The Sound of Birds Stopping By…..

Construction of birdhouses and bird feeders can be as simple or as complex as you wish to make it. Bird feeders can look like tiny bungalows, wooden A-frames or miniature chalets. Bird houses need no ornamentation to serve the birds using them, but an attractive design can enhance a yard. Thus, the custom built bird feeders are for the person filling them not for the birds.

My neighbor has two wood salad bowls with a wooden rod through the center. The house across the street has a large glass hanging feeder.  

A feeder could be attached to any window.   It will bring the  bird up  close for an exciting view.   The tube bird feeder,  found in any variety store,  could be fun.   One neighbor has a  bird feeder  made from old car license plates.

My  nephew  made an egg carton bird feeder in school. My Aunt Hilda has bird houses made out of gourds hanging off of her porch. My grandmother has a rustic barn creation bird feeder that has painted on the top, “See Rock City.”

Building a bird house can be purely practical or absolutely outrageous.   In   Greenwood  I have found bird house  and  feeders built to resemble a  gazebo,  a church,  a log cabin,  a totem-like housing complex,  a pagoda,  a school house,  even a little outhouse!    It was a one-holer of a different sort.

Would the blue jays, sparrows, starlings or finches that visit the feeder in my yard be more excited if I had a little deck for the feathered guests to stand on? I think not.

Bird feeder and houses are designed to bring pleasure for you and benefit our feathered friends. Where is it written that I have to build a fanciful birdhouse? It doesn’t seem to matter to the birds.

Mix together my plain and simple looking bird feeder with bird seed and it looks like a scene from the movie  The Birds  in the back yard.  Works for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Mother Nature Has Done Her Best

Don’t put away those snow shovels, heavy coats and gloves just yet.   Better double check that bag of salt for the sidewalk too.

Mother Nature has done her best, teasing us that spring is right around the corner. The daffodils have jumped up out of the long silent lawn. Within a few days the tulips should pop up to say hello. Yet, you can bet there is plenty of a snow, ice and below-freezing temperature waiting to grab our attention.

The old saying about Indiana, “If you don’t like the weather, stick around another five minutes and it will change,” rings true. Less than a week ago registration was taken for the men’s and women’s softball leagues. Will they have to clear home plate of any snow?

Last Saturday, folks ignored the occasional raindrops to enjoy the first few days of comfortable weather. My brother-in-law, who supposedly is a winter couch potato, could be found on the golf course. Who can tell what winter will be like in March?

It is nice to see the garden shops around town preparing for their openings. Walmart is getting their patio display in order on their side parking lot.   More than one produce stand is setting greenhouse items. With the promise of warm days not too far away, we will be able to plant that garden!

Remember if you do not like Indiana weather; give it a day or two. Within days of the last snow this month, there were customers in Walmart wearing t-shirts and shorts.

Definitely, the warmer temperatures forecast for the next week is a welcome diversion from ice, snow and freezing temperatures. Yet it means only one thing—potholes.   And plenty of them.

 

 

 

 

Yard Sale . . . . Buy Our Stuff . . .

jixjKMxiE

 

In spite of the recent rain and temperatures, yard sales flourish. “One man’s trash is another one’s treasure,” is a prime definition of the yard sales held each spring. On any given weekend from about May to August, signs will appear all over town for yard sales or garage sales.

These  sales offer people a prerogative  to make a little extra cash  as  well as clean out their garages  or  attics.   For people on a fixed income,  yard sales offer an  opportunity for added cash flow.  If you are looking for a hard to find item,   when you spot a yard sale sign,   pull over,   you just might find it at a  bargain price.

My sister-in-law always brags of the great savings she finds at area sales, so I spent last Saturday going from garage sale to yard sales. From that I decided on two important factors of yard/garage sales: one is to wear comfortable shoes and two is to be prepared to see people’s useless items. A yard sale could be defined: I purchase things they no longer want, go home, and put them in my garage with things I thought I needed.

She tells me,   “You will always find a little something.”   She mentions that more than one housing addition has community yard sales.   You simply park your car at one end of the development  and  only return  when your packages  wear you down.

Don’t be surprised to see crafts, lamps, tools, boats, lawn mowers, even refrigerators in the yard. Bicycles, microwaves, high chairs, pots and pans, a fire place, even a Christmas tree, all going for a cheap price in the front yard.

With the wide variety of clothes, toys, furniture, and dishes offered for sale, you might stumble upon just the thing you’ve been looking for. Sometimes you find something you didn’t even know you wanted until you spotted it in a front yard of a house with a sign “Yard Sale.”

I found a bowling pin for less than a dollar that my nephew can use as a door stop in his room. After a year he will tire of it and then it will be time to have a garage sale of my own and recover my money. Who wants to buy a bowling pin next spring?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April Spring Showers !

tomato-plant

Last week the temperature was 62 degrees outside, today we are faced with rain.  Students have given up hopes of missed school days because of the weather. The best offered was getting to sleep in for two extra hours before going to school because of fog.    

On St. Patrick’s Day, one man in Colonial Springs was busy cooking supper on the outside grill.  Two streets over a man was out on his riding lawn mower. 

El Niño has been good to Indiana.

