February in the Garden

Wow, first let me say thank you for the tremendous response to yesterday’s post. I really am grateful for your feedback and support. For those who are new to the blog, I mentioned the Safelight Project, click on that link to see last year’s project start, and use the category on the sidebar to see more posts on our progress and delivery last summer. I had today’s post in mind from Saturday and was working on it as I chatted via emails with so many readers. After we came inside from playing in the snow, that is! More on that in a minute. Let’s start with our feathered visitors. We have such a variety of birds spending the winter with us this year. They love my homemade suet cakes made with bacon fat, grits, oatmeal, and shelled sunflower seeds. This house finch comes by regularly with his mate. I often get these mixed up with purple finches, but the purple ones don’t have the spots on the underside.

Last week, a huge flock of robins stopped by. There must have been three dozen of them! There were so many I couldn’t get them all in a shot. Some were up near the house, and more were in the meadow.

They pecked around the yard for quite a while, then left all at once together in a flurry.

I mentioned yesterday that Oliver was back with his buddies, and showed you his cute face. Jack sat in a tree to eat his treat the same day. They only came that one day, I haven’t seen them since. I think they are keeping themselved fed from their acorn stashes, they seem fat and happy.

The cardinal pair have been frequent visitors since the cold weather began.

Inside, the bulbs I put in a pot are getting a bit bigger. No buds yet, but I’ll keep an eye on them.

I’m getting excited about the amaryllis, the bud stalk is now as tall as the leaves. Soon it will slowly begin to open. I can’t wait to see how many blooms it makes this year.

Saturday night into Sunday’s wee hours, a light snowfall came.

The ice in the trees made lovely patterns in the early morning light.

Just a couple of inches, it was a wet snow. I noticed the iris bed had put up some leaves way too early. It has been really too warm this winter. We haven’t had any real snow events this year.

The bluebirds are hanging close by this year. Two pairs come regularly to the feeder. This female likes the sunflower seeds, especially on this cold day with ice still clinging to the perches.

I caught the male bluebird in the tree waiting his turn on the snowy morning, his colors brilliant against the grey skies.

The snow was almost perfect for making a snowman. My Sweet Babboo really wanted to do this, as we haven’t made one in years. There wasn’t a lot of snow to work with, but he managed two snowmen, one small and one bigger. The larger one he put next to the railing for support.

Meet Sherlock Snomes! He used the deerstalker hat and fake pipe from his last Halloween costume for decoration along with buttons for eyes, and a small carrot nose. It took three trips into the woods for just the right sticks for arms.

The little one needed a hat, so My Sweet Babboo found a little flower pot in my garden stash to fit. A strip of fabric made a fine scarf. Cute, isn’t it?

I did get the next Pachanga clue done, and it will publish Feb 12. Clues are the second and fourth Fridays of each month. If you missed the first ones, click on the category 2021 Scrap Dance Pachanga Mystery on my sidebar to see all the posts for the quilt along. It is cold today and we have provisions from last week’s excursions to pick up online orders. Unfortunately, I have a dental procedure tomorrow, and another one next week, so I may be doing more reading than sewing for several days. I just don’t do well with having my mouth numbed up, and I am dreading this greatly. Catch you later in the week.

What are your plans for this week?

35 thoughts on “February in the Garden

  1. patsystitch@gvtc.com

    The snowmen are so cute! Robin are one of my favorite birds to watch, they are so busy. Here in Texas Hill Country, we don’t see them. We have lived in Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas and North Carolina where we saw them often. I miss them.

    1. You always get the best bird photos, Carole! I enjoy seeing them. I’m watching finches and flickers at our feeders this morning. Your hubby is as creative as you are with his snowmen! Best of luck with your dental procedures – never fun, but still necessary. I’ve been helping my mom set up a new place to live here closer to me – a senior independent living apartment – so my job today is to go pay the deposit. A good one to check off the list!

  2. Mary Stori

    Gosh if you want more snow events this year…..come on up our way. Sick of these mini snow storms every couple of days. We even had to cut our ‘forced march’ down to about 15 mins. and were happy to get back home without falling and breaking our necks……roads which appeared clear were covered in black ice. Had 3 errands today, including a major service appointment for my car……will cancel them all….way too dangerous to go out. Love the snowmen.

