Stellar Jay

Submitted by jimwcoleman
Stellar jay

I don't like Stellar Jays - they are obnoxious, loud and they chase the other birds from the bird feeders. But I will readily admit that they are very pretty - and every now and then, I get a good pic of one. This photo was snapped by one of our home security cams ...

1-minute Port Orchard summer yard time lapse

Submitted by jimwcoleman
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Watch the flowers bloom, the deer play and the maples turn red in this time lapse of our Port Orchard, Washington back yard, from April to October, 2015. And watch it all in just over one minute. What a great summer it was! And yes, as you will see, it rains here in the Seattle area all the time. So don't move here. :)

2015 Crop Circle time lapse

Submitted by jimwcoleman
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Here is the time lapse view of the Crop Circle garden for the entire gardening season (May through September)! This one also shows the construction of the garden shed. It was a great gardening season this year, with very little rain and warm temperatures. In this garden, I grew sunflowers, corn, butternut squash, jalapenos, Anaheim and Hatch chilis and tomatillos. The garden measures 28 feet across.

Breaking a broody hen ...

Submitted by jimwcoleman
Breaking a broody hen

If you raise laying hens, you are likely to encounter a broody hen at some point. A broody hen will start spending more and more time in the laying box, "setting" on eggs she does or doesn't have and will growl at you (or worse) if you disturb her. I've tried every trick in the book to break a broody and persistence always pays off - but I'm always looking for that "quicker fix." One method that I've seen posted online is to suspend the hen in a wire cage for a period of time. This breaks up the "heat" on her back side and can disrupt the maternal impulse.

Soaker hoses in the corn rows

Submitted by jimwcoleman
Soaker hoses laid out

Here are the corn rows in the crop circle garden ... today I laid out the soaker hoses along each row. There also will be Jalapeno, Anaheim and Hatch red chiles in this garden, as well as Butternut Squash. The corn has been in the ground six days now, so I suspect I'll see some of the stronger ones peeking up any day!

Turning in cover crop

Submitted by jimwcoleman
Turning over cover crop

In the main garden, work continues to turn the cover crop under, one shovel-full at a time. This is my first time to overwinter the garden with a cover crop. I chose Polar Triticale and I have been very pleased with it. Instead of rototilling, I will turn the cover over so that the soil can enrich itself by reclaiming the cover crop. I'm about six weeks out from putting the first of the vegetable plants into the soil, but I do have yellow snap peas growing in this garden already. :)

Don't forget about your wild birds in the winter

Submitted by jimwcoleman
Birds at bird feeder

Many people, especially in colder/wetter climates, take down their bird feeders during fall and don't put them back out until Spring. But there are probably hundreds of birds in your area that still need to eat! Did you know that hummingbirds will visit your feeder all winter long? Just be sure to keep the food fresh! Here, my wife, Linda, got a photo of the activity on one of our black-oil sunflower seed feeders...

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