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Kite- Eagle, Hawk Raptor Family
Sighting Deltona, Fl May 4, 2020
Before leaving the page, there is a link at the bottom to report sightings
This afternoon I looked up to see a full grown “Swallow Tailed Kite”. I was only equipped with my cell phone in hand which limited a nice photo. I’m just happy to see it arrive. I’m not happy to know it is robbing nests since it is a carnivore. It’s food sources are also rodents, snakes, lizards and pests.
One of the most beautiful birds in “Deltona Florida”, the unmistakable, elegant swallow-tail kite is easily recognized by its deeply forked tail, distinctive black and white plumage, and graceful aerial displays. Juvenile birds can be identified by the lack of the deeply forked tail.
Swallow-tailed kites are almost always seen in the air. If you are lucky enough to be able to watch one for any length of time you will notice them swoop to pluck an insect out of the sky or a fledgling bird from a nest, and then eat the meal while flying. Swallow-tail kites feed entirely on the wing, primarily on insects, lizards, frogs, snakes and small birds. They drink on the wing like a swallow, swooping low to snatch water from the surface of a river or lake.
Swallow-tail kites arrive in Florida from South America in late February to mid-March. They are most obvious at this time of the year as they carry sticks, moss and other nesting material to their chosen nest site. Nests are usually in the top of one of the tallest trees in a pine or cypress stand.
After the two or three young fledge, the adults and young birds fly south again, first gathering in communal roosts in south Florida before migrating to South America. One such roost near Fisheating Creek near Lake Okeechobee contained approximately 2,000 birds. In 1996, Dr Ken Meyer attached radio transmitters to 6 swallow-tailed kites and followed their migration route through Cuba, Mexico and Central America to their wintering area in Brazil.
Click here to find out where you can report swallow-tailed kite sightings in your area.
Article info reference courtesy WildFlorida.com
So many things come to life at night.
Sweet Dreams ✨🌟✨
I miss the tiny little Downy Woodpecker.
Unfortunately the tree where the little one called home, no longer exists.
Cutting down dead trees, can sometimes destroy a living habit. Unsightly? Yes.
I recently had the top half of a twisted oak tree cut and left the tall trunk for woodpeckers. It sits in the very back hidden. There looks to be hundreds of poke holes all over the dead tree trunk.
I had attracted the king of woodpeckers to that tree a few weeks ago. You guessed it. The red headed Piliated Wood Woodpecker! Ripped off a good portion of tree bark at the top of pine. Simply a beautiful bird.
Reminising about my little Downy I thought I’d share my past houseguest with you.
Adobe Spark Page close up of the
This year I used only Non GMO seeds.
The tomatoes have been amazing producers. The trunks are 3″ around and very sturdy. The difference is remarkable.
I had to buy a trellis to hold up the heavier tomatoes. I used “knee high” stockings to tie up branches. The nylon is forgiving and will stretch during growth with no damage to branch.
My mother taught me to use a nylon stocking to put the tomato in while growing so bugs can’t destroy the fruit. I haven’t had to do that but it’s also a useful recycling tip for those old stockings!
The garden has exploded and the heat is definitely on. I placed my plants in semi shade to get through the hottest summer weather. It only took 30 years to figure this out!
I watched the movement of the sunrise and sunset as it changes and placed plants accordingly. Brilliant idea!!!
I’ve eaten as many salads as I can with tomatoes but I just can’t keep up!! So freezing for spaghetti sauce which I look forward to soon!!
The trick to a longer growing season is from ground zero up. Keeping the base of the plants in shade is the key. The height reaches the sun where it’s most needed! Also a sheet of weed barrier helps hold moisture.
It’s so hot. “How hot is it”? It’s so hot that I hope the garden survives without me.
My husband informed me it was 100 degrees today.
Here is a little update of what the rest of the yard looks like. The pond still needs work but the Koi aren’t picky how it looks!
Celery 2 yrs old. Good producers from seed.
See ya soon – AJ the great white lizard hunter ❤️
I often think of the song “Woodstock” performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
”We have got to get ourselves back to the garden”
Did you know Joanie Mitchell wrote the song Woodstock for CSNY to sing at Woodstock?
by Joanie Mitchell
I came upon a child of God
He was walking along the road
And I asked him where are you going
And this he told me
I’m going on down to Yasgur’s farm
I’m going to join in a rock ‘n’ roll band
I’m going to camp out on the land
I’m going to try an’ get my soul free
We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden
Then can I walk beside you
I have come here to lose the smog
And I feel to be a cog in something turning
Well maybe it is just the time of year
Or maybe it’s the time of man
I don’t know who I am
But you know life is for learning
We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden
By the time we got to Woodstock
We were half a million strong
And everywhere there was song and celebration
And I dreamed I saw the bombers
Riding shotgun in the sky
And they were turning into butterflies
Above our nation
We are stardust
Billion year old carbon
We are golden
Caught in the devil’s bargain
And we’ve got to get ourselves
back to the garden
August 2019. Will it happen – I do not know. Rumors of cancellation.