  3. karenfae

    I very rarely see a bluebird here in Arkansas. Love the snowmen. I need to call to set up a dental appointment – I don’t care for them but they don’t bother me that much

  4. I LOVE the snowmen!! Finely dressed to boot! And what a delight to read it was your husband’s idea. Love the spirit. We are expecting a big storm today and tonight, but we’ll see how much we get-the predictions here are often over estimated. We’re supplied, but my fear is always losing power. Gets pretty cold after a few days without it! Love the wild life photos. And have been working on some Safelight cards, to be ready for spring/ summer.

  5. Very cute idea with the snowmen, We are getting a storm today so maybe we can build one. This winter was an irruption year for finches so I had my very first purple finch at the feeders. Only once. The vast majority of my birds are house finches. Have a good day.

  6. Darci Marshall

    Thank you Carole! I always love seeing your lovely garden and the creatures and plants you tend. Those snowmen are adorable! I also wanted to thank you for your inspiration, your quilt alongs are sometimes the only quilting I will do in a year!

  7. Bonnie

    Your snowmen are adorable! I usually throw in shelled peanuts when I feed the birds on the deck but the blue jays always came first and took the best food. The peanuts would be gone in seconds. I now put a big handful in an empty quart jar & lay is on its side in a planter. The blue jays look but don’t know what to do. Took the squirrels a minute but they figured it out. They come one at a time, fish out a nut, take it away to eat and another one comes. They are so polite & brave as when the jar is almost empty they have to crawl in to get the ones at the bottom. It takes several minutes to empty but the squirrels are happy.

  8. June Neigum

    Here in South Charlotte North Carolina we get rain and cold weather instead of snow. Which is fine by me. I have three quilts ready to be spray basted. I have a sit-down quilting machine and I do not like to use pins. Everything is ready to go out on my back deck and hang over the railing to spray baste when it gets a bit warmer and no Breeze. Thank you for your posts I really appreciate all of your variety. Your homemade suet sounds interesting I’m sure you have put a recipe up but could you please send me the link. I have an iris that has been trying to bloom since Christmas I’m not sure if it will because of all the cold we have had but I’m hopeful.

  9. Melissa Mathews

    Love your snowmen! Wish I was up there to drive the Carolina Grands by and take a peek. I hope your dental procedure goes well and that you will recover quickly. I’m working on my 4th Christmas quilt. Crazy, I know, but I wanted to use up scraps from our grandgirl’s past Christmas dresses and clear out some of my scrap accumulation. I’m using a black background to make the colors pop. I just completed church dresses for the Florida Grandgirls and will put them in the mail today. Keeping busy with Quilts of Valor tasks, too. We awarded 9 quilts in January and plan to award 6 this month. Thank you for the tips on house vs purple finch identification. I’m looking forward to being back at our little red house in Henderson County next month and a birdfeeder full of all kinds of birds. Is your suet recipe in the archive of this blog?

  10. Connie Wolfe

    The snowmen were a treat as winter has been so disappointing in its snowfall this year.Thanks for sharing! I looked at yesterday’s post and the many comments. One struck me as having hit so close to the mark. It said that your blogging voice is from your heart. I so agree with that description. You blog about a great variety of topics. The photos are terrific. The written descriptions are clear and precise. Yes, as the need to socially distance keeps us home for longer and longer, we have more difficulty keeping to routines and lose enthusiasm for all of our hobbies. Please continue to share ( a.k.a. blog) topics about which you have a passion in whatever order or schedule that works for you. Know that so many of us look forward to your posts.
    Connie

  11. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    I love your little snowmen!! The birds are beautiful and Jack is cute sitting in the tree! I had an amaryllis I got at Aldi. It has already bloomed. Was very pretty. The one outside that my sweet mama planted so many years ago usually buds a little later. I guess I’ll plant this one outside in the spring.

  12. Carol Epp

    The snowmen are absolutely adorable! The only snow I see here in Southern California is on the distant mountains behind us and that doesn’t happen very often! Have a great day and good luck with your dental visit.

  13. Your visiting birds and critters are so lovely to look at. I miss having birdfeeders. Those snowmen are adorable. Great job! They both have character. Have a happy week.

  14. Patricia Evans

    Cute snowmen. Good to see a grown man show some whimsy. We have some light snow this morning, but expect more tomorrow. Still looks like we will be on the lower side of snowfall amount which is fine with me. I was going to go to the grocery store today, but will wait now until later in the week. It’s normal for iris to have leaf growth during the winter. After the leaves die back in late summer, the new growth starts in fall and stays dormant until warmer weather arrives. Somehow the flower buds know enough to wait.

