We’re off to Austin to do our first solo gig as babysitters for our sweet granddaughter.  I’ve put a few posts in the queue and I’ll be back mid-week next week.  Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!

xo, Karen

As we head towards a long weekend, hopefully for everyone, I thought you might have time to enjoy nature…it can be as simple as appreciating the sunset each evening, admiring the lake you may be skiing on, being thankful for the beach or the fabulous scents of pine while hiking or taking a relaxing walk in the forest, or you can observe with wonder the work of our fine feathered friends…

While reading the Sunday paper a couple of weeks ago an news article caught my eye due in part to the beautiful watercolor drawings associated with the feature.  The piece, titled “A family’s strong nesting instinct” by Liesl Bradner, told of a family living in Ohio in the mid-1800’s and of their appreciation and love of the “natural world”.  Genevieve “Gennie” Jones would ride with her country doctor father to visit patients and her father would discuss nature.  This father-daughter practice ultimately resulted in the making of a book titled “America’s Other Audubon”.  The fascinating story can be found HERE.

America's Other AudubonSmithsonian Institution Libraries on Display

…and all of the plates from the book can be viewed HERE.

Smithsonian Library, America's Other AudubonSmithsonian Institution Libraries on Display

I realize it may seem as though I’m overly focused on birds lately, but I must admit, I do love watching them during these warmer months.  They enrich the garden with their singing and chirping and hopefully they are devouring some of the insects that eat too freely of my flowers. 🙂

Smithsonian, America's Other AudubonSmithsonian Institution Libraries on Display

I found a nest in our Cecile Brunner rose last fall…the birds had nested when the rose was filled with blossoms and leaves.  I left it in hopes it would provide materials for another bird family.

{Note:  Please ignore the saw fly holes in the leaves, I’m working on the problem}

We have lots of hummingbirds in our garden, they especially love the Mexican sage and lavender.  We often think they arrive on cue, it almost seems they are asking us to keep it down, they are dining.


I have posted about the wren family* that lived in a decorative bird house in our garden, raised a family, sent them to flight school and returned a couple of months later to raise their second set of twins.


Meanwhile, my roses are now finished with their first bloom cycle.  Here are a few of the examples of the best of the lot during the initial spring bloom.

French Lace~ Hybrid Tea Rose

Iceberg Rose ~ considered by some to be “common” but they sure bloom a ton almost all year in Southern California.

This was a no-name rose I picked up at Lowe’s but the yellow is so pretty and the petals so plentiful, I really like it.

This (below) setting must be high rent for birds, so lush and green and peaceful.

bird house in a garden{via}

behind the blue gate birdhouse{via}

I guess there might be birds that would truly appreciate this little house in the dead of winter!  Brrrr!

birds in Norway in winter{via}

I enjoy seeing the use of nature’s best as decorative accessory in a home.  If you can’t find nests in and around your yard, {and please make sure the owner is finished with the next before taking possession!} there are hobby shops that sell some realistic imitations.



And, while I’m on the topic of appreciating nature, while in Austin last month the in-laws took me to a restaurant in San Marcos, just outside of Austin, where this 100+ year old oak tree greets all who visit.  Majestic!

San Marcos, Texas

How’s nature in your region?  Do you have birds or other creatures visiting your yard this time of year?  I love hearing from you!

Have a wonderful Memorial Day, take a minute to be thankful we live in a nation that has been kept safe thanks to those that fight and sometime fall  for our freedom.

*By the way, if you click the link to my story about the wren family we housed in our birdhouse, please note that this was my earliest days of blogging and I wasn’t sure how to put an image into the post, so one post has the image of the wren house and one post has the story. 🙂 Oh how far we’ve come.

I’m joining the Garden Party at Fishtail Cottage, have a look.