The lineup for Woodstock 50 is officially here.
Jay-Z, The Killers, Chance the Rapper, The Black Keys, Halsey, Robert Plant, Miley Cyrus, Common, Janelle Monae, Sturgill Simpson, Brandi Carlile, and Jack White’s The Raconteurs are among the big-name artists scheduled to perform at the official 50th anniversary concert festival on Aug. 16-18, 2019, in Watkins Glen, N.Y.
From my friend Joann in Orlando. Wonderful blog!
I saw these crossandra flowers several weeks ago in a park near where I live. The bright orange color caught my eye. I took some photos but thought that perhaps the blossoms were in the process of dying.
JoAnn Ryan – Orlando, FL
I went back a few days ago and it had the same wilty-looking petals. I realized this was just the normal composition of the flower. It had just rained and the sky was still overcast when I took these photos. I think that explains the difference in color. The second two photos were from that previous visit. It was sunny that day and close to evening.
JoAnn Ryan – Orlando, FL
This deep orange variety of crossandra is called “Florida Sunset” or sometimes “Orange Marmalade.” The common names are usually so much better. The crossandra flower is native to India and Sri Lanka.
View original post 23 more words
Women Who Surround Themselves With Plants Live Longer
Driving through the neighborhood I’ve been noticing so many big green trash bags of “leaves”🍁🍂 curbside for trash pick up. I often wonder why leaves get bagged up.
Leaves can be “recycled” and mulched with a mower which in turn adds moisture back into the soil.
If you are “new to Florida” in general, your lawn or gardens will be glad to utilize dead leaves!! If you are patient, those leaves pretty much disintegrate sitting in our toasting sun, and disappear.The same principle goes for tree branches.
What is “compost”?
As a verb, “to compost” or “composting” refers to the process used to make compost. In general, this process involves mixing together a variety of food wastes, yard wastes, and/or other compounds in proportions that are favorable for the growth and reproduction of bacteria.
Compost is both a noun and a verb. As a noun, it refers to decayed organic matter, which is a fancy term for formerly living things (plant and/or animal) that have been broken down by the feeding of bacteria and other tiny creatures into something that looks more or less like soil. This organic matter (see soil for a discussion of organic matter) is a useful addition to soil, and compost is sometimes talked about as though it were a fertilizer.
While it does contain nutrients plants need, compost is really more of a soil amendment, whose primary benefit to the soil is an increase in organic matter content rather than a significant increase in the levels of particular nutrients.
As discussed under soil, higher organic matter yields a number of benefits – higher water retention of the soil, improved retention and availability to plants of any fertilizer that you do apply, increased numbers of soil-dwelling organisms, etc., etc.
Within the compost “pile” made of these materials, bacteria begin to feed and multiply. These bacteria occur naturally on the surfaces of many living things and do not need to be added to the pile to make composting happen.
The bacteria eat and eat and reproduce and reproduce until most of the readily available nutrients are used up. This process, which can take as little as a few weeks or as long as months (depending on how much or little you manage the pile) usually results in a substantial decrease in volume of the ingredients used to make the initial compost pile. Loss of 40-60% of the volume of your initial pile is not uncommon. If you manage the pile at all well, the material you end up with should look (as mentioned above) and smell more or less like soil.
There are many reasons. At the most abstract level, composting takes non-toxic materials that would otherwise end up in landfills and returns them to the soil in a useful form.
Food production should be a closed loop, meaning that food wastes (and perhaps human manure, as well) are returned to the soils used to produce the food to begin with. At present, most food production in the United States represents open loops – food comes from places, and food wastes end up in other places.
Composting is a small step toward closing food loops. Of more relevance to individual gardeners, compost itself improves garden soils in various ways (as discussed above). Well-managed “hot” composting can kill weeds and any seeds they might be carrying, so it’s a safe way to return the weeds you kill to your garden.
Scientists have also recently begun to document a phenomenon noticed for some time by organic farmers, which is that application of compost to soils can actually help to prevent various plant diseases, particularly fungal ones. Why and how this works is still not very well understood.
