Monday, March 23, 2009

My World: For the Birds and Butterflies

Mourning dove and mesquite 3-19-09 by Kathie w/Nikon D80

My World is a world of birds and backyard landscaping. We started buying plants last weekend. We planted late in the evening on Sunday. It was dark by the time we finished and we fell into bed exhausted, but by 4 a.m. Monday morning we were wide awake waiting for the sun to rise so we could see out new plants. All week long we continued to plant and this weekend we added some more. Once again it is late in the afternoon on Sunday before we return from the nursery and get started on planting once again. Once again it is dark by the time we finish, and we will have to wait for dawn.

Morning haze on Mt. Fagan 3-23-09 by Kathie w/Nikon D80

This morning we are awakened by the sounds of construction across the wash. A cool breeze wafts through the open door along with the noise. I roll my stiff body out of bed and pad over to close the door against them both. The outdoor thermometer registers 46 degrees. The temperature has dropped significantly from the high of 86 yesterday. I glance through the curtains at all my happy plants out in the yard. I need to dress and go outside and welcome them to their new home.

A white haze sends diffuse light across the slopes of Mt. Fagan. In the mesquite trees the birds are singing amidst the lime-colored and feathery new leaves. The new leaves will darken to a soft green-gray as they mature providing shade and shelter to the many birds that visit my yard.

One Favorite View 3-19-09 by Kathie w/Nikon D80

In the corner under the mesquite tree we have planted a Cherri Berri Pyracantha to provide food and shelter for the birds as well as winter interest for us. Right now the small viny shrub is putting out clusters of tiny white blossoms. After pollination they will develop bright red berries loved by birds. If the birds don't eat them all, we will have clusters of the bright red berries set against the evergreen leaves deep in the heart of winter, when the mesquite tree is naked and scratching the winter sky with its thorny branches. It will be a restful place for my eyes when all else is brown.

Orange blossoms by Kathiesbirds 3-19-09

Of course, I have yet to learn what will be in bloom or not in winter with all these new plants. The orange tree is still perfuming my yard with its blossoms, and I see some tiny green swellings in the middle of the petals. Are these the baby oranges? I think so!

Dark Blue Plumbago by Kathiesbirds 3-19-09

We have filled the planting beds with flowers to brighten out day and attract butterflies. Blue Plumbago is planted in the corner of the hill to climb the wall and cascade down the slope behind the Palo Verde tree.

Mr. Quail keeps watch from the fence on a daily basis.

In the backyard the Lady Banks roses climb the wall. We've bought and installed trellises since this photo was taken.

Our newest addition is a pomegranate tree. We've planted it in the corner by the gate. As it grows it will drape over the wall and provide beauty, privacy and fruit.

Already the tips of its branches are reaching for the sky. How long will it take for it to grow and fill this space?

We've also planted asclepia curassavica to attract the butterflies. We only bought one of these plants, but as I look at it in the light of day, I am liking it so much I think I will buy another. The plant, commonly called butterfly weed, will provide food and shelter for butterfly eggs and caterpillars and nectar for adult butterflies.

I always think that plants are happy to get their "feet" in the ground. To me, mine seem to be positively beaming, while across the wash the construction continues to eat away at my view. Well, we are solving that problem by creating a new view right here in our own backyard, A view for the Birds, the Butterflies and us.

Mesquite Tree and Blanket Flowers 3-23-09 by Kathiesbirds

What we have planted in this past week:
  1. Butterfly Weed Asclepia curassavica
  2. Blanket Flower gaillardia x graniflora 'Arizona Sun'
  3. Purezza Lady Banks Rose "The Pearl"
  4. Blue Bouquet Passion flower (vine)
  5. Purple leaf Japanese Honeysuckle lonicera japonica 'pupurea' (vine)
  6. Pink Jasmine jasminum polyathum (vine)
  7. Bougainvilla (vine)
  8. Cherri Berri Pyracantha (vine)
  9. Heavenly Bamboo nandina domestica 'Gulf Stream'
  10. Dark Blue Plumbago
  11. Lavender Spice poliomintha maderensis
  12. Sago Palm cycas revoluta
  13. Cape Honeysuckle tecomaria capensis
  14. Pomegrante Tree 'wonderful'
  15. Butterfly iris, aka Fortnight Lilly dietes bicolor
  16. Pincusion flower scabiosa columbaria
  17. Tangerine ice plant lampranthus ambiguous 'orange'
  18. Dew drop ice plant
  19. Butterfly iris morea
  20. Blue Lily of the Nile agapanthus orientalis
  21. Whirling Butterflies or Wand Flower guara lindheimeri 'white'
  22. Salvia greggii 'lipstick'
  23. Dwarf Valencia Orange Tree (planted March 7, 2009)
  24. Desert Museum Palo Verde (April 2008)
  25. Velvet Mesquite Tree (May 2007)

