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Hot weather and sunshine bring out the beauty of prickly pear (Opuntia) flowers.


This gigantic spineless prickly pear growing in a neighbor’s yard stands about 6-1/2 feet tall, and it’s covered with butter-yellow flowers.


The toughest plants seem to have the most splendid flowers.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
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Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Join the mailing list for Garden Spark Talks! Inspired by the idea of house concerts, I’m hosting a series of garden talks by inspiring designers and authors out of my home. Talks are limited-attendance events and generally sell out within just a few days, so join the Garden Spark email list for early notifications. Simply click this link and ask to be added.

All material © 2006-2018 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Yellow flowering prickly pear glows like sunshine appeared first on Digging.

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As my daughter pulled the trash bin out to the driveway yesterday, bumping it along the stepping-stone path, she nearly stepped on a newborn fawn who was trying hard to remain unseen.


He or she lay half concealed amid the variegated flax lily lining the path, a white-spotted rump and a flash of white tail the only giveaway as to its presence. In the dappled light of the live oaks, it was good camouflage.


My daughter was only a step or two away when she saw the fawn and froze herself, then slowly backed away. The baby never moved a muscle.


We had a houseful of guests, and we all trooped out to take a quiet look. Baby remained put, just like Mama said.


When I checked on the fawn later, it had shifted positions but was still in its flax lily bed. By dusk, however, it was gone, off with its mother, who had returned from her errands to pick up Junior. Such a sweet little face with a black nose. I wonder if we’ll see it again.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
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Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Join the mailing list for Garden Spark Talks! Inspired by the idea of house concerts, I’m hosting a series of garden talks by inspiring designers and authors out of my home. Talks are limited-attendance events and generally sell out within just a few days, so join the Garden Spark email list for early notifications. Simply click this link and ask to be added.

All material © 2006-2018 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Fawning over this new baby in the garden appeared first on Digging.

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Mexican oregano, vitex, and ‘Vertigo’ pennisetum harmonize in shades of purple.

Since the Austin Garden Bloggers Fling tour in early May, when 92 bloggers trooped through my garden, a purple explosion has occurred. So many plants are in full bloom now that weren’t then, and that pains me a bit.


‘Peter’s Purple’ monarda makes a violet swath along the driveway.

Vitex, Mexican oregano, ‘Peter’s Purple’ monarda — these beauties wow in early summer, when temps regularly hover in the 90s.


A Texas sotol bloom spike rises high above the monarda.

I’m fairly certain the bloggers would not have appreciated touring in 95-degree weather (I know I wouldn’t), but still I wish the garden looked then the way it does now.


Purple on purple of ‘Vertigo’ pennisetum and vitex

Isn’t that always the way it goes when you have garden visitors? You should have seen it a few days ago, or I wish you could see it in a few weeks.


Vitex, or chaste lilac, in flower

Well, that’s what a blog is for.


Collecting rain lily seeds

Whether an in-person visit or a virtual one, it’s all about gathering seeds…or inspiration.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
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Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Join the mailing list for Garden Spark Talks! Inspired by the idea of house concerts, I’m hosting a series of garden talks by inspiring designers and authors out of my home. Talks are limited-attendance events and generally sell out within just a few days, so join the Garden Spark email list for early notifications. Simply click this link and ask to be added.

All material © 2006-2018 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Early summer color coming on appeared first on Digging.

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With this killer view of Lake Austin, many homeowners might have sodded a lawn, plunked a few pots of annuals around the pool, and called it done. But Kirk Walden, whose garden was the final stop on the recent Austin Garden Bloggers Fling tour (I photographed it a few days later), was inspired by his home’s Hill Country view to create a garden that “is all about nature, if nature were a little more organized.” Planted with tough but beautiful native and adapted plants, the garden blends a naturalistic swimming pool into the stunning setting; softens and brightens patios, porches, and the entry; and gives Kirk a reason to play in the dirt.


A limestone-slab path leads from the driveway to the gated back yard.


Let’s start our tour here, at the back of the house, where visitors are invited to take in the luxurious view. The house is built to capitalize on it, with lots of windows and a deep, shady porch. Raised beds along the porch bring plants up to the house and allow Kirk to do without a porch railing that would block the view.


