Our Mini Nature Preserve

Encourage Birds & Wildlife with Food, Water, Shelter.

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Water – There are many water sources.NWF_certify_sign_CWH_print
  • Many regular, and a heated birdbath.
  • An outdoor two tier water fountain.
  • A recycled bathroom sink is an in-ground drip fountain.
  • A recycled tub is an in-ground pond -water for wildlife.
Shelter – There is a multitude of places to hide and survive.
  • We made and placed four different pine bird boxes.
  • We have a Wren nesting pipe house.
  • We hung nesting baskets under our Grape Arbor.
  • A Purple Martin house, that is really a Wren and Sparrow condo.
  • We have a Brush pile for the birds, small mammals, and invertebrates.
  • We leave Leaf Litter over winter for the small mammals, and invertebrates.
  • Plus we provide what we call a ‘nesting box’ of goodies to help facilitate their nest building. It contains: small twigs, pieces of straw, leaf litter, grass clippings, cotton string, and cotton dryer lint (only cotton should be used).
Food – There are many food sources available.
  • Nectar – We have a Humming Bird feeder.
  • Suet – We offer them Suet eight months out of the year, October to May.
  • Mixed Seed and Cracked Corn – Twice a day, in the morning, and then again in the evening, we feed them a controlled amount by scattering it on the ground, and on tray feeders. It is increased in November through to April, and on days when it is near or below freezing, we feed them three times a day, morning, afternoon, and evening.
  • Household scrapsFruits and veggies are often added to their daily diet.
  • Egg Shells – We offer them egg shells during their nesting season.
  • Our FruitsWe do share with Wildlife. They Love our fruit. We have: an Apple tree; eight Grape vines; Blueberry bushes; Blackberries, a ‘gift’ from the birds; Raspberries; and ‘Volunteer’ Pin Cherry trees, additional gifts from our feathered friends.
Our Mini Nature Preserve

Our Trees, Hedgerows, and Plants provide, Food and Shelter for all Our Wildlife. They provide our family’s share of oxygen. Additionally, they are natural air filters, windbreaks, and sound barriers.

In the Beginning there was…

1. House, front copy

And Now…

Our Plant Inventory

Trees, big

  • White Oak – We maintain three, there were five, we lost two due to storms.
  • Black Locust

Trees, medium

  • Pin Cherry (2)
  • Sassafras (2)
  • Eastern Red Cedar (1)
  • White pine (1)Rose of Sharon, Violet

Trees, smaller

  • Apple (1)
  • Blue Spruce (1)
  • Sweet Gum (1) – kept dwarfed
  • Rose of Sharon trees (5) (in addition to the hedgerow)

Shrubs & Bushes

  • Azalea (2) 1 large, 1 small
  • Blueberry (2)
  • Boxwood, English (2) sempervirens
  • Boxwood, True Dwarf (1) suffruticosa
  • Boxwood, Littleleaf (4) microphylla Koveana
  • Holly, American (1)
  • Holly, Blue Princess (2)
  • Holly, China Boy (1)
  • Hydrangea (3)
  • Rhododendron, Large
  • Winter Honeysuckle
  • and a Chopped up evergreen (the Robin’s Lair)privet-0-12-jun-2018.jpg

Hedgerows

  • Forsythia hedgerow – (6′ W x 40′ L) at least.
  • Privet hedgerow – (3′ W x 30′ L) at least
  • Rose of Sharon hedgerow – (3′ W x 60′ L)

Cover: Blackberry & Raspberry brambles, and an eight Grape vine canopy.

Groundcover: Ground Ivy, Periwinkle, Virginia Creeper, Wild Ginger

Perennial Flower & Foliage Garden: Astilbes; Bleeding Hearts; Cardinal Lilies; Daffodils; Hostas, Blue; Hostas, Variegated; Hyacinths; Jonquils; Kalanchoes; Lesser Celandine, Peony; Snow Drops; Tiger Lilies; Tulips.

Perennial Wilds Garden: Burdock, Catmint, Chickweed, Clover, Cress, Dandelions, Dock, Ground Ivy (Gill-o’er-the ground), Henbit, Lady’s Thumb, Lamb’s Quarters, Mustard, Plantain, Pigweed, Pokeweed, Dead Nettle, Self Heal, Sorrel, Violets, Wild Lettuce, Wild Garlic, Wild Ginger, Winter Cress, Wooly Mint.

