The wisteria bracts move gently in the breeze, releasing the scent of clean cotton

The wisteria bracts move gently in the breeze, permeating the air with a clean, sweet scent




The wisteria hangs in long purple bracts, its color finding resonance in the grape hyacinth blooms and the lavender buds. Delicate blossoms of pink and white create canopies of color for the fruit trees, and birdsong fills the air. Spring brings its gifts.




A flash of blue signifies a jay in the yard.

A flash of blue signifies a jay in the yard.



As the blue jay creates a screeching racket to the mockingbird’s ready song, the white-crowned sparrows have taken up residence in a row of birdhouses we’ve placed high on the back fence.The entrances of the sparrow houses are too small for the jay to access; a good thing since jays have earned a reputation as nest robbers.



Crew Cut, our resident black phoebe

Crew Cut, our resident black phoebe, nests under an eve of the old chicken house; the male teaches its young to catch insects on the wing



Yesterday, I spotted the black phoebe pulling a piece of coir from a wall planter for its nest. These peaceful birds make a sound of tsip or fi-bee, fi-bee and can rise to roughly 50 feet to sing to a female.They range from California to central Texas, and even venture all the way to Argentina.



In the tallest eucalyptus on the acre that stands vacant behind our property, a pair of hawks are also nest-building. My farmette lies in their flight path. Not a good thing to see–hawks swooping down over my chickens and then rising to their lofty nest.




My neighbor's heritage chicken has arrived for a visit

My neighbor’s heritage chicken has arrived for a visit




I threw some wildflower seed in beds over the weekend and then, after spotting my neighbor’s errant hen who flew to our yard, I began to regret my action. What can I do now but hope that she’ll not devour the seeds with her constant hunting and pecking?




Last night, I could have sworn I heard the pitter-patter of raindrops against the stone patio floor. With a steaming mug of coffee in hand at four o’clock this morning, I ventured outside and sure enough . . . it was still sprinkling. Hooray! It’s our first spring shower!




So, with all the nest-building and Mother Nature dropping a shower upon us, I know the wildflowers are blooming, too. That means the honeybee season is upon us. My neighbor has already had a bee swarm. I’m not ready, but I can’t stop Mother Nature from beginning a new cycle of seasons just because I don’t yet have my new honey frames assembled. That’s not how it works. Ready or not, spring has arrived.



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