Saturday, December 08, 2007

Yeah, I've been sick...

...for three weeks. But now I feel better. And I'm way behind on getting ready for Christmas. I hurried to put out this gardening Santa I found at a garage sale last summer. Besides holding a topiary tree (not something I'd carry around) he's also got a wicker watering can, a shovel and ....what's that...a hoe! This gardening Santa was obviously meant for May Dreams Gardens but since I don't live next door to her to pass it on, he'll have to decorate my table.
Before I got sick I put up a few lights on the back patio, and while I was at it, I decided to tie up my Skyrocket juniper so the winter snows won't break the branches down. What better way to tie it up than with a string of twinkle lights? Protection and decoration all in one.

It snowed a little bit. The squirrels were busy scavenging on the ground below the feeders.
Oh-oh, let's get out of here, the big guys are coming!
Only a flock of magpies would make the squirrels scatter. They are pretty big birds.

The magpies, like the bluejays, pick up and "weigh" each peanut to see if they're getting the heaviest one with the most nutmeat inside. Picky, picky, especially since they'll end up eating everyone of them.

I couldn't get more than a few magpies in one picture. But there are about twelve of them that strut around the yard looking for peanuts I've flung out in the grass. Oh, look at all the leaves that have come down since I did fall clean-up. Those will be there till spring.

The bluejay doesn't usually take a back seat to any other bird, but this one is biding his time and waiting for leftovers.
Meanwhile, my neighbors wanted to know if they could decorate the Blue Spruce in my front yard. They have one too, but it's too tall and they'd have trouble stringing the lights unless they had a bucket truck, which they don't.

Looks nice, huh? But every time they turn it on, it trips a breaker and all their lights go out. I guess you shouldn't string 15 sets of lights together without expecting that.

The color of the sky rivaled the lights on the tree. What a dramatic sunset.
Now I'd better go decorate my own Christmas tree.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Magpies! How cool is that for a yard bird. I think they are such interesting birds. Busy but they seem to be intelligent, like crows or ravens.

Your garden Santa was a great find. Now getting your neighbors to decorate your tree was quite nice too. tee hee... I know you said they offered.

That last shot looks like the sky is laying a blanket over your area to put it to sleep for the night.

Continue to get better. I missed you while you were gone.

kate said...

I'm sorry to hear that you have been sick. I've checked a few times and wondered why you hadn't posted for a bit. Please don't overdo it now that you are feeling better!

Your sky photograph is lovely. That gardening Santa Claus makes me smile ... you find the coolest things!

Carol said...

LostRoses... YOU were missed! Sorry to hear you were sick, happy to hear you are better, delighted to see another post!

Is that Santa really holding a hoe, or is that a shovel? I clicked on the picture and it's hard to tell, but I'll take your word for it. I really appreciate you thinking of me!

I've got gobs of gardening-themed Christmas decorations, but alas, not a hoe in the bunch. But you know I'm looking for some, because what's Christmas without some hoe, hoe, hoe?

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Liza Lee Miller said...

Great pictures. Glad you are feeling better!

Nickie said...

neat magpies! I've never seen the ones with black beaks before.

jocelyn said...

Welcome back! Your idea to tie up your Skyrocket juniper with lights is brilliant---a festive touch for the entire winter!

mon@rch said...

I would love to see a magpie! Glad you are feeling better and looking more Christmas like!

Apple said...

Sorry to hear that you've been ill but glad that you're feeling better. The magpies look a lot more interesting than our crows. Very creative way of protecting the juniper. I bet it is very pretty lit up.

Mary said...

I've been wondering about you, Mary. Sorry you were sick for so long!

Take it easy preparing for the holidays (easier said than done).

You have Magpies? How cool!

Good to hear from you!

LostRoses said...

Lisa, we call the magpies scavengers in tuxedos. I'm quite fond of them but a lot of people really don't like them. I agree about the sky putting a blanket over us. It felt like that too! Thanks for your good wishes.

Kate, thanks. It was all I could do to go to work every day and then come home and crash on the sofa. Boy, do I have a lot of catch-up to do, but I'm trying to pace myself (sort of)!

Carol, I guess that's not a very good shot because the hoe is below the shovel and its handle is sticking out behind him, which I didn't show. First gardening Santa I've ever seen, though. Of course I thought of you! And a hoe, hoe, hoe to you too.

Liza Lee, thanks. This is a bad time to be sick. I hope I get decorated for Christmas soon!

Nickie, I've never seen the ones with yellow beaks. I think they're only in California, right?

Jocelyn, I read that idea somewhere. I was just proud I remembered it! And yes, it does look pretty lit up.

Monarch, thanks. I was glad I'd put up at least some lights before I lost all my energy. I'm equally happy to have the magpies back again; they were all but decimated by the West Nile Virus a few years ago but I've seen their numbers gradually increase. This is the biggest flock I've had in years.