A Few of the Ways Wildlife use some of our Plants

White Oak – Food: White Oak provides food for my Grackles, Jays, Nuthatches, Thrushes, Woodpeckers, Rabbits, and Squirrels. More than five hundred butterflies and moths are attracted to this host plant. The larvae of two small moth species of the Bucculatricidae family are known to feed only on the white oak leaves. Shelter: Nesting, Roosting, and Protection for many birds. Our Great Horned Owl usually returns every Fall.

Black Locust – Food: The Flowers are pollinated by Bees and Hummingbirds. Seeds are eaten by Mourning Dove, Eastern Cottontail, and Squirrels. Shelter: Many animals use this tree for cover and cavities. A good home for bird, especially Woodpeckers.

Pin CherryFood: Twenty-five species of songbirds and ground birds eat the fruit. Mammals of all sizes relish it. More than 400 moths and butterfly species eat the leaves.The larvae of a small moth species of the Bucculatricidae family feed on nothing but pin cherry leaves. Shelter: Nesting, Roosting, and Protection.

Sassafras – Food: Sassafras fruits are eaten by many species of birds, including my Phoebes, Gray Catbirds, Northern Flickers, Woodpeckers, Thrushes, Vireos, and Northern Mockingbirds. Groundhogs eat the leaves, and Rabbits eat the bark in winter. Shelter: Nesting, Roosting, and Protection.

Eastern Red Cedar – Food: The Cedar Waxwing is one of the principal users of red cedar berries, but many other birds and mammals, make the fruit an important part of their diet. Shelter: A favorite nesting site of; Chipping sparrows, Robins, Song Sparrows, and Mockingbirds. Juncos, Myrtle Warblers, Sparrows of various kinds, and other birds use the dense protective foliage as roosting cover.

White pine – Food: The seed-filled cones beckon sixteen species of songbirds, and small mammals. Pines are the host plants for more than two hundred butterflies and moths. Shelter: offers excellent year-round shelter.

Apple – Food: Yellow-bellied sapsuckers often feed on the sap of apple trees, leaving a grid of sap wells around the tree, Ruby-throated hummingbirds depend on these sap wells for food, especially when floral nectar is scarce. Insects feed on the sap and in turn become food for birds, including ruby-throats. Many species of bees, butterflies, moths and beneficial insects use the nectar of the apple blossoms in spring. They also feed on fallen rotting apples in fall. Shelter: provides important habitat for many birds, including Bluebirds, Flycatchers, Robins, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and Orioles. Branches and cavities in apple trees are common nest sites. Many species of mammals and birds use the cavities in winter for shelter or for food caches.

Blue Spruce – Shelter: provides shelter for Siskins, Nuthatches and Crossbills.

Forsythia HedgeShelter: Nesting, Roosting, and Protection for birds & insects.

Privet HedgeFood: can produce thousands of fruits, which are eaten by birds. It’s also used as food by the larvae of some (Lepidoptera) Butterfly and Moth species. Shelter: Nesting, Roosting, and Protection for birds and insects.

Rose of Sharon HedgeFood: Flowering from July to October, it attracts wildlife in droves, Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds. Shelter: Roosting, and Protection for many birds and insects.

For the Garden

  • Encourage Birds for Pest Control, by providing Food, Water, Shelter.
  • Use Ladybugs, Diatomaceous earth and Milky spore for pest control.
  • Use recycled Grey water for garden, if you can.
  • Use Rain barrels, if you can.

Repurposing, Recycling, Reusing

  • In 1985, we recycled a bathtub as an in-ground pond.
  • In 2005, we recycled another bathtub into a raised bed herb garden.
  • In 2015, we recycled yet another bathtub into an additional raised bed garden.

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Thanks for stopping by…

I hope you join me on my journey, as I recount many things from my past,            and explore the many other creative possibilities in my future. – OmaEagle

 

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April Flowers 2018

Spring is Always Here                                                                                         With Flowers Around the Year.

