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Sapsuckers, weather and time off

December 27, 2016

It is nice to have a whole week off with not a lot of things scheduled.  I do have a few columns to write, but I got that done with photos sent early today.  My goal is to get at least one or two things cleaned out each day. Today I tackled half of the kitchen cabinets and all the plastic containers.  plastic-ware-16I have tons of containers but whenever we want to use one, we can’t find a lid that matches the base.  It is sort of like socks–how do we have so many missing their partner?  I think elves must come in and hide them from us.  But today I threw away all that had no partners. I got two sets this Christmas to replenish my supplies. I found a lot of things I had been missing under the cabinets, and got a lot accomplished.

It was a much prettier day today with cooler temperatures and way less humidity.  It still made it up to 61 but it is already 43 now and expected to get to 36, so I don’t need the air conditioner today. I had a bit of time to spend outside in the garden–although I need a LOT more time. I have so many plants that I need to pull and clean up.  garden-dec27-16

Most of my vegetables are looking good, but some have some damaged leaves. mustard-dec27-16 vegetables-dec27-16-2vegetables-dec27-16-6

My roses still have a ton of leaves and some freeze-dried flowers and buds.rose-dec-27-16-2 The sasanqua camelliascamellia-dec-27-16-1 camellia-dec-27-16-2 look great with loads of flowers and more buds to follow, and the hellebores are coming on strong. hellebores-dec27-16-1I have a ton of seedlings that are from last year that I need to transplant. hellebores-dec27-16-2

All week when I have been working in the kitchen, a sapsucker sapsucker-dec27-1has been busy feeding on my loropetalum right outside my window.  She spends hours there and you can see the damage she has done. sapsucker-damage-dec27-16-1 sapsucker-damage-dec27-16-2 sapsucker-damage-dec27-16-3  I have not seen one before this week, but she has found a new favorite host and she will be back.

We get a lot of calls from folks thinking this is borer or insect damage, but only birds can make this kind of pattern.

It is nice to have time at a slower pace. I did some shopping, I am cooking more, I have read 5 books already, and more to follow.  Maybe retirement in two years won’t be so bad!


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