Archives For Birds

Daring Spirit Hybrid Tea Rose is a beautiful new 2015 introduction from hybridizer Jackson & Perkins. It is very unique as now two blooms will ever be the same flaunting some of the most blooms you’ll ever see making it an absolute stand-out in any setting. This gorgeous hybrid tea sets 5-inch spice-scented blossoms comprised of 25 to 30 petals that display deep pink and cream stripes.

Image Source: http://www.allaboutrosegardening.com/Daring-Spirit-Rose.html

They all have different stripe patterns, some with wider or narrower pink or cream and different splashes of pink or cream.   The Daring Spirit Tea Rose  would reach a mature size of 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide, the plant itself is lovely even without its blooms. The healthy foliage starts out a gorgeous shade of burgundy before turning a semi-glossy dark green. This elegant rose has a moderate spicy fragrance and is hardy in zones 6-10b. This rose can be used as a garden rose, in a perennial bed mixed with other flowers or roses,  beds and borders, cut flower, garden, hedge or landscape.

Image Source: http://www.hgtvgardens.com/photo/daring-spirit-id-00000149-7b1a-d373-a169-ff3e92200000

This rose is available from the ff. online nurseries:

Jackson & Perkins – http://www.jacksonandperkins.com/daring-spirit-hybrid-tea/p/37295/

Houzz – http://www.houzz.com/photos/26154383/Daring-Spirit%E2%84%A2-Hybrid-Tea-traditional-outdoor-products-other-metro

 

 

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The Great Blue Heron

July 17, 2015

The Great Blue Heron is a large wading bird common near the shores of open water and in wetlands over most of North America and Central America as well as the Caribbean and the Galápagos Islands. It is the largest heron in North America possessing a large body with a slate-gray body, chestnut and black accents, and very long legs and neck. Great blue herons’ size (3.2 to 4.5 feet/1 to 1.4 meters) and wide wingspan (5.5 to 6.6 feet/1.7 to 2 meters) makes them a joy to see in flight.  It is often seen standing silently along inland rivers or lakeshores, or flying high overhead, with slow wing beats, its head hunched back onto its shoulders. It may move slowly, but Great Blue Herons can strike like lightning to grab a fish or snap up a gopher.  The Great Heron has blue-gray feathers on most of its body and a plume of feathers on its chest and back. It has a long, pointed yellow bill and long legs. Adults have white on the top of their heads and long black plumes above their eyes. There is also an all white version of the great blue heron, the great white heron that can be found in southern Florida.

Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Great_blue_heron_-_natures_pics.jpg

The Great Blue Heron forages mostly by standing still or walking very slowly in shallow water, waiting for fish to swim near then striking with rapid thrust of bill; they also forages on shore, from floating objects as well as in grasslands and will hunt by day or night. Their diet consists mostly of fish but they also frogs, salamanders, turtles, snakes, insects, rodents, birds. It has been seen stalking voles and gophers in fields, capturing rails at edge of marsh, eating many species of small water birds.

Image Source: http://curiousanimals.net/birds/who-is-who-great-blue-herons/

Image Source: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=88520&picture=great-blue-heron

This bird breeds in colonies often with its own species. The male chooses the nest site and displays there to attract mate. It would stretch its neck up with bill pointing skyward, flying in circles above colony with neck extended, stretching neck forward with head and neck feathers erected and then snapping bill shut. The nest is built by the female with the male gathering the materials. Incubation of eggs produced about 3-5 sometimes 2-7 is done by both sexes. The young will be fed by both parents by regurgitation.

Herons are not your typical backyard visitors but they can sometimes be seen visiting backyards with fish ponds. To protect your fishes from feeding herons, place a long drain pipe for your fishes to hide in.

Kutani_Crane_Broken_China_Jewelry


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“I live at the coast and see these wonderful birds every day =)”.  Adora N.

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Alcea also known as Hollyhock is a genus of flowering plants native to Europe and Asia. Hollyhocks are annual, biennial, or perennial plants usually taking an erect, unbranched form. The flower stalks  on hollyhocks can reach heights of 9 feet tall and can tower above a garden, adding a  lovely vertical element to your garden. The flowers of hollyhocks may be solitary or arranged in fascicles or racemes. The notched petals are usually over three centimeters wide and may be pink, white, purple, or yellow.  Gardeners enjoy growing hollyhocks in borders against walls and fences where their spectacular flowers stand tall above all else.

Hollyhocks need full sun and moist, rich, well drained soil something that novice gardeners made a mistake of when they planted hollyhocks in a soil that is a bit dry. Prior to the start of planting prepare the area by working in plenty of organic matter such as compost or aged animal manure into the garden. This step is essential to improve the condition of the soil by improving the drainage and increasing its ability to hold water and nutrients.