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Mini Orchid Frosty White

Flowers, Flowers, Everywhere…
My Indoor flowers bloom year-round,                            My Hubby buys me bouquets most weeks,                   Plus from February up unto the middle of October,
My outdoor plants gave me flowers…

My Mini Orchid Frosty White
This Baby’s been in bloom since the end Dec. 2017,
He’s near the end of bloom, needs a rest until June.

April 1, 2018 Easter                                                                                                      I added these to my Collection…

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Burnt Orange Lily
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Deep Blue tipped White African Violet.

Some of the Flowers that have blessed my April.

African Violets, Amaryllis, Apples, Bleeding Hearts, Blueberries, Dandelions, Forsythia, Gil-o’er the Ground, Hyacinths, Jonquils, Lesser Celandine, Lilies, Orchids, Periwinkle, Pregnant Onion, Spathiphyllum, Wild Violets, Winter Cress.


The First Week of April

My Pregnant Onion sent up a flower stalk, it will bloom for at least 3 months.

Pregnant onion
This is it’s Flower
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My Forsythia is open through gloom of storm & snow
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My Jonquils
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My Lesser Celandine
Periwinkle April 2018 week 1
My Periwinkle
Hyacinth April 2018 wk 1
My Hyacinth is really trying
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My Kalanchoe is making an appearance

My Cardinal and Tiger Lilies are also coming up

The 2nd & 3rd Week of April

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Wild Violets
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Wild Violets
Gil o'er the ground April
Gil o’er the Ground
Gil o'er the ground April.
Gil o’er the Ground
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Bleeding Hearts
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Spathiphyllum
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Spathiphyllum

The 4th Week of April

Blueberries April
Blueberries
Liberty Apple April
Liberty Apple
Liberty Apple
Liberty Apple

BUT… The Pride of My April Blooms are My Amaryllises

My Amaryllises grow 36″ high, and the blooms are over 6″ across.
I have had them over 45 years now. My Mama plant bulb came from my Grandfather back in the 70’s.

First Week of April

My Amaryllis holding their heads high.

Amaryllis AprilAmarylisis April 2018 week 1Amarylisis April 2018 week 1.

First Week of April

I have many in various stages of bloom. I have 4 pots with 5 bulbs.                          A total of 8 – 9 flower stalks, each flower stalk has 3 to 4 flowers
So perhaps I will have up to 36 flowers

Amaryllis wk 1 stages of bloom

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Second Week of April

2 of them with 7 flowers on 2 stalks, & 2 more stalks to bloom yet.

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Third Week of April

And the Bloom goes on, and the Bloom goes on.
3 pots, 3 stalks bloomed with 11 flowers, 3 more stalks to go.

Amarylisis Apr 2018 3rd week

Last Week of April

The Last plant to Bloom. 2 stalks, 7 flowers.

Amaryllis 4th

End Note:

Over the years, I have given many of the ‘Baby’ Bulbs to new homes.                   The Best part is receiving some pictures of them when they Bloom. 😀

Thanks for joining me again, I know it’s been awhile.
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I hope you join me on my journey, as I recount many things from my past,               and explore the many other creative possibilities in my future. – OmaEagle

Goodbye October…

October was Another Busy Month.

Filled with many Highs and Lows.

The Highs:

  1. We learned that our daughter from Scotland will be coming ‘Home’ for three weeks for Thanksgiving and into December. She has lived there eleven years, we have not seen her in three. I pray, I / we will have Good days.
  2. We got to attend several events:
    • Historic Market & Encampment Days at Washington Crossing on Oct. 15 Demos and tours, plus Thompson-Neely House and Bowman’s Hill.
    • Historic Bristol Day (Bristol founded 1681) on Oct. 21
    • 146th Annual Carversville Oyster and Pork Supper on Oct. 21
    • A surprise Retirement Party for an old friend on Oct. 22
  3. We got to visit, and dine with some friends and family from out of state.
    • 2 times with a young cousin from Arizona. There were 10 cousins getting together. Always nice to be with family. She was in town for 6 days.
    • 2 times with our best friend from Florida. She was in town for 4 days.
  4. We finished bringing in all the house plants and prepared them for winter.

