Thursday, March 20, 2008

Flowers and Owls in Maine!

My mother, faithful reader and commenter-and soon to be gardening again-is excited to see some flowers in Maine. She planted these crocuses many years ago, but then had a deck built over them. They disappeared for awhile but are now back in a big way! They are sure a beautiful way to welcome in spring Mom.

Also, faithful readers and commenters will remember my mother talking about an owl which visited my sister and mother up CLOSE. Here are the pictures that my youngest sister (Terri-Lynn) finally got around to sending. Thanks Terri-Lynn!

I am not sure what type of owl he or she is, but it sure is beautiful. This is one of those cases where I wish had some of Joe's vast knowledge of nature. I guess I could look it up, but was hoping some of my readers might help me out with identifying it?

It sure is a beautiful and welcomed sight in gardens. Owls eat lots of pests. I hear them all the time here in Woodlawn, though I have never seen any. When I was in Iraq I would also hear them. To this day, whenever I hear the owls here hoot, it takes me back to Mosul and 'camping' out close to the tower, not far from the river (can't remember now if it was the Tigris or Euphrates, but I think it was the Tigris).

in the garden....


  1. Tina,

    I love owls. Glad the crocus reemerged from under the deck. Does this mean it's spring in Maine?

    Stop by, My cedar glade photos are up.


  2. Tina it is a Barred Owl. They are all over town.

    Thanks Gail and I am also glad they are there. Spring is well on it's way but I am on the coast and on a peninsula at that in southern Maine. The rest of the state is slower to warm up. Being on the ocean really helps as the water is warmer than the air so helps to warm the air. Just going off the peninsula it will be up to 10 degrees lower but higher in the summer. Good deal!

    I do read your blog each day and enjoy it, just don't talk (too busy talking here). You know, have to support my daughter.

  3. Those are the kinds of birds I would love to see out in nature. I've only seen an owl once out in nature, although I've heard them many times. It was a great horned owl in the Smokies. We were camping several years ago (before I had a digital camera)and it landed on a branch overlooking our campsite. You have a great picture of that owl!

  4. Thanks Dave. We had a great time watching the owl a couple of days this winter. They are all over my small town and come very close to the houses. A great Horned must have been an amazing sight to be able to see.

  5. Ah, the crocus is a sure sing that Spring is on the way Jean! My calendar says that Spring is here!

    The owl is indeed a Barred owl. I looked it up in my bird book before getting to the comments to see Jean had already identified it! Jean was the early bird to get the worm in… LOL… Anyway, I am guessing this is the owl I heard in our front woods a few nights ago. I jumped up out of bed to the sound of dogs and then an owl. Upon further listening, the dogs were not dogs but the owl. The book says the Barred Owl makes dog like sounds so I bet this is the one I heard.... Never see them but hear them occasionally. We have a pair of hawk nesting in the front woods and that may keep the owls at bay...

  6. see, i knew you all would know what kind of owl it was. must've been something to see! i have never seen one in the wild. i was just talking with a fellow vet, he is here installing the privacy fence. he said he never saw the owls in iraq or heard them. couldn't believe it. we so often hear them but not see them. this was a wonderful sight for you all in maine mom.

    gail, i always read your blog each day too. my mother definitely supports me and part of that is reading what i like to read (at least i think she feels that way). she does have to keep up on here! we stay busy and she is integral. you are too. i enjoy your comments each day and especially that i was able to meet you! you must come here to woodlawn and visit my chez tiger gardens. that is my name for my piece of dirt. it is a combination of mine and my husbands names. his name is roger, and i am tina-hence ti-ger equals tiger gardens. took me awhile to figure that one out. lol at first i wanted a German name, but found this one more appropriate for us since our piece of dirt is so much a part of us.

    dave, you must've been thrilled to see the owl! and when you didn't have the digital. my sister had the digital when a pheasant landed next to her house-but couldn't get it. always happens. you must really love to camp. is that where you get love of nature and gardening from?

    hey skeeter, i wonder if hawks and owls would co-exist together? i would think the hawks would not chase an owl away as they are hunting at different times. you need to try to snap some pics of the baby hawks. when the barred owl makes the dog noise, is it a bark or a howl? would love to listen for that. i hear one every morning and i am thinking maybe it is the same type as they seem to be comfortable around humans. love this picture of one.

    gotta get back to the privacy fence guys and gardening! installing new hardscape always means more work. moving trees and the such... what a pain!

    the fence guy read my article about joe. he remembered joe once he was reading but never realized when he stopped his articles. i have also had a few calls loving the article. the leaf kept it full length, i am so grateful. but they are limited on paper space so will try to keep them shorter. hard thing for me to do as you all know!!