April showers can be expected soon.  Let’s hope we do NOT have a repeat of the April storm of a few years past.  The storm warnings came over the television then the icefalls were falling from the sky.  The hail hit with the force of angry rocks.  I kept waiting for my windows to shatter.  The hail bounced off the street, splashed in the back yard and batter my roof until I felt like I was inside a tin-can target at a shotgun practice. 

The bombardment stopped, moving on to a different city after fifteen minutes.  Neighbors came outdoors to talk and check on the damage.  The car hood looked pitted as though someone had taken a baseball bat to it.  The roof of the house would carry evidence of the storm that would be soon fixed by insurance leaving the pings imprinted by the hail just a memory.

My husband called from work in Columbus.  He was asking about his new garden tomatoes.  He heard we might be getting some rain with a bit of wind.  Well you can kiss those tomato plants goodbye.   

Today we have a slight rain shower but we can’t trust Mother Nature.   While the now famous weather phenomenon has brought an unusually pleasant winter to Indiana, we could still get two to four inches of snow.

Remember this is Indiana.  The bad weather isn’t over until AFTER the boys high school basketball tourneys. 

 

 

 

Return of the Snowbirds

 

imagesMy Aunt Sharon and Uncle Steven should return to Greenwood soon.  They are the family snowbirds. Just like our feathered friends, with the first signs of spring, they return.

“Snowbirds,” just like many actual birds, leave Indiana for the winter, but come back home in the spring.

Aunt Sharon and Uncle Steven have spent the winter in Lake Havasu, Arizona.  They have made friends in Arizona yet they always return to Indiana in the spring.

My husband never fails to mention them when he is out shoveling snow or scraping the ice on the car windows.  Uncle Steven also manages to call late night when it is bitter cold here – just to mention that he has his windows open and is enjoying the evening air.

Some people call them lucky.  These individuals who can migrate away from the cold.  They never have to put their summer clothes away, or purchase a new winter coat.  They never have to worry about which boots to wear just to go to the mailbox.  They spend the winter working on their tan.

By spending the winters in the warmer climate, snowbirds don’t have to deal with icy roads, shoveling their walks, falling on the ice and all of the other winter hazards.

They have a good reason for coming back – it’s home!  If they had to call any one place in the world home, Indiana would be it.  They have their home here and their family.

The neighbors and family watch the house for them.  Snowbirds aren’t just sunny day friends.  They do miss Indiana, but not quite enough to brave the cold and snow.

Basically,  they  escape from  the  hard cold  during the winter  and  it is beautiful  in Arizona.

Within a few weeks you can see the snowbirds flying (or driving) back to Indiana.  You can be sure winter is out of view.  Gone but not forgotten.

 

 

 

 

 

The Misshapen Snowman

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-melting-snowman-image9815397

Ah . . the first snowfall of winter.  There was something magical about it, just as there was when you were a kid.  It was wonderful at first to see the snowfall but all right, we’ve had enough already!

This is the season of the misshapen snowman.  The fluctuating of temperatures provided both the perfect setting for snowman-building, and a factor of its inevitable thaw.  These snow sculptures stand tall for their public, hard packed and solid.  Then the heat of the sun – turns them bleak and frail. 

At first, my nephew’s snowman had that rundown look, a tad unrecognizable.  Looking in the yard now you would question: What could that clump of snow be?  Was it an occasional heap of winter rubble?  Now it is mixed with leaves, and dirt.  It takes a second glance to know this shapeless statue was once a snowman. 

Finally the snowman is a non descriptive icon of snow.  In fact, it look as if it was near a microwave  —  nuked.

There was a precious persona even in its disintegration.  In the snowman’s short life,  my nephew built a monument to  the winter blahs,  for however long or short it was.

 

 

 

Winter in Indiana. Deal with it.

flo

Less than a month ago my neighbor fired up his backyard barbecue.                   My husband rode around town on his motorcycle.  Our jackets were hung in the closet and we never once thought of getting even a sweater. 

Yet it looks like cold weather and snow might stick around for a while.

It is winter time.  Yes, we have snow and ice.  After all, this is Indiana.  If you want warmer weather day after day visit Hawaii.

Weather is the topic at the shopping malls, restaurants, even grocery stores.  You can’t go anyplace that weather isn’t the center of conversation.  True, I am as guilty as anyone else.

Aren’t we Hoosiers?  We should expect it.  If you listen to some people, you’d believe it was something new.  If you have switched from “heat” to “A/C” in the same day and back again, you may live in Indiana. 

Perhaps a mild winter can spoil us.   My mother recalls “old-fashioned” winters, when  the days  and  nights  were  cold, with  ferocious  winds day  after  day  for weeks.

The combined lack of sunshine with below average temperatures will amount to a formula for feeling under the weather.  Thus, everyone will talk about the weather.  Although some welcome any postponement of hot, humid Indiana summer, others foresee a more ominous forecast for area temperatures. 

Each person you meet on the street has an opinion about the weather and they will tell you.

Get with the program people, this is Indiana weather! 

Indiana High School Basketball sectional time is nearing and some of the worst winter snowstorms have struck during this time period.  The snow may close schools, stop work and halt traffic.  You can bet the basketball sectionals will be played as scheduled.

It is winter in Indiana.  Deal with it.