Blanding Turtle

Handsome is an avid birder.  He watches the birds as they seek shelter in the bushes just inches beyond our kitchen windows.  This winter he found a notebook and created a bird journal -- he drew the birds he saw in the yard based on pictures in an Audubon brochure.  I was cleaning up the kitchen and hadn't been following exactly what he was up to -- I was delighted by the surprise.

Even better, he kept up his journal and will frequently observe birds from the kitchen table and seek out his journal.  This winter we were on vacation and a Mourning Dove made her nest on the hotel balcony.  I was shocked when Handsome suddenly ran inside and came back with his bird journal -- he packed his bird journal for our Caribbean vacation!  
mourning dove

For the last several days he's been home sick with a cough.  He's watched as much t.v. as one can watch and needed an adventure, unfortunately, he's pretty sick and doesn't have a lot of energy.   I barely fit him in the cozy coupe that has a long handle and we set off to the local bird sanctuary.  
Unfortunately, he discovered a turtle in a trap and was concerned for the turtle.  Deeply concerned.  
I redirected him to move forward down the wonderful path and he did but, he was clearly still thinking about the poor turtle.  I tried to explain about scientists and tracking,etc. but that is far too abstract for a little guy who isn't quite five yet…  
Soon he demanded that we return to the turtle and pleaded with me to free him. 
Thank goodness the scientists who trapped the endangered Blanding Turtle came back to their work.   They explained how they capture him every year and they were wonderfully generous in having Handsome hold the turtle, help weigh the turtle, and they explained every step of their process -- the marks on the turtle, measuring him, recording GPS location, etc.
Then they invited Handsome to release the turtle back into the water.  I was so grateful for this very happy ending!

 Then we went back to looking for birds.  It was a great day for a little fellow who was sick of being sick!  :)

Garden supports attract birds (goldfinches)

Last year we tried using twine to support our peas (remember, giggling twine), this year we bought a pea trellis to make life a bit simpler and to help increase our yield.  Both of those things have been true so far and we've been pleasantly surprised by the fact that we've inadvertly created a playground for goldfinches. 
Our attempt to corral our indeterminate tomatoes with a Florida Weave was not to be repeated.  That's far too much maintance for The Silliest Garden.  Instead, we're just using cages, plan on staking as we go along, and we are almost looking forward to the unruly mess of what will be another wonderful Tomato Forest.  The goldfinches love the tomato supports too!
This sweet little bird perched near our garden sign.  Such a cheerful sight on a rainy day!
bird decorates garden sign

Ducks in the swimming pool

Mr. and Mrs. Mallard moved in on the cold and rainy Friday of Memorial Day Weekend.  They nestled their beaks into their feathers and settled down for the night.  The next morning, Handsome awoke at 6 and shouted thru the house, “the ducks are still at the pool!”  They flew off a while later and returned for a rest around 10:30 and back again that night.  For the next several days they followed this schedule, sometimes landing in the pool with a grand splash, always departing with their signature “quack, quack, quack.”  It was awesome!  We had pet ducks! 
Then we realized that ducks swimming in the pool are great when it is raining out and we are stuck inside with the heat on...but, in a few more days we’d want to be swimming in the pool.  It took several days of consistently scaring the ducks away before they found their way back to their own pond at the end of our street.

A week later, when the pool was crystal clear and Handsome and Perfect were the only “ducks” swimming in it, Mr. Mallard swooped down and splashed right in -- with the kids in the pool!  It was hilarious!  That crazy duck!  I chased him off with a net and he was most displeased.  
We put the solar cover on the pool and it no longer looks like a pond.  The ducks have moved back to their real pond.  We wave hello each time we pass by.  

The garden has gifted us with strawberries, peas, spinach and lettuce and we are celebrating each harvest with glee! We'll tell you all about the strawberries soon!  :)