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Breakfast Al Fresco

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My favorite time of day. Early mornings before it gets hot outside. The birds are singing, the squirrels and rabbits are running around, and my neighbor’s dog comes by to say Hi, before fruitlessly continuing his rabbit chasing in the meadow.

This week the Kousa dogwoods are blooming.

They are heavy with blossoms and I baby those trees to keep them from having breaking limbs. We have them pruned, along with the Japanese lace maples, and the crepe myrtles every other year, in order to keep them healthy. They are my privacy screen from my neighbor’s driveway and they allow me to sit out in the morning in peace and solitude.

Friday I went out to have coffee and fill the feeders.

No, that isn’t wine for breakfast. It is hummingbird nectar in a wine bottle. My feeder uses a recycled bottle as the vessel with a copper wire and a cap. A little tricky to assemble but easier to clean.

The empty messy feeder. Pop off the cap. Rinse and throw the bottle in the blue bin. Clean the cap. Reassemble with a new bottle and you have happy hummingbirds.

Notice the double sided sticky tape ant trap. I have to get a permanent ant barrier, but so far this works. We have a hummingbird family who comes every summer and hangs out in my flowers, and my next door neighbor, too. We both have feeders for them.

As for the squirrel log, and the suet, we try to keep the squirrels from the bird food, and it usually works. I give them one of these logs and one unprotected suet but keep the high protein good birdfood away from them. The birds are busy feeding babies, and they are very active. I have a couple of feeders full of nuts, safflower and sunflower chips and cracked corn. It goes fast this time of year and then slows down once the trees and bushes start getting seeds and berries.

While there, one of the younger chickadees came to visit.

There was also a very young house sparrow hopping everywhere, but too quick for me to capture. Two days before, a very young sparrow was unsuccessfully trying to fly high enough to make it to the feeder. Unsuccessful then, but eventually they get the hang of it.

I did wander down to check on my garden and found my first blossoms on the yellow plum tomato.

The tomatoes have survived their planting shock and are doing well. I cluster plant them along the fence, with small cages and then use string and poles to keep them aloft. I find that the support system works better than really huge cages. At least in the area where I plant.

I also noticed while sitting out there that the sage and rosemary bushes are spreading so much they are no longer separate. They have been there three years now. They somehow survived snowmageddon in 2010. I am getting huge beautiful sage leaves, big enough to look really nice as fried sage to decorate gnocchi.

Breakfast on the patio. A lovely way to start the day. Cheers!

About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

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