Saturday Sanity: The Antidote to the Madness (May 2, 2009) Orioles!

~~By NM-GRL (aka InsightAnaltyical-GRL)

I’m trying out something new…posting directly to Open Range Ramblings with a link over at IA for visitors to that blog.  Hopefully, folks will find their way here!

Well, this week I bought a product at Home Depot called “Critter Ridder” which is supposed to “deter” pests lik squirrels. After my local little devils munched on petunias and newly planted lettuce in pots on the patio, I got frustrated. So I bought this stuff (organic) and sprinkled it on the other side of the wall, hoping to keep my squirrel invaders at bay.

WITHIN 10 MINUTES…I was in the house and glanced out the window…and there was the ringleader on the wall and down on the ground taking a drink of water in the bowl I have there.

So much for “Critter Ridder” when it comes to squirrels!!!  However, it MAY help with another problem…my two little ones, Toro and especially Tico,  have be digging in the garden for some reason. Tico seems to love digging holes and sits in them.  I filled in the one in the grassy area near the house and covered it with a flower pot so now he (with assistance from Toro) is digging by the wall under the plants and hanging out there.  So, I may have to use the rest of the “Critter Ridder” to discourage Tico…it’s safe for dogs, so I’ll see if I’ve wasted my $15.

The Big Event of the week is the arrival of the orioles on a regular basis to my yard!  I’ve been hearing them for a couple of weeks and my neighbor had them in her yard. Now, I’ve got at least two males visiting. One goes to the feeder, the other likes the grape jelly I set out.  The females will start visiting soon, I hope.  Last year I decided that the two types visiting were the hooded and Bullock’s orioles…

Hitting the bottle:

Enjoying the sugar water...

Hooded Oriole enjoying the sugar water...

Grape jelly!!

Jelly!

Jelly! (Bullock's Oriole)

Out in the plant world, the mesquite trees are finally leafing out…and doing the pollen thing.  I’m allergic so the last couple of days have been a bit stuffy…and the high mulberry pollen counts haven’t helped much either.  Mulberry trees aren’t being planted anymore but the ones that are still around are pretty potent especially when the wind blows.

Mesquite Tree

Mesquite Tree

Lots of sweet smelling pollen going on here:

Pollen Attack!

Pollen Attack!

We’re also beginnning to see a lot of yellow cactus flowers popping out…

Cactus Flower Duo

Cactus Flower Duo

There is a lot more yellow in store from cactus plants. The cholla is beginning to get ready to blossom as well. I’ll be posting some pics of other flowering plants soon!

In the vegetable garden, the first banana pepper is about and inch long and I’ve already started picking basil for drying. I finally have cheescloth down over the sprouting squash, okra and chard in a last ditch effort to keep the bugs away!

The Fruit is Growing!

~~By NM-GRL (IA-GRL)

Well, yesterday about noon the winds started.   So before they kicked up I went out and got some pictures of the various fruits I’m growing…

But first, here’s a picture of the garden “under wraps.”  Because I knew the wind was coming, I watered the plants and then put the covers that I’ve been using overnight back on.  It was easier that putting up the “windbreak” that you see draped around the edge of the raised beds. Tomorrow, the plants will be in the sun again since the winds will be gone.

Ready for the wind...

Ready for the wind...

As you can see, the Flame grape  is already growing like crazy, complete with the beginnings of bunches of grapes!!

A baby bunch of grapes...

A baby bunch of grapes...

The first figs are about the size of a ping pong ball now…

Yummy, a fig!

Yummy, a fig!

Last but not least, the peaches…I sure hope I can get the bags on one of the days before the squirrels get to them!! (You can see the tree to the right in the corner in the garden picture above.)

More ping pong-sized fruits...PEACHES!

More ping pong-sized fruits...PEACHES!

This may be the most peaches I’ve seen on this tree since I’ve had it. We’ve had a very mild winter and the peaches have grown big enough to withstand the winds (so far!).

This is a standard “Ranger” peach which I’ve kept small.  It grows like crazy in this warm corner.

Eventually, I want to remove it and put something in that won’t be “fooled” into an early bloom.

The tree I bought a few years ago and moved last year doesn’t seem to be waking up at all, although I was doing fine after I transplanted it last fall.  I’m not quite sure if it’s just slow or dead!  The buds have separated from the branches, but they dont’ seem to be doing much. This is the tree I’m hoping to have producing before I take out the Ranger.

I moved one of the artichokes today because I thought it need more sun. Besides, I may be using the space if my big plan actually swings into gear. I’ll know more on Friday…

Hope the weather is good wherever you are today…