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Lunar Eclipse – Did I See It?

morning of December 10, 2011

Oh how I love full moons! This December one is so bright. We’ve been fortunate to have clear skies to admire it every evening.

Early Saturday morning I sat on my deck drinking coffee just gazing at the moon before sunrise. At one point, around 6:30, it seemed to get a bit brighter. But that could just be a wisp of a cloud; or the caffeine waking up my eyes. I came in the house; checked the news; and found out there was a lunar eclipse. Did I see it? Or was it so subtle on the East Coast that it wasn’t discernible?

Here’s how subtle the difference could’ve been:

http://www.mreclipse.com/LEphoto/NLE2002/image/NLE2002-3w.JPG

Dreaming of a Native Garden

I don’t have a a traditional lawn as my front yard. Nor in my back yard. Both areas are gardens.

I tore out the grass in my front lawn 7 years ago and planted perennials, grasses, bulbs, and annuals. Then I started on my back yard.

Over the years since then, both the front yard and the back yard have gone through several iterations due to catastrophic events (such as blizzards, droughts, burst pipes). As I lost plants due to one event or another, I’d re-start, filling in the holes in the landscape with new plants.

So my gardens have evolved. I did not have a plan for them. I selected what to plant based on what I liked (“oh that looks pretty!” or “how interesting!”) or whether that type of plant had survived in the garden so far.

I had heard the words “native” and “invasive” but honestly I had no idea what they meant or why I should care.

So now I know. And I now have a vision for my gardens. One that attracts insects, butterflies, and birds. One that is home to native plants that will filter pollution before entering Chesapeake Bay. One that has mini-habitat areas for critters.

In the meantime, though, I will enjoy what is thriving in my garden. Such as the fall foliage on my totally non-native Japanese maple tree.

November, or Spring?

Pic from Thanksgiving week

November weather is so warm that the weigela in my front yard has offered up some blooms.

I Have Birds!

Referencing my earlier post about buying a bird feeder, and then not having any birds.

https://naturejustoutsidemydoor.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/bringing-birds-to-my-backyard/

Well, now I have birds !! They feed about 9:00am, so I don’t usually get to see them since I’m away at work. And it’s hard to get a photo of them. As I get too close to the door, they flit away.

Today, I had as many as eight at the feeder, or waiting in line. I was able to get some notes, and then later ID them to the best of my ability. Today’s visitors:

  • Black-capped Chickadee or Carolina Chickadee
  • House Finch (I had several of them)
  • some kind of sparrow maybe – hard to narrow these down just now (these were the 2nd largest group)
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • female Cardinal
  • a bluish-gray bird I’m not sure of; may be a Gray Catbird

I think that’s pretty cool. In addition to those, I’ve heard a bluejay; had several juncos on my lawn a week or so ago; and for years I’ve had a pair of mourning doves nest under my deck.

You may notice I slightly re-arranged the feeder, moving it away from the squirrel access.