Rain on our Rally !!

Little lake near my T@B

Little lake near a T@BBig lake in front of neighbor's T@B

Little lake near a T@B

Little lake near a T@B

Big lake near a T@B

Little lake near a T@B

Big lake near a T@B

Big lake near the T@BsIt rained all day!! I stayed in my T@B until the potluck supper at 6 o’clock. I took these pictures to, and from, the recreation room.  ~~  I have more pictures (earlier events) that I will post when I have time.  ~~  Forty cute little trailers; about eighty “happy campers.”  Sadly, the weather put a damper on our activities.

Blue Ridge T@B Rally

T@B tiny travel trailer.I’m en route to the annual Blue Ridge T@B Rally at Big Meadow Family Campground in Townsend, Tennessee.  ~~  On the schedule: A hayride to Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Also a group visit to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge.  Last I heard, over forty of these cute little trailers will be at the Rally.  Most T@B teardrop trailers have two occupants; a few singles.  I speculate there will be about seventy attendees.  Fine fellowship!!  Lots of fun!!

One-track mind ?!


Feeding frenzy(Sunday, 2:30 PM) I posted that same first picture on April 16th. By necessity, I went to my favorite bird supply store for more Finch food. I added two more “socks” so a total of four “Finch feeders.” The birds act like they are terribly hungry!! I can’t count the number of birds on the feeders–and on the patio eating the seed that falls from the feeders.  I refill the feeders every day!! I labeled them “Finch” in the earlier picture but someone said “no, not Finch.”  And they aren’t exclusively in my yard because I’m generous with feed; they are in neighboring yards on feeders with the usual wild bird seed.

You’ve heard me say “Enquiring [sic] minds want to know.”  The animals know about an earthquake before it happens (and similar events).  What are the birds sensing??  Why are they frantic for food??
Numerous birds
I’m a novice at bird watching (and backyard gardening). Perhaps the behavior is not unusual. I haven’t seen this many birds in my yard previously.

(“Yes, the grass needs mowing!!”  I do almost all my own maintenance and yard work. The job of mowing, and using the “weed eater,” is another’s responsibility.  My lawn is extremely unattractive!!)
Four feeders
Postscript, 4:00 PM: I just refilled… and emptied the $12.  five-pound bag of Nyjer seed and fine sunflower chips.  In less than two days, going, going, gone.

Red-tailed Hawks

(12:30 PM) I’m trying to get things done so I can leave tomorrow (Monday) en route to a T@B teardrop trailer rally–in Townsend, Tennessee.  However, I’m having a difficult time tearing myself away from the live broadcast regarding the hatching of a Red-tailed Hawk.  Maybe later this year I will set up a camera in my Bluebird house.  (But not a streaming, live broadcast.) As far as I can tell, no baby Bluebirds in the nest yet.  The nest is so deep, I can’t see the eggs.  I’m thinking–when they hatch–the babies will be at the top…eager for food from their parents.

Postscript, Monday, April 22nd, 12 noon: Did you see the adorable little babies??

Jerusalem Artichoke

Jerusalem Artichoke

As an experiment, I started a Jerusalem Artichoke.  I’ve read that they can be “invasive” so I planted one  tuber (about the size of my fist) in this blue plastic container.  I want to evaluate the merit of having this flowering plant in the large area adjacent to the parking lot.  It would be inconsiderate (of me) to plant in a community garden area and have it “take over.”  I found the article, from Mother Earth News, to be very informative.  ~~  I purchased the metal “container” (for want of a better description) from Goodwill and thought it a satisfactory support for tender shoots (that require support).  Later, if needed, I’ll provide a taller trellis.

Believe it or not, I passed up buying two large planters (today) at Goodwill.  They were (are) large cement pedestal urns for $5. each.  A very good buy because those sell for over $40. at Garden Ridge.  But I had to question whether I need any more planters.  These were (are) very heavy and I have tried to avoid having planters too heavy for me to lift.  Correct me if I am wrong, I think the metal container is used to carry tennis balls. (Yes, for tennis balls; I checked the Internet.)

Postscript, Thurs. April 18, 2013, 2:00 PM: This morning, the Jerusalem Artichoke displayed five or six shoots.  Nothing yesterday!!  This beautiful warm weather has prompted plants to miraculously “spring forth.”

Procrastinator ?!

