Friday, April 29, 2011

Some NestCam Updates + Some New Ones

The Duke Farms Bald Eagles in New Jersey: 2 chicks hatched second week in April.

Live Video streaming by Ustream

The Decorah Eagles in Iowa: 3 chicks hatched the first week in April.

Webcam chat at Ustream

The Michigan Peregrine Falcons: still waiting!

Free live streaming by Ustream

Storks in Lithuania:

Live Videos by Ustream

Blue & Yellow Macaws in the Netherlands

Streaming Video by Ustream.TV

Channel Island Allen Hummingbird in Calfornia: 1 baby hatched, 1 egg waiting.

Streaming live video by Ustream

Eastern Bluebird in PA with 5 eggs

Live Streaming by Ustream.TV

I had some other things I was thinking about posting today, but then I realized I haven't been checking out the nestcams. Last Friday was the last time I looked and I couldn't believe how big the eagle chicks had gotten so quick. Each nestcam has the direct link back to the bird's actual site. There are still so many more nestcams to check out. I really like watching the's scary when momma sticks that long beak of hers right down the tiny baby's throat. For the life of me I can't believe she isn't impaling the little thing!

Hope today finds you all safe and your homes intact. To all those who are suffering the effects of all this crazy weather, my prayers are with you.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Hummers Are Here!

Ruby Throated Hummingbird

The News is In! The hummers have been officially sited in New Jersey, some as early as March in southern NJ. If you haven't already done so, get the feeders out, cleaned and filled up for the weary little travelers.
This will be our fourth summer here in Kingwood, and the hummer population gets bolder every year. Last summer I was able to get pictures sitting in a hightop chair just 2 feet from a feeder in the garden. I have even had them dart in and out of the water spray when I was watering my flowers. I wish I could say that I am used to them whizzing by my head and I don't duck and scream like a big ol girl with pictures of huge disgusting bugs in my head....
If you don't have a hummingbird feeder, GET ONE! You're are missing out on some serious bird watching fun. Late summer is "Hummer Wars" time. I watched one very territorial guy chase a newbie two fields away before he came back. It's fascinating how fast they can go to. You can go with the old regular feeders or go online for some definitely new fangled twists and original feeders. Here's just s few:

For more information on hummingbirds check out these sites: How to enjoy hummingbirdsHummingbird World, The Hummingbird Society,
For hummingbird feeders: DuncraftBirdfeeders , Audubon 

At the breaking of the Easter dawn

may the Risen Saviour bless your home

with grace and peace from above,

with joy and laughter, and with love

And when night is nigh, and day is done

...Make He keep you safe from all harm

Happy Easter Everyone & May God Bless You All!

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Garden, The Mulch, The Blond



 I swear the more mulch I order, the smaller the pile looks every year when I get it, BUT, this is a new source since my usual people went out of business. Made the phone call, ordered, and in LESS than an hour, I had mulch!!!! It's LOVE baby for sure!!!

an improved mess...

got this fountain @ Shoprite at the end of the summer a couple of years ago...$7.50!!!

Can't afford to be running fountains when I still have no job, so I decided to put "hens & chicks" in the
 fountain instead. So far I just have some that were already in the garden, once the warm weather
actually sticks around I'll hit up the stores for some new stuff.

I sat in the garden yesterday, catching some sun on my face ( a bit chilly with the wind blowing), while waiting for a Weeping Cherry we bought over the weekend, to be delivered. An old friend from high school had asked me on Facebook if I wanted to walk that day but I hadn't seen it. When I went in the house to find out the nursery wanted to change my delivery to Friday, I decided to call this new guy for mulch before I forget another day. To my surprise the guy said he'll be here with in the next 2 hours......I replied "TODAY!!!!!????". Talk about going into shock! Damn, if he wasn't here in less than an hour, would of been even less if he didn't pass by my house 3 times.... The part that really cracks me up is that I am practically the ONLY person on this road with gardens AND I was in the front yard, planting stuff, to begin with, car parked on the lawn, BIG blue tarp down in the driveway......wouldn't these be screaming "MULCH HERE"????
So, anyway, after calling for the mulch, my phone rings and it's Jane wanting to hook up for a walk. Seems we are all finding out that we are indeed middle age, overweight, and the doctors are informing us of all our ailments that require immediate attention to eating right and exercising. One former classmate just recently had a heart attack, so I told him I would walk with him since we both have to make "changes", maybe we can make each other stick to it. As others seen the post on Facebook, others wanted to join us, this where Jane comes in. So I tell her I can't go cause I'm waiting for the mulch man to deliver.
Jane replies:" Got an extra shovel?" 
 Me: "Yeah??"
Jane: " OK, I'll come over and  help you mulch, that's exercise"
Me: "Yeah?????"
And she did. I'll be damned, she really did. Even carried rocks. And then she keeps thanking me, and I'm still thinking "Yeah????"
Of course now, gardening with someone who doesn't "know" your garden, you will always get the: "Is this something?", translation: weed? important stuff I shouldn't step on or smother with mulch? Hence Jane referred to as "Gardening with a Blond".....cause yes, she is blond. Was she easy to???? Let's just say I am still in awe that someone was actually asking me: what next? where do you want this? etc....... that just doesn't happen around here, it stills feels weird. I didn't have to threaten her, with hold food or clean clothing, throw a hissy fit, lay on the ground screaming , crying and stamping my feet.....and she kept thanking ME!
Now, as I get ready to get some more mulch done before classes tonight, I KNOW, without any doubt, my son who is on "spring break, is praying to all the Fishing Gods that Rule the Planet, that I DON'T ask him to help.
WOW, Many Thanks Again Jane!!!!
Oh yeah.....I fed her pizza and  she wanted to come back to day after while everyone else is on spring break I'll be going to class tonight....damn.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Jester's Deer Buster Brew

