Tufted Titmouse

Plentiful in nature, the Tufted Titmouse can be seen everywhere. They often gather food from the ground and from tree branches. They eat berries, nuts, insects, small fruit, snails, and seeds. They eat Caterpillars during the summer. The titmouse will often be curious and you can see them perched on your window ledge. They seem to peak into your windows and into your house. They are regular visitors around bird feeders. Usually they “scout” out a feeder. They will come when it’s not occupied, make a grab, and then fly back to their spot to eat. Titmice will store food for later use.

Titmice are tiny, a pretty colorful bird and their song will sound like the song of a whistled peter-peter-peter.  They are a favorite and easy to spy. They move quickly so are very tricky to photograph. 

Birds and Blooms…..a little gardening too

Tags

We have taken a new interest in birds. Today our January 2021 issue of Birds and Blooms arrived. Very few Ads, plenty of colorful photographs of birds, plants, berry bushes and trees with berries. Articles and great descriptions of the birds and their habits. We are very pleased at first glance. Tonight this will be our reading material. Featured on the cover is the Carolina Chickadee. They are tiny, quick, noisy,  but so cute.

We were also out gardening a bit today. Lovely out. We accomplished some bed clean up at one of our clients houses. It felt so good to be out and working. Our fall season was so long this year, our customer wanted to leave their Lantana blooming. We finally dug it up today and added a little bed edging to complete the job. The earth is nice and moist for working it. The Lantana bloomed past Thanksgiving. It is such a resilient flowering plant.  So thrifty too.

We did see a few folks “out and about” and waved “Hi” as we drove by.   We are just arriving back home. It was a really good day…..thankful!!

“Contessa”

 

 

 

Important… simply pass it on…..

In April we made a post about distancing during COVID. It’s important to remember we have all been in this time in our lives a lot t longer than we anticipated. It has lasted longer than any of us thought,  and it’s been very isolating, especially for folks living on their own. Nobody to physically talk to. We recommend you make contact with neighbors and friends – so go outdoors. It can be more than 6 feet of distance, but with beautiful weather over the next four days, open your doors…, and say “Hi, how are you?“ to your neighbors. It will make your day… and theirs. Give it a GO!

Our post from April 9th….2020

Might we suggest that we all think about “physical distancing “ – rather than “social distancing.” It’s about connection. We all enjoy it. We all need it, and there is nothing more encouraging than a fellow human being saying. “Hello, how’s your day,” while keeping the recommended 6 ft of distance. Let us be kind and social while we use social/physical distance. It’s good for everyone.

And if you are not outside today, talk to someone, even if its through an email or a phone call. Share yourself and your stories about how things are going. Everyone is going through the same thing. We may have to adhere to guidelines for physical body distancing when we are out walking, but online there is no limit to whom you can “touch” and connect with. Just do it!

 

Contessa”

Winter…Weather…Gardening….

Well, not that easy to just be home. So much missing your gardens, the work and all PFF clients. Thinking of all of you. We are so used to digging and being active outdoors. Some relax time is good, but activity outdoors is our heartbeat. Some nice temps predicted for this week. Like in the 50’s. We will be out and about and see you. Maybe we’ll get in a little repotting and a little bed cleanup/sprucing. It’s good and needed exercise, good for your healthy complexion and good for your inner soul. Enjoy while we can……



 “Contessa”

Houseplants 101 – Amaryllis, a holiday gem (revised)

Revised…….#2          4 blossoms today

Revised………#1         3 blossoms today 

Our Amaryllis is showing its blooms this morning. Two have popped open, and two more on the stem are soon to emerge. The heat of the house and its nearness to the windows have prompted its beauty to show itself. Such a pretty red color. And, in the next few weeks we will have two new stalks poking their points up from the top of the bulb in the planter. Very exciting in that this plant will most likely bloom way into March.  We love having a longer blooming plant in the house during the next couple months. This bulb will most likely need to be moved to a larger planter once it completes its blooming growth. At that point, we will be able to move it outdoors once spring/summer arrives. It will grow the same way, but will produce only “green growth.” And so then the growing cycle will repeat itself. Our last Amaryllis lived with us for ten years. It is a loyal, prolific and beautiful flowering plant. Well worth its $10 to $15 purchase depending on the size of the bulb you choose.
Very rewarding!

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       …..typical blooming phase

Amaryllis is a typical flowering plant available during the holiday season. Easy to care for, and the blooms last fairly long. Ours will most likely bloom in about a week. If you look closely near the bottom of the stem, you will see (below) two new shoots pushing their way up. This plant will produce additional foliage and we expect more blooms as well. Plant your bulb roots spread facing down and cover the bulb with fresh potting soil, leaving the top one (1) inch of your bulb exposed. Adequate good drainage is very important. We recommend a deep saucer, so that you can water your Amaryllis from the bottom. Use tepid water, filling the saucer full. If the plant drinks all the water fill the saucer again, and repeat until the plant shows you it has enough to drink.  The remainder will evaporate on its own.  Place near a sunny location, but not directly up again a sunny window, as the hot sun could burn your blooms. Amaryllis are beautiful, and the best part – each year you will enjoy their holiday blooms.

In a separate post we will provide care instructions once your plant reaches its maturity for this growing season.

And, as this specimen matures,  we will post blooming phase pics.  Amaryllis is a rewarding and beautiful “bloomer.”

Enjoy!

“Contessa”

 

 

Painted bunting

Last night our local news, channel 4 reported a local “birder” had forwarded photos of a rare Virginia sighting. A bird that has not been seen in our area since 1981. This bird was spotted the last few days in Great Fallls,VA, about a half hour from our location. He is in the woods along the VA side of the Potomac River. This  “birder” and photographer spied him in the woods near the same tree and location for a few days now. Apparently from Mexico. 27 degrees last night here. Too chilly for him, but he is here nevertheless. So interesting.

We have a cousin who is a naturalist and wildlife biologist. He confirmed this to be a male Painted bunting. The Painted bunting is normally found in much warmer climates. Beautiful to be sure, and rare to see.