A waterwise zoysia lawn is defined by a curved limestone edge, which matches the white flowers of a swath of guara.


Guara glowing like daytime stars


Terraced beds surround the swimming pool and stone patio, where comfy seating invites you to sink in and enjoy the view.


‘Livin’ Easy’ rose provides spicy color.


Yellow bird of paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii) is a nice change of pace from the more commonplace Pride of Barbados (Caesalpinia pulcherrima), and its exotic flowers add tropical style.


A toothy agave provides evergreen color and structure.


The naturalistic swimming pool is stunning, designed with two circular pools at different levels. The upper level consists of a 4-foot-deep soaking pool modeled on the pond in the main courtyard at the Wildflower Center, which is designed to look like a spring-fed swimming hole. Kirk says he can stand in this pool and watch boats go by on the lake below. Water spills over a lip on the limestone edging…


…cascades down a series of small waterfalls that attract bathing birds…


…and spills into a deeper swimming pool on the lower patio.


Russian sage blooms along a metal fence separating you from a steep canyon below the pool.


A palm and a potted bougainvillea give a tropical look to the pool patio.


Under a large umbrella, a shady seating area offers a comfortable hang-out spot.


Looking back up toward the house


Guara’s airy wands are lovely during the daytime and must be even prettier glowing in the evening.


In the upper garden, a sculpture by Austin artist Sun McColgin invites speculation: is it a whale? A dinosaur? A duck? The title offers a clue: Scissortail.


Pausing on the elevated back porch, you get to enjoy that million-dollar view one more time.


Around the side of the house, a large oakleaf hydrangea blooms against the warm stone siding.


Those creamy blossoms look so good with the stone.


In a shady bed along the foundation, the glossy leaves of leopard plant and feathery fronds of foxtail fern provide evergreen interest.


It’s all good! reads a sign on the wire side fence, and indeed it is.


Limestone slabs step up through a wire gate to the parking area at the front of the house.


A grid of limestone pavers makes a water-permeable parking space surrounded by tough, sun-loving native plants like Mexican feathergrass, desert willow, and pink skullcap.


Sitting in the garden along one side, an arched, reddish steel beam makes an impromptu piece of art that recalls Austin’s Pennybacker Bridge.


At the home’s front door, a pretty garden of low, mounding plants keeps the focus on the architecture. A pair of white lions marks the path to the front door.


Mullein, rose campion, Mexican feathergrass, and skullcap mingle in a low tapestry.


Rose campion adds a shot of plum color.


A regal profile


To the right side of the house, the garden gets taller and fluffier but also spikier with a cluster of agaves.


A rain chain directs water running off the eave into a pot, and from there it’s channeled into a French drain.


Near the garage, another rain chain is at the ready.


Potted agave


I think the dark-purple tree is a crape myrtle.


Along the driveway, a tall screen of perforated steel panel and cattle panel hides views of neighboring houses.


Here along the driveway, as everywhere in Kirk’s garden, water management directed the design. “Water was a concern, both in terms of runoff and overall usage,” he says. “The shallow soil and deep limestone made installing a rain-collection system extremely cost prohibitive. The solution was a no-grass front yard, drought-tolerant zoysia grass in back, terracing to capture rain, drip irrigation to avoid evaporation and runoff in the sunniest areas, and low-spray irrigation in other areas. A French drain runs the length of the front of the house, emptying into what appears to be a dry creek bed.”

Annie Gillespie of Botanical Concerns (recently retired) did the design and installation of the garden, and Julie Clark of Stronger Than Dirt helps with maintenance. It’s a beautiful and waterwise garden that capitalizes on the stunning vista without overlooking the pleasures of close-up views too.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
_______________________

Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Join the mailing list for Garden Spark Talks! Inspired by the idea of house concerts, I’m hosting a series of garden talks by inspiring designers and authors out of my home. Talks are limited-attendance events and generally sell out within just a few days, so join the Garden Spark email list for early notifications. Simply click this link and ask to be added.