  7. Hi Guys,
    I like the idea you are back to your yard, mom. We went closer to you on tues. and noticed very little snow if any at all. This is the second pic of a barred owl I've seen. One of our favorite retailers showed me pics on her digital camera and it was just after our paper posted on the front page, lack of food for them. Seem to be hard on the owls this winter.
    Our snowbanks are still quite high and the snow hardpacked, we won't have a spring smell till the middle of next month. It melts from the bottom up as so much exixting melting ice, runoff, rain, warms the ground. Lots of high water so everyone is praying for slow rains and it is raining now.
    Tina, the pheasant was brown and white and yes the kids saw it. I heard a funny noise, it must of been the mating call. So unlike that type of bird being so high up. Was as big as a small dog and althought I've been jumped by the flocking from the bushes, this is the first time i have really seen one including the "tuff" on top of its head. Wished I gotten a pic, just neat it was outside the window, like 1 foot away.
    Short budding on the trees here, some like the crabs have dropped former buds on the ground. Mess just a mess, that and the "dirty" snow.
    Well, gotta get ready for dance. Later.
    Oh, I forgot to mention about all the flooding down south? That was my whole purpose about talking about the snow! Saw five major states involved including tenn. but indianna got the worst. Calling it 100yr rains.

  8. Tina I get the ti-ger for Tina and Roger but what is the chez?

    If owls and hawks fought I would think the owl would win. They have talons (sp?) that will kill a pretty big animal. Also sometimes when people can't see the animal but hear a sound that they think is an owl it can be a mourning dove.

    Yes Dawn it has been a very hard winter for the owls. It has been in the paper and on the news. Due to the snow and the large amount of owls they are not finding enough
    food and are going to the roads and many have been hit by cars.

    We have mostly bare ground (patches here and there). Ofcourse we still have some banks and snow in the woods. But that will be gone before long. Much colder for you in the mountain area, but won't be long for you guys.

    Ya the news has been full of the terrible flooding and there have been several deaths from them Hope everyone else stays safe.

    Hope Anonymous is okay, have not heard from her today.

  9. Hi Tina --wow nice sign of spring for your mom:) And, that owl is gorgeous! I always hear them but never see them --hubby sees them alot -but of course he is always out in nature looking for something. I'm doing fine --took the little man for his yearly photo --what a sight!!! hahaha He will ask me why I dressed him that way when he is older --he was just as cute as a button. White button on shorts with a white dress shirt and a cute light blue vest. I just love to dress him up --but it's harder since they adjust all clothing to make kids mini adults. And, ta-da....I bought some pansies and more blueberry bushes too. We also got lettuce, peas and beans to plant. Seeds --30 cents a package --couldn't beat that. Hubby picked up an easter lily --smells wonderful. Now, I must get out and plant these things --it is so pretty today.

  10. I see the sunshine and can't wait to get out there!..My tiny Snowball bushes, and Astilbes arrived today. :0)... No Owls in my yard, but plenty of little birds nesting in the Pine Trees. The tweety noise level is way up!

  11. Anonymous, Your little side kick sounds like a cute little button indeed! Ah, the pride of a glowing mother! Dress them while they let you and enjoy…

    Tina, not sure if the hawk and owl get a long but I think since they are on different schedules, they may get along. The sound was strange like a small barking dog that did not really know how to bark correctly. LOL At first I thought it might be the coyotes as they have this strange bark when after prey...

    Dogwoods and Azaleas opening up in GA… I love the Dogwoods and Azaleas together. So pretty….

  12. Jean,

    It is French for at the house of or among, Chez Tiger is at the house of Tina and Roger...left over from a conversation Tina and I had!


