"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bathing beauties and flowers.

I've noticed a lot of birds returning to our yard over the past several days. It seems that the empty nesters and babies are all out exploring. We've had a group of 3 Stellar's Jay that have been in our yard during the days. Lot's of chickadees are back at the feeders. Sparrows, hummingbirds, finches and more seem to all have come out of hiding. Anyone else noticing more birds around lately?

I caught this cute little guy at the pond. It's a juvenile Golden-crowned Kinglet.

There has been a pair of Spotted Towhees in our yard regularly. They like to try out the different birdbaths.

I caught this pair hanging out at the pond and then they decided to take a dip in the birdbath. They were so cute I had to record a little.
The little birds love this bath because it's so shallow. I notice the deeper birdbath in the front yard attracts Stellar's Jays, Robins and Crows to it. I have a couple of other birdbaths as well and they all get used.

Here are a few new flowers I found while out watering today.

Peach-leafed bellflower (campanula persiciflolia). I was happy to find blue one has reseeded, usually I only find white ones. They reseed in the path area quite a bit.

Here is 'Alionushka' clematis. I love it's bell shaped flowers. It's great for growing up something short because it only gets 4 - 6 feet tall. I have it growing on a shepherd's hook that holds bird feeders. It blooms June - September. I'm sort of picky about clematis, I usually only buy ones that have a long bloom time. Most of mine bloom all summer or are spring and then late summer bloomers.

And this is for Chandramouli.
The first of the annual Bachelor's Buttons or Cornflower (centaurea cyanus). He's been waiting to see them. These are one of the easiest annuals to start from seed. Sometimes they even reseed themselves and show up the next year.
Hope you're making lots of exciting discoveries in your garden!
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  1. For some reason your third photo did not load. There is a lot of bird activity around here too. Lovely blooms.

  2. Those chickadees are so cute! I'm glad you videotaped them. That clematis is really cool. Staying short is a bonus. Have a great day Catherine!

  3. Your pics look great! I love the clematis beautiful!

  4. Great pictures Catherine! I have noticed more birds this year; maybe I'm just paying more attention!

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  6. I am noticing a lot of birds too. Cardinals have a nest nearby, pileated woodpeckers, and I've seen a lot of goldfinches. Also, one very brave chipmunk who came up the front steps to the porch! Your flowers are so pretty and I love the video - how sweet. I love hearing your pond on the video.

  7. Lovely photos. Isn't it wonderful to see birds actually using the birdbath? Particularly those adorable babies!

    Do you have to do anything special to keep mosquitos from breeding? That's the only downside to a birdbath vs. a fountain with running water around my neck of the woods.

  8. Oh, how cute are the chickadee's in the birdbath.They act as if there isn't enough space or water for the both of them :-)

  9. That clematis is so interesting - never seen anything like it. Have a good one - VW

  10. I am enjoying the birds too Catherine. "My" baby blue jays are about to leave the nest and I hope they'll hang out in my yard a little. There's also a mourning dove sitting on eggs across the street. I check on her when I walk by. You have some great birdbaths. I find the shallower ones get used the most here. There you go again with another great clematis. I'm starting to associate the two of you together!

  11. Catgerine-
    How often do you water? Everything looks wonderful!


  12. Your first little fuzzy guy is adorable and I loved your video. I keep forgetting I can do that with my camera.
    I love that Clematis. I might need it - I also like long blooming times - of course sometimes beauty outweighs that but if ya can have both then go for it!

  13. Darla - The birds must all be out now that they are free from taking care of their babies. I love seeing the babies exploring.

    Tina- Those chickadees are so entertaining. They seem to be the most outgoing.

    Jesikarena - Thanks, I think that clemaits is really pretty too, one of my favorites.

    Laura - Sometimes I think you're right, just paying more attention to who's in the yard. They were busy early spring and then it was quiet for awhile, now they're all back.

    BarbiePhobia - Those bellflowers will reseed all over, they grow anywhere. I've tried blue before but only the white came back. I love the color of the blue.

    Mildred - I like your new butterfly :) You have some colorful visitors. It's fun hearing them as they fly around in the trees. I think chipmunks are so cute.