All material © 2006-2018 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Kirk Walden’s Hill Country garden atop Lake Austin appeared first on Digging.

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Digging Blog By Pam Penick by Pam/digging - 1M ago


This is the bloom-spikiest spring I can remember in Austin. All over town, agaves, sotols, aloes, hesperaloes, mangaves, manfredas, and yuccas are sending up flowering wands or blooming candelabras. My own garden is no exception, but the spikes I’m most excited by are towering over two Texas sotols (Dasylirion texana) along the driveway.


These have never bloomed before, and in fact I can’t recall ever seeing a Texas sotol in bloom elsewhere. Clearly, I’ve been missing out!


The sotol in front, which gets more sun, started its bloom spike first, and soon after the other one started, with a funny little kink about halfway up. (A third sotol in the back garden is now playing catch-up.) Both bloom spikes have reached about 12 or 15 feet. The front one burst into yellow bloom earlier this week, attracting numerous bees and other pollinators. In front, purple skullcap and ‘Peter’s Purple’ bee balm are starting to bloom.


I love purple skullcap (Scutellaria wrightii) — a real “wow” plant on a small scale.


On the other side of the circular driveway, a paleleaf yucca (Yucca pallida) is blooming, with creamy, bell-like flowers dangling from a blue-green spike. I can hardly believe the deer have not eaten this. They’ve already taken out several other yucca bloom spikes in the front garden this spring (must be delicious). Every morning I’m surprised to see it still standing.


Next to it, Jerusalem sage (Phlomis fruticosa) has finished blooming. Berkeley sedge (Carex divulsa) is the green groundcover, woolly stemodia (Stemodia lanata) the gray. ‘Green Goblet’ agave is a stately presence at the end. At far left…


…a wide-leaf giant hesperaloe (Hesperaloe funifera ssp. chiangii) is blooming — also a first for my garden! I’ve not been able to capture the bloom spike in photos. The flowers, way up high on a branching stalk, are small and pale, and they get lost amid the backdrop of live oak trunks.


One more view — still can’t really see those flowers though. It’s an impressive spike in person.


While we’re in the side yard, notice there’s a bloom stalk just starting on the Lindheimer nolina (Nolina lindheimeri) in the silver pot. And I can’t help noticing that the strings of silver balls (from Wind & Weather) hanging from the trees look a bit like bloom spikes too.


I’ll close with another artful “bloom spike”: the rusty-wire art piece rising from the charcoal pot in the foundation bed. Planted with ‘Pineapple Express’ mangave, the container needed something tall up top to balance its tall, narrow shape. Voila — art! A neighboring couple recently told me that they’d walked up the drive to see what was blooming in that container. Ha! A bloom spike that never quits.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
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Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Join the mailing list for Garden Spark Talks! Inspired by the idea of house concerts, I’m hosting a series of garden talks by inspiring designers and authors out of my home. Talks are limited-attendance events and generally sell out within just a few days, so join the Garden Spark email list for early notifications. Simply click this link and ask to be added.

All material © 2006-2018 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Bloom spikes! appeared first on Digging.

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The three screech owlets in our owl box fledged this week. We’ve spotted one of them in the crape myrtle — the red-hued Moltres, my daughter thinks. Its red coloring is more visible in the last photo below. (The other two chicks are named Articuno and Zapdos. Any Pokemon fans here?)


Perhaps we should have named him or her Longshanks. Look at those long, skinny legs.


The view from below — a little undignified, but I wanted to show you those talons.

I read somewhere that the parents will keep feeding the chicks outside the box for several weeks, and then they’ll be fully on their own. I wish them well! It’s been a joy to watch this family grow and thrive in our own back yard.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
_______________________

Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Join the mailing list for Garden Spark Talks! Inspired by the idea of house concerts, I’m hosting a series of garden talks by inspiring designers and authors out of my home. Talks are limited-attendance events and generally sell out within just a few days, so join the Garden Spark email list for early notifications. Simply click this link and ask to be added.

All material © 2006-2018 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Screech owlets have flown the coop appeared first on Digging.

