Ah, I am looking forward to another one of my favorite months: May! It is a sea of green here in east Tennessee right now, and folks are tending to their landscaping and gardens. As I noted in an earlier post, our little landscaping improvement project finally wrapped up. Yes indeed, I’ll be taking some pictures and sharing with you the changes that we made. Though the project took the contractor much longer than we had planned, we’re happy with the final results. We like the new hardscapes so much, we are considering adding a block retaining border/wall on the left side of the house too. We asked a different contractor to prepare a bid for that possible improvement. In any event, we can now dress up the flowerbed area around the mailbox!
The irrigation system for the villa community and the general areas in the subdivision is not working yet. So hubby is faithfully watering the new sod that was extended into the backyard. We are all convinced that last year’s irrigation contractor folks were direct descendants of Neanderthals. The system never did work right. The developer has secured a new contractor to assume the maintenance task, and we are quite hopeful that it will work better this year. However, the new guys are discovering that extensive damage was done to the system last fall when the local cable company dug new lines for another subdivision phase. It’s always something, LOL, isn’t it? We are crossing our fingers that it will get fixed and running sometime this week.
Though the natural world and an inviting back porch will both be calling my name loudly this month, I will be spending some time processing my New Mexico photos. You have already gotten a small sampling. And based on your comments, I know that my blog readers and armchair travelers want MORE! I hear you, ha-ha!
There were a few days on the trip that we had some glorious clouds. Hooray! And I also tried to deviate a bit from my typical framing through the viewfinder. But like any traveling photographer, I had to take the conditions as they presented themselves. Many times, I thought to myself a myriad of “if only” statements. If only I was here in the afternoon, with the light coming in from the other side. If only those 794,521 eight-year-old schoolchildren were NOT bolting into my pictures (and not screaming either). If only there were some puffy clouds in the sky. Thus, it is always a bit of a challenge to take good images despite the conditions. It’s the old “making the best of it” philosophy! And that is when I really have to stretch my creativity or perform magical feats in Photoshop!
You can see by my latest blog header and special “May” graphic, I have birds on the brain! We put up our bird bottle last month on the front porch and are anxiously waiting to see of a charming little wren claims it to build a nest. You may remember my May 2009 post about these unique bird houses from Colonial Williamsburg and a special watercolor-processed photo I created later on (see below). We were delighted to find that a robin built a nest at the top of one of our gutter downspouts, of all places. It successfully weathered the bad storms last week too! Yesterday, a male hummingbird flew up and hovered right outside our kitchen windows. I guess he was giving us a not-so-subtle hint that he arrived and is hungry! So hubby quickly fixed up some sugar-water solution and hung up two feeders on the front of our home. I have one hanging right outside of my office, and it is already a regular hangout for the hummers! Of course, we still have the regular bird feeder up and also the thistle sock. The new Grey Havens has gotten to be quite popular place with our feathered friends!
Since we have returned from our latest journey, we’ve made a commitment to eat a bit healthier. This month’s dishes from the kitchen will be including more fresh vegetables and fruits, now that they are in more abundance at the grocery store. Our one-year anniversary at our new home will be the 25th this month. And we can say that we sure are glad that we didn’t skimp on the budget when it came to outfitting our kitchen. It gets a workout on a regular basis! To supplement our large collection of dried herbs and spices, we are growing fresh herbs, potted up right next to the front porch, and we’re already harvesting them for various dishes. This year, we are growing basil, parsley, thyme, cilantro, and chives.
Well, I think I have rambled long enough and need to wrap this up. If you have stuck through this extra-long post, you ought to get an award! Which reminds me – please be sure to enter my 500th celebration giveaway for a chance to win some wonderful birdie-related prizes! You can’t win if you don’t enter!