Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Well then I figured that I'd might as well feed them since I have the bin opened. So I thawed a bag of scraps that I'd previously frozen (this speeds decomposition by breaking down the cellular structure), then I spread the scraps over the coffee filter layer. And although I'd moistened the coffee grounds and filters a bit, I didn't get them too wet, so those layers could absorb some of the excess liquid in the scraps. Last time I checked the bin on Jan. 11th, there was a lot of liquid in the bottom bin. After doing some research on the worm forum, I'm told that what I thought was "worm tea" is actually
  • "leachate"
  • from the bin/scraps, and allegedly not good for houseplants (or much else). Not sure if I buy that, so I chose a houseplant for a test subject, and dumped my previously collected "leachate" on it to see. Anyhow, I'm told that optimal bin moisture releases no excess, so that's what I'll strive for. So on top of this scrap layer I added a good layer of shredded paper. Dry for now, and I'll wait until I get "fattening mix" prepared to wet things down again. I'm really digging these worms! :) to moisten the coffee grounds. I like this power sprayer, takes a lot less pumping to use( since I get crampy hands from mousing at work). I started to hand-tear the filters, but then I thought "Why not just use the shredder?" I mean, what can happen? :)

    Luckily-nothing! So I have a nice layer of shredded filters, now to wet them down, too...

    Worm Bin Inspection...hard to believe, but it's been over a month since I've checked on my wormies! So I dug around, and found healthy, reasonable-sized worms...all alert and healthy-looking. Not quite as big as I'd like, so the corn meal I added last feeding may not have been enough to really fatten them up. Most worm bin forums list a "fattening formula", so I'll try that next time I feed them. The moisture content seemed to be perfect in the bedding, and there were baby worms, too. So I checked the bottom "drainage" bin-nothing but a tiny bit of "mud", and no drowning/escaping worms! Cool! There are some tiny black gnats (either fruit flies or fungus gnats), but nothing problematic. So I decided to top off the bin with used coffee/filters that I'd been saving up. So on goes a layer of dry coffee grounds from 49 filters....

    Tuesday, February 27, 2007

    An approaching winter storm just doesn't have the drama that summer storms do....but the birds know what time it is. "Time to chow down like there's no tomorrow!" The snow was blowing all over, too...covering screens, blowing into places that would normally provide more shelter. I feel bad for the creatures outdoors as I watch from inside my warm house-boy, it's a great day to be a human!

    Weekend forecasters take a lot of heat for inaccuracy, but when they're right, they're right! And with the snow flurries came bird flurries...of activity! The feeders looked like busy airport restaurants, with plenty of bickering and jostling for position. Makes me very happy that I feed them, on days like this they really seem to appreciate it!

    Friday, February 23, 2007

    Here are some fine examples of architecture in Wisconsin! I mean, you didn't think the only creative builder in this state was Frank Lloyd Wright, did you? If these structures don't duly impress you, then check Wikipedia for Mr Wright's work:

    Hmmm....I think this is why zoning laws were created!

    New camera pics are finally here! Now I realize some of these images aren't super-clear...that's because they were taken through a window and a screen from my livingroom! But I'm really jazzed about the potential! These feathered friends keep me entertained a lot, and lately provided me with research info for a couple birdwatching project I'm involved in: is a year-long program of watching and data collecting. There's also a "backyard bird count" from
    that's fun and informative as well. More pics to come...yippie!!

    Wednesday, February 21, 2007

    Exciting news!!!! I finally got a new digital camera!!! After some research, I decided on the Canon SD900 Elph....10 megapixels, 4x very small and compact, too! I could easily "hide" it whenever necessary, and there are great low-light capabilities...fancy sepia options for cool effects, etc. The best price was at
    although this link sez' the price is $285.00, but I paid $259.00...whatever. I can't post pics just yet though, because my PC is a dinosaur with no room on the hard drive. But I'm trying to upload right from my camera to a photobucket acct. from a different location...we'll see how it goes! Hooray for technology!!!

