Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Not-so-Bright Red-bellied

We have a saying in the family: "He (or She) is so pretty."  Basically, this is uttered in response to something you've said or done that you wish you could immediately take back.  Often accompanied by a pat on the head, it's a way of saying "Oh honey, don't worry - you're so pretty no one expects you to be smart."

Well, this gorgeous red-bellied woodpecker definitely earns the phrase, "You're so pretty."  Not only is he truly a gorgeous bird, but he's been trying to figure out how to cling to our Droll Yankees seed feeder for FOUR days.

The feeder hangs in front of our second story bedroom window and traditionally is the "little bird" feeder: chickadees, nuthatches and finches, with the occasional downy or hairy swooping in to steal a peanut.

The "pretty" red-bellied has camped out on the window ledge and continuously buzzes the feeder attempting to land, so not only is he not enjoying the tasty treats - neither are the feeder's usual clients.

Will day 5 be the magic day he figures it out? We'll see, but in the meantime it really is a treat to see such a pretty bird up close.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Green Solstice

Tender, young, bright green plants. Contrast that with the gently drifting snowflakes and the ice-covered trees outside my window and you have a great way to celebrate today's Solstice: Our shortest day of the year, but one that marks the coming of spring.  For every day from this point forward will be minutes longer.

So, today's project was to transplant nearly a dozen young tomato seedlings into bigger pots. I cannot think of a better way to celebrate the 1st day of winter and the lengthening days.

Will they survive? They should. Will they actually bear fruit? That's the big question.  As we prepare to move fully off the grid in a few years, one of the requirements is the ability to grow our own food.  Of course, a greenhouse will be a key component, but we've never tried growing tomato plants in the winter before so this is a good first step.