The Middles:

  1. I am continually working towards basic good health, after the sudden onset of Diabetes due to my rejection medicine. This month I had 3 Doctors visits: one with the transplant team and one with the eye specialist; two blood draws, two weeks apart, and a lot of paperwork.
  2. I am working on increasing my walking and balance aided by my Rollator (It allows me to sit and rest as needed). I am making goals on my Fit-bit.

The Low:

We are very sad… My husband lost a dear friend, he had suffered for a decade with a rare peritoneal cancer. We know that he will no longer be in pain, but we are very hurt that he and his family had to endure for so long. I could have never and can’t even imagine it. He was one of the Bright ones, (a Bright Soul) he always made you have fun, smile, laugh, and feel good about yourself, even during his battles. See you on the other side my Friend, but for now, Goodbye...

Goodbye October…

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Thanks for stopping by, and Thanks for ‘listening’.

I hope you join me on my journey, as I recount many things from my past,   and explore the many other creative possibilities in my future. – OmaEagle

Thrift Shoppe Finds

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So Glad We Stopped into The Hospital Thrift Shoppe

We have had a very busy day on an emotional roller coaster ride. We attended a Funeral Mass in the morning. Then in the afternoon, we had to return to the Hospital to follow-up on some business from the week before. On our way driving to and from each place, we would drive past the Hospital Thrift Shoppe, thinking we should stop in there soon.

On our way back home, we had talked about stopping in, but said we said No, it would be too much, because we are spent, we don’t have the energy left. We decided to head straight home, and perhaps take a nap. However, as we were driving by, at the last minute, we said, “What the Heck, just a quick look around.” Boy, am I glad we did…

Here are our finds…

  • 2 Sterno Emergency Preparedness Kits, each kit includes:
    • a Sterno 6″ pillar that burns for up to 60 hours.
    • six Sterno votive candles that burn up to nine hours each.
    • two 7-oz containers of Sterno gel fuel that burns up to 2.5 hours each.
    • and  a Sterno folding stove, so you can prepare food over the flame.
  • A BBQ apron with tools:
    • A nylon apron / that becomes a roll-up storage bag.
    • A BBQ spatula with bottle opener.
    • A BBQ knife
    • A BBQ fork
    • BBQ tongs
    • A BBQ mitt
    • and 2 shakers
  • A glass cake stand – (we will use as a plant stand)
  • A glass serving plate – (we will use as a saucer under plants)
  • 2 small lead crystal candle holders. (for battery taper candles)
  • A small square apothecary jar – (for the bathroom)

Sterno setsThrift glassBBQ tools

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All the above for an unbelievable price of… Two Dollars and Twelve Cents. 😀

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But then he ran back in and bought… a 2 gallon thick glass water dispenser jar without it’s lid for only a quarter. (we might use it for fermenting)  🙂

Glass jug

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Thanks for stopping by…

What do you think of our finds? What were some of your best bargains?

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I hope you join me on my journey, as I recount many things from my past,   and explore the many other creative possibilities in my future. – OmaEagle

 

 

Confetti Matzoh Ball Soup

An End of Summer Treat

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Confetti Matzoh Ball Soup a.k.a. Matzoh Minestrone

It’s the beginning of the ‘End of Summer’, the garden goodies are coming in full-fold…    Fresh green beans, okra, corn, tomatoes, etc. Now is the time to enjoy and get your full of your garden’s bounty. For me one of the best ways is to enjoy them in their veggie broth with matzoh balls… YUM

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Start with 2 to 2 & 1/2 quarts of homemade veggie or chicken broth. Bring to a slow boil. Add sliced okra, green beans, corn from cob, and tomatoes. Let simmer until near tender. Meanwhile mix up the matzoh dough, make walnut-sized balls, let sit as soup simmers. (You can use the Matzo Ball mix.) When veggies are near tender, drop balls into soup and simmer until they are done… Yum

 

What are some of your families recipes?

Take Care, Thanks for stopping by.

I hope you join me on my journey, as I recount many things from my past,       and explore the many other creative possibilities in my future. – OmaEagle

Summertime Treats…

Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Sweet Corn

Yummy Fresh Eats… Loving July into August.

We live in PA.

