by the xmas trolls.
i fell in love with xmas again, because these guys are now a part of it.

my husband's spacious lovely garage is  our new storage facility and i go out there in the cold and sort out a little bit every day. no more 'as-u-stor-it' bills. (that was really the name of the self storage place, i love that corny nod to Shakespeare) Those big bags of ghost poop are gone now.
old rusty timepiece i gave my old rusty astronomer husband for xmas

first batch of cookies baked in our new home.  our most traditional xmas food!
 "you should have bought a squirrel" kathy bates, 'the rat race'
my son bought me two 
with this swing structure you will never worry that your grandma or kids will be in danger. this baby probably weighs about 500 lbs. it is constructed of 2 1/2 inch diameter steel pipe. use it to wench the engine out of your car. make it into a chicken coop. cover it with hanging plants. the wooden swing needs a lot of work. make a new one out of recycled doors! 7 1/2 ft wide x 6 1/2 ft deep x 8 ft tall. come on by with your big pickup truck, and a bunch of strong guys. plenty of time to have it ready for nice warm summer evenings. those cheap swing sets at the big box stores weigh 80 lbs. do you trust your grandpa on that? this one will still be around sturdy and safe for your great great grandchildren.
big office supplies accident in the bathtub.  
here is a first look at our new yard, for you and our cat, Juliet, as my 19 year old son looks on, she takes her first steps.
those branches, a six foot lilac i purchased for one dollar
Juliet was born the day we first visited Ashland on a school field trip, 300 miles from our last home, in the Sierra foothills of California.  it is a sweet story i will share in a later post.
evening twilight. first time i had seen a clear evening sky at our new home. looking west at our new view of the siskiyou foothills. 
after a long sad, 8 year hiatus, my son is making drawings again! way-to-go internet! you can join the fun, too 

happy new 2013 everyone, gangnum-style!