  15. Ron & Becky Pike

    ask your dentist to go light on the numbing…it doesn’t take much for me and since telling my dentist about how my whole face gets numb, he has really done a great job of using just enough to get the procedure done.

  16. Joan Sheppard

    You two are so cute! What fun to make snowmen together. Love the animals! You have an amazing eye to take these pics. Thanks!

  17. Rhonda Pecenka

    Love your snowman. As much snow as we have I could build a dozen if I just had the gumption.
    In addition to all the critters coming to eat I now have a few crows that come every morning. I love all birds but these are some of my favorites. One of them manages to stuff three peanuts in the shell in its mouth before flying off.
    I’m caught up on Pachanga and have some paper piecing I’ll probably work on. Also 6 more rows on another project that’s 4.5” blocks set on point. It will have pieced borders.

  18. I was also at the dentist this morning. Your post helped me get thru the ordeal as I kept thinking back on all you had to share and your inspirational photos. Sweet Oliver eating a peanut butter sandwich was also fun to visualize. I hope all went well at your dentist.

  19. Fun snowmen! We watched the snow out the window, but stayed inside. It was a popcorn and movie afternoon! Today will be a napping afternoon as it is still grey and dreary. Our snow got washed away by the rain. Nothing coming up yet in the garden, and my cats are on duty watching the squirrels and birds from the windows. How many “steps” in Pachanga do you think there will be?

  20. Donna

    Love the snowmen!!! One is never too old to build a snowman I guess, although I am 58! I enjoy reading your blog but don’t comment often. I will definitely make a point to comment more! My favorite posts are when you do quilt repairs. I participated in the Safelight sewing in 2019 and will regularly once we relocate back to the US.

  21. thedarlingdogwood

    Such fun snowmen! I called Fire Monkey over to look at them–he’s jealous! He’s trying to convince us to move somewhere that gets more snow…

  22. Julie

    I hope things went well at the dentist. You have some mighty well dressed snow men! We’re finally getting snow from the storm moving up the east coast. Our bluebirds & robins moved south, maybe they’re visiting you? Blue Jay’s & Cardinals are bright spots in the snow along with the other hardy birds who can manage the cold. Gold finches exchanged their bright yellow plumage for warm olive coats. A variety of finches, sparrows, buntings, chickadees, nut hatches, tit nice, and wood peckers keep us entertained along with a large flock of mourning doves. And despite the bitter cold, a Carolina wren is overwintering. What a treat to hear that beautiful whistle when we venture out. Every now & then there’s quite a commotion when one of the hawks makes its rounds. Everybody’s got to eat. Looking forward to the next Pachanga clue.

  23. Rita C.

    Carole, tell your Sweet Babboo your snowmen are some of the best I’ve seen in a very long time! We had snow yesterday morning (Tues), enough to cancel school for those who are actually going for in-person learning.
    Love all the garden notes. The flock of robins is always something I look for, typically sometime in early February (yours sooner than ours, being just a little further south). That always feels like a signal of spring for me. I know robins stay year round in our area, but they typically go deeper in woods, but when they come…..yay!!

    I can imagine your dental procedure, and I am right there with you, whatever it is. Crown, implant….been there, done that, and dread them all. I am 6 mos overdue for a cleaning right now due to COVID, but had my first vaccine, so I’ll be scheduling soon. Be brave!

  24. So many birds in your garden, Carole – must be wonderful to watch. Love the snowman – something I will most definitely never make here. The snow pictures are lovely. This week I plan to clear out a patch of land furthest from the house – hard, but satisfying work.

  25. I am sure the birds appreciate the feeders. Love their bright colours against the snow.
    Your snow people are delightful. I am so pleased adults still have fun playing in the snow..

  26. Joni

    Love the snowmen! I am busy in the garden/greenhouse planting pea pods, tomatoes and peppers. The geraniums (50 plants held over) are all in bloom, making it a bright and happy place to work during our gray days of winter. My tulips are all planted in my wine barrels, however, our german shepherd puppy thinks the barrels is a fun place to dig. It remains to be seen how many bulbs will actually bloom this spring. He is only 6 months old, this stage too shall pass.

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