HallelujahI am!!  Are you??  I have filed my Income Taxes late for several years (I’d get an extension).  I promised myself I would not procrastinate this year.  Guess what?  I started the process–with Turbo Tax software–at 9:00 AM today.  Everything was e-filed at 1:40 PM.  Hallelujah!!  I really, really thought I had everything organized but found myself searching for information on bank statements, and going to Map Quest for mileage (to my holistic medical doctor in Wilkesboro, NC).  I have a headache; my neck and shoulders are throbbing with pain!!  ~~  My sage advice for you: “Don’t get old; don’t get sick!!”  (Don’t have kids, and grandkids, that break your heart!!) Honestly, I despise the fact that it takes me so much longer to accomplish routine tasks.  I resent the fact that I have been sick for so many months!!  (Sixty-three visits to the chiropractor last year.)  On a brighter note: If I had not been an advocate of holistic health (for over thirty years), would I have been much sicker–less healthy??

For several days, I intended to work on  Income Taxes on Saturday (yesterday) but found myself in the front and/or back yard all day.  It was a spectacularly beautiful Spring day and I discovered project after project to work on.  I accomplished one procrastinated task: A haircut (at 5:30 PM).  I really, really needed that haircut before my trip to Florida in late February!! With two items off my list, I can focus on getting ready for the annual Blue Ridge Rally of T@B trailers, in Townsend, Tennessee, April 23rd-28th.  As much as I love my T@B trailer, and as much as I love traveling, I am worried about feed for my Bluebirds.  “Mama Blue” is on the nest and soon will be feeding baby Bluebirds. They need the mealworms I’ve generously provided. The Hummingbirds are here and the nectar should be changed every several days.  I hate to impose on a neighbor to water my many, many plants, and feed the birds!!!

It’s 4:10 PM and I have been at my computer since 9:00 AM.  Ibuprofen hasn’t helped my headache.  A long skinny “health pack” filled with buckwheat, heated in the microwave, wrapped around my neck and shoulders, hasn’t alleviated the discomfort.  Time to move around and get some exercise.  No, I won’t start a project in the yard.

H-A-L-L-E-L-U-J-A-H-!! I’m getting a sizeable Federal refund and I don’t have to pay North Carolina taxes.  Last year  (woe is me) I had a BIG (really BIG penalty) for filing North Carolina late!!

Speaking of Bluebirds

Mama Blue with mealworm

Mama Blue

Diving for mealworms

Papa Blue

Close up of Papa Blue

Mama Blue

Bluebird in Red Bud tree

For me, a great stress reliever is “bird watching.” I took my headache (Income Tax prep headache) and a sandwich to the patio. I supplied live Mealworms for the Bluebirds. I tried to stand as still as a statue so I could get some good pictures. These aren’t “professional” (pictures) but photography and bird watching are (IMHO) “good medicine.”  ~~  Click on each picture to enlarge for better viewing.

Garden of “Eat-in” !!


Ideal location for the trellis.





Squirrel eating whole peanut.




Squirrel on pink feeder.

Squirrel struggling for a whole peanut.

Squirrels on feeder.





“Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina in the morning.” A morning after a refreshing rain (1 & 1/4 inches) that cleared the air of pollen.  (Everything has been covered with a heavy “blanket” of yellow pollen!!)  I sat on my patio and watched the birds come and go.  The squirrels were (almost) at my feet to get the whole peanuts.  There was a Hummingbird at the red feeder a second earlier but I failed to get it in the picture.  ~~  No demands on me this morning: No chiropractor appointment. I do not have to work this afternoon. I can enjoy my Garden of Eden or, as the critters might say, “garden of eat-in.”

Postscript: I’ve spent over a year developing my yard hoping to attract Hummingbirds and Bluebirds.  Praise the Lord, to my delight, I have both!!  

Create your own “air bottom” !!

Create your own "air bottom."

"Air bottom" in planter.

Air bottom for large planter.

Divided snack tray after holes were drilled.



I purchased–and used–two professionally prepared enhancements for the bottom of my large planters. My name for them: “air bottoms.” I purchased “on sale, half price” but resented the $4. price. So I started making my own from plastic bowls and trays. I’ve found Goodwill a good place to find “candidates” for this project. ~~  I save in one area to offset the expense of mealworms, black oil sunflower seeds, wild bird seed, squirrel foodetc.!!  ~~  FYI: Since I learned the merits of these inserts, I no longer use river rock in the bottom of the planters.  (I gave away about forty pounds of river rock.)