While I was away…

So I’ve not been around very much this past week, but I’ve been busy finishing up with school and out and about enjoying the bounty of spring. Plus, I didn’t have much of interest to say, still don’t in fact, but don’t want to make it a habit to just post a pic and be off.

Since I last had anything much to say here I’ve been to two wakes for coworkers of my husband and a memorial service for an old birding buddy who passed away back in January. I dragged my husband along on a day trip to the Pine Barrens and spent a lunch hour or two at the little park near to where I work watching the tree sparrows fight over the too few nest boxes. I had a successful evening looking at wildflowers in the woods and three unfruitful visits to various spots locally looking for migrants. The only new birds I’ve added this week are Baltimore Oriole, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Eastern Kingbird, Ovenbird, Oystercatcher, Willet, Common Tern, Laughing Gull and whichever Vireo it is that sings incessantly from the treetops. Other people are seeing great birds, but I haven’t managed to be in the right spot at the right time.

The pond is up and running and the fish are happy, my husband has cut the lawn twice and we got our hands on 5 little dwarf mountain laurels for the woodland border. I’m looking for ideas of what to plant as a groundcover in that area beneath the American Holly trees, so if anyone has any bright ideas I’d love to hear about them soon, while my husband is in the habit of digging planting holes. If I don’t come up with any other ideas, I’ll probably plant a few ferns just as soon as I figure out which ones might actually be able to survive in the dry shade.

Hope you all had a happy weekend; I’ll be around to visit with you before too long.

14 thoughts on “While I was away…”

  1. Sorry I’m not able to visit your blog every day, but I do enjoy your photos. I’m sorry for the families of the people that passed. What’s the soil like beneath the holly trees?

  2. I’m wondering how myrtle would do.
    Oh! You already had an Oven Bird. I love those sweet little ground walkers.

    I just glanced down and saw your Goldfinch picture. Now that is truly a Beautiful portrait. How did you do that, Laura? He’s in focus and the dogwood is so beautifully blurred.

  3. Laura, there’s no need to give reason for being “away”. You were still here with us. This has probably been the toughest few weeks for blogging. I’ve tried but I really don’t have much to say! Like you, I’ve spent a lot of time with outside work and before you know it, the sun is setting and it’s near bedtime.

    Sorry you had to attend wakes this week. That can put you in a somber mood, for sure.

    Glad your pond is up and running. Sometime this week, post a pic please?

  4. NIce to catch up on some news although I don’t feel like you’ve been away — you still popped in to share amazing photos and words of wisdom!

    No clue for under the holly. Sorry!

  5. Hi-de-ho Laura! I enjoy your posts in whatever form they take. I feel like I disappear every two weeks when I work my string of nights. I’m just too tired to think ot try to be creative.

  6. I haven’t seen a rose-breasted grosbeak yet, so you’re ahead of me in that regard.

    I’m not sure about the holly. My impression is that other plants do not do well under hollies. I am not sure if that is because the shade is dense or because the tree gives off chemicals. That might be worth checking out.

  7. You are seeing a lot more birds than we are. I think it’s been too chilly here and damp for the birds to come out to play.

    It’s supposed to warm up significantly this week, so hopefully I’ll see something new and maybe even get a photo or two!

  8. Laura–like you, I have had little time for blogging. End of the semester. Term papers. Final exams.
    Cathy suggested myrtle–we have a slopping area with myrtle–it is very pretty, hardy but also likes to spread. Tiny purple flowers in the spring.

  9. Hello (I have followed kgmom Donna here and I hope you don’t mind me sneaking in). I love the photos you have put in as it is my first visit here but I intend to spend more time here looking at the pictures. I enjoyed your list of birds also. Sorry you had to attend wakes. Cheers.

  10. Laura,
    It depends how moist it is under the holly, and how much variety/texture/height you want. You could blanket it with all one kind of plant, or have a random mix that would create more texture, and longer bloom time.

    I love wild ginger, and its glossy leaves. Coral bells and foam flower each have small flowers that reach above leaves that hang around almost all winter. Allegheny spurge is the native version of pachesandra, and will clump more than spread. Creeping phlox (phlox stolonifera) and wild stonecrip (sedum ternatum) will both be low and eventually spread.

    You can check out yellowspringsfarm.com to see their descriptions — they list alot more than I could. A local nursery should carry all of these.

    It’s great to have someone to dig the holes! Enjoy the cool spring weather this week!

    Wayne, PA

  11. Sounds like you’ve had your hands full-sorry to hear you’ve had to deal with so much grief-keeping up with writing posts-I don’t know how you and others do it so consistently-you shouldn’t feel guilty about taking a break-

  12. I am always surprised when I see pictures of bogs and flowers in NJ because I always thought that most of it was paved over as the megalopolis slowly spreads from NYC south to Washington, DC. But thanks to you — I am wrong again.

    If you are looking for ground cover — has anyone suggested periwinkle –a handy ,shade tolerant, blue-flowered ,spreading ground cover that does a fine job of filling in the bare spots.

    In case you are having trouble with the invasive weed, garlic mustard in your yard — or you see it in the woods– dispare not — do what I saw at a very nice site ; http:/natureremains.blogspot.com/, eat the darn weeds in a pesto !!

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