Friday, April 24, 2009

Little Owls

As gardeners we must always consider the wildlife around us. It's always there whether we are dealing with it trying to destroy our gardens or enjoying it because we have made our little piece of the planet a little better for it.

And retailers are always coming out with new products to get our money because they know we deal with nature or enjoy it. I look at some new products and just have to wonder if it will work or not. Well here's one you don't have to worry about whether it works or not. You can buy these or you can build them with only basic carpenter skills. It is the owl house for the little Screech Owls. My brother-in-law, Michael, built this one several years ago and put it in his back yard. The owls were in it almost immediately and have come back every year since and have raised a brood every year. These pictures were taken with a game camera set in an adjacent tree. This is the same camera I was able to catch photos of the coons that were getting into my bird seed that was in an earlier post.

He sent me a lot of pictures and it appears that Screech Owls just sit at the entrance a lot.

Here you can see one's wing as it flew right in front of the camera.

Here the male has brought a lizard or frog and is tearing it up for the little female.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Freeze tonight

It looks like we are going to get a freeze tonight. It is supposed to be right at freezing in Austin and we are usually a few degrees lower than they are. Being a long time gardener, you learn to deal with it. I have saved large pieces of plastic and wraps for bundled material, so that I can cover the beds of row type crops. I use buckets and flower pots for the individual plants like tomatoes and peppers. You can't forget to put a rock over the hole in the pot though.
So come on frost, I am so ready.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lady Monster

I was in Liberty Hill this week and remembered to take a picture of a Lady Banksia rose that I look for every year at bloom time. It is a monster, climbing completely over an old house. It is so thick you can't even see the house except for the very peak. There are blooms numbering, literally in the thousands. If you get up this way you can see it right across the tracks from the Hobo Depot cafe in the middle of town.