Friday, January 10, 2014

"another year over AND a new one just begun . . . " PART ONE (FOR January 2013)


On this tenth day of the new year, my champagne loving character (pictured above) and I offer you, dear reader, cheers and all good wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2014.

Usually by this time in a given January here on TLLG's Blogger pages, I have offered my salutations, spoken about resolutions, written reflections on The Feast of the Epiphany as well as reflections on Three Kings Day; and I have even been in the process of writing a year-end reflection of the comings and goings in my urban (NYC) terrace garden.

This year, 2014  salutations were posted on TLLG's FB Page, and mentions of Epiphany with salutations were discussed on hometalk. As for 2014's Three King's Day, I posted info about it on TLLG's FB Page as well as hometalk, where I offered new content re specifics of traditions to honor the day. Alas, I did not get the chance to post anything here on Blogger, but please don't feel slighted as I am even further behind in my "correspondence" with my tumblr community!

In any event, having just told you where I've been spending my blogging energies, I will tell you that in terms of my annual year-end reflections on comings and goings in my urban garden, I've "saved" the topic for the community I have here (but may refer others, especially those interested in gardening, to this content).

Last year's year-end review (for 2012) spanned a number of entries here on Blogger (fifteen) from January 5, 2013 through January 20, 2013

My year-end review for 2013 will be set up in a similar manner but will not span as many entries. For 2012's garden circumstances included coping with a few upheavals in my garden such a so-called building renovation, preparing for Hurricane Sandy which was followed by preparing for a nor' easter

Thankfully, the aforementioned events were not a part of my 2013 gardening endeavors! 

The format for my 2013 garden year-end review will span twelve months as I'll use the first day of a given month to take a look back. 

And now without further ado, the 2013 year-end garden review!

I'd like to begin with how my garden looked last year at this time during the first few weeks of 2013, and the following photo-ops (which were included in a prior post on Blogger) will give you a sense of what was taking place.






The first picture (aerial garden view) in the series posted directly above was taken by Juan V in December of 2012, but I've included it here to give you a sense of how my garden looked (all winterized as well as with it's grand 2012 Christmas decor).

As you can see I have Christmas tree branches on my "urban hedge" (left of image) and a sparrow ultimately had discovered the suet that had been placed within the the branches (as seen in the second image of this series).

Slightly north of my branch-filled "urban hedge" (as indicated in the aerial image) stood my 2012 Christmas tree which toppled over the first week of January 2013 and is a circumstance I described in a prior post here on Blogger.

Many attempts were made to secure the tree throughout January of 2013 but they were all unsuccessful; however, my 2013 Christmas tree is much larger as well as better secured, as you can see in the following image.



The image was taken in late December of 2013 (and featured on hometalk), but I've included it here to give you a sense of how my garden looked (all winterized as well as with it's grand 2013 Christmas decor).

As you can see, once again, I have Christmas tree branches on my "urban hedge" (left of image). However, this year, not only do I have this, but I  have a larger tree (seen at the north-end of the image with a star atop it), and I have two table top trees! (One can be seen to the left in front of the urban hedge, the other to the right under a trio of orange-colored "thistle" bird feeders).

The thistle feeders are suspended from a bird pole system that was a 2013 addition to my garden which i'll discuss in a subsequent entry in this review series. In any event at this time the pole is decorated with garland which was "installed" by Petit Steph, the same person who put up my garden decor in 2012 as described in a prior entry here on Blogger.

In any event, the aforementioned gives you a sense of the differences between Christmas/January 2012-2013 and Christmas/January 2013-2014.

But since this post is slated to be a review of the circumstances or events in my garden from 1-6-13 — which would be the day after I concluded last year's series — I'll leave my Christmas decor comparisons, and share with you a few more events from January 6th through January 31st 2013, before concluding part one of my year-end review for 2013. 

If you read that series you may recall that part of my conclusion stated the following:

"And with the lone white breasted sparrow's discovery of my suet, I conclude my January 5th 2012  — January 5th 2013 year end review series re "events," in my urban garden. And I do so with the hope that the gardening years to come bring many discoveries both from the things I grow and the birds which hopefully will continue to visit me!"

Indeed, my hope was fulfilled nearly after posting it last January when an array of birds visited me throughout that month. Some photo-ops are posted below.





The three photos (directly above) are of Cam, my sweet visiting cardinal checking out a feeder (second and third image) and possibly checking out me (first image). At the time these images were taken I had placed this hanging feeder on the ground because neither Cam (nor her beau) would perch from it even though this feeder was promoted to be a hanging one that attracted cardinals!

I ultimately had to give the feeder away because
of issues with mice and pigeons that would come in the 2013 year, but during the time period of these pictures I had the pleasure of observing Cam, and she seemed to have the pleasure of noshing from my feeding arrangements.

Another type of bird that enjoyed noshing here in January of 2013 were the mourning doves, which is no surprise for they nosh and nosh and nosh from everywhere in my garden! A mourning dove can be seen in the first two pictures below below availing him/herself of food from a feeder promoted as one that was "guaranteed" (given the area where I live) to bring yellow finches to my garden (which it never did).




And the following image features mourning doves noshing from a number of places in my garden during January 2013.


But even though mourning doves are always at a given place, they each seem willing to break bread with a bird that is not one of their own type. This can be seen in the picture below,


where a mourning dove, sparrow and male house finch have been enjoying munching from the same feeder. The male house finch was also cited sharing feeder space not only with mourning doves and sparrows,


but he did so with a common grackle as evidenced in the pictures below.



This habit of sharing food and moments at a given feeder does not mean that my visiting birds did not have Greta-Garbo-I-want-to-be-alone moments as you might surmise from the following images of a male house finch, a common grackle, and a female house finch.





Even a tufted titmouse enjoyed his "Garbo moments" at a feeder on a snowy day, 




while Mac (Cam's now named beau) had his solitude as he noshed from the ground, refusing to perch just as his gal pal Cam does.




But Mac never got much alone time nor did any other bird if a mourning dove was around; that type of bird does not seem to be a loner as you might surmise from the picture below.



The act of eating was not the only time my feathered friends needed their Garbo moments and a number of them found the place to have those within the arms of the trees and shrubs I grow in my garden as evidenced below.







The latter picture in this series of photos (above) shows a tufted titmouse in the "arms" of my contorted hazelnut, a shrub which has "served" as a Christmas tree in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

In any event, in the late fall and early winter of 2012, as well as throughout January in 2013, this magnificent shrub produced exquisite drop-style flowers as evidenced in the picture below.




And perhaps because of these exquisite flowers, both my tulips and crocuses began to get so curious that they poked their heads out of the winter gear from which they were sleeping (as seen below)





even though it was January!


AND with that, dear reader, on this cold January of 2014, where we have just come through a polar vortex and under a severe freezing rain watch, I may not have tulips and crocuses curious enough to rid themselves of their winter gear so early this time!

But time will tell, for today's freeze is tomorrow's heat wave when it comes to the temperament of weather and there are still eighteen days (counting today) in January, but be that as it may, this brings me to my conclusion of my review of the "events" for January 2013 in my urban garden.

However, before I leave this post, I have a question for you: what were your garden discoveries in the month of December 2013 and the first few days of this new year?

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