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I’ve been after my friend Curt Arnette, landscape-architect owner of Sitio Design, to open his personal garden on tour for years. But because he likes to change things up at home (plus being busy with his work projects), he’s always said it wasn’t ready. Persistence pays off, however, and I finally bugged him enough that he let me bring 5 blogger friends for a visit on the day after the Austin Fling. What a treat! I loved seeing his latest project: a reimagining of his suburban back yard with Palm Springs flair that doesn’t forsake the lush live-oak-canopied look of Austin.

Curt’s two-story brick home in the Circle C neighborhood sits on a corner lot, so he has extra space to play with. Pictured above is a broad gravel path that leads through his side yard (visible from the street alongside the house; lucky neighbors!) up into the back yard.


At the top of three shallow steps, you get a dose of retro desert style a la Palm Springs thanks to a concrete breeze-block wall that runs on the diagonal through the back yard, dividing it visually between sun and shade. The diagonal line also makes the garden seem larger by leading the eye along the longest line. In front of the wall, a sunny cactus and succulent bed edged with steel catches the light, and a hot-pink bougainvillea adds tropical color.


Golden barrels and other cacti in the raised bed, which faces the home’s back door


Another angle


Now let’s walk around the wall to explore the shadier side of the back garden.


Looking back, such wonderful shaggy texture in the Yucca rostrata and palm foliage.


Parrot lily, also called Peruvian lily (Alstroemeria pulchella), blooming in dappled shade


The back yard slopes down, offering a view of a circular fire-pit patio lushly encircled by bamboo, Japanese maple, and palms.


A shady vignette features a “Bird Girl” statuette (made famous by the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil).


As it happens, Lori Daul, whose blog is called The Gardener of Good and Evil, was there too — shown here talking with Curt.


Curt puts the massive live oaks in his garden to excellent use. Here he ran the pathway under an arching limb that acts as a natural arbor. It frames a view of a patio table and chairs in a gravel-floored “room” at the back corner of the garden. Curt mentioned that he’s still thinking about what this room might offer besides basic seating. I’m sure he’ll come up with something creative.


A native dwarf palmetto (Sabal minor) holds aloft fan-like leaves beside a live oak growing horizontally. There’s such character in these old live oaks.


Palm shadows


More palms! This one seems to be doing a fan dance with a cherubic figure atop a bird bath.


From the shady back corner, you emerge back into sunlight at the other end of the breeze-block wall. Shaded by palms, two turquoise Acapulco chairs overlook a contemporary-style pond (pics below).


Breeze block detail


The long view to the succulent and cactus planter, and the back door of the house.


The Acapulco chairs overlook Curt’s signature circular pond and rill-fountain. Regular readers will remember a similar pond and fountain in the Lakewood Garden that Curt designed.


Rill-fountain closeup. That’s a Texas star hibiscus growing in the pond, if I recall correctly.


A wider view from outside an airy, steel-panel fence shows how the garden appears from the public sidewalk. The pond and fountain are visible — and audible — to passersby, and it must be a joy for neighbors to view the garden as they pass. A silvery olive tree soaks up the sun.


Looking toward the front garden, you see a much shadier space under multiple live oaks, with hedging for privacy. In the foreground hell strip, bamboo muhly (Muhlenbergia dumosa), cut to the ground, makes a feathery groundcover. On the other side of the sidewalk, firecracker fern and sedge offer more grassy texture.


A perfect gravel circle offset around a live oak provides a sweet spot for a wooden swing, where Helen of The Patient Gardener enjoys a rest. Just beyond Helen…


…a large ‘Green Goblet’ agave set amid sedge anchors a triangular planting area between the public sidewalk and a path that leads into the front garden.


Another look


Let’s follow that path into the front garden. The boxwood hedges, as I recall, are Curt’s answer to neighborhood restrictions against any front-yard fencing, even low, open fences meant only to define space. Living fences were not restricted, and so hedging proved a creative and beautiful way to give privacy to his front-yard patio.


This shade-loving combo along the house caught my eye: Chinese mahonia (Mahonia fortunei), leopard plant (Farfugium japonicum var. giganteum), oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia), and sago palm (Cycas revoluta).


