Monday, April 7, 2008

Happy Birthday, Steve and Springtime ! !

Tomorrow, the 8th, Steve will turn 60. So three of his brothers, his mom, and his niece decided to have an impromptu birthday party for him this Sunday. They brought over the dinner, cake and a card that one of them had designed and made at his office.

It says: Q: "How can you tell that Steve turned 60 ...

A: The "rack of his dreams" went from this this!" If you look closely at the picture of the deer, it is two sets of antlers superimposed on each other. We all got a huge laugh out of it because, as I've written before, finding shed antlers IS Steve's passion.


In fact, when he went out looking for sheds he found this trophy today! It's quite a fantastic find even though it looks a bit grotesque right now. The head is in the garage at the moment and tomorrow Steve will boil the skull in peroxide to remove all of the left over hair and flesh. (At a rummage sale some years ago I found the perfect things for getting out bits of brain etc. - a set of dental tools! They work great for getting into tiny spaces!)

This buck must have been hit by a car or died of an illness late winter. Other animals have cleaned him up pretty good, but as I was taking pictures it still was beginning to smell pretty gamy! I wish Steve's brothers would have been here today to admire this big guy and congratulate him on his find! ( Actually, they would have been grossed out - they don't quite understand the attraction to dropped antlers or smelly skulls with this kind of a nice "rack" on them!)
This is the best present Steve could have gotten!

It was a busy weekend all around for us. Friday we both took a vacation day and worked in the yard and have nearly gotten everything cleaned up! The weather Friday and Saturday was perfect - not too hot, and not too cold - for doing yard work.


Remember the picture last week of the Main Garden?? Well, here it is now:

All raked up and ready to go. You can barely see by this picture, but there are all sorts of things coming up. There don't seem to be any voles this year (at first I thought there were) but the deer have already walked into the second tier and eaten some of the few tulips I have.

These are so beautiful I had to post them again! The voles didn't leave me too many a few years back , but what I do have I really cherish. They are iris reticulata and are bulbs, not rhizomes like bearded iris are.

I walked around today and tried to get a sampling of all of the plants that were blooming.

Glory-of-the-Snow or chionodoxa are such wonderful flowers and reseed everywhere. They show up in the most unusual places . .

like between the cement slab and the glass doors into the house! I was amazed at this little thing!

This one found a nice home under a burning bush with a laid back frog.
Our first very first daffodils! These minis are being watched over by dour Mr.Toad. They are situated not far from the dryer vent and have a little head start.
Every morning I wake up expecting these to have been eaten by the deer or rabbits.
They are growing within the hosta border in the back and I have no idea how they got there.
Maybe this little angel had something to do with it??
Yes, she's back from a long winter of being buried in snow - and not too worse for the wear! Doesn't that look like an odd horse shoe around her? Actually it's an old chewed (by the small rodents) antler casting it's protective magic spell keeping her safe.
Now to go inside and downstairs to take a look at how my little plants are doing:
The bigger seedlings are ground cover petunias. They spread a lot even when tiny. There are other types of petunias in there and farther back are the impatiens and a couple hollyhocks.
The last three pictures are of the various begonias. Haven't they gotten huge!!
Notice this wax begonia is beginning to bloom! Yikes, slow down. There is some type of mildewy problem going on with some of the leaves on the begonias, so I have a fan freshening the air. It's not blowing directly on them, but off the the side - just to get some air movement.
That is good for all the seedlings - it toughens them up.
As I said the weekend was very busy and it flew by! I keep thinking today is Sunday! Great, this will be a short work week for me and if it warms up (it's windy and cold now) next weekend I'll be able to take care of the vegetable garden and maybe put in some onion sets.
I "pass the time" when it is unpleasant and disagreeable; when it is
good, I do not want to pass it; I savor it, I hold it tight.
Michel De Montaigne - 1588
Bye for now,


Gina said...

happy birthday, Steve!

Kerri said...

Happy Birthday to Steve! He doesn't look 60 at ALL!

And wow, your plants have grown amazingingly! How neat!

I found some antlers in the forest the other day...but I only found one side...not the other. I wonder if that is common?

DeeMom said...


Tee hee on the “RACK”
Kewl on the real rack…

WOW you all did MAJOR cleaning on that garden WTG!!!!

Ummmmmmmmm love that FROG…

Awwwwwwww the angel how neat

Wow your seedlings are in need of re potting they are bursting at their seams NEAT

Old Wom Tigley said...

Happy Birthday Steve.. looks far to young for 60.
This as got to have been one of the best posts I've seen in a while.. it had everything in here.. loved the skull, I would be over the moon finding that.. and the flowers are a joy to see.
Great post... great pictures and a great read.

beckie said...

Great post! I liked the tour. Your clean garden is already now for more flowers. The skull-gross! But each to his own..whatever makes him happy.

kate smudges said...

Happy Birthday to Steve! I'm glad that he found the antlers just in time for his birthday.

The iris and daffodils are beautiful. I love the way the Chinodoxa appear in odd places - no doubt a squirrel or tow has been busy rearranging little bulbs.

Your seedlings are growing so quickly. I hope you are able to solve the mildew problem. The angel statue is beautiful - I like the old horseshoe-shaped antler casting protecting her.

Alyssa said...

Everyone - Steve says thank you very much for the birthday wishes.
Gina - Thanks so much!!

Kerri - That was good luck finding the antler - it's pretty hard to do. And yes, it's very common to come upon just one. The bucks generally drop one at a time.

Dee - Yes, that real rack is a keeper. Everything is beginning to take shape in the gardens. The relaxing frog was a gift from Ashley a few years ago. I really like him too. Actually, I had pealed back the netting on the pellets so I had room to plant the seeds.

Tom - Thanks for the compliments. Yes, Steve looks younger than his age and he weighs the same now as he did in highschool!! Not fair!!!

Beckie - I'm glad you liked my little tour. Yes, bloody skulls are an acquired taste - took me a while to get used to them...

Kate - It was a perfect birthday present for Steve. I think spring bulbs are so special because we are hungering for some color after the winter. I'm trying to figure out where in the gardens the little angel will spend this summer.

Lizzie A said...

Well, a Happy Happy Birthday to Steve!! And your flowers are beautiful!! Our flowers are not so beautiful as yours are, but we do have some crocuses growing which is very exciting.
P.S. I put up a new post and it is long and wierd so if you don't read the whole thing then I won't care.

alicesg said...

Happy Birthday Steve. Nice flowers and I love the cute froggie. You are very patient with your plants that they grow so well. :)

Mary said...

Hi Alyssa!

Tell Steve he looks like mid-forties (if you want to get a rise from him). And wish him a Happy Birthday from blogland.

Oooops. Can' say I'm too interested in deer skulls... LOL!

Your gardens look wonderful and I hope the voles are few this year. You really are in for a treat this spring and summer with a nice head start on your beautiful plants.

Spring sprung at Alyssa's house



Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Watch that mold. We had it ruin a whole crop of hydroponically grown marijuana:)

There is an anti mold spray you can get.

I wish we were getting ready for gardening We are still having Winter. My pigs are buy plowing up the vegetable garden area.

Lizzie A said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lizzie A said...

Another quick thing I wanted to tell you. In case you don't get around to reading my blog, I wanted to tell you that my older brother, sister-in-law, and their one and a half year old little girl Tehilla are all here from Israel! I am so excited. Espcially because I am teaching Tehilla how to sing and dance. It is SOOOOOOOOO cute!
Just an update.
Have a super rest of April because the flowers, they are a-comin' (pardon my wierd saying, it's just tradition so say it when the first daffodils come in).