The Ingredients

Picked these up cheap at the Dollar Store

After letting the mixture "ferment" a  few days, ready to strain.

Don't attempt to take any shortcuts on straining or your spray bottle will get clogged  up real fast!

Ready for the spray bottle
Time to get spraying!

Jester's Deer Buster Brew
  • 4 eggs
  • 4-5 cups of milk
  • Tabasco/Hotsauce
  • Horseradish
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • Water
Mix all the ingredients in a gallon jug, fill remainder with water. SHAKE. Let sit for a few days, then strain into another jug. Use that jug to fill up spray bottles. Store remainder in the fridge and be sure to label it and warn your family or guests!!!!!  You don't have to follow this exactly, the basic idea is to make something smelly and awful tasting the deer won't want to eat. The egg is for keeping it on the plants so that it can't be easily washed away when it rains. This is why you want a nice sunny day for spraying.

Some Extra Ideas for staying in control of your garden...

    Have an outdoor cat to prowl the garden for controlling the population of chipmunks, mice and baby rabbits. Yeah, ok, that might sound cruel, but which do you want? Cuteness or flowers and veggies in your garden??

     A house wren feeds 500 bugs and caterpillars to her babies in ONE afternoon! A Brown Thrasher consumes thousands of bugs a day. Place birdhouses of different sizes and styles near by. Spot some simple bird baths here and there in your garden as enticement to feathered helpers.  Fill large terra cotta saucers, the ones made for placing under pots, with water, and set on logs turned on end.

     Save fur from brushing and grooming your dog. Scatter it in the garden (people hair is good to). It deters nibblers and also adds nitrogen to the soil as it decomposes. No dog? Ask your local pet groomer to save fur for you or ask your hairdresser.

     Cut a gallon milk jug in half lengthwise. Punch a hole in the bottom to let out rain. Set ripening melons in the contraptions. They help prevent rot and keep mice and shrews from nibbling on the melons.

     Want corn but raccoons want it to? Inter plant corn with large leaved pumpkin and squash. Supposedly raccoons and squirrels do not like to walk on the leaves.

     Aphids flock to yellow. Fill a yellow dishpan part way with water and set in the garden. Aphids will land on the water and be trapped. They drown and sink.

These are just random samplings of things you can do to help your garden. What's your favorite trick in your neck of the woods? Whose your biggest offender and how do you handle it? Inquiring minds want to know!



Friday, April 8, 2011

I Have a Graveyard in My Backyard, Don't You?

Happy Friday Folks! Posting right now from upstate NY somewhere a few miles east of Rhinebeck....gps was pronouncing it "Rinneybeck". Mom & I are up here visting family & getting Mom's old suburu some new tires and seatbelts via my cousin's husband:Tim...he's such a nice guy!
Since his garage was just a short ways up the road from thier house we decided to walk back, with Manny, Romeo & Trey figuring it would be some good exercise after riding 3+ hours in the car. On the walk back, by the third yard I realized something: it was the third house we walked by that was sporting a graveyard! seems like they randomly ALL over the place and really really old. So this will be yet another admission from yours truly: I LOVE graveyards. Some of the coolest I've seen are a few miles from here in Hyde Park NY. Years and years ago when I was a teenager, my cousin Brian and I went on a sort of adventure (that's going to be my story, and I'm sticking to it) and for a lack of anything to do , do pass some time we mosied around the Vanderbilt mansion & grounds and then we went across the street and checked out the graveyards. What cool stuff we found I swear!!! I've been hooked ever since. Old (and especially RICH) graveyards have some of the most ornate stones and mausoleums.
Well, I'm trying to do this on a laptop for the first time....while sitting on the back porch with 5 dogs running around. Yeah, it's a family quirk from my mother's side: we bring our dogs everywhere we go....
Would love to chat more but it's hard enough trying to see the screen.
Hope you all have a warm & sunny weekend!

