Success at last! Maybe not Martha Stewart success, but success by my standards. I grade myself on a curve.
My double early tulips are out, and I think they are pretty darn nice. Sure, they are a little shorter than they should be, and my two colors have, predictably, failed to bloom in concert. But I'm still giving myself an A. They are a lot better than last year's show.
The Owl Checks In
So just who is reading my blog? Yesterday I found out.
Apparently this barred owl read my last post about the bountiful food supply in my backyard "Peaceable Kingdom": he showed up in broad daylight yesterday, swooped down for a quick snack in the leaves, then proceeded to park himself in my red maple, where he graciously posed for these photos (all by Ron - he's good, I'm not). This was quite a thrill, as neither of us city bumpkins had ever gotten up close and personal with an owl before.
Just who is the barred owl, and what was he doing out and about in the middle of the day? Time to consult owlpages.com.
First things first. He's a killer, unlike the cosmetically-challenged turkey vulture of my last post. Mainly he eats voles, shrews, and mice, but in a pinch he will also eat moles, rats, squirrels, rabbits, lizards, salamanders, frogs, beetles, grasshoppers - in other words, anything he can sink those enormous claws into. He (or possibly she - the two sexes look similiar) begins nesting in late February, and that's probably why we spotted him - owls are out and about in daylight primarily during nesting season. His call, recorded here, supposedly sounds like "Who cooks for you, who cooks for all?" He did not favor us with a performance.
The Peaceable Kingdom
This is Scabiosa. It's pretty - not my personal favorite, but pretty. The butterflies and bees like it, so I have it in my garden. It's semi-evergreen here and will bloom about 10 months out of the year if nothing eats it first.
This is Newman. He's pretty too. I've named all the rabbits in my garden Newman, after the devious mailman who is Jerry's arch-nemesis in Seinfeld. Newman loves Scabiosa. He prefers it plain, but he'll also take it with cayenne pepper, dog hair, and Deer-Off.
The Galloping Horse Gardener is a native New Yorker who packed it in in 2005 to live under the radar in Cary, North Carolina. In 2014, she removed to a new secure location somewhere in Raleigh.
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