Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Last Oddity of 2013

By | Stuff In My Yard | No Comments

I couldn’t leave you all without one last weird thing from the garden!

Behold, the wood blewit, Clitocybe nuda!


This freaky lavender mushroom grows extra mouths.


It was growing in hardwood mulch in my garden. It’s a fall mushroom and quite late in the season, but I suppose that doesn’t surprise anyone anymore.


Can you tell I got a macro lens for my new phone? I bet you can tell. A big thanks to C.S. on Twitter for IDing this freaky little fellow for me!

Anyway, farewell to 2013, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and a fabulous 2014 to you all! May there be many mutant mushrooms in your future!

(I mean, if you’re into that…)

The Apocalypse Is Nigh. Ish.

By | My Garden | One Comment

So, yeah. 77 degrees out today.

It’s December 22nd.

I saw what looked a helluva lot like a Least Tern over Jordan Lake yesterday. They’re rare inland and always gone by the end of October. I’m getting moths at the porchlight in December, most of which should probably have finished their flights in November. The bluebirds are house-hunting very early.

Nothing impossible, nothing completely out of range, but every improbability starts to pile up.

Seriously, gang…this is kinda scaring me. When they say “a few degrees warmer by the end of the century” I said “That’s terrible!” and I meant it—really, I meant it!—but realistically I expected to be pretty dead. (That doesn’t stop me feeling bad and trying to help, let me add–“I’ll be dead, so I don’t care!” is a shitty excuse for bad behavior. Still.)

I didn’t really expect that I would be spreading manure on my garden three days before Christmas. In short sleeves. With the AC on in the house. Or that temperatures would then plunge (as they are predicted to do) and be in the forties by Tuesday.

Or that this would be the second or third time this has happened in the last couple months.

Weather is always weird, there are never normal years, all that’s true. But we’re shattering heat records locally. This is not just weird, it’s record weird and it keeps on happening.

I’ve said before that I kinda feel like us gardeners in this weird new world are trying to hold the line and passing word back and forth between us—“Still here. Still got frogs. Still got bees. Still alive.”

So, um. Still here. Still alive. Have to assume the frogs and the bees are overwintering. But a little freaked out anyway.


By | Birds | One Comment

It is December 17th.

There are bluebirds house-hunting in the garden.

They start early–I’ve heard of them looking at prospective real-estate in January, and I won’t swear this is out of historical range–but god, it seems early. I feel the urge to apologize to them. The garden is a shambles, it’s been cold and wet and miserable and I haven’t felt any desire to get out and spread cow manure on the garden.

Today is a blindingly sunny day, not horribly cold, and more birds than usual are out in the garden. I usually don’t see bluebirds all the way back here. They like the neighbor’s open yards. (Some day I will sink a pole in the grassy area by the driveway entrance and set up a bluebird house, but sinking poles in this clay is a grim prospect.) We’ve also got a smattering of woodpeckers–not uncommon, but there’s a flicker and those rarely wander into the garden. They were extremely common when I lived in town, but for some reason, my current yard doesn’t appeal to them as much.

A golden-crowned kinglet seems to have settled in here for the winter, much to my delight. Thrush-Bob is still demanding mealworms on the deck. (Kevin slogs out in the morning, chanting “Blood and mealworms for my lord Thrush-Bob!”)

Everything’s kind of dormant and in stasis right now…but dude. Bluebirds. There’s a thing.

This Is Only A Test

By | Insects | 4 Comments

Look who came to my porchlight!

This snouty little fellow is a Green Cloverworm Moth! He’s a new one for the yardlist, but I’m posting this primarily to test out the new Squash’s Garden blog function.

He feeds on clover, vetch, beans, and a number of other nitrogen fixers, but it’s generally recommended that people leave him alone, as he’s a very minor pest and will keep beneficial predators fed until the real baddies show up.