Anna’s hummingbird

I love the transition seasons, fall and spring. I enjoy all of the seasons actually, each one has their own beauty. But spring, spring is special as all of the little green things start popping out almost on an hourly basis.

This year has been a tad bit chillier and I suspect that is why the ancient plum tree is so late in blooming. I have been waiting so patiently. It doesn’t look like it will be covered in blooms like it has in years past. I speak fondly of her. Her trunk is twisted and her branches are cover in moss, but she has an amazing personality. This year especially she has held many a bird on her branches. The hummingbirds, downy woodpeckers, flickers, jays, black birds, juncos, chickadees, nuthatches, house finches, gold finches and those are just the ones I can think of off of the top of my head.

Our spring breakation started today. We’ve been looking forward to it for months. This morning while I was finishing up with a project at work Karen took delivery of 100 bales of straw for the straw bale garden, five cubic yards of premium garden soil and three cubic yards of sand. Tomorrow we will start getting the summer gardens ready for planting.

Happy spring. I like how our week is starting.

Portrait of a terrier mix

Harry Arthur Wilson Cole

Painting my way through the alphabet

They say you never forget your first. Harry was my first custom session. He is a delightful little guy. His passion is keeping the yard safe from tree rats. I believe he even has a junco or two under his belt. And, to chase all of that down, he loves him some green beans. Harry was adopted when he was about one year old and he has proven to be the life of every party.

It was hard to avoid his wet little feet. As soon as we went out to the backyard, he was racing through the wet grass.

He’s been spending a little bit of time on bed rest recently for a bum knee. I have no doubt the tree rats laugh and taunt him daily.

Ah Harry, you still are the cutest little guy ever. Thank you for being my first.


This was Harry’s original photo.

barred Plymouth Rock chick

Blender, 33 day old barred Plymouth Rock chick   

The chickens continue to amuse and amaze us every day. Blender is bursting with personality. She is a lap chicken. She’ll let us hold her for hours on end. She’s quite curious about everything and she is going to be the first bird to try and fly out of the coop. Note to self, this one will need her wings clipped.

We are a little more concerned this week that she might be a he. I’m too attached to ever let her go. Karen has been doing her research there is actually a thing called rooster collars. It doesn’t hurt them in anyway, they just aren’t able to fill their cock a doodle doos with as much air and the sound comes out a bit more muffled.

Here’s to hoping we are just being worried ninny parents.

americauna chick

Talley, 33 day old americauna chick   

Talley is a puff-ball of love. She would sleep in bed with me if I didn’t sleep with the borzoi. She’s always quite content to nestle in. The chair was just perfect for her.

33 day old black australorp chick

Hillary, 33 day old black australorp   

Hillary is still our biggest bird and absolutely the most independent of the bunch. Holding her is fine, but it has to be on her terms. She kicks their brooder bedding around like it’s a soccer ball and she’s quite protective of the rest of her brood. When we go in to hold them, she’s right there checking out the situation.

33 day old mystery bantam

Gracie, 33 day old mystery bantam   

Gracie is our puff ball of pure sweetness. This week out of the clear blue she grew a black crest. We are still holding out hopes that she will turn out to be a silkie. She’s our tiniest of the birds and she loves to snuggle up to one of the girls. It’s quite sweet.

I find myself sitting by the brooder quite a bit just watching them.

33 day old olive egger

Maude, 33 day old olive egger   

Maude’s feathers are coming in quite lovely. They are steel gray rimmed in black. I think she will be stunning when she is full grown. Maude prefers to keep to herself. She settles in quite nicely when we hold her, but she’s not one to hang around waiting for us to pick her up.

33 day old bantam frizzle

Edie, 33 day old bantam frizzle   

Ms. Personality Plus. This kid cracks me up every day. She knows she’s adorable and she flaunts it. Her feathers are more and more wild and crazy.

I would have a whole flock of bantams. They are so much fun.

Ah yes, pets with benefits. It’s the way to go.

Rufous hummingbird

Newcomer to Greyhound Gardens   

For as long as I can remember I have always been enamored by hummingbirds. Except for once or twice by pure luck, my only sighting of the delicate birds were in photos. I never dreamt in my wildest dreams that we would have resident hummers.

When our little Anna’s hummingbird became a regular at our feeders, we started to research the other possibilities. In theory, there are eight species that migrate to Oregon in February and March and head south in the fall. Anna’s hang around throughout the winter. Rufous and Anna’s are the most common in Oregon.

I hoped beyond hope that we would see a Rufous.

It boggles my mind to think that this little bird can make it’s way to Mexico for the winter only to turn around and come back to Oregon for spring and summer. I’ve driven I-5 through California. That is one long drive, I can’t imagine how long it must take the little birds. And after all of that, what are the chances they will find their way to our feeders?

Dearest Mother Nature, she never disappoints.

Last night after Karen made it home from traveling, we headed out to the barn with our coffee and the boys. Pete, our Anna’s boy has his favorite spots. He prefers the plum tree and when I looked up at the cherry tree, I was so surprised to see him sitting on a branch. On closer inspection, it wasn’t Pete at all, it was the beautiful little Rufous boy.

When he returned this morning during coffee, my heart skipped a beat and then I kicked myself three times for not taking the camera out again. This evening after work I was not going to miss one more opportunity. Sure enough, here he came making a swing through the feeders three times.

Welcome to the gardens little one. Fresh flowers will be available soon.

Long-haired Weimaraner


Painting my way through the alphabet

My journey of painting dogs through the alphabet continues. I learn something new with each dog and fall deeper in love with the process.

My goal is to paint as many breeds as possible. Each coat is so different and always provides me with a new challenge.

So far, I have been blessed with a whole bunch of wet dogs. Do we live in Oregon or what?

Goldee is always a perfect model. That girl knew the day she came home with Holly that her career in modeling had begun and she has never disappointed.

Goldee, the photo