Begonias, birds, extreme prejudice and ahi tuna

OK, this morning the sun was shining a bit and I found an angle to take shots of my begonia baskets that doesn’t show my Ma Kettle mess.

 Here is the red one:

red_begonia.jpg

Here is the pink one (although “pink” doesn’t really do it justice and neither does my camera):

pink-begonia.jpg

These are a great solace to someone who gets tired of green, green, green. . .

My friend Ellin came to dinner last night for barbecued ribs and assorted other stuff. Being Ellin, a nurserywoman, she brought me a bunch of annuals and a loaf of fabulous homemade bread as her contribution. So once again, I’ve been planting today, and surprise, I’m still not done. But I have to go take out some more blackberries and nettles from my recovering flower bed before I can plant the marguerites, African daisies, and assorted creeping, flowering groundcovers that she brought me.

I saw a bird yesterday that I’ve never seen here before. I just got a fairly quick look at it, but I’m 99% convinced it was one of the orioles. I used to see them occasionally in town. My friend who knew all of these things (now dead) told me that if I planted red hot pokers and there was an oriole within two miles, it would find them. My red hot pokers are just blossoming out. I hope it was an oriole. They are very lovely.

The Western tanagers have been hanging out much closer to the house than usual, actually acting very friendly. This is fine with me, as I think them one of the most beautiful birds to ever have inhabited the earth. They seem to have no fear, which is smart. I would never harm a tanager.

I just heard the blast of the shotgun, which says there were pigeons in the orchard again. When Ben left to go down and scare them off, I said, “Give the pigeons my regards.” He answered, “I will, with extreme prejudice.”

After he was gone, I thought about how weird it was that I actually understood this. I think I’ve been hanging out with special forces guys for too much of my life. ;^}

Now I’m going to go shut things down for awhile. It’s Mother’s Day, so I get to pick the menu. I found some lovely ahi tuna steaks that are going on the barbecue and will be served with a salad blessed with local fresh bay shrimp and avocado.

Ben will probably grouse–there will be no meat or potatoes. I don’t care. This meal is better for him, and it’s spring, and everything is growing. There is so much to be happy about.

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4 Responses to “Begonias, birds, extreme prejudice and ahi tuna”

  1. OmbudsBen Says:

    We rarely get bullock’s orioles here, but they do like the local palms, and I got a picture of one once at our birdbath. (Not a *good* picture, mind you, but one can tell it’s an oriole.)

    Best picture I ever missed or near-made was of a sharp-shinned hawk with dove prey in claw landing in our backyard pear tree. Moving too fast with the telephoto and I blurred it. You can see the hawk but the dove is just a lump.

    Having tanagers that close to the house would make my day.

  2. mklekacz Says:

    Ben, I’ve always loved the tanagers. They are the only birds smart enough to have figured out how to get through my defensive netting and eat my blueberries without being captured or injured. And I like them so much, I’ve left their little entryway open. They also seem smart enough to understand that we won’t injure them, and it’s OK to let their curiosity work and come up close.

  3. OmbudsBen Says:

    I’m with you on cutting certain species extra slack (we favor the chickadees and bushtits over the sparrows, for example). So it’s cool that you leave them their netting entrywa — whoa, but blueberries?!

    I cold see blackberries or gooseberries or even raspberries (maybe) but I’m not sure I’d share the blueberries.

  4. mklekacz Says:

    Yes, but I have bushes that produce a bumper crop each year and no freezer. I end up giving a lot of them away. I’ll probably try to can a few pints this year.

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