Hollyhock

Next step is to sow the seeds just beneath the soil 1-2 weeks before last frost. In 10-14 days the seeds will germinate, after that thin to 18-36 inches apart after seedlings have sprouted. During dry conditions water as needed to ensure flowers keep blooming. To obtain bigger bolder blooms add organic flower fertilizer every couple of weeks. Cut stalks to the ground when the flowers fade.

Bear in mind that hollyhocks are susceptible to fungal diseases, such as anthracnose, rust and powdery mildew, which can disfigure the leaves under severe infestations. Avoid overhead watering whenever possible, properly space plants to improve air circulation and apply copper or sulfur spray to prevent further infection.

 

Image Source: http://saratogawoodswaters.blogspot.com/2010/06/hollyhock-memories.html

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“I love these birds, they are just like the ones in my back yard.” ~ Annita L.

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In a world of decreasing garden space, living garden walls are becoming popular world wide as way of increasing our green space. They can be indoors or out, in small courtyards, replace art work or make a grand statement, they are versatile and irresistible.

Data Source: http://www.earthandwater.com.au/content/page/living-garden-walls.html

Image Source: http://www.thegreenhead.com/2009/03/living-wall-planter-large-vertical-garden.php

Image Source: http://www.earthandwater.com.au/content/page/living-garden-walls.html

 

Broken China Boehm Blue Hen Chicken & Peach Blossom Flower (Delaware) Sterling Circle Pendant

 

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“I love my new jewelry, my daughter found this unique jewelry and I just love it. ” ~ Alexis M.

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The Common Starling

May 20, 2015

Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds in the family Sturnidae. The name “Sturnidae” comes from the Latin word for starling, sturnus. Many Asian species, particularly the larger ones, are called mynas, and many African species are known as glossy starlings because of their iridescent plumage. Starlings are native to the Old World, from Europe, Asia and Africa, to northern Australia and the islands of the tropical Pacific. Several European and Asian species have been introduced to these areas as well as North America, Hawaii and New Zealand, where they generally compete for habitat with native birds and are considered to be invasive species. The starling species familiar to most people in Europe and North America is the common starling, and throughout much of Asia and the Pacific the common myna is indeed common.

Data Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starling

Image Source: http://10000birds.com/american-trash-bird.htm

 

Starlings have strong feet, their flight is strong and direct, and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country, and they eat insects and fruit. Several species live around human habitation, and are effectively omnivores. Many species search for prey such as grubs by “open-bill probing”, that is, forcefully opening the bill after inserting it into a crevice, thus expanding the hole and exposing the prey.

Plumage of many species is typically dark with a metallic sheen. Most species nest in holes, laying blue or white eggs.

Starlings have diverse and complex vocalizations, and have been known to embed sounds from their surroundings into their own calls, including car alarms and human speech patterns. The birds can recognize particular individuals by their calls, and are currently the subject of research into the evolution of human language.

 

Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/marc-vogel/5195155568/

 

Image Source: http://www.wired.com/2011/11/starling-flock/

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The grey falcon (Falco hypoleucos) is a rare medium-sized falcon, one of the enigmatic ‘mystery’ birds of Australia, neither easily nor predictably seen. Recent studies however have contributed to the gathering of further information on this elusive bird of prey.

One of the reasons behind this lack of information could be the difficulty in identifying a grey falcon while in the field. Schoenjahn (2010) has identified other species of birds which are often mistaken for a grey falcon such as the; brown falcon (Falco berigora), grey goshawk (Accipiter novaehollandiae), adult collared sparrow hawk (Accipiter cirrhocephalus), brown goshawk (Accipiter fasciatus) and the black-shouldered kite (Elanus axillaris).

The grey falcon is an Australian endemic, usually confined to the arid inland. Open country: Triodia grassland, Acacia shrub land, and lightly timbered arid woodland. They have been sighted over most of mainland Australia except for Cape York. Very few have been seen on the Nullarbor Plain and in the Great Victoria, Gibson and Great Sandy Deserts. Most sightings of the grey falcon have been within the arid zones, with rainfall less than 20 inches.

Data Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey_falcon

Grey Falcon (1) - Christopher Watson.jpg

Image Source: http://www.raptor.org.au/fhypoleucos.html

Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tonymorris/2099169358/

 

Broken China Jewelry Wedgwood Birds of Prey Peregrine Falcon Sterling Pendant

 

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Beautiful Sea Shells

May 18, 2015

How are seashells created?

Francis Horne, a biologist who studies shell formation at Texas State University, offers this answer.

