Rebecca Pinckney's

Archive for March, 2012|Monthly archive page

Who Cooks for You?

In Personal Blog on March 25, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Owl: The Gravest Bird-Proverb

It is official. We have a barred owl nesting in the cavity of the big oak in the backyard. I identified him from the book: Common Birds of Atlanta by Tim Wilson and Anslem Atkins, copyright 1998. It is an excellent resource with very fine photographs of the birds you see everyday in our city and suburbs.

This is definitely a Southern bird. The most exciting thing about our owl is its call.  It sounds like it is asking: “Who cooks for you, who cooks for you-all?”

It surprises me with its hunting activity. We see it out in the early morning, in mid-day and even in the early afternoon.  This is not an exclusively night-time hunting creature.  

He must find us amusing. We are often hanging around the back porch with binoculars in our hands trying to get a closer look at him.

One of the best things about having an owl nesting in the back yard is how it suppresses the squirrel activity.
Maybe we will get a fig crop this year after all. We like this bird.


Barred Owl & Squirrel Encounter

In Personal Blog on March 23, 2012 at 11:56 AM

We have a new visitor to the backyard menagerie.  It is a Barred Owl which has taken over the nesting site of a family of squirrels in the big oak in the backyard.

I have a bird’s eye view of the nesting site because my office is on the second floor and faces out to the back of the house and yard.  The nest is in a very old oak and has been the home to several animal families over the years.

One of the most colorful families was a mother raccoon and her four kits.  She used the hole in the tree for a season. That spring it became hot very early and she would literally ‘hang out’ by flopping over the limb.

She moved the kits once they became active.  By taking each one carefully by the nap of the neck she transferred them to a new place.

Back to the owl.

Yesterday a small  gray squirrel came and looked into the nest.  The owl was sitting very close by on a limb.  The squirrel hesitantly crawled closer and the owl flew off!  The squirrel looked into the nest and then scampered down the trunk. I guess he was wondered what happened to their home.  It has been taken over by another bigger creature.

Figs On the Tree and the Battle Commences

In Personal Blog on March 15, 2012 at 11:56 AM

I have regretted that we do not have more sun in the yard.  Last spring, we planted two pear trees in the front side yardwhere some Bradford pears finally bit the dust after 25 years. An enormous fig tree in the back yard grows in the backyard.  That is the extent of the fruit trees we have.

The backyard fig was once located in the front by the garage where it doubled in size in less than two years.  It forms a big canopy over the middle of the shaded woodland garden. We moved it to the back yard six years ago behind the deck and where it  flourishes, even in part shade.

It is the site of our annual battle with the squirrels and the birds for the fruit of the tree.

This spring, due to the nice amount of rains, we have tiny green fruit sprouting on all the branches of the fig tree.   I stopped counting the fruit at one hundred and fifty.

In the past I have had luck making fig preserves and fig jam from the fruit of our tree.  I hope the animals in the yard leave enough for us to do the same this year.  The war commences between the humans and the animals.  Wonder who will win. I will keep you posted.

By the way, the owl called at  several times last night near the big oak last evening.

Springtime in Atlanta brings dramatic beauty.

In Personal Blog on March 13, 2012 at 9:38 AM

A garden is a lovesome thing. T. E. Browne

We have had a great amount of rain this spring.  It makes our outdoor garden plants happy.  Today a great variety of plants are in bloom in our yard: Hellebores, daffodils, camellias, azaleas, loropetalum, redbud trees, wood violets, one solitary purple tulip blossom and others.

I see tiny evidence of green growth at the tips of the tree branches.  All the little branches that are part of the big trees are beginning to join the great explosion of spring green color. Springtime in Atlanta is dramatic in its beauty.

An owl is nesting in the big oak in the middle of the backyard.  That nest has served as a home for many critters in the past. When the children were growing up a mother raccoon and her 4 kits made it their abode.  There have been countless squirrel families in it, but this is the first time I know of an owl owning the place.

It calls at dusk and then for about an hour afterwards.  The first time we heard it we knew it was very close, but night had fallen and we couldn’t locate where the sound was coming from.

Then, the other night at suppertime, we saw it fly into the hollow of the tree.  The tree is five stories tall and the hollow is at mid-level.  I will keep you posted on Mr. Hooty.  His voice is amazing.

Transplanting time

In Personal Blog on March 13, 2012 at 9:11 AM

This entry was types on March 9, and posted on March 13, 2012.

Yesterday, before it rained, I transplanted 16 hellebore plants, the Lenten Rose.  They have had an outstanding showing in my yard this spring.  I am giving some away and giving some to the Garden Faire for sale for the NFMGs in April.  I hope everyone is going to attend this event on April 28th at Bulloch Hall in Roswell.  There is a description of it on the North Fulton Master Gardeners website for the details.  The funds they raise go to worthy gardening projects throughout the North Fulton area.

Maybe a Teasel Plant, March 2012

In Personal Blog on March 8, 2012 at 10:19 PM

In the month’s time since I last photographed the mystery plant in the herb garden  the leaves of the rosette are growing bigger and stronger.  It looks very similar to the teasel rosette I grew two years ago. The stalk of the seedpod doesn’t appear for a few months yet.

I tried planting teasel seeds in the same location as last time over by the birdbath, but nothing grew in the old location.  In this new location in the middle of the herb garden, the seed just took root on its own.  Its a volunteer teasel, the best type to have, one that comes up on its own.


Tutu Teasel

In Personal Blog on March 6, 2012 at 8:53 PM

So, what do you do when you are a teasel with nail polish and lipstick? You enjoy being a girl.

A new motto has come to my attention…

In Personal Blog on March 6, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Here it is, straight from the SCBWI conference two weeks ago held in Atlanta:

Ultimately, you write what you can, what God gives you.
                                                         Flannery O’Connor 


Lady Tabatha Tutu Teasel

In Personal Blog on March 5, 2012 at 7:52 PM

Here is Tabatha, or Lady Tutu, if you please.  She is wearing a tutu to remind everyone that dancing is for all creatures, not just humans. The red nail polish and lipstick she wears shows she is a girly girl.

Tabatha Teasel

Growing up in between two brothers allowed me to be somewhat of a tomboy.  But, I do like makeup and think that it is important. Doing girly things is great.

Lady Tabatha Tutu is smiling as she thinks about her upcoming ballerina recital. She plans to pirouette, bow and curtsy.  Anyone can dance as long as they enjoy it.

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