  13. holy smokes! all these comments! i can tell i am going to have a time keeping up-been in the garden all day. things are NEVER done. what did i get myself into???

    hey dawn with peaches-spring is in the air!!! even in your neck of the woods! yeah!!

    mom, i am glad you asked what chez was. i really had no idea. i am so glad gail answered! i did know it sounded good and i love her name for her home, chez cedar glade.

    anonymous, you are so funny! since i just came in and still have to take a shower-i might not have enough time to stop by tonight. will try. you all don't know anonymous, she i am sure dressed the sidekick in something none of us would dress our kids in. something very elegant and maybe a bit fancy and formal. am i right? not the usual blue jeans, that is for sure. but i am sure he is awesome in his picture. and yes, anonymous is miss thrifty. her and my friend geri take the prize, hands down. she does wash the car when it rains-i am trying to convince her pay $3 for once just so the kids can enjoy the car wash.

    ginger-yes! the tweety noise is way up! even when it is dark they start...tweet, tweet, tweet! spring is here and it is glorious!

    skeeter, i will listen for that bark. you described it great. are you in the garden today?

    gail, thanks so much for telling me and mom what chez meant. i really had no idea. i just knew it sounded elegant and different. are you in the garden today? glorious day for it.

  14. Hi Tina --I know that with this lovely weather you would be in the garden. We were out back playing baseball and went for a walk --took our two duckies with us. The oldest boy said to get a picture of them by the daffodils --so I did:) They were about as cooperative as Baby with Jacob in the pictures, lol. They kept looking away or moving around the flowers, too funny. I am so glad that spring is here --and everyone is starting to feel it too --not just the deeper south, whoo-hooh!!! Tomorrow we will attempt to color eggs --this is always fun but quite messy. The girl model might let me spring clean her room --I can't get rid of anything unless she okays it, hahaha. I still have to get the lettuce in the ground. Hubby said maybe we should put it over where the wisteria was --it would be close to the house and we could still plant the climbing roses --just use a portion of that area since it's already a garden area with good sunlight. I will figure it out tomorrow when I ask him?? I want to get a few hanging baskets --I'd like petunias --they seem to last forever but I haven't seen any yet:( Oh well, off to check on the children. I will be back --can't miss out on the garden talk with all this lovely weather.

  15. Hi Jean --enjoyed your posts --and Hi Skeeter --my girl might be an animal lover too --she LOVES frogs. Do they count? She would push a stuffed frog while the other little girls pushed cute baby dolls, what a sight I tell you!!! The other moms would look at me in disbelief --my one and only girl and she prefers stuffed animals:) Hi Dawn with peaches, Lola and Nina --hope you all are enjoying a nice day today. I'm sure everyone is out and about today.

  16. Thanks Gail for telling us that.

    Tina you lucked out as how perfect is that? Cool

    Tina and Dawn I have a story for you guys. Remember Barbara that lived nearly across the street from us when we lived on the island. We were best friends and used to go swimming with her nearly every day and pick crabmeat at her house. Do you also remember
    that her and I had been best friends in grade school but drifted
    apart in high school as she was goody 2 shoes and NOT ME. However we did graduate together with our big class of 52 and then 12 years later lived near each other on a small island that was 230 miles from our hometown. I always thought that was pretty cool and unusual. Well after I moved over to the peninsula we once again drifted apart. But when her husband, Ernest (you really like him Tina) passed away I sent her a long letter and we had talked on the phone. Well about a year ago they had a picture of a basketball team for our hometownin the weekly hometown paper (which I still get) back in 1932 and her father was in it. Both her parents are deceased and she was an only child with no aunts, ect left so figured she does not keep up with Calais anymore. Anyway I cut the picture out to get to her and it has been sitting on my desk ever since. Today I called her and she was so tickled to hear of the picture and we talked a long time and caught up on each other. When she told me worked at Cooks I said OMG what do you do there and she said she worked in the kitchen. So I told her she sure would know my dranddaughter then. Remember how mellow and quiet Barbara talked? Well when I said Sandra's name she started screaming. She said "OMG I just love that kid right to death. She is such a cutie". Then she said that before Sandra got her own car her grandparents used to pick her up and asked if that was me. She said when Sandra would be waiting for us she would go out on the porch and talk with her till we came and wished she had known so she could come and talk to us. Very small world. Pretty cool huh?
    I could'nt wait for Sandra to get home and tell her. Sandra said Barbara is mean to everyone there but her!

