You know your deck needs repair when a Carolina wren pair build a nest and raise five babies in one of the support beams.   About a month ago, I was astounded to find a male Carolina wren trying to build a nest in a support beam of our upper deck.  He stuffed the cavity in the beam full of “nest” and then sat on a plant post or my flag pole and sang and sang his song trying to attract a mate.

Caroline Wren

The next thing I knew, I saw him bringing food to another wren that was sitting on the nest.  Then a few days later, both adult wrens were busily bringing worms, bugs, moths etc. to the cavity in the beam.   And from that cavity you could hear the high-pitched chirping of what turned out to be five baby Carolina wrens.   The adults’ songs were beautiful and became more and more loud as they brought food, but sat away from the nest and sang before they brought the food to the nest.  In the photos below you can see an adult with what looks like a spider and the babies being fed.  The older and bigger the babies became, the longer the adults sang before they brought the food.

Dinner\'s ready

Dinner is servedOn the day I took all these photos (July 17) the adults really seemed to be trying to coax the babies off the nest as they brought food but sat away and sang and chirped a very long time before actually taking the offering up to the nest.  I was up early and in my office and didn’t check on the nest until 10 am today — and all the baby birds have fledged.  And I missed it!    The nest was only a few feet outside my patio door and I’m not sure the adults would have fledged the babies if I had been there so close, so perhaps it was a good thing I was down in my office below.  But now the deck is so quiet — no activity and no wren-song right outside my door.

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!

Gardening, particularly working in flower gardens is one of my favorite things.  For some reason I am a bit behind in getting everything planted and am now putting annual flowering plants here and there where the property needs a bit of color.  Last Sunday, Hubby and I took the garden tractor and wagon down to the bottom of the drive and worked on the very steep flower bed there.  I planted some impatiens and hubby did some bush trimming around the mail1313box.  All-in-all a much improved driveway entrance.  We don’t really own the property down there, just have an easement for the drive, but no one else does anything, so we try to keep it looking nice.   We came back up to the top of the drive and started each working on his/her own projects.  I decided that the old wheel barrow at the bend in the driveway needed to have some plants put in it and started digging up the soil.  Apparently a yellow jacket had made his home there and was none too happy to have me rooting around in it.  He buzzed around and I swatted at him and this battle went on for a bit and he eventually flew away.  But, apparently, not too far, as suddenly he swooped in from somewhere, landed on my right hand, and stung me through a very tough gardening glove.   Ouch! — or some such utterance!  I took some benadryl immediately and went back to work with hubby instructed to watch for any weird symptoms showing on me and to listen for further calls of help.  Well, it’s Wednesday and my hand is still swollen and when I use it, gets even more so.   It’s a constant battle with Mother Nature around here.

4th of July

Yes, it looks like the 4th of July!

Oooooh --- aahhhhh

Ooohhhhhh !      Aahhhhhhhhh!


A palm tree . . . . . . . . .

Palm tree

A chrysanthemum . . . . .


Happy 4th of July to you all!


Oh, the “joys” of being an outdoors person in Connecticut. When hubby got up yesterday morning, he found four (yes 4) deer ticks on his legs. All had been there a while as he noticed them due to the red itchy spots. If the biting ticks had not been surrounded by areas of red-inflamed skin they would not have been visible — they are so tiny. People often use the size like a poppy seed analogy but, I tell you, these are way smaller than any poppy seeds I have ever seen. Hard to believe that they were a live insect, let alone big enough to carry a disease like Lyme. So, the watch continues for reactions to the bites that will send hubby to the doctor for antibiotics.