December In the Garden

Even in December, there is something going on in the garden. The plants in the sunroom continue to do well, and I am hopeful that they survive the winter. Recently, I uncovered my amaryllis and brought it into the kitchen. I gave it some water, and hope it will wake up soon and produce another gorgeous flower. If it does, it will be the eighth year it has bloomed. It is green on the bulb, surely a good sign.

Dawn on a cold day in December, low clouds reflect the golden, early morning light. I love this time of day, soft and quiet.

Oliver is up early for a handout for breakfast. I took this photo early in the month, and he is getting his winter layers started.

On the suet feeder, the cardinal is happy for the extra calories on a cold day.

His mate was on the dowel that My Sweet Babboo put up just for her. She has a difficult time holding onto the cage to eat. On the backside of the feeder, a red bellied woodpecker gets a meal, too.

A second squirrel has overcome his trepidation, and got a peanut butter sandwich. We’ve named him Jack, after Oliver’s friend in the Dickens novel. A bit skittish, he ran out to the edge of the forest to eat his breakfast this day.

A titmouse stops by for a meal.

Then the woodpecker found the suet cake too.

A couple of weeks after the first photo, and you can see how Oliver has bulked up, LOL!! With a warm November, and a plethora of acorns, the squirrels are getting a bit chubby this year. All the squirrels around here are bulking up, not just the two I give tidbits to a few times a week. I don’t feed them every day. But he’ll need that layer as it gets really cold later this week and by spring he’ll be skinny again.

Jack is putting on his winter layer too. The only way I can tell them apart is by where they choose to go to eat their tidbits. Jack takes his treat to the top of the stairs now, while Oliver heads to the retaining wall.

On the veranda, hanging pots of torenias have been replaced with Christmas bells and ornaments. Lights are strung along the top of the railing.

In the early night sky, we’ve been watching the progression of the Great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter. Visible as bright stars close together just after sunset for a couple of weeks now, they will reach their closest point together tomorrow night, which is also the Winter Solstice. I’m hoping for a clear night so I can get a clearer photo.

What is going on in your garden? Are you watching the Great Conjunction?

22 thoughts on “December In the Garden

  1. Rita C.

    What a perfect view you’ll have of the conjunction! That is, if the clouds don’t interfere. Right now, our hourly weather forecast is not looking very promising. Showers stand a 50/50 chance of interfering. I hope you get a great picture. Please share!
    Merry Christmas, Carole.

  2. karenfae

    I have 3 pots of amaryllis that I had outside this summer in the garden, I repotted and brought them in the house in late October, one has growth but the others show none I’m not sure if they will grow I will check for any signs of green on the bulbs. Good luck with yours!

    1. Tina W.

      I’m hoping you’re able to get a good picture of the planets aligning and share with everyone. I’m afraid there will be too many clouds in northeast Oregon for us to be able to see them. We awoke to rain this morning and the prediction is for more.

  3. June

    Thank you it was lovely to see your animal friends
    It cheered me up after all the bleak news we are getting here in England
    Christmas blessings
    June

