Welcome to my Garden Blog

Nature: wild & untouched. Photographing it, preserving it, taking walks and drinking in the landscapes as they unfold.

Gardens: touched by loving hands. Cultivated, nurtured. Drinking in those landscapes is wonderful, as well.

In my garden one enjoys some of both. Generally unpruned & wild, my plants reshape the garden as they grow.

Beyond the garden borders, natives from the Santa Monica Mtns await. Oak trees with their shady canopies. Cactus & Sage in the sun.

Always there are animal creatures to join in the fun.

I look forward to sharing some of my experiences with you as they unfold.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Return of the Hummingbirds

         An Anna Hummingbird on a Cirsium occidentale venustum, 
           Red or Venus Thistle, Photo Credit to LasPilitasNursery

Summer is here, and with it comes visits to the garden by our friends, the Hummingbirds!  If you have hummers in the garden, likely you have spent many happy hours observing them from your patio or from a well-placed bench in that part of the garden most favored by the birds.. a place of many nectar rich flowers.. or your well-maintained feeder.

Times are changing, though. Everywhere in the nation gardeners are observing different weather, different temperatures, and different bloom times for some of their favorite flowers. When the hummers come back from their winter homes in the spring, sometimes they miss out on the blooms of their favorite flowers, because the weather turned warm weeks early.

The researchers at the Audubon Society have noticed some changes, too. Some of their data is not just correct anymore; there seems to be a disconnect between the time of the hummingbirds' return and the flowers' bloom times.  And researchers are concerned.  So they have started a program, enlisting our help to share with them when you have a hummingbird sighting and where you are located (zip code).  This can be done via smartphone or PC with a new App you can take out into the garden with you. The app will provide you with pictures of different hummingbirds (so you know what kind you are looking at) as well as pictures of plants you are likely to be seeing them drinking nectar from.

You have a chance to share your sightings and help researchers learn more about what's going on with these hummingbirds that grace our gardens with their flying acrobatics and delight us with their antics!

For more info on getting involved, visit: http://www.hummingbirdsathome.org/

Friday, June 21, 2013

Outside My Bedroom Window: Camping on the Beach Again

                                  Oceano Beach, CA Photo by Kathy Vilim

As you can see, another morning waking up on the beach, another entirely different view! Seems the seagulls and I were up before the folks in this tent. This is one of the only beaches where it is legal to drive on the beach and camp overnight.  Notice the bicycle.. all types of vehicles find their way out here!

Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns

Wildflowers, Santa Monica Mtns