    Tuesday, February 13, 2007

    Divine intervention...okay, I'm not really going to try religion as a topic, but I'm happy to say that something cool has affected my water garden plans! Before I could spend $20-$30 each for water lillies (not to mention marginals), along came a letter from the Menominee Michigan Conservation District
    to advertise their "2007 Tree Sale". Guess what else they're selling? Water plants!! And for a lot less than the catalogs/websites I've visited! All plants pictured here are being offered...Duck Potato(Sagittara latifolia), Wild Calla(Calla palustris), White Water Lily(Nymphaea spp.), Red Cardinal Flower(Lobelia cardinalis), and Yellow Water Lily/Spatterdock(Nuphar advena). They also have Blue Water Iris(Iris versicolor) and American Lotus(Nelumbo lutea), but I already have the iris, and I'm told the lotus gets huge(not suited to tub culture). So if anyone else in the blogosphere wants to try some lower-priced water plants, check with your local Conservation District! I also got to thinking...what about trades or lower-cost stuff from other gardeners? The online forums have "plant swap" sections...I like the Garden Web But there are others, too. Hey, maybe we can all fulfill most of our "spring garden dreams" without "breaking the bank"!

    Friday, February 09, 2007

    My aforementioned lust has reared it's head again...this time with regard to water garden plants! I have an old wash tub that I tried to use as a water garden last year with so-so results, mostly because I started too late in the season and used puny Walmart plants. But this year, I'm going for the gusto...I mean, look at these beautiful lillies! Some even bloom at spinx moths will love that! As I do some research on the net, here are some links I found with better prices...

    I'll check out some local nurseries, I still have a couple puny plants from last year that I'm wintering over in the veggie crisper in my fridge. So hopefully, I'll end up with a bona-fide water garden, and not tubs of green, slimy goo!

    Thursday, February 08, 2007

    One upshot to our bitter cold temps-more mushrooms! My house got chilly which promted another flush of oyster beauties...yummy! This kit has fruited the most of any I tried in the past...maybe it's just that this variety matches my indoor "climate". Whatever the reason, hooray for fungus!

    Tuesday, February 06, 2007

    And now...a moment of cheering for the Indianapolis Colts!!! Not since Joe Nameth in pantyhose have I enjoyed football-players' commercials like I enjoy Peyton Manning's commercials...and he took the team to the Superbowl! Hooray!!!

    Sunday, February 04, 2007

    Here's a cool-down from my previous post! ;)

    The mallard don't lie-that's almost

    -10 degrees folks...not including the wind, which is gusting to at least 25 mph! Even the heater built into the birdbath can hardly keep up...and my own pipes were frozen this morning! I had to go outside, open the crawlspace door, and turn up the heater as high as it would go! The water was back on in a couple minutes, so I'm hopeful that the pipes weren't frozen solid and damaged. (I'd even left a trickle of water going all night-it's just that cold!) That's January for ya'...I wished for winter, and here it sure is! Glad my awesome Indianapolis Colts aren't playing the Superbowl up here! Well, it's time to make chili and watch the game...go Colts!!!

    Lust...of the seven deadly sins, it is my favorite, and the one I find myself most vulnurable to. Wikipedia has this to say and while I agree that lust isn't always sexual, it sure was for me this past week at work! We had a "substitute co-worker"....and for some reason, he drives me wild! Not really the sort of man that most women would swoon over, but he's very intelligent (which is mostly always very hot) while I try to listen politely, it's all I can do to resist the urge to shove him against the wall and feel him up big-time! *Sigh*.....but alas, he is married (although he's made a point of stating he's unhappily wed), and it is my policy to leave married men to their misery until and unless they actually become single. (Besides, what the hell do I want with a liar/cheat in my life!) Sure is fun to fantasize, though...helps me stay warm in this bitter cold weather... ;) ;) ;)

    Saturday, February 03, 2007

    "Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids, in fact it's cold as hell." Well so is Wisconsin this weekend! As you can see by the mallard, the temp is about zero...and the grasses aren't droopy-it's wicked windy! Not fit for man nor beast, but I'm a polite hostess, so I freshened the birdbath and filled all the feeders, plus seed on the ground for my birdy guests. My face is numb now...but the fresh air was actually nice. When it's this cold, you get numb so fast that it's not really cold I could lie down and take a nice nap in the I need more coffee! :) Anyhow, it's time to "stoke the fire" (in my imaginary fireplace), and surf the net!

    Thursday, February 01, 2007

    Hooray for snow! I just love the clean white frosting all over the yard...much prettier than dull brown!