    Susan - I don't put anything in the birdbaths, mostly because I refill them at least every other day because they get dirty or empty. For my pond I use dunks, it's a pesticide free mosquito killer. It's some sort of bacteria. If you google mosquito dunks you should be able to find them. It says they are safe to put in birdbaths.

    Lona - Isn't that funny. They just stayed in that one little area.

    VW - It's really different, I love the pointed petals.

    Kathleen - I don't think there is much cuter than baby birds. Although every spring we have baby squirrels in our yard too. One sat on the fence eating a tiny apple from our tree the other day.

    Laura - Lately I've been watering everyday because we've had no rain. Normally I just water the containers or new plants. I'm trying to keep it as low maintenence as possible, but some plants just seem to need it no matter how long they've been here.

  14. Linda - Isn't it cute? They seem so confused about what they should be doing. They were around all day, maybe they just left a nearby nest.
    Sometimes beauty does outweigh bloom time, I have many examples of that :)

  15. Hi Catherine ~ Love those bird pictures. They look happy and content in your gardens. I really enjoyed the little video of the spotted towhees. Sweet as can be.

    Have a wonderful summer ~ FlowerLady

  16. I'm sure all the birds decided to hang out in your yard because of all the beautiful flowers- smart birds! I've noticed them hanging out more in my yard as well. Wish I still had my peach-leaved Bellflower I started from seed years ago- they are so pretty in a bouquet! Time to grow them again :)

  17. love the photos...the birds are cute..and so fun to watch...those flowers are doing great!

  18. Hi Catherine~~ What a fantastic post. I could have watched your bathing chickadees for hours. They're so cute.

    In an effort to curb my enthusiasm, I've only purchased one clematis this year. 'Alionushka'!! I'm partial to the small flowered varieties. Thank you for showing me what I have to look forward to. This is a stunner.

  19. Your garden looks fresh all the time. Such sweet little birds drinking at the birdbath. They do like those shallow ones best huh?

  20. Flower Lady - They were back in there today, that birdbath gets the most activity of all and I can see it from where I do dishes. Good entertainment.

    Tessa - These bellflowers are good in a bouquet. I've never tried them from seed. I planted them awhile ago and they just reseed around the yard. I was surprised to find blue this year since I hadn't planted blue in years.

    Tootsie - You've had lots of birds at your place too. They are really fun to watch.

    Grace - I'm always watching out the window for birds, lots to be seen lately.
    You'll love this clematis. It blooms like crazy and is so tough. I moved it a couple of years ago and it didn't slow it down at all.

    Anna - Thanks! They do seem to like the shallow ones, although it seems like the deeper ones are the ones I usually see for sale.

  21. Oh Catherine, what fabulous pictures! I think you must be blessed with alot of patience for I just can never sit still enough to capture birds on film (apart from slow moving chickens!).Brava!

  22. We've had some bird activity. Our baby bluebirds will be leaving the nest soon. They are growing much. And I think we must of had a lot of baby wrens cause they've been trying to fly. And I actually saw my first Indigo Bunting at my feeder the other day. That was pretty exciting!

  23. Julie - Usually as soon as I walk outside the kids and the dog follow me and scare off any birds. That day I told them I needed to go outside alone :) Don't get much alone time anymore, so it was a good excuse.

    Susie - I bet those baby blue bird are cute. Indigo buntings are beautiful, how lucky to have one visit your feeder. We don't get them out here.

  24. These flowers are so pretty.
    I see you went to Minima Stretch?
    The side pictures are much bigger that way...I can see them so much better!

  25. Awww! Thank you so much, Catherine, for the wonderful shot of my ever-favorite blue beauty! I'm sure to try them again once I'm all done with my trips.
    Those two cuties look so sweet and that tweety, bathing looks great. I love watching my budgies take bath. One of my budgies literally jump into the tub like this bird in your video and washes herself, whereas the other one just spreads his wing and wets himself.

  26. Don't you just love seeing birds in a bird bath enjoying the water and taking baths? I could spend hours watching them flitter and play. Your campanula is beautiful. I have the ground cover and I love to see it every late spring. Beautiful photography.


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