  4. Rhonda P

    I put up a few roosting pockets yesterday that I ordered quite some time ago but were delayed in shipment. I think I am going to move a couple of them to more remote locations today. I hope my fine feathered friends find them useful.
    I also enjoy feeding and watching the ‘area wildlife’ at the feeders. Last summer my husband put out a large aluminum pan (maybe 18″X36″X2″) and I added a few large stones. Before we knew it there were “hot tub” parties in the back yard everyday. At times there were rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks and dozens of birds in and around it every day. We have another birdbath but this one has been a huge success. It has frozen over for winter but they have a smaller heated birdbath now.
    I’ve got 3 tube feeders, a platform feeder, 2 bigger feeders for larger birds and last week I put out 6 birdseed ornaments that the juncos and sparrows devoured. Then one day the ornaments were gone and I wonder if the squirrels managed to climb up into those hibiscus bushes and steal them. I have a band of marauders who occassionally dump all my feeders – we also have a possum that visits us at night but I don’t think it’s him. I think it’s Blackie and his band of thieves. (Blackie is a beautiful fox squirrel with a black underbelly). We see very few of these and think he’s some sort of cross or mutant.
    There have been fox sitings in our small town (I haven’t seen one in a number of years) but have been within about 20 feet of one when it was trotting down the sidewalk very early one morning and that startled both me and my Jack Russell at the time – first time I ever saw that dog freeze and go silent!) I wonder if we have any visiting us at night.
    I wish I could capture pictures like you do, I have a few but it’s often hard to zoom in before they are gone. I have an old film camera with a variety of lenses but not much in the digital world besides my phone.
    Well, it’s about time I got get another cup of coffee! Have a great day and keep doing what you do. Sometimes I think you and I should be living next door to one another 🙂

  5. Linda B

    Thanks for the great picture of the conjunction and reminder…between cloudiness and being part of a metropolitan area not sure how visible it will be here, but we want to try! One of the kids has a telescope with a camera and is really on this, so if we miss it with our eyes, perhaps they will be able to capture it and share with us!

  6. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    Always enjoy seeing Oliver, and now Jack! And the birds are just beautiful. How sweet to add those little dowel perches for them! Your yard is an animal’s paradise!!

  7. Rosemary B

    Your yard looks wonderful. You have taken a lot of care to make every corner lovely. The shot of the planets is amazing, right? Happy Winter

  8. ANN D

    We have been doing our ‘planet patrol’ too, watching Saturn get closer to Jupiter each night. We too are hope for clear skies tomorrow night.

  9. Love seeing the wildlife in your yard, in any weather. Hoping your flower gives you the results you are seeking. I killed mine off after it’s one and only bloom…brown thumb for the house plants. I repotted the Thanksgiving cactus, new dirt, bigger pot….and it is NOT happy….Oh well…we got one bloom this year. My mother in law tongue is surviving in spite of me. LOL…she gives me a good talk every time I walk by! 🙂 Merry Christmas!

  10. Jean McKinstry

    Down here there was too much cloud, so I hope we get to see Saturn and Jupiter tonight or tomorrow. After that, another 60 years, TOO late for so many of us to ever see this again. A bit like Haley’s Comet, my Dad saw it as a child, and the year before he died. Your verandah is lovely, the Christmas colours are so cheery.

  11. Yes, we went out and found Jupiter and Saturn just last night! We’re watching lots of birds at the feeders every day – house finches, goldfinches, chickadees, flickers, downy woodpeckers, and nuthatches are frequent visitors. You got a beautiful shot of the cardinal, Carole!

  12. Darci Marshall

    Love seeing the wildlife photos, as always! I got an amaryllis from my neighbor and am trying to grow it now, hopefully it’s blooming in time for the new year! Thank you also for participating in the blog hop, I really enjoyed hearing about everyone’s holiday traditions and it was nice to see some different quilters work too!

  13. Melanie

    Always so much fun to read your posts! Love the pictures of the birds, and wow, the night sky with the 2 stars, great photography! Your deck looks pretty, too!

  14. Rosalind

    Love the pics of Oliver and Jack. Cute little buggers. I too enjoy watching our four legged visitors munching away along with various birds that come calling. I put dry oatmeal on the porch banisters next to the trumpet vine for the juncas that fly in. It is almost like they expect it every morning.

  15. Jack and Oliver just crack me up! I especially enjoyed your cardinal photos; I love those birds, but they are extremely rare in western SD. Your porch looks so festive with the balls and lights. With it being so dark right now, I turn on the tree first thing each morning, the glow is so welcome with no sun until 7:00! We have had a sunny December, which has been very welcome, when it’s cloudy every day, it really makes for a gloomy winter. I’m looking forward to the amaryllis reports again!

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