Happy Earth Day!

earth-day

It’s not like we have some place else we can go if we screw up our planet, so let’s see about taking better care of the world we have!

earthrise_2013.jpg-Earthrise#2Not even a colony yet on the Moon, so we’re here for the time being…

proxy.duckduckgo.com.jpg-Bumblebee#4So at the very least, maybe go out and plant some flowers, you’ll make some bees very happy!

So make the most of today and have a nice one!     HAPPY GARDENING!!!!! HAPPY CRAFTING!!!!!! HAPPY CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING!!!!!!

The Annual Rite of Spring…or in other words…SAVE ALL THE BEES!!!

proxy.duckduckgo.com.jpg-Eastern Carpenter Bee#8This is an Eastern Carpenter Bee, native to, as the name says, the eastern part of the U.S. These guys hang out in my garden during the early Spring, and I have no problem with them. I actually like them very much. They pollinate my violas and whatever other flowers I have that survived the winter. And, I enjoy watching them fly about.proxy.duckduckgo.com.jpg-Eastern Carpenter Bee#1This is a close up view of a male, note the white patch on his face. All the boys have the white patch, the girls don’t. Here is a link that gives more info about these bees  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_carpenter_bee     Now, to why I titled the first part of the title of this post, “The Annual Rite of Spring…”. These bees appear every Spring here and for the most part, they are basically harmless, as in, if you don’t mess with them, they generally won’t mess with you. Only the girls can give a mild sting, the boys don’t. These bees like to chew into old wood to make tube-like burrows to lay their eggs. Then they will hover about nearby to protect their babies. The burrowing in the wood is a large part of why many people don’t like these bees, plus the hovering about. 20181013_145746 (3)That small building, in the above picture, just beyond my zinnias, is one of our local mailboxes and it is made out of wood. The bees love burrowing into the soft, old wood on the underside of that little building. Then they hover about, guarding the area. For most of the day, everything is fine, until people start getting off work and come to get their mail. That’s when the screaming starts! People are terrified of the bees! And unless you actually grab one of the female bees and manhandle them aggressively, they won’t sting. But, people don’t want to hear that, they totally freak out and call the landlord and complain about the “KILLER BEES!”. Then, like clock work, the maintenance men show up lugging a big, industrial size sprayer full of bug killer and hose down the immediate area around the mail box. Then those poor bees that weren’t killed outright by the spray come over to my flower pots and sidewalk and die. Then the ants harvest them, and then the ants die. If any little frogs or toads see any of the bigger ants crawling around before they die, the frogs and toads eat the ants and then they get sick and crawl off and don’t come back, so they probably die too. I imagine that any birds that eat the bees probably get sick too. It just goes on and on.

I have a “bee safe zone” in my garden, like a haven for bees. I don’t use any plant product that might hurt them, I read all the labels to make sure. I always grow some plants specifically for the bees, this year I’m going to grow at least one morning glory, possibly two. And probably some more zinnias. Just for the bees.proxy.duckduckgo.com.jpg-Bumblebee#3This, above, is a Bumblebee, these guys also hang out in my garden. One has hung out all through the winter, working over the violas everyday.proxy.duckduckgo.com.jpg-Honeybee#4 This, above, is a honeybee. I rarely see these in my yard, it is a major event when I actually see one, there are so few of them around here now.

But, to get at the point I’m trying to make, all bees pollinate plants, not just honeybees. By killing the carpenter bees, people are limiting the amount of pollinating bees that are still out there. Hold in mind the thought, without bees and the various other creatures that pollinate all the plants that we get food from, people would have to pollinate all those plants by hand. Plant by plant, flower by flower, all by hand, probably with a soft paint brush or a feather.proxy.duckduckgo.com.jpg-Eastern Carpenter Bee#4So, here above, is another picture of an Eastern Carpenter Bee, busy collecting nectar and pollen. Please don’t kill them! They are not public enemy number one! They’ll only be about for a short while, just long enough to mate and make sure their babies are okay. Many of them don’t live very long past July, it’s like they enter old age and start slowing down. They rest often and fly less and less  So, from the second part of this post’s title, please…”SAVE ALL THE BEES!!!”  All of them, not just the honeybees, all the different kinds of bees! They pollinate the plants we get a large percentage of our foods from. The least we can do is protect them and grow a few flowers for them in our gardens. The benefits of having them around, far outweighs any problems they might cause. So, I imagine I’m doing the Lorax’s job, I speak for the  carpenter bees because they can’t speak for themselves! I had to get the bee pictures from Duckduckgo.com  images, because the bees in my yard aren’t real keen on having cameras pointed at them, they fly away before I can click the button. The mailbox picture is one I took last fall. I’ll get down off my soap box now. Thank you for reading my bee post. I hope you all have a nice day. GROW FLOWERS FOR THE BEES!!!!!!

Some Ladybug Action & Another Winter Sweater ready for the matte medium & gesso…

20190227_201540 (2)Some black paint on the wood ladybug body sections.  Another coat of the red paint on the ladybug rocks. Another coat of red on the wings of the wood ladybugs, and as you can probably tell from the picture, I’ve carved out another wood ladybug shape. I have three big magnets, so there is a ladybug shape for each magnet now. I’ve got another ladybug figure in the works and this one will be a girl, so far she is able to stand upright without any support. I guess I got the balance just right. I have some bits of pretty lace that I’ll use to make her a little skirt. I decided the boy one needed a friend.20190227_201505 (2)This paper-mache’ winter sweater is now ready for the matte medium and the gesso! I’ll paint this one a dark blue and embellish it with white iridescent snowflake sequins and silver seed beads.