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Carnivore is thinking of growing vegetables...

By pure chance, I recently had several doctor appointments all within 3 weeks of each other. One decided to do a full blood work up since it was early in the morning and I hadn't eaten anything. No big deal....until I got a letter in the mail! I already decided a couple of months ago that I was overdue to get my health and a decent weight back since the "Dark Years" were over for a few years now. I knew that if I didn't, I would face a real possibility of diabetes from being overweight. Last year I was put on meds for high blood pressure.
SO....I open this letter and "HOLY SH**!!!!!" "OMG!!!" I'm holding my breath and thinking don't panic till you google all this stuff and find out what it means, and in the back of my head I'm thinking what dumb *** doctor's office didn't call me to warn me about this!
I figured out that I am now "pre-diabetic" and have stage 3 kidney disease...O-M-G-! OH just freaking wonderful, I haven't even gotten through the dreaded "mammo" & surgeon yet, I need more  crap right now like I need a whole in the head. Didn't that first doc tell me to chillout and stay calm (my blood pressure has been all over the place for the past few weeks) yeah, I'm calm now, hahahahahahaha.
OK, so after panicking, throwing myself a pity party and hours googling everything under the sun, a long dreaded understanding started to to rear its ugly head in my face once again. There was no doubt what needed to be done. I was going to have to succumb to it whole heartily or else face the consequences of my actions.
 *Picture me screaming in agony loud enough for  the whole world to hear*.....
I HAVE TO EAT VEGETABLES....and fruit too!!!

Oh yeah, and stage 3 kidney disease is no where near as bad as it's sounds. What it really is, is a big wake up call to get off your butt and start taking proper care of yourself if you have any intention of hanging around for some time and actaully be able to do the things you want. I am now currently on week 2 of my new and improved diet. Even lost 2 lbs last week! No sugar, no salt (and I LOVE salt!) eating veggies and fruit, but what you don't know is how much I absolutely HATE this stuff!!!! In my quest to figure out how to pull this off, I recently tried adding finely chopped  broccoli and cauliflower to my sausage balls (my SIL got me & Hunter hooked on these). WOW! I can in fact eat these!!! As I am writing this I am cooking up my seconed version of these, and I have to admit I am pretty proud of myself right now. These puppies are mighty tasty and  I can't beleive they're good for me, YAY ME! I'm going to share with you so you can make these for your own veggie hating loved ones.

Jester's Good For You Sausage Balls

3 lbs sauage (out of skin)      1 lb frozen veggies ( thawed, I used a cauliflower, broccoli & carrot mix)
Some Fresh Spinach             8 oz Kidney Beans
2 large Garlic cloves            12 oz Shredded Cheddar
1/2 cp Parmesean Cheese    4 cp Bisquick
Rosemary                              Oregano

Chop all veggies as fine as you can, I use a mini chopper that works great. Seriously, I don't really measure anything (I just winged this, literally) so you can add or subtract where ever and whatever you like. Throw it all together in a big bowl and thoroughly mix together. This is major sticky messy!!!! Roll into meatballs and pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350.

Guess who keeps picking and eating these babies?

I am still amazed at myself that I am actaully eating vegetables and fruit. I still can't stomach to just eat them, I'm chopping them up and putting them in something else, but HEY, whatever works! Sometime during the day a make a fruit & veggie smoothie. Same thing: chopped up veggies (like a whole cup!!), light fruit yogurt, some fruit (whatever I bought that week) some V8 Fusion juice and the best part: whipped cream! I swear, fruit yogurt can wipe out  the taste of anything I think.

Now that this is to become my new habbit, I'm thinking of growing my own vegetables and fruit. Like I need more to do....anyway, this is all uncharted territory for me. One in a while I would grow a tomatoe plant, but it pretty much was on its own. I just didn't love it like I love my flowers, I know, sad, but true. Of course this year I also have a new dilema which also poses a problem. After 3 lucky years, last year's extremely dry summer led the deer to cross over to the forbidden zone, the land of dogs a plenty that could roam the property at will. HA! they're on to me now. They know there is a wealth of amazing tasty buffet plots over hear, I'm so screwed!!! While I have a great homemade tonic that is pretty successful at keeping that at bay, I never had to do an all out total garden hose down with it. So do I try  adding vegetables in between the flowers of the beds I already have, or do I make a new plot just for the veggies and fruit? I really don't have the $$ to build Jurassic park to keep out the critters either. Does growing your own food really save money??? Should I use seeds from produce I am eating or should I buy seeds??? Anybody that wants to throw me a bone and give me advice, I'm listening!

I don't know about you, but I have to keep my meds in the kitchen in plain sight so I don't forget them.
This is my fix for making my window sill & meds a little more attractive.

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