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I had the pleasure of attending my third Garden Bloggers Fling this year. We spent an incredible weekend touring the Washington DC area, including Northern Virginia and Maryland.

One thing that caught my eye was the plethora of concrete yard art. I noticed this more than in Texas, or any of the other Flings I’ve been to, maybe it’s the historical nature of the area.

One of our first stops, was Hillwood Estate, which had French-themed statues.

Throughout the garden, there was loose symmetry, which I love, and have implemented in my own garden.

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Several different gardens displayed St. Francis. This is not only my favorite from the Fling, but my favorite depiction ever.

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I think everyone on The Fling has this picture. The concrete columns of the monastery we visited were masterpieces.

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Even this chipmunk was a fan. This is the first one I’ve ever seen, as we don’t have these little creatures in Texas.

Some concrete was the star of the show.

Some blended effortlessly into the background.

One of these is from the Fling and one is just outside my front door.

 

 

Spring Babies

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These two cuties are the newest addition to the flock. The chick was born yesterday, and the duckling today. These two ducks are sitting on another few dozen eggs, so we are hoping for  several more in the next few days.

Aside from the two new mommas, there are another 4 ducks and 1 chicken sitting on eggs.

So far this season the hatching rate has been very low. We have 4 juvenile ducks and 7 juvenile chickens. We had 5 ducks and 1 chicken sitting a few months ago, but a rat snake and possum got into the coop and ate the majority of the eggs.

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The juvenile ducks are currently in their awkward stage. This one’s wings are a bit too big for his body.

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Here are a two of the seven juvenile chickens. We currently have 3 Bielefelders, 3 Maran/Bielefelder mixes, and 1 White.

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It looks like our new Bielfelder rooster is doing his job.

 

Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Garden for hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day the 15th for each month.

Here is what’s blooming in my garden.

The Roses …

The Rise N Shine rose is especially happy since I moved it to a pot. It used to be shadowed by the Livin’ Easy rose where it succumbed to fungus and rarely bloomed.

The Lantana …

The Wildflower Meadow …

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The rest …

Fun with New Lenses

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I’ve been pining after new lenses for quite a while now, and finally pulled the trigger. I bought an upgrade for my daily use lense and a macro lense for the closeups.

The last few days I’ve been playing around with them. I have the Garden Bloggers Fling in DC a week from Thursday, so needed to get used to my new daily lense.

Here are a few of my favorites …

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Milkweed Vine. Until yesterday, I thought the center was a little silver ball.

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From the windflower meadow. I need to find the name of this one.

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Horsemint with sweat bee

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Tiny Kitten

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Carl … it’s the concrete driveway, not snow

 

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Here is our new rescue kitty, Maddie. We’ve had her for over a month. The 3 cats are not best friends yet, but they’re getting better. One reason for the conflict is that Maddie won’t back down from anything. She showed that today, as she stalked a deer, taking her chase all the way across the street!

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Memorial Day weekend seems to be the typical time for fawns to appear in the neighborhood. This year, we’ve seen an abundance of twins. I spotted one set in the front yard this morning and had to grab my camera.

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Momma wasn’t far off, and it turns out I’m not the only one who noticed.

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Maddie Cat was fascinated, and not at all intimidated by the massive size difference.

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Quietly stalking

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Unsuspecting Deer

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Off she goes across the street

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Uh-oh. Caught it, now what do I do?

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Deer took off, guess it is time to head home

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Catching some air

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Back home safe and sound, and still fearless.

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Zucchini Marinara

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Dice onion and mince carrots and garlic.

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Chop squash and basil and oregano. I used tatume squash since it is less susceptible to the squash vine borer.

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One can of crushed tomatoes.

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Saute onion, garlic and carrots. Once softened add 1 lb venison (or beef) and season with salt and pepper. Once the meat is cooked through, add squash, herbs and tomatoes.

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Cook through until squash is softened and sauce thickens.

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Cook spaghetti noodles separately and add to sauce.


 

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Lamb and Venison Patties with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

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Chop onions, bell peppers. Mince carrots and garlic.

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Saute veggies in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

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Start with 1 lb each lamb and venison

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Add 2 eggs and ketchup. I used whataburger spicy ketchup this time.

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Crush saltines, add salt and pepper

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Add sautéed veggies and mix all ingredients.

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Cook to desired doneness on med-high heat.

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Large chop sweet potatoes

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Mix with olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Cook in 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.

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Serve patties and sweet potatoes with butter-balsamic green beans.

 


 

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Roast Duck & Squash Blossom Quesadillas

Quesadillas are one of my go-to meals. You can use any veggies you have in the garden (or fridge) and any leftover meat.

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Saute onions, squash, mushrooms and garlic. Once these are softened, add chopped squash blossoms and smoked duck. We pre-smoke several ducks at a time and freeze ready-to-eat packages.

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Put tortilla in non-greased, nonstick pan on med-high heat. Layer cheese, meat/veggie mixture, and a second layer of cheese. Cook each side until golden brown.

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Serve with your choice of salsa.

Signs of Spring

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Aside from a few cold snaps, we have had a very mild winter. Things are starting to bloom ahead of schedule, and I am nearly a month ahead on my spring veggies. Of course, just when you feel that winter is behind you, a cold front moves in. This weekend was pretty chilly, with highs in the 50s/60 and no sunshine to speak of. I covered my tomatoes, hopefully for the last time.

I still couldn’t help but stroll through the garden and take pics, even though it didn’t feel at all like spring.

Veggies

 

Wildflowers

 

Bulbs

 

Perennials

 

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Peggy Martin Rose

 

The Pets