So, there you go! Some of the various ladybug projects are moving along and another paper-mache’ winter sweater is closer to being finished. I’ll be posting tutorials for the ladybug projects as I finish each of them. None of them are very difficult to make, they just take some time to do, mainly drying time for paint and glue. All the rain we’ve been having does not help things to dry as fast as I would like, but at least it wasn’t snow, at least not yet. Hope not, don’t really need to see snow up close and personal, especially since I saw yesterday morning that my bluebirds already have a new batch of babies and they have already made their first venture outside of their house! Can you believe it?! I guess the parent bluebirds have decided that Spring has sprung, or at least enough to be able to find enough bugs to feed the new babies. I want to say, “Hello!” to my new followers! I’ve been looking at your blogs and you are some very clever and creative folks! Thank you to all my followers for looking at my blog! I work at making it look nice and try to make my posts understandable, as well as I can. I hope you all had a GREAT DAY! and that tomorrow will be even better for you!!!  So, HAPPY CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING!!!! HAPPY CRAFTING!!!!!

My Rosemary is apparently… very…confused!

20190122_120152 (2)I don’t know if you can see it real well, but that blue thing a little below the middle of the picture is…a flower! IN JANUARY!!!!! 20190122_120213 (2)And here are more buds!!!! Can you believe it?! This plant is trying to make flowers…IN JANUARY!!! 20190122_120239 (2)I’ve been keeping track of what the weather is going to do temperature wise, and when the forecast is for the low thirties or below, I’ve been covering this plant up at night to give it some protection. Last night it got down to about 18 degrees and I had covered this guy up at 5:30 pm when it was about 31 degrees. So, when I uncovered it this morning, when it got back up above freezing, I saw the blue flower and thought I better take some pictures! All I can figure is that because the plant is right outside our front door, the heat from the building and reflected off the front door are creating a kind of micro-climate that Rosemary Boy or Girl, really likes. But still, all my herbal books say Rosemary is supposed to bloom in the summer and it is way not summer now! Maybe my plant is a rebel and wants to be contrary!20190122_120258 (2)The violas are blooming away like crazy!20190122_120311 (2)The flowering kale are kind of not doing a whole lot. I thought they would do…well a little better than just kind of existing. But at least they haven’t died yet.20190122_120319 (2)The lemon grass is…well…there. I don’t know if it is alive or not. I’ll know for sure in the spring if it starts actively growing again.20190122_120344 (2)

The bluebirds are actually in their house there on the tree. I had gone out the other day to see about cleaning the house out and a little blue head popped out of the opening and looked at me and then another one was trying to shove the first one out of the way to look out too. So, so much for cleaning the house. And a little head popped out today and was watching me take pictures, so they are keeping an eye on me.

The super moon was…not so super from our vantage point, on Sunday night. It started out huge as it rose up, but then as it got overhead and started going  into the eclipse it kind of shrank up size-wise. It turned red and that was impressive, but it didn’t get big looking again until after it was clear of the Earth’s shadow. I think we weren’t in the prime spot for optimum viewing, but at least we got to see the moon change color and that was neat. Not something you see every day!

So there you go! My plants are still hanging in there…well most of them. And the Rosemary is being…kind of strange! Plants! What can I say? They do what they want…apparently when they feel like it! And the bluebirds are still here! I think they want to make sure no other birds take over their house! And the Moon did…interesting things! So, I hope you have a very nice day! HAPPY WINTER GARDENING and HAPPY MOON WATCHING and HAPPY CRAFTING!!!!!

THE BLUEBIRDS ARE USING THEIR HOUSE AND THEY ARE FEEDING BABIES!!!!

20180819_193310 (2)Sorry this is a little blurry, I was swatting at mosquitoes while trying to take the picture.

This morning I opened up the living room window to air the apartment out, and as I glanced out at the bluebird house I noticed our resident wren going in the door opening. proxy.duckduckgo.com.jpg-CarolinaWren#1 (2)Suddenly, he shot back out like he’d been shot out of a cannon and two adult bluebirds came right out after him and chased him all over the yard.proxy.duckduckgo.com.jpg-Bluebird#5 Then a third, somewhat smaller boy bluebird came with a fat caterpillar and went in the bluebird house. Then the first two bluebirds came back and they also took fat caterpillars into the bird house. So, we are thinking the slightly smaller bluebird is an almost grown baby of the adult bluebirds from a previous batch of babies, helping to tend his/her younger siblings. And the wren was just checking out the house.proxy.duckduckgo.com.jpg-Bluebird#1The bird pictures aren’t ones I took, I got them off Duckduckgo.com/ images.  I used them to illustrate what I was telling about because my birds won’t sit still long enough to have their pictures taken. They are lightening fast little buggers! So, apparently while we have been preoccupied with hurricanes and tropical storms, the bluebirds have been operating in super secret stealth mode and have been using their house long enough to get a batch of eggs laid and hatched. I’m thinking the woodpecker hole they were using finally got too soggy from all the rain we’ve been having and they finally decided the house I put up for them was looking pretty good. YEAH!!!!    I hope you all have a GREAT DAY!!!! HAPPY BIRD WATCHING and HAPPY CRAFTING!!!