  17. dawn with peachesMarch 20, 2008 at 7:48 PM

    I'm glad that you guys reconnected, mom. I always like Barbara, she was involved in many things like church bazars, of course, picking crabs and etc. I remember Ernest-he was the one who told you I had a hard time breathing at night and we found it was my tonsils, I spent many nights at her house. Beth was her daughter? Ernest was quite abit older than her and very, very nice. Too funny, small world. I met a cousin of Davids up here, grandmothers in common. Asked me if I knew Sheldon, Tina would know him, she was friends with his sister, her name escapes me.
    Gosh, I have to think of a Chez something now.

  18. Beth it was. She lives 4 houses up from Barbara and did'nt have kids till later in life (Barbara said she had given up). She has 10 year old twin girls and a younger boy. Joanne and Beth were the same age and good friends and Joanne used to go to Calais with them when they went. You used to sleep over more because you took to Barbara and used to help her a lot.

    What was the cousins name. Teresa
    was Seldon's sister and yes she and Tina were good friends. Anita is the mother and always asks me about Tina when I see her.

  19. Dawn was the last name Armstrong?
    Just thought of that. Some of that family live over by Sheldon.

  20. hi anonymous, you sound more happy than usual. must be all the good spring weather and gardening. sorry i couldn't stop by tonight, it is a long drive to garden club and i was short on time. will try to bring the jimster to visit next week. want to see the ducks and your onions!

    mom, i remember barbara. i used to pick crabs for her and ernest. i did not know he died. he was much older than her. that is funny she works with sandra and never knew you were her grandmother. can't imagine she is still working. does she still live in the house? i always wondered when i come visit. barbara always had a little garden out back, tons of slugs. she would ask me what to do about them. i didn't know. i do not know sheldon, but when you said teresa, yes i remember her! when we were in high school. her family was always very nice.

    dawn with peaches, i remember the same as you. picking the crabs and barbara taught us how to make lobster nets and the octopuses. i think you could call your place chez...something to do with you all's business? maybe a foriegn word for heating? or hot? in German it would be chez heizung. pronounced just the way it is spelled. or something to do with the kids playhouse? chalet something to do with your names. you can think it up.

    where is lola today??

    hi nina. hope you are enjoying this wunderbar weather. sure is nice. tomorrow is supposed to be even better. hey you all, nina made some paper pots for her seedlings which are doing great! wish i could say the same for mine. will post about it tomorrow i think. bye now.

  21. Hello All. Almost Good Morning. I'm always late no matter what I do.
    Pics are beautiful. What kind of owl would it be if it was all white, but looked similar to the one in pic? That's what we saw that time in the woods, mostly pines. It sure was pretty. Never have a camera when you need one. lol

    Anonymous, I thought it was me, but it seems like things are late coming in. I did notice it being right before Easter there is more flowers to choose from. I'm looking for the 6 or 9 packs. They're not as $$$$ as the others. I need quite a few.
    I agree to dress little man as you like, it's the best time. I did that with Young'un. Fun & they look so adorable. I never will forget I had his pic made the day Kennedy was shot.

    Jean, nice you got together again. Strange how people can drift apart then come together again. Happens for a reason.

    Yeh Gail, I was wondering what chez meant. It does sound eloquent.

    I sure wish I could get crocus' to live here. I think they are so pretty, but delicate at the same time.

  22. Tina, we're dancing

  23. yes lola. posting at the same time. i was preparing my post for tomorrow-decided on tulip chairs. come back on here and two more comments. i wondered-what is going on?

    seems like not many of the favorite bulbs down there. speaking of which, i am going to plant my roots tomorrow. how should i plant them? well drained? lots of sun? how deep? guess i could look it up. i hope they do well.

    i have already planted my tuberoses, some calla lily bulbs, and some caladium bulbs. some have sprouted. but the caladium bulbs are doing nothing. first i could not figure out which way was up, then i dug them up to see which way it sprouted-nothing! anyone know the secret to starting these bulbs? lola? anyone know how to start caladiums?

