Twelve Months

I started a baseline journal soon after we moved here. Every couple of days, I write what I’ve seen around the homestead, or heard. What the weather is like. What’s blooming or about to bloom. That kind of stuff. A paragraph or two, short and sweet.

Just so I have something to compare. I certainly can’t trust my memory anymore, but that hardly matters when there has been no experience. I’m going to keep the journal going, anyway, because I know that what this year is like is no guarantee of what next year will be like.

The nectar bed I was working on last summer, when I met the big spider, is finished. That bed went from this,DSCN1738 to this
nectarbed2. Hummers are hitting the bee balm. I try to deadhead those to encourage new blooms.

Also put some wild bergamot into a whiskey barrel and have been rewarded with this beauty.
butterflyonbergamot

Swamp milkweed has peaked, but the butterflies are still enjoying.orangebutterfly

Enlarged another bed in the front of the house when my sister offered lots of iris they had divided. Got them in at the wrong time of year, but gave these trees more mulch. DSCN2183 Still want to tuck some daffodils into this bed. The iris are blue tones and yellow daffys are my favorite. While prepping that bed, I uncovered this guy, a western smooth earthsnake. Kinda pretty, for a snake.DSCN2187

I’ve seen quite a few snakes, actually. This guy crossed my path, a prairie kingsnake. DSCN2191 Black snakes in various sizes are around. The blue tail skinks are really small this year and there do seem to be less of them.

Tree frogs and toads are all over the place. Anytime I’m digging, or even weeding, I discombobulate a toad of some sort. They come in so many sizes and colors!

Didn’t start to feed the birds until Oct of 2014. We really enjoy watching them year round, noting that the juncos and pine siskins showed up by November 1 and the cold weather started around November 11. Every single cold day, I was wishing more ticks dead.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We had to adjust from the western edge of the eastern time zone length of day to central time and it gets dark early.

Winter didn’t seem too bad to us. We got some snow, some ice, some rain and some sun. By March 8, there were clear signs of spring. Saw my first tick on March 15….on me.
DSCN1969

springMOwildflower1

Started seeds inside in March. Tomatoes and various flowers, some of which are in the nectar bed. Buddy showed up sometime in March. Salad greens and radishes went into the garden bed on April 18th and saw my first hummer by April 27th.

DSCN2130

May, it rained. It rained in June, too, and July. Rivers flooded.

Summer heat brings bugs. Our southern exposure has lots of glass, both sliding and fixed doors and the flies hit the glass full tilt boogie. Some are killed immediately. Some are just stunned. But they hit the glass all.day.long.

Then there are these.
walkingstick

prayingmantisI hate to say this, but shortly after that picture was taken, Buddy ate the mantis.

So, my baseline year still has amphibians, reptiles, and butterflies. The trees, especially the very young ones, look better for all of the rain. Missouri is officially out of drought. Birds of many types are still around. Vegetation is still growing. Still seeing pollinators.

I missed collecting seeds last year because of the move. But I’ve got a lot of seeds from native wildflowers that have bloomed and will be collecting more as they become available. Want to spread the love around the homestead and beyond.

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