At the front door, a limestone paver patio invites you to linger in the garden before stepping inside. This space feels like a New Orleans courtyard garden to me, with the heavy live oaks, densely planted perimeter, and gravel seating area and string lights. The patio opens to the sunlit driveway, to the street via a French-style blue gate (pictured below), to the side street via the gravel path through which we entered, and of course to the home’s front door.


A lovely concrete pedestal planter of kalanchoe amid palm, yew, and potted Christmas cactus (I think).


A beautiful iron gate, painted sky blue, leads to the street — the main entrance for visitors. At left a sago palm spreads feathery fronds over a collection of stone spheres.


Outside the hedged patio garden, a xeric streetside garden includes whale’s tongue agave (A. ovatifolia) and Mediterranean fan palm.


The corner view from the intersecting streets provides another wow moment: a white concrete bowl planter with hot-pink bougainvillea set amid blue mistflower, agave, palms, and other xeric plants, with the green clipped hedge, a massive pittosporum, and towering oak trees in the background. Stunning!


The bougainvillea planter is such an eye catcher.


Agave parryi var. truncata sits like a blue dahlia amid the mistflower.


The flowering mistflower had attracted a monarch butterfly, probably fueling up for its northward journey for the summer.


The monarch is a beautiful butterfly.


Closer to the sunny driveway, xeric plants like whale’s tongue agave, dyckia (in bloom, foreground), and yucca take center stage.


Curt’s garden is a wonderful study in foliage texture, how to blend southern and western styles of gardens, and how to create distinct spaces. I know his garden will wow Austinites on a garden tour one day — when he’s ready. Thanks, Curt, for sharing your gorgeous space with us!

For Foliage Follow-Up fans, I have an announcement. After almost 9 years of leading the Foliage Follow-Up meme (I started it in November 2009), today’s is my final post. I still adore foliage and will post plenty of foliage combos on a regular basis, but I have begun to feel hemmed in by having a particular date on which to post. However, I encourage those who like the meme to continue posting on the day after Bloom Day; foliage needs your love! I have greatly enjoyed reading all your Foliage Follow-Up posts over the years. Thank you, and keep on celebrating your foliage combos!

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
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Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Join the mailing list for Garden Spark Talks! Inspired by the idea of house concerts, I’m hosting a series of garden talks by inspiring designers and authors out of my home. Talks are limited-attendance events and generally sell out within just a few days, so join the Garden Spark email list for early notifications. Simply click this link and ask to be added.

All material © 2006-2018 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post A little Palm Springs, a little New Orleans, all Texas in the garden of Curt Arnette appeared first on Digging.

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Having said goodbye to nearly 100 garden bloggers at Austin Garden Bloggers Fling, on Monday of last week I picked up 4 late-staying blogger friends — Loree Bohl of Danger Garden, Gerhard Bock of Succulents and More, Victoria Summerley of Tales from Awkward Hill, and Helen Johnstone of The Patient Gardener — for an impromptu day of visiting additional gardens and one nursery.

Our first stop was the home of landscape architect Jackson Broussard of Sprout, whose garden I photographed last fall on the Open Days Tour. I greatly admire the classical-contemporary style of his garden, epitomized here by an Italian-potted prickly pear showcased on a mosaic-style low wall along the driveway, and backed by a rustic cedar-post fence. Perfection!


The smaller details are wonderful too, like this rough-hewn stone water bowl reflecting the tree canopy amid low-growing greenery.


Next we shopped at East Austin Succulents for pots and plants, where I admired these wacky Lone Star beer can planters.


East Austin Succulents carries a fascinating, high/low variety of pots, as well as many potted succulent arrangements ready to take home.


Roped to a fence, unpotted and sitting with its bare roots exposed, a chunky Argentine saguaro had decided to bloom.


The extravagantly beautiful flower was hung up in the wire fencing, but it didn’t seem to mind. It always astonishes me that cacti are so tough (blooming while bare-root and lassoed to a fence) and yet so showy in flower.