However…                                                                                                                 We make a run over to Jersey once a week to buy Old Mr. King’s Sweet Treats.  I don’t know whether it is the Jersey sandy soil, or that his farm is in the middle of the Wharton State Forest. Maybe it is the Love he puts into his craft. Perhaps all three combined that make his Eggplant (he says it’s male), Tomatoes, Corn and, last but not least, the Zucchini the Sweetest ever. He has been working this farm since he was a kid. He always says: “I’m happy to still be working this side of the grass.” 😀

For us the near 2 hour, 66 mile round trip a week worth it. 🙂

Eggplant

I cannot get enough of his fresh Sweet Jersey Eggplant.                                        I eat it hot, fresh off the griddle, topped with Sweet Red Jersey Tomatoes.         Then later that night, I eat it cold right from the Ice Box. (ahem… Fridge)

Finally for the ‘Desert’, Sweet, Sweet Jersey Corn.

Eggplant, Corn on Cob, Tomato

The best way to fix eggplant for Our Family is:

  • Peel then slice just under 1/2 inch thick.
  • Salt, and set aside for near an hour.
  • Rinse and blot off excess water.
  • Have skillet / griddle medium hot.
  • Press slices into  flour on both sides.
  • then dip into a beaten egg, thinned with a drizzle of water or milk.
  • Press into bread crumbs on both sides. (your choice of seasoning)
  • Then fry, until golden brown on each side.

My Happy Summer Song – DD

Summertime and the Livin’ is Easy,                                                             Summertime and the Livin’ is Right,                                                                       Summertime and the Livin’ is Breezy,                                                                 Oh.. Oh.. Oh.. Summ… Sum, Summertime.

Summertime is sweet, sweet Eatin’,                                                       Summertime and the Veggies are Ripe,                                                               Summertime nights are long and Bright,                                                                 Oh.. Oh.. Oh.. Summ… Sum, Summertime.

 

What are some of your families recipes?

Take Care, Thanks for stopping by.

I hope you join me on my journey, as I recount many things from my past,       and explore the many other creative possibilities in my future. – OmaEagle

Holiday Foods – Easter

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Easter time / Spring is all about renewal…

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The Birds, the Bees, the Flowers, and the Trees are all ‘waking’ up.
All the critters are ‘twitterpated’. Their songs fill the air, Spring is everywhere.
You will notice decorations of colorful eggs, baby bunnies, ducklings, baskets full of beautiful flowers, etc.

This is a time of rebirth, roots to shoots, flowers to fruits. Eggs bringing forth frogs and birds to serenade us. Baby Mammals being born. Life springs anew, bringing us hope.

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Our Easter Feast

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In our family our feast reflects all things new.

We rely on all things right outside our backdoor, Strawberries, New Potatoes, Parsley, Thyme and other herbs from our wintered herb tub. We also forage out our backdoor for wild edibles for our spring greens salad: Wintercress, Dandelions, Violet leaves and flowers, Nettles, Mints, etc. We buy regional and seasonal Asparagus (since our beds died out), and our Spring Lamb. I guess the only exception to this rule would be the Coconut? The Lamb is a spiritual and humbling reminder of Jesus’ Grace and Sacrifice for Us.

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This is our Bullseye Menu

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OUR  EASTER  FEAST

  • Spring Fruit Cup
  • Hot Dandelion / Spring Greens Salad
  • Lamb with thyme and homemade mint jelly.
  • ,Asparagus & Parslied Potatoes
  • Easter Egg Bread
  • Coconut Bunny Cake
  • Coconut Custard
  • Homemade Coconut Cream Eggs

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But on occasion, the best laid plans get thwarted…

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Easter Dinner…
Lamb with jar mint jelly, Asparagus, Scalloped Potatoes,

Easter Dinner

and Homemade Artisan Bread.

Artisian Bread

I did not even get to make my Beatrice Potter tablecloth, :/

20170405_223723

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This post is a little behind schedule, but I needed to get it up.

Foraging wild edibles, always puts me in mind of our Old World Folks gleaning farms, fields and by-ways for their Spring Tonic / Winter Purge. -Future Post.

What are some of your Traditional Easter Holiday Foods, and why. – OmaEagle

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