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Monday, February 27, 2012

Floral Arrangement Day...give it up for beautiful blooms!

photo by Suzanne * October 15, 2011
Mineral Wells, TX

Tuesday, February 28, 2012, is National Floral Arrangement Day.

Floral design day was created to honor Carl Rittner who  founded the Rittner's School of Floral Design in 1950.  Mr. Rittner was a pioneer of floral design, and, Massachusetts governor, William F. Weld, declared this special day in 1995.  I didn't know this!  But, hallelujah for floral design!  We all love flowers, and arrangements large and vases, pots, and outdoors!  And, although, we appreciate flowers every day, our thanks goes out to Governor Weld for making it official!

The designated flower for National Flower Arrangement Day is
none other than the Hollyhock!

'zebrina' * photo by suzanne

Here's my Hollyhock...didn't even know this Althea plant was family to the Hollyhock.  I love it when I can post my own stuff!  This is an extremely invasive plant-my photos are of only one plant, purchased in a 4" pot, for under $2.00.  Both of our neighbors on either side of us have inherited this plant from our yard...without asking!  There are more coming up now, and, I plan to dig them up to give away.  The 'zebrina' does produce lovely flowers, and quickly...they are fast growers, I guarantee it!

Here's a full view of this plant.
photo by suzanne

And, I came across a few floral storefronts I think are unique:

Regina Florist Co. Ltd.
Saskatchewan, Canada

Albert's Florist
San-Luis-Obispo, CA.

Cool, huh?  This one is in Hico, Texas!

So, jump on the bandwagon, find a flower, or several dozen flowers of ANY KIND...
...and arrange them! 

Thank you for stopping by, I'm always glad to see and hear from you! 
Be safe...and, SMILE!

And Thank You:
Karo for the lovely tulips
Hi Mom!

My Valentine gave me these beautiful Tulips!
...oh, yeah, and the wine too!
photo by suzanne

"I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers."
~Claude Monet

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bird's Eye View Of...what else? * Birds!

"Aww, Chickadee on a limb!"  Sweet!
Photo taken in Fort Worth, Texas
by Suzanne * February 6, 2012 long has it been since I've been here?  A month or two, you say?  Well, I just wanted to give everyone a chance to take in my information on the 'Herb of the Year', 2012.  I saw it to be a nice surprise, since some of us only see herbs as Basil, Cilantro, etc.  And, of course, Herb himself!  I never considered the Rose to be a (an) herb, but, I was pleasantly surprised, since the Rose is so fragrant and desirable.  And, I've got my rose bushes pruned back, and leafing out for the first showing!

We've just been blowing and going since the holidays...cold weather, warm weather-the plants and beautiful creatures of nature don't know if they're coming or going!  And, we've been fortunate to have recorded some of nature's activities thus far.  Karo spotted a Chickadee outside our kitchen window one day...oh, we love Chickadees and always welcome them with open arms...or, to be exact, open seed bells!  So we ran out and got a couple of them to hang near our favorite kitchen window.  This window, much to our dismay doesn't offer a beautiful view...just the house next door.  But it's the closest quarters in which to view our favorite birds over coffee!

Carolina Chickadee * Photo by Suzanne * January 22, 2012

It was about 5 or 6 years ago that we first discovered these cute little birds outside our kitchen window.  We had hung a seed bell hoping to encourage the goldfinch we had seen flying in and out of the honeysuckle that grows on the fence.  Gradually, there appeared 6 to 8 of these chickadees at a time-very exciting!  But, for the last few years we haven't seen anymore...until January of our new year!  Chickadees are natives of Maine and Massachusetts. 

During the fall migration and winter, chickadees often flock together. Many other species of birds, including titmice, nuthatches, and warblers can often be found foraging in these flocks. Mixed flocks stay together because the chickadees call out whenever they find a good source of food. This calling out forms cohesion for the group, allowing the other birds to find food more efficiently.

These guys are busy little bees...I mean 'dees'.  And it's hard to distinguish between the male and female chickadee.  During my research, (of course) I learned that the male is only a little longer and perhaps wider than the female.  And, his white area is whiter, while his black areas are blacker...hmm!  I guess the male does all of the singing, actually the males compete for the females thru their singing.  Whoever sings the longest and prettiest, gets the 'gal'!  I did go to YouTube and listen to some chickadee pretty, and I recognized them from sounds I've heard outside my window.

Here is a short video that Karo captured recently of a Chickadee feeding outside our window, then, going to work on his home...loved it!

Well, did y'all like it?  Notice I said 'Y'ALL'!  That's how I really talk, even tho I'm from Kansas.  We didn't say y'all, or even 'howdy' in Kansas.  But, just like the Chickadee adapting to our environment in Texas, so have I...Haha!

I do have some other birds in my library, but I don't want 'youse guys' to fall asleep whilst reading this, so, I'll have to save them for later.  But, I guess I could post a few pictures we have taken.  I was amazed to see these birds, and their behavior.  They share the seed, and even take turns.  We've watched the Cardinals share with the Tufted Titmouse, and also the Carolina Wren-now that's a pretty little bird with unusual markings.

~Birds of a Feather, Flock Together

photo by Karo * February 16, 2012
There they are!  Aren't they cute?  I mean, he's looking Karo smack, dab, in the eye!  So, you can see the detail on these birds feathers...looks like scalloping on their tails and wings. The bird in front appears to have bushy white eyebrows, like, say, Larry Hagman?
  ...sorry, just kidding!

photo by Karo* February 10, 2012
And here we have the 'Tufted Titmouse'.  They say it got it's name because of it's face resembling that of a mouse.  There are about 4 of them we've seen coming to our bell.  Two at a time...and they share with the chickadees and wrens.  I saw a video on YouTube where they were eating out of the hands of a young woman.  They are sweeties indeed!

Our little menagerie consists of the Chickadee, Carolina Wren, Tufted Titmouse, and a few others that I hope to mention at a later date. 

And thanking my resources:
all about birds
and, of course, my birdseye view!

I'm so glad you stopped by and meandered...thank you all for your kind comments, and, also, for your great blog posts.  It's an amazing experience, conversing every few days, once a week, or, once a month with folks who share the same, yet different interests.  Many of you have unbelievable talents that I don't possess, but, that I share an interest in. 
Hey!  So, that makes us even!!!

"Be as a bird perched on a frail branch
 that she feels bending beneath her,
still she sings away all the same,
knowing she has wings."
~Victor Hugo

Whitney Houston
August 9, 1963 ~ February 11, 2012

'til next time mes amis! ♥