before the storm

before the storm
The wind started to blow, which made me look out the window, which made me grab my camera, which made me run outside, which made me ever so grateful for our little home among the saguaros.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

it is impossible to resist sunflowers...

WB and I try to meet on Mondays for lunch. It doesn't always work out but we try. We like going to a salad place that is about an equal drive for both of us. The salads are huge, delicious and we usually eat a very light, easy dinner that evening. Next to the salad place is a Trader Joe's. It has become a habit to pick out flowers just about every Monday. I have so much blooming in the garden that buying flowers would just be redundant. I wasn't even going to go to TJ's until I remembered we were running low on milk. The sunflowers popped out at me as soon as I saw them.
Resistance was futile.
I set up another table in the garden today. The weather is cooler again, a little overcast. WB has a three day weekend (don't envy him, he is recoating the roof) so I thought a nice dinner outside tonight would be just the thing.
Within minutes, the wind picked up and all the little "caterpillars" on the mesquite tree starting dropping pollen on the table. So not only will we not eat out here tonight, I will be rewashing all the dishes. Best laid plans.
Whether your weekend is a three day one or not, hopefully you won't be recoating your roof and will be able to enjoy it!
You may want to peek at some pictures of two baby hummingbirds in the post below. Clicking on any picture will make it larger.

Joining Susan at Tablescape Thursday, Kathleen at Let's Dish and Sherry at The Charm of Home.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

speaking of birds...

In all my years here, I have only had a chance to photograph a hummingbird nest a few times. These two are ready to leave the nest. The nest itself is about 2-3 inches in diameter, in an ironwood tree, about 6 feet off the ground. Hummingbirds often use spider webs to wrap the nest. This day it was very windy but the nest was just as steady as can be. They were trying to find some space without much success. This post is image heavy but you will see some jostling for room, sibling love and even a tongue stuck out.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

my apologies...

My apologies to doves, everywhere. Yes, it was me who has been mocking your nest building ability. Yes, it was me who placed rocks on the outdoor speakers, crazy Target-$1.00-bin balls in the hanging basket and who shooed you out of the patio rafters. We've been quite the adversaries, haven't we? Yes, I have bought dove-proof bird feeders but only because you and your friends eat every bit, never sharing. I know, I know. You need to eat too but I think you are all doing quite well, just waiting for seed to drop.
You were just stringing me along last spring, weren’t you? You were making me believe that your nest building was ridiculous. I spotted you starting to build a nest on the outdoor fan over the table. I quickly turned the fan on to discourage it. There was no way your few sticks were going to stay on that fan. Yes, it was me who watched as the sticks dropped to the table that you would go collect more rather than pick up the ones that had dropped on the table, right beneath you. Yes, I kept the fan on so you would find another place.
You were just showing off when you built the nest in the seed spreader, weren’t you? I was under the impression that you were a bird of little brain and couldn’t believe you could make a nest with a few twigs, lay two eggs and raise your babies there. You did.
You won my respect with that one but I still wasn’t impressed with your nest building abilities. Well, I now know you are an expert. You found the perfect place for both of us. Safe for you and your babies. Away from places where I eat my dinner. And just to make sure I realized how good you are, you built at eye level. Look at this nest in the middle of a cholla! My camera and I are watching every move, from a respectful distance and with a telephoto lens.
(Do you see that one of the eggs is out of the nest?)
(That's because one of the babies is born!)

I bow to your expertise. You win but please, if I promise to quit mocking your nest building ability, will you stick to the trees and the cactus rather than the patio? Thank you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Martha days...



I always think my favorite season is fall until spring arrives. Then I wonder how I could ever have chosen autumn over spring. Every morning, I am out in the garden looking for new blooms. The iris! The lavender! The poppies! The roses! Yes, especially the roses. I channel my inner Martha Stewart, going outside barefoot, still in my jammies, clipping roses for vases. I can't quite picture Martha in bare feet, in jammies as nondescript as mine or even venturing outside so unkempt but somehow with a basket on my arm, clippers in hand, I am Martha.



One of the best parts of spring is being able to eat outside for every meal, every day. We know the heat is on its way but for now we will enjoy every moment.




This cow creamer belonged to my mother. It makes me think of being a little girl every time I use it.






The detail of the insects and flowers are what caught my eye on these salad plates.




This table is covered with an unhemmed piece of muslin that I bought for a purpose, long forgotten. It fits this little table perfectly.



This table was first a table in the breakfast nook. Then it often was used for homework and projects as well as meals. Then it became WB's worktable. It sat outside and became very weathered, a perfect background for photos. Despite its age and appearance, I like eating on it again, remembering all the meals with those two little ones who are now all grown.

Golden hour makes everything look warm.





And finally, blue hour.



P.S. I had hoped to find blooming apricot roses when I decided to set this table. They weren't quite ready. These are from my McCartney rose. Yes, named for Sir Paul and I am embarrassed to say, also purchased because of the name. I am hoping someday I will see Lennon, Harrison and Starr roses. A Beatles reunion it will be.

Happy Earth Day! Check out more tablescapes at Between Naps on the Porch and tables with an Earth Day theme Let's Dish.