Frosted Cardinal

This cardinal – he apparently noticed me trying to take a picture of him – seems a little frosted.

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Colorful banquet

Most of the birds visiting our tube feeder are kind of boring to look at but this cardinal showed up a few weeks ago and just wouldn’t leave. In the sun the red feathers were glowing.

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Supersteak!

It’s been tomato season here at Ladybird Lane for about a month. They started ripening slowly, a few grape tomatoes, then some cherry tomatoes followed up by some really sweet cluster tomatoes and now the Supersteaks are ripening. Boy, oh, boy, are they big! The ones in the photo were a pound and a half each. I say “were” ‘cuz they are no longer! ;-) Anyway, I weighed them with a metric scale and that comes to 600 grams for the small one and the two larger were 650 grams. Yes, that’s just three supersteak tomatoes on a single dinner plate. You can get a dozen regular tomatoes on a dinner plate. And they are fantastic tasting especially when eaten with some salt and pepper and a thick slice of fresh mozzarella. I like putting a little olive oil on them, too, then sprinkling them with some grated Parmesan cheese, maybe some balsamico. Mmmm, mmm good! One disadvantage of the supersteaks is that they are a bit more fragile than other tomatoes. They get over ripe quickly so eat them not too long after you pick them. It’s also interesting how they grow. Instead of beginning with a small globe the supersteak begins as a small flat, ribbed button. Kinda cool.

This year I planted six different types of tomatoes, a cherry, a grape, a plum, an heirloom named Burgundy, two supersteaks and two cluster tomatoes. And then, any volunteers that decided to grow I tried to find a place for them. I love surprises. One turned out to be a San Marzano plum which makes a really nice, thick tomato paste. Anyway, they’re not ripening yet.

Oh, there he is!

He’s never alone, at least on a sunny day. This was pretty early in the morning so there were some nice shadows as our friends cleaned up the deck.

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Peanut? What peanut?

It’s not just the squirrels and the humans who love peanuts here at Ladybird Lane, it seems.

One morning I was watching as birds flew in and out. Two cardinals flew in, the female landing under the table away from the peanuts and the male near the peanuts. The male took one in his beak and hopped over under the table to the female and shared it with her. It was so cute.

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Red amaryllis opening

Our red amaryllis is blooming. I didn’t think it was going to bloom than all of a sudden about a month ago the bulb started turning green and a leaf shot up. It started to open yesterday and today it’s a little further along. At that time the pollen thingies on the stamens were open and flat. Today they’ve folded and pollen is getting ready to take care of business.

Amaryllis

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