For those who like physical work and are seeking “useful” excuses to be outside, building and managing a compost pile can also be just plain fun.
Some of us prefer “pseudo-composting,” which involves just heaping these materials up out of the way somewhere!
They will decay this way, but more slowly than if you compost them as described below. This form of composting does not necessarily kill weeds or weed seeds and the piles can in fact become homes for more weeds.
Pseudocomposting with kitchen waste (eggshells, fruit peels, coffee grounds, etc.) can also attract raccoons, possums, and other undesirable pests. To help keep these pests away, you can cover your kitchen wastes with layers of newspaper, cardboard, or leaves.
To be continued….
Happy Saturday everyone
Have an amazingly Beeutiful Day!
“Real-time” quick forecast for your exact location!
Today you can take advantage of transplanting without worrying about watering!! 💦
Today I am planting seeds, that will be happy to get started with a little help from above! 💧👏🏻
Realtime, up-to-date rain forecast for today and the next 5 days at your current location or anywhere else in the world.
— Read on isitgoingtorain.com/
Hummingbirds are one of the most interesting birds! Here are some fun facts about these little birds:
- Bee hummingbirds are the tiniest of all birds, weighing less than an ounce and measuring only 2 inches long.
- Their brightly-colored, iridescent feathers and quick movements make them appear as living sun catchers—hence their nickname, flying jewels.
- Hummingbirds have the unique ability to fly in any direction, even backward, with their wings beating up to a blurring 80 beats per second.
- Plus, they can hover in midair when sipping nectar from brightly–colored flowers with their long, slender beaks.
- While whizzing about the garden, hummingbirds expend so much energy that they must eat at least half their body weight each day to replace the calories that they burn up. This means eating almost constantly—from sunrise to sunset—and visiting over a thousand flowers every day.
- You can hear the call of a ruby-throated hummingbird here.
- Learn more about hummingbirds here.
If you’re a fan of hummingbirds, you probably like to see other birds flying around your garden, too. Explore these tips for a bird-friendly garden.
Do you have hummingbirds or other birds in your garden? Let us know in the comments below!
Florida flowers: Spiderwort
This creature has no business in the garden, yard or earth!!!
Eastern Looper ☠️☠️☠️
They devoured an entire blueberry bush overnight.
Look closely at missing leaves on plants and see if these deadly bugs are present.
I went out to the garden and saw little groups of black grasshoppers. I noticed at least 40 black and orange striped ones and others yellow stripe. The stripe is on the top backs. After looking more closely, I saw two larger grasshoppers solid black. I believe this is two stages of growth because next phase probably devours the plants.
The “Eastern Lubber” is not beneficial to anything except mice. They have no other natural predators except rodents. We trapped 13 mice and now have the hoppers! Food chain disruption? Likely.
I’ve heard the best option is drowning one by one in a bucket of soapy water.
Things to know if you choose the pick and drown method is they stink 🙄.
So there it goes, I invited my own problems! The Eastern Lubber is attracted to moisture AND you guessed it, the *Orange Amaryllis’. Don’t worry, when they run out of food and moisture they should leave.
Read more about the destruction this pests has caused throughout Florida. Unfortunately pesticide is something we may have to use. Water level rise has pushed creatures out of habitats. I believe “Natural” FLORIDA is making a comeback!
Also be aware of winged moths looking insects-
A quick walk through the garden this time of year, before Easter, is always a sign of hope and joy.
A sign, “if you see it”, that better days are not just coming, they are here!
“Bloom where you’re planted!”
Cosmos love it here
“Born to be wild”
by Herb Exchange
Easy Care Perennials Podcast
“Listen and surf the web at the same time!”
You don’t always need the dirt! Aquaponics intro on a small scale!
I love this idea and it’s been working out well for my personal experiment.
Water bottles, soda bottles – cut and inverted!
At the moment I am using spring water in small water bottles. It has rained and I’m hoping this added some nitrogen to the water.
Mostly I wanted to try this method with lettuce. The thought of having fresh lettuce available whenever I wanted a salad, was intriguing.
I’ve added some spearmint and oregano stems to other bottles.
The spearmint is kept in a hanging pot so I can move away from sun as the sun shifts.
Before my favorite shade tree got its leaves back, the mint got hit with a day of sunshine. I am trying to save it so I took some stems to see if it will root. I’m not exactly confident this approach will work. Soil in the bottles might be best. So far, the mint didn’t die or dry in the water.
