This Week’s Highlights

Posted by mrssmythe on July 1, 2016 in Critters, Garden |

It was a big week for bird-watching here. On Wednesday, we saw a return of one of the turkey families – this time a mother with three babies. They strolled into the yard just as I was getting the mail.


They spent a couple of hours hanging out in the garden before finally hopping over the fence. The chickens saw them, too, and watched them for about five minutes before finally deciding to go and hide.

Another activity on the chickens’ agenda: dust baths.


There are actually three chickens in this feathered pile, though you wouldn’t know it at first glance.

Here is Pepper’s Speckled Sussex, Cassie.


What feathers! What speed!

Also seen this week: a rose-breasted grosbeak.


This is the first one we’ve ever seen. He was back again today, and now everyone’s seen him except for CPT A (who is very sad about this). Hopefully, Mr. Grosbeak will make many return visits in the coming weeks so CPT A can enjoy him too.

On one of my walks this week, I spotted a tree with a “bellybutton”.


(Ginger says it looks more like a nose).

And, while playing badminton in the backyard, the girls and I found ourselves in a cloud of “fairy aphids”.


Actually, they’re “woolly alder aphids”, but “fairy” sounds nicer. They feed on the sap of the maple trees until the end of June, then move on to the alder trees. Reasons to like them: they don’t cause any permanent damage, they serve as food for beneficial insects, and they look like they’re wearing feathered ball gowns.

And finally…the Strawflowers are blooming!


Have you ever felt a Strawflower? They feel like paper – stiff and sturdy – not at all like you’d expect a flower to feel.

As I write this, we are enjoying a summer storm with lots of rain – something we’ve been needing for weeks. So I will include our summer storm as one final highlight of this very pleasant week.

From the dining room table, getting ready to grab my crochet,

Mrs. Smythe


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  • Amy says:

    That rose-breasted grosbeak is such a handsome fellow! And straw flowers remind me of my great-grandmother . . . they were one of the many flowers she had in her garden. Such characters, those straw flowers.

    • mrssmythe says:

      I think it’s wonderful that you know the sorts of things your great-grandmother had in her garden!

  • Tea Lady says:

    I really enjoyed this delightful post. So special you and your family take such joy in the everyday beauty surrounding your home every day. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jenn M says:

    My mother used to grow straw flowers because it one of the only things that would grow well in windy southern Alberta. I still love the feel of them and every fall I wish I had some to decorate with. I don’t think I ever saw a pink one before: only the oranges, browns and rusts. But then again, it was the late 70’s/early 80’s so I guess they were just following trend!

    • mrssmythe says:

      I love hearing about family gardens. It’s such a neat way to connect the generations. The ones I bought were an assortment in a six-pack and they’re all coming out different shades of pink and purple. Very pretty, but I have to stake them as they are a bit top-heavy.

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