Apple, it's funny you mentioned the crows. We rarely see magpies and crows frequenting the same areas, not sure why. I never get a crow, and the Dubious Gardener who lives 5 miles away, has crows and never sees a magpie in his yard.

Oh Mary, I have three weeks worth of preparations to get done in a short period of time. I'll be scaling back a bit this year! I wish those magpies were in your yard, YOU would get a good picture.

Carol said...

Okay, I think I see the hoe now, right by where his hand is? That is way cool to find a gardening Santa!

Dianne said...

Sorry too you haven't been well.Looks like you are starting to pick up. I have the same gardener Santa! That's neat. Mine lost his plants and the wicker watering can came off, but he's still in my living room. : )
I love to decorate outside too.
Take care now.

rusty in miami said...

Hi Lost Roses I am glad you are back and hope you are feeling better. I had the same problem with my outside lights. Every time some one in the house would turn on a hair dryer or the coffee maker, it would end up tripping the power in most of the house. I had to reduce the number of lights.

Cottage Magpie said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you've been sick, but I'm glad to hear that you're feeling better! Lovely photos!
~Angela :-)

Bev said...

What a great Santa Lost Roses! I'm so sorry you've been sick. Not something nice to happen this time of year. Hope you stay well now. The bluejay looks so great with the blue pot in the backgbround. How thoughtful of him to pose there. Take care!

Nickie said...

Lost roses, yup-- the yellow billed magpies only live in parts of CA. They are very comical birds. Unfortunatly the west nile virus has taken a HUGE toll on the magpies there and they are a lot rarer then they used to be. :(

Annie in Austin said...

And here I was imagining you on a winter vacation to a hacienda - sorry that it was something completely different, Lost Roses.

The decorated tree is pretty cool - now we know where Clark Griswold moved when he retired!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

KGMom said...

Tough time of year to be sick--I hope you are snapping back, albeit slowly.

jodi said...

Yes, please do feel better, Lost Roses...missed your cheery posts. I love your magpies (we don't have them here)...that black and white tuxedo look gets me every time (I adore penguins...and tuxedo cats...and galloway cattle, and black and white pinto horses...)
The picture of the squirrel caught in mid getaway is JUST PRICELESS!

Connie said...

Sorry to hear you have been sick...and glad you are feeling better!
You have quite a lot of activity going on in your yard...makes for good inexpensive entertainment, no?

Layanee at 'Ledge and Gardens' said...

Love your santa! I agree with Lisa, magpies! I've never seen a magpie and that is such a cool name! LOL at the lights tripping the breaker. I hope they have figured that out because they look so festive! Glad you are feeling better!

Salix Tree said...

How cute, the gardening Santa!
The last photo of the sky is eerily dramatic, those red clouds seem to have a heavy weight to them, don't they?

Zoey said...

Well, what a clever way to tie up a juniper!

I am so sorry to hear you were sick. I thought maybe you had gone on a little vacation.

That gardening Santa is adorable.

When will we get to see your tree?

Andrea's Garden said...

Sorry to hear you have been sick and hope you get to catch up on all the Christmas "things". Andrea

Bob said...

Happy Holidays to you and yours.
All the best, Bob

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Happy Holidays, Lost Roses!

I love your gardening santa, but I envy you your magpies even more. How much fun they must be to watch. :)

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

That is one cool gardening Santa, what a lucky find.

KC MO Garden Guy said...

Sorry to hear you weren't feeling well and sorry I have been to your blog in a long long time. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year.

Love the gardening Santa and the magpies. Never seen a magpie before.

All the best to you and yours for 2008. Cliff

Annie in Austin said...

Hi Lost Roses,

It's Annie again - just wanted to say hello and express my hope that you're on the mend now that 2008 has arrived.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Kerri said...

So sorry you were sick before Christmas..what a bummer, and do hope you're feeling much better now.
I haven't seen a magpie since I last visited Australia. They look a bit different to yours. How neat to have them. Yes, they're very intelligent, interesting birds.
You have plenty of wildlife to entertain you :)
I couldn't help but think of the Griswolds reading about the neighbors decorating your tree :) How nice of them to do that!
Wow, that sky is certainly dramatic!
Wishing you a blessed 2008!

Anonymous said...

i hope you are better now. there has been a lot of flu in our area too.
Hope to see you blogging soon.

Mary said...

Mary, WHERE ARE YOU? On vacation like last year in Mexico? I hope you are OK.

LostRoses said...

Mea culpa to all! I've been too lazy to blog and too busy at work to do anything but collapse when I get home. Thank you all for your greetings and good wishes for the New Year and I wish you the same!

Anonymous said...