  24. Tina, I have my roots next to the house under the eve. There is also a huge oak tree that shades that area so pine cone ginger gets mostly dappled shade. I would put them in shade there, good drainage, plant them just under the soil. Some of mine are poking just above the ground like knuckles. They do multiply. Hope your roots are mature enough to bloom for you this yr.
    I've always planted bulbs with the pointy side up. Usual root side will be caved in a tad or smooth.
    Caladiums down here don't come up till much later in the season. We have to put them in shade here but I have one that has been in ground for yrs. & it gets morning thru noon sun. Sometime I think it's just what they get used too.
    Good luck with all.

  25. thanks! i'll get them in the ground asap.

  26. Good morning all! Tina I did the same thing with the caladiums bulbs. I buried some in a clay pot to get a head start and there is nothing. I also dug up a couple of them . They are not sprouting, but their not rotting in the soil either. So I'll just wait a little longer. I have never had good luck with growing caladiums!

    Anonymous took Sarah shopping for an Easter outfit and some summer clothes yesterday. I went for the pretty pastel dressy dresses. Boy did I find out fast that she didn't like those. The fashion for kids now days looks like "granny" fabric to me. Sorry!

    We'll be outside working today. I convinced Sarah that she would have fun picking up twigs off the lawn! How long do you suppose that will last?

    Have a beautiful day all.

  27. nina, lola emailed me instructions for starting caladium bulbs. they need heated soils to germinate. then once they get going, they will orient themselves to grow the right direction. keep the soil moist and warm and plant no deeper than 2 inches. i know that is what you did, as i did and you also dug them up! we did the same thing, glad i am not the only one.

    have fun outside today. i too will be working. you should come over sometime and bring your helper. or are you waiting for mom? i know you may not be feeling well, but anytime for a visit is good. i have some bowling balls for you guys too.:) i think sarah will get bored after 15 minutes of picking up twigs.

  28. Tina I was also wondering where Lola was but then I remembered a lotta times she does not get on till really late.

  29. I have wondered why my caladiums that I potted a while back were not coming up! Guess in time with warmth they will sprout....

    I just love those Small World stories! They seem to happen to us a lot....

    Frogs do count as animals! LOL...

    There are several lighter colored owls. Check on these to see which it could be…
    Great Gray Owl
    Boreal Owl
    Eastern Screech Owl
    Snowy Owl which is completely white!

    Saint and I been busy getting stuff in order around here. I go under the knife nest tuesday and lots to be done before then. Not sure how long I will be down and out so need to get what I can done now. I am dying to get Pine Straw spread but dont think I need to be aching in the body while under the knife so just going to wait on that project. But the good pine straw always gets scooped up this time of year as everyone is getting their place ready for houseguest during Masters week! Oh well, I will get to it when I get to it. We raked up Sweet Gum Balls for a while yesterday. Will get the side and backyard today then be done with that task...

    Elephants ears coming up, wisteria blooming around town. Spring IS here in GA....

  30. Hi Nina, sorry you didn't have any fun shopping for the little one. I do find adorable clothing online --I just type in search engine cute little girls clothing. A few good names to look for are Petite Ami, Austin & Ashley, Sophie Dess, Viva La Fete --very cute little girl looking and mostly cotton which is comfortable and washed well. Hi Lola --you are so right I think they are much slower putting out plants this year --at least the ones I want. I need to get back out and get to the store -I don't like shopping on busy days, ACK!!!!

  31. dawn with peachesMarch 21, 2008 at 7:25 PM

    Mom, His first name is Joel, don't want to say the last, but it is not armstrong-could be his sister though, her husband died recently, young. His grandmothers last name is the same as yours and he summered down there. I met him because his daughters piano lessons followed Nikkis lessons.
    Speaking of which, anonymous boy, (one of them) takes piano? not he girl model? I think thats great, need more guys in the arts, wished we had one for the dance class.
    Tina, Barbara did alot of canning. It was the first time I'd seen it done and helped her greatly with the string beans, I think she also did jams. I'm sure some of us have done that with the vegies a time or two. Picking crabmeat was what I was doing when Elvis's motorcade was broadcasted over all the channels, boy! hard to keep your eyes clear while picking crab.