Photographer's Note: All of today's photos were taken by Kathiesbirds with the Nikon D80 over the course of the past week.

Please click on the button at the top or this link to see more views of MY WORLD Tuesday.

Thanks My World Team!

Addendum: It's 2:00 P.M. MST time with temperature 62 degree F under hazy skies with light wind. I saw my first butterfly in the yard when I went outside for lunch. I didn't have my camera with me and I don't know what kind is was, Doug, but I'll try to get a photo if it comes back!


Celeste said...

Wow you've been busy Kathie, that is a long plant list! I can't wait to watch your garden fill out its new space over the coming months and doubtless you will have lots of wonderful avian visitors to photograph too - I look forward to it.

kayleen said...

What a lovely haven you are creating. Mr. Quail looks like he approves. Looking forward to see more photos as the plants mature.

Trish ~ ♥ ~ said...

I can't wait til our weather warms enough to do some planting. What an awesome quail.

Anonymous said...

You've been very busy I see.

Oh I love that capture of Mr. Quail.

SandyCarlson said...

I am always inspired by the rich and vibrant life you have in your part of the world. So rich!

Shelley said...

I love the beautiful haven you have created in your yard! And Mr. Quail makes a fine visitor!!

Anonymous said...

Its all going to look pretty fantastic once matured Kathie.

Sylvia K said...

You have been busy! And how beautiful it is! I know the birds must love it! The shots of your plants/flowers are beautiful! Look forward to seeing more pics as they grow! Thanks for sharing!

DeniseinVA said...

I hope you'll take lots of photos to show us as your new plants grow Kathie. It all sounds delightful. Great post as always.

Gaelyn said...

All those plants you will surely have more birds and butterflies than you can capture with your camera. But please try. I like the Pyracantha for hedge. That new house sure is going up quick.
Wonderful post. Look forward to seeing more blooms.

Arija said...

Kathie, what a lot of planting you have done! With water, the Pommegranate will fill that cornerr in a coup;e of years, but it is deciduous. If your Orange tree is young, one to two years old, don't let it set fruit. Enjoy the flowers but pick off the little green fruits for the first year at least to help it establish itself. In the second year you can leave one or two. Young citrus trees need their fruit thinned not to excaust their growth. Just like over exhuberant teenagers. Your garden is looking lovely and is fast becoming a haven for birds of all kinds.

Kim said...

Wow, you have been busy I see. I am so envious you already have your hummingbird feeders up. I still have to wait a few more weeks!

Ruth said...

I hope your garden grows quickly and attracts all kinds of birds and butterflies. I am starting to remember why I always used to visit my mother and father in Mexico in March! A lovely time of year for sure.

Mary said...

Looks like you are creating a beautiful view and habitat for the creatures out there. Your work will pay off when you get to sit there and enjoy it!

betty-NZ said...

You do indeed make a fine team! Wonderful pictures. Thanks for sharing.

The Good Life in Virginia said...

loved your post and yes you have been busy planting...and you and the birds will be happy when everything matures.
the bird shots perfect...the quail and dove :)

have a good week

Anonymous said...

I bet the birds will be happy with your plant choices too. It was nice meeting your quail.

Glennis said...

So lovely to have the birds so close. Your garden looks lovely and I would love to sniff the orange blossom flowers.

Marites said...

That is some nice place you got there. I've always wanted a garden of our own and seeing yours taking shape is really envying. I am sure the birds and the butterflies will be happy to visit you always.

My World is here