At this point we were hungry, so we stopped at Chuy’s on Barton Springs Road for a Tex-Mex lunch. From left to right: Loree, Victoria, me, Helen, and Gerhard. It was fun to share Chuy’s with an Oregonian, two Brits, and a Californian. An Austin original, Chuy’s has now spread to half of the U.S. — but not the western half as yet.


After lunch we toured Jeff Pavlat’s hillside garden (see it in full in my blog post from fall 2012). Cholla was in bloom amid the yucca and prickly pear.


Leaning over the driveway from a terraced bed, a bizarre and impressive bloom spike of a flowering agave makes a celebration out of the one-time flowering that marks the plant’s imminent death. It’s how we all should go.

My thanks to Jackson and Jeff for welcoming our party into their gardens!

Up next: A visit to landscape architect’s Curt Arnette’s personal garden, our last stop of the day.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
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Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Join the mailing list for Garden Spark Talks! Inspired by the idea of house concerts, I’m hosting a series of garden talks by inspiring designers and authors out of my home. Talks are limited-attendance events and generally sell out within just a few days, so join the Garden Spark email list for early notifications. Simply click this link and ask to be added.

All material © 2006-2018 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Post-Fling garden exploring with blogger friends appeared first on Digging.

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The owl channel is playing 24/7 in our garden as the screech owl chicks grow more active. They are close to fledging, I think, and Mama and Papa Owl are kept busy night after night, bringing them tasty morsels of tree roaches, mice, moths, lizards, and whatever else they find for them.


Yesterday my daughter spotted Lucy (the red owl) and Desi (the gray) side-by-side in the ligustrum, which is unusual. Normally they roost in different trees.


They are such a handsome pair.


Just after dark this evening, I sat quietly on the deck and took photos of the chicks as they impatiently waited to be fed.


They bobbed eagerly in the doorway, jostling for position as their parents swooped in to feed them. My camera wasn’t fast enough, in the low light, to capture the flurry of the feedings.


Occasionally one got a bit testy. Typical sibling rivalry.


There’s a third owl in the box, but I only saw two at any one time. I hope the third managed to get a few bites to eat too!

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
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Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Join the mailing list for Garden Spark Talks! Inspired by the idea of house concerts, I’m hosting a series of garden talks by inspiring designers and authors out of my home. Talks are limited-attendance events and generally sell out within just a few days, so join the Garden Spark email list for early notifications. Simply click this link and ask to be added.

All material © 2006-2018 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Screech owl family – more pics! appeared first on Digging.

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The most exciting time of screech owl nesting season is here! The owlets have grown big and curious enough to climb to the doorway and look out at the world for the first time. For the past several days we’ve seen the tops of fuzzy heads in the box and even a shadowy glimpse of big eyes. But yesterday the owlets crowded themselves around the opening and boldly stared back at us as we took photos. (My daughter shot most of these, using my telephoto lens.)


There are at least three owlets in the box, but we only got good shots of two at a time.


They have such funny expressions!


Sometimes they lean far out of the box, as if to get a better view.


Their parents roost in surrounding trees during the day and feed the chicks at night. We spotted the male, who is gray and the smaller of the pair, in the evergreen sumac behind the owl box tree. (If you missed my earlier pics of Mom and Dad Owl, you can see them here.)


He sleepily eyed us from only a few yards away, resting one foot for a while by pulling it up under his body, like a flamingo.


The reddish and larger female was roosting in a ligustrum behind the back fence, a bit higher and harder to see, but also calmly tolerating our presence. After all, they’ve shared the back garden with us for about 2-1/2 months now.


Sometimes smaller birds mob the owls and complain about them, but I’m not sure this cardinal even knew they were there.


Just hanging around on the deck…


…and the payoff is these cute faces!

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
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Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Join the mailing list for Garden Spark Talks! Inspired by the idea of house concerts, I’m hosting a series of garden talks by inspiring designers and authors out of my home. Talks are limited-attendance events and generally sell out within just a few days, so join the Garden Spark email list for early notifications. Simply click this link and ask to be added.

All material © 2006-2018 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Owlets peeking out of the owl box appeared first on Digging.

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