Sunday, March 31, 2013

Hummingbird Moth aka Hawk Moth or Tomato Hornworm

I caught some good photos before the rain this morning of a hawk moth (hummingbird moth in my garden) in action.  It is so beautiful, and because of its pollinating ability and its beauty I'm willing to forgive its vice of being the tomato hornworm - a voracious predator of my tomato plants.  I'm guessing she will probably lay eggs sometime later today on my them - oh well.  Here is a link with some good information on this beautiful moth.

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05517.html










I also saw other pollinators on my holly bushes - check them out!  I was surprised to see a fly and a tiny ant in addition to the bee.



I'm not a fan of yellow jackets/wasps - but he's doing his job.



Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Purple Martins have taken up residence - 2013

We put the gourd tree up in February.  We had a scout come by and check it out the first day!  As of today, March 29, 2013, we have at least 10 purple martins that have taken up residence in our gourd tree.



The males are darker than the females.  See the pair top left below for a comparison.



                                      Taking flight!


The gourd tree is right by the garden.  It is so nice to go out in the evening and hear their trilling song and see them glide in and out of their houses.



Saturday, March 23, 2013

Into this life some hail must fall...

We received much needed rain this morning for the flower and vegetable gardens - but we got some hail too unfortunately.







Sunday, March 17, 2013

Saturday, March 16, 2013

New chickens for our urban farm!

We got them from North Haven Gardens in Dallas, TX.
 http://nhg.com/


The chickens were raised by Polish Farms - we really enjoyed Dan's presentation on incubating eggs this morning before we bought our 2 new pullets.  See Dan's link:  http://polishfarm.com/






Time to introduce our 2 new girls, a barred rock and a delaware to our other 3 hens. 



Thursday, March 14, 2013

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Early Spring Front Porch




I decided to chronicle how the plants change around my place.  Today I decided that my petunias and pansies looked especially pretty and colorful, especially since nothing else is blooming yet (except the pear and almond tree)!

My fruit trees

As my fruit trees bloom I'll post pics. Today I'm posting pics of my pear tree and almond tree. The almond tree is an experiment here in North Texas - I'll keep you posted on its progress.



Monday, March 11, 2013

I just saw a flock of beautiful cedar waxwings come through my yard! 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I found a wonderful blog post with lots of great Texas gardening information!

I thought I would share this terrific post I found!  Although I know that the blogs that are listed in the link are from Austin, many of the same drought hardy plants that are discussed and many of the ideas will work here in the DFW area.  I'm enjoying reading them and I hope you do too.


http://www.penick.net/digging/?p=488



Garden planted.  Hopefully we can protect the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant in case the weather doesn't cooperate.  Most of the plants in the garden are cold weather veggies. 
Spring fever has hit!  According to the TX A&M web site last frost for my area is 3/15/13.

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/earthkind/ekgarden14.html

Since the 5 day forecast in my area does not indicate temps falling below 32, we took a risk and bought peppers and tomatoes to put in the ground today.  We already have our cold weather vegies (broccoli, cabbage, onions, lettuce, etc.) in the ground. In addition, when selecting seeds we try to take care to make sure the seeds are disease resistant.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Initial blog

This is my initial blog - so here goes!  Joe built this chicken tractor 2 years ago.  We now have 3 hens residing there - Rosie, Joanie, and Clara.  Our plan is to get 2 more pullets in a couple of weeks to add to the mix.  Hopefully the older girls will accept the pullets, but I doubt it.  We'll have to watch the older girls about bullying too much.