Herbs are more shade loving plants throughout the summer. Oregano, basil and rosemary are my “must have” herbs. I can’t remember when a time when I didn’t have these herbs outdoors.
Italian cooking demands fresh ingredients just like the Great Nona’s know best! Oregano grows without much help, other than breaking off a fist full for sauce, which actually prunes it too!!
Rosemary. Ah Rosemary. The most aromatic herb my life and patio just can’t live without. Roast pork anyone? I can smell it roasting for hours in my dreams!!! Brush up against it and the scent fills the air. Place it where animals may also brush by it. Bugs, like fleas, hate rosemary!
Give this easy grower plenty of room. It demands attention and it’s own space to branch out like a tree if you let it.
I would not say Rosemary is a fast grower so start small and repot as needed. I give it 3 times more space in a pot because it will fill in eventually.
It’s that time of year when the ground is warming. Dogs and cats start scratching after they’ve gone outdoors? Besides fleas, Florida has chigger type nuisance bugs you can’t see.
Break off a long twig of rosemary and secure it to the inside of your pets collar! Take the sprigs and rub the plant all over your pet. This is a natural way to relieve itching temporarily. Also works with lavender. In the summertime, I make my own itch relieving spray!!
Put water in a spray bottle along with sprigs of lavender and rosemary. Put in fridge and use to soothe!
Do you have your own herbal remedies?
Stayed tuned for additions to this thread!
Basil is a part of religious traditions around the world, from Christianity to Hindu.Although there is no mention of basil in the Bible.
The plant is said to have grown at the site of Christ’s crucifixion and is associated with St. Basil. St. Basil – feast day is celebrated in Greece on January 1 by having basil blessed at church
Holy basil, Ocimum tenuiflorum, is particularly sacred in Hindu tradition. It is thought to be the manifestation of the goddess, Tulasi, and to have grown from her ashes.
There are several versions of the legend, but according to a widely known one, Tulasi was tricked into betraying her husband when she was seduced by the god Vishnu in the guise of her husband.
In her torment, Tulasi killed herself, and Vishnu declared that she would be “worshipped by women for her faithfulness” and would keep women from becoming widows.
Thus, holy basil, which also goes by the common name tulsi, an obvious reference to the goddess, became a Hindu symbol of love, eternal life, purification and protection. In addition to basil’s role in the death of Tulasi in the Hindu legend, basil has played a role in burial rituals and has been grown on graves in various countries.
Basil’s love symbolism isn’t limited to India.
It has been considered an aphrodisiac by some, is associated with the pagan love goddess, Erzuli, and is used in love spells.
In Italy, where sweet basil is called “kiss me Nicholas,” “bacianicola,” it is thought to attract husbands to wives, and a pot of basil on a windowsill is meant to signal a lover.
In Moldavian folklore, if a man accepts a sprig of basil from a woman, he will fall in love with her.
As is typical for its folklore, while being linked to love and attraction, basil has also conversely been associated with chastity.
In Sicilian folklore, basil is associated with both love and death when basil sprouts from the head of isabetta of Messina’s slain lover.
Protection and Luck
Basil is considered a good luck charm in some folklore. It is reportedly used in exorcisms, for protection and to attract wealth.
Language of Flowers
Basil’s symbolism in the Victorian language of flowers also reflects its dual nature. It signifies both hatred (for common basil) and best wishes (for sweet basil).
How to Fight Spider Mites
Top Producing Vegetables and Fruits: These 12 Plants Will Give You Plenty To Share
This is a wonderful program sponsored by Deltona’s Garden Club and Florida Federation of Garden Clubs
High School Students grades 10-12
“Saving the Earths Environment through Knowledge.”
Joining Deltona’s Garden Club means much more than planting a few trees or plants!
We have scholarships, education, help and resources to establish gardens in our schools and city.
Membership sign up online. Please share with students of Volusia County so we can assign a sponsor for your school.
High School students 9-12 – horticulture scholarships program.
Youth Gardening is k- 8th grade.
Contact us with any questions by following this link
Join us –
Butterfly bushes are grown for their long panicles of colorful flowers and their ability to attract butterflies and beneficial insects. Read this article to learn how to care for a butterfly bush of your own.
— Read on www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/shrubs/butterfly-bush/butterfly-bush-care.htm
One of my favorite garden guests is the butterfly. Read this article to take a look at plants that attract butterflies so that you can welcome these flying beauties into your garden too.
— Read on www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/beneficial/butterfly-garden-plants.htm
This is a free sample radio broadcast provided by IHeart Radio & Deltona Garden Club 🌸 when you become a member!