Birds & Blooms & Books

I’ve been hearing the little Bewick wrens chirping out on the patio. They are tiny but loud little things. They hop around among the plants and up to the patio door.

I keep trying to get a photo of them, but they are always gone by the time I get to the patio door with my camera. They are the birds that appear to have a white eye brow.

Nor have I seen the pretty black butterfly that I saw from inside earlier in the week. I keep watching for it, but either it hasn’t been back or I haven’t looked out when it was there.

I always plant a lot of flowers that the butterflies like to visit because they are so beautiful to watch.


This morning I heard a lot of bird commotion out there, so Charlie and I went out to see what was going on. I guess the birds were high up in the tree, for I couldn’t see them.

Charlie weaved in and out of the pots, seemingly on a mission. I think he smells the little wrens that have been hopping around out there.

I found an old photo of a Bewick wren to show you:


I look forward to seeing these little wrens every year because they are humorous to watch.


The hibiscus looks much better. But it isn’t blooming as much because it isn’t getting as much sun.

I have a choice I suppose. Either I choose to keep the plant alive under the tree branch overhang, or put it in the sun for more blooms. But it will surely die in the heat.

I choose to try to keep it alive. I like the reddish leaves and find them almost as  interesting as the big red flowers.


There are places where even the sedum is fading in the sun. But what is planted in the piece of driftwood looks very healthy.

Each year that piece of driftwood gets more bleached out by the sun, but I love the texture and fading color.

I started a new book last night called “The Captives.”


Amazon Blurb:

As an inmate psychologist at a state prison, Frank Lundquist has had his fair share of surprises. But nothing could possibly prepare him for the day in which his high school object of desire, Miranda Greene, walks into his office for an appointment.

Still reeling from the scandal that cost him his Manhattan private practice and landed him in his unglamorous job at Milford Basin Correctional Facility in the first place, Frank knows he has an ethical duty to reassign Miranda’s case.

But Miranda is just as beguiling as ever, and he’s insatiably curious: how did a beautiful high school sprinter and the promising daughter of a congressman end up incarcerated for a shocking crime?

Even more compelling: though Frank remembers every word Miranda ever spoke to him, she gives no indication of having any idea who he is.

Inside the prison walls, Miranda is desperate and despairing, haunted by memories of a childhood tragedy, grappling with a family legacy of dodgy moral and political choices, and still trying to unwind the disastrous love that led to her downfall.

And yet she is also grittily determined to retain some control over her fate. Frank quickly becomes a potent hope for her absolution—and maybe even her escape.


Have a great weekend. I have no plans and Charlie and I will be home staying in out of the heat.


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  1. Butterflies often visit my birdbath, which has a raised portion in the center that I putt a couple of flat about small palm-sized stones on the top of. They stay wet because that particular bath gets a lot of traffic, robins and sparrows love bathing in it all day long, a constant stream, so I will sometimes add water to it once in the early morning when I rise and once in the early afternoon. It gets the most traffic on the hottest, sunniest days (like today). The stones are not underwater, but the flat tops stay wet either because of splashed water from the other birds bathing or slight waves caused by a breeze rippling across the water’s surface. The butterflies will land on those stones and bask in the sun. They also like to bask in the sun on the leaves of the Japanese maple and one shrub that I don’t know what the name of it is that are close to/overlook the bird bath, near the water’s surface. I assume it’s because they are able to catch some kind of ambient cooling effect from the evaporating water.

    1. I’ve always wanted a Japanese maple. Maybe I’ll get one for a big container. It’s wonderful that you take so much care for your nature friends.

  2. The book sounds interesting, but I’m waiting for you to give it a review.
    We, too, are going to be hot & muggy this weekend. Not looking forward to it. I hope we can get some good rain out of it!!
    Stay cool & love your plants & your photography!!

  3. I hear wrens here a lot too but rarely see them; they are quick little creatures. I enjoy their silly chatter.
    Many of my plants are not looking great, but some moss roses that reseeded themselves recently started to bloom in my rock garden, and my phlox just began to bloom (which is a little late but they are in partial shade). It makes up for the things not doing so well. Your hibiscus looks nice with those big fat buds! I too like foliage and stems with red as a nice contrast in the garden.

    1. Every year I tell myself I’m getting phlox. Then for some reason I don’t. I believe it was my great-grandmother’s favorite flower.

  4. Maybe you’ll get a pic of the Beswick wren soon – it’s always an “of the moment” thing, or luck, that presents the photo you’ve been trying to get.
    And love the driftwood too! I “see” a half profile of a fox face. The ears,one eye, and a rather long snout.
    I hope you and little Charlie have a nice week-end.

    1. I haven’t been able to get many good photos of birds this summer so far. I’ll have to go look at the driftwood and “see” if I can see what you do!

    2. Hi Brenda,
      I see the profile of the fox! So cool. Our air went out this week and it’s been so hot and humid here in Florida. We broke down and had to finance for a new system! Ouch but with me having an autoimmune disease I just can’t take the heat.

      I can relate to what you said about running the fans and not moving around to stay cool. The temp inside got up to 89 in the house. We’ll sleep well tonight with the new unit.

      Love your post! I always look forward to them.

  5. I love watching the birds at the feeder and Annie Belle does also. Cloudy day so I’m inside and resting as I’ve pulled my back again. Getting old isn’t for sissies is it! Think I’ll read as I’m ready to start a new book.

    1. I’ve been outside pulling out some of the mess in that blue raised bed. So now I have an ice pack on my back. I use it every night before I go to sleep to relax my back and neck. I’d love to feed the birds, but it always attracts mice.

  6. Hot here and we sure need a good soaking rain. Maybe tomorrow! Your patio still looks so pretty and the driftwood plantings look so green and healthy. After I read a few of your past posts, I decided to put an additional saucer of water out for the birds/squirrels; I do believe if they could write, they would leave me a thank you note. They have thoroughly enjoyed the extra water and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching them.

    Cannot wait for the review of this book; sounds like a very good read.

    1. A few weeks ago I set some additional saucers out on the cement. Then a reader told me that Charlie could drink out of that and the bird could have been sick. So I’ve raised all mine up

  7. Good morning Brenda and Charlie,

    I hope that you are having a great week, is your apartment finally cooling off?
    The patio looks beautiful, I love the piece of driftwood with the plantings, it reminds me of a piece of coral.

    This books sounds fascinating!

    Enjoy your weekend!

    1. I can stay cool as long as I keep all the shades drawn, the fans on, and don’t move around a lot!

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