Quick Tip – Yard Walkabout/Storm Repair

Monday’s Yard Walkabout had me cringing as I checked all my garden beds. We had a spring rainstorm last night that rivaled a mid-summer downpour. I found my top-heavy hyacinths lying on their sides.

To the rescue, twigs from last year’s Rudbeckia daisies.

I rarely cut these tall stems down in Autumn. They retain seeds on the spent flower heads for a good part of the winter, a food source for birds, and in the spring and summer their tall stems, turned wood-like in the winter weather, are perfect stakes for zinnias and other tall border plants. I usually break off the smaller twigs and discard, this year they will come in handy; I’ll poke the end in the ground and let the branches hold the hyacinth up until time to cut the faded flower away.

My propped-up hyacinths are part of Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Place – Spring Walk/Ocean City, New Jersey

Ocean City Boardwalk North

Spring’s warm weather brings hundreds of Shoobies to Ocean City to walk the boards. Shoobie is a slang term for daytrippers who visit the Jersey shore for a day or weekend. I’m not ashamed to admit the moniker ‘Shoobie’ can often be applied to me.

It’s sometimes difficult to decide which way to turn on the boardwalk, but our starting point is usually Ninth Street. Why? Ninth street is where our favorite pizza place, Manco and Manco, is located.

Ocean City Boardwalk South

If you don’t want to walk you can pull up a seat on a surrey.

It might seem odd to find a library on the beach, but I think it’s a great idea. I’ve seen these small book exchange boxes in local towns, but this is the first beach library I’ve seen.

We stopped at the neighboring town of Strathmere on the way home. Walking the beach we took notice of an area on the edge of the dunes. Cordoned off with wire, signs warned against entering the area due to endangered birds nesting in the area. I love shore birds and was glad to see their nesting area was protected. I hope they will nest and rear their young before even more Shoobies arrive in the summer.

This post is part of Jo’s Monday Walk.

Phascination – Mantis Pods/Yes or No?

A recent winter walk revealed several mantis pods (ootheca) in Tall Pines State Preserve. I’ve never seen a pod as secure as this one atop a tall meadow tree. I don’t think a mouse, squirrel or bird would be able to hold on long enough to ravage the pod for food.

In past years, winter would find me actively searching out mantis pods to place in my garden as free insect control. I’ve stopped the hunt after reading several articles about praying mantids capturing small birds. Now an inner dilemma will arise when I spy a mantis in my gardens. Do I leave the predator or carry it off into the woods and away from the hummingbird/butterfly plants I grow in my garden? I know the choice I will make now and in the future…I will carry them away. The hummingbirds and butterflies will have my protection. It’s funny how your perspective changes when you find out more facts than you wanted to know.

Mantis pods also fall victim to predatory creatures. This pod was probably eaten by a hungry mouse or bird.

Today’s post is part of Jo’s Monday Walk.