The exoskeletons of snails and clams, or their shells in common parlance, differ from the endoskeletons of turtles in several ways. Seashells are the exoskeletons of mollusks such as snails, clams, oysters and many others. Such shells have three distinct layers and are composed mostly of calcium carbonate with only a small quantity of protein–no more than 2 percent. These shells, unlike typical animal structures, are not made up of cells. Mantle tissue that is located under and in contact with the shell secretes proteins and mineral extracellularly to form the shell. Think of laying down steel (protein) and pouring concrete (mineral) over it. Thus, seashells grow from the bottom up, or by adding material at the margins. Since their exoskeleton is not shed, molluscan shells must enlarge to accommodate body growth. This pattern of growth results in three distinct shell layers: an outer proteinaceous periosteum (uncalcified), a prismatic layer (calcified) and an inner pearly layer of nacre (calcified).

Data Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-are-seashells-created/

Image Source: http://www.thephotoargus.com/inspiration/shells-are-swell-beautiful-examples-of-seashell-photography/

 

Image Source: http://i2.wp.com/www.sycmu.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/579608_468104876576565_1521840411_n.jpg

 

Broken China Jewelry Seahorse Sea Horse Nautical Ocean Pendant

 

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Beautiful Birdhouses

May 11, 2015

Have you ever wanted to build a bird house?  Take a look at these bird house marvels, some are simple, some are complex, but all are beautiful.

Everyone needs a place to live, even the birds, so they might as well have a fun and interesting house to live in!

 

Image Source: http://adcustoms.com/gallery-of-replicas/

Image Source: http://www.bitrebels.com/design/beautiful-birdhouses-created-from-trash/

 

 

Broken China Jewelry Wedgwood Birds of Prey Buzzard Hawk Sterling PendantBroken China Jewelry American Goldfinch Garden Bird Sterling Oval Pendant

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Do you have an old bird cage at your house?   Can’t think of anything to do with it?  =)  Well, maybe it’s time to re-purpose it into a lovely garden or planter!

Some of these are very easy to make, just paint your cage the desired color and decorate with flowers and plants.   Most bird cages are perfect because they are able to hold peat moss and dirt as a base, yet let excess water seep through.  A side benefit is that your bird cage garden can keep out the birds if you don’t want them in there.

Good luck in making your own little garden!

Click here for more bird posts: http://vbelleblog.com/?s=bird

Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/explore/birdcage-planter/

Image Source: http://rc.videxist.com/tag/how-to-keep-birds-out-of-garden

Image Source: http://www.homesteadgreenhouse.com/whats-new/

Broken China Jewelry American Goldfinch Garden Bird Sterling Oval Pendant

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Kingfishers

May 2, 2015

Kingfishers are a group of small to medium-sized brightly colored birds in the order Coraciiformes. They are small unmistakable bright blue and orange birds of slow moving or still water.  They have a cosmopolitan distribution, with most species found outside of the Americas. The group is treated either as a single family, Alcedinidae, or as a suborder Alcedines containing three families, Alcedinidae (river kingfishers), Halcyonidae (tree kingfishers), and Cerylidae (water kingfishers). The smallest species of kingfisher is the African dwarf kingfisher which has an average weight of 0.37 ounces (10.4 grams) and measures 4 inches. The largest overall is the giant kingfisher which has an average weight of 12.5 ounces (355 grams) and measures 18 inches. Most kingfishers have a bright plumage with green and blue being the most common colors. The brightness of the colors is caused by the structure of the feathers which causes scattering of blue light called the Tyndall effect. In most species there are no differences between the sexes when there are they are quite small.

 

Image Source: http://animal-dream.com/data_images/kingfisher/kingfisher8.jpg

 

The kingfishers have a long, dagger-like bill. The bill is usually longer and more compressed in species that hunt fish, and shorter and more broad in species that hunt prey off the ground. Kingfishers live both in wetlands and woodlands worldwide, feeding mainly on fish but also insects, frogs and crayfish with those kingfisher species that live in the woodlands occasionally eating reptiles, birds and even small mammals. They tend to nest in tree hollows and holes dug into the ground, which tend to be in river banks or at the sides of lakes. Kingfishers dig small tunnels with their nest at the end, which can range in length depending on the species. The giant kingfisher is known to dig tunnels that are over 25 feet (8 meters) long! Female kingfishers lay up to 10 eggs and both male and female help to incubate the eggs which will then hatch in between 3 and 4 weeks.

Living in many places around the world, their main habitats are throughout the world’s tropics and temperate regions. They are absent from the polar regions and some of the world’s driest deserts but can thrive through short cold periods (as seen below in the snow and ice pictures).  They feed on a wide variety of items and are most famous for hunting and eating fish, and some species do specialize in catching fish but other species of kingfishers eat all sorts of insects. They are generally shy birds but they feature quite heavily in human culture and due to their generally small size, they have numerous predators wherever they exist around the world including foxes, raccoons, cats and snakes as well as other small mammals and large birds.

Image Source: http://alistairpott.com/blog/2009/05/20/amazing-photo-of-kingfisher-diving/

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“strikingly beautiful” ~ Peg

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