Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First Day of Spring!

~ The Fledgling ~


Happy first day of Spring to you!

Of all the four seasons, Spring is my favorite! It contains the holiday I love best...Easter...a holiday of flowers, baby birds and animals, and life renewed! After a winter of sleeping trees, ground covered in white, and frozen lakes, Spring is most welcome!

As the earth awakens I love watching for fuzzy pussy willows that emerge, the honk and trumpet of Canadian Geese and white Trumpeter Swans, the air rushing through wings, as their great flocks fly northward.

I love the patter of raindrops on the roof and the smell of the earth as it thaws, the first croaks of awakening frogs, and delight once again at the sight of a flitting butterfly, crawling fuzzy caterpillar, and the tiniest buds as they swell in the trees.

How wonderful to see green coat the ground once again as little blades of grass and flowers stretch toward the warming sunshine, to hear the most beautiful music as songbirds return and sing songs of Spring and love, and to watch as lakes and rivers turn from white, to grey, and finally blue again, reflecting colors of the sky on its waters.

Spring...a time of rebirth and rejuvenation!

~ Happy Spring to you! ~

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Iris of Whimsy

At last!!!
The post of Iris in the Whimsy gardens I had promised oh so long ago!

To look below at the amount of images I placed in this post you probably can tell I really love Iris! All images are of the actual flowers growing in the Whimsy gardens. Many will be potted up to share with other gardeners at market this spring.

~ Siberian Iris ~
* Ego *

~ Siberian Iris ~
* Chilled Wine *

~ Siberian Iris ~
* Ruffled Velvet *

~ Siberian Iris ~ 
* Butter & Sugar *

~ Standard Siberian Iris ~

~ Siberian Iris ~ 
* Snow Queen *

~ Siberian Iris ~
* Mares Tails *

Mares Tails is a Siberian Iris cross pollination of Snow Queen and the standard blue Siberian Iris. The plant appeared on its own from dropped seed one summer, and surprised me with the beautiful snow white flowers lightly touched with the palest of blue.

~ German Bearded Iris ~
* variety unkown *

~ Bearded Iris ~
* Heirloom variety unkown *

The above Iris was the beginning of my Iris collection and was planted in my grandmother's garden during the 1950's.

~ Bearded Iris ~
* Heirloom Wabash 1940 *

This beautiful blue and white iris was one of two heirloom varieties that were "rescued" by a gardening friend from an old abandoned lot some years ago.

~ Bearded Iris ~
* Heirloom Flavescens 1813 *

~ Bearded Iris ~
* Lady Friend *

These are approximately half of the Iris varieties now growing in the Whimsy gardens. And as I just can't resist the beauty of these plants, I'm sure more will appear in the gardens this year!

~ Wishing you a wonderful whimsy day! ~


Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring and Whimsy's Wild Critter Tales

Spring is definitely in the air!

The weather over the weekend was warm and sunny, prompting sounds and sights signaling the change of seasons. Snow was melting quickly becoming very slushy underfoot, and miniature rivulats of water streamed off of roofs, then meandered this way and that, traveling towards unknown destinations.

Songbirds were chirping joys of the warm sunshine, larger birds like the eagle and crow were abundant in the air, and the first of the pussywillows have appeared!

All this brought thoughts of warm days of spring and summer past, and wild things that visit the Whimsy gardens.

~ Spring Robin ~

I had longed to photograph closeup images of robins, but being they are very shy birds this had not been possible, as I lacked a zoom lens for my camera. Wishes do come true however...and...as I am learning through the years...they come true sometimes in the most unexpected ways!

One morning last Spring as I was having my breakfast I heard the strangest tap...tap...tap. I stopped to listen closely. The sound came again...tap...tap...tap. Slowly and cautiously I rose to find the source. It appeared someone was tapping on a window. Who, I wondered, could it be? Tap...tap...tap...it came again. Downstairs I went, following the noise...tap...tap...tap.




Downstairs is a dark mahogany cabinet which is situated against an outside wall that contains a small window. This cabinet seemed to be where the strange tapping noise came from. But what...how...who?

Again came the tap...tap...tap. 

Ever so slowly I opened the creeking cabinet door...and there to my utter amazement stood a bright red breasted Mr. Robin! He was bobbing up and down in an overgrown cedar bush which happened to be in front of the small window. As I watched not more than four feet away, Mr. Robin hopped up to the window and with his beak tap...tap...tapped.

And again tap...tap...tapped.

I slowly backed from his view, then dashed for the camera hoping I hadn't scared him away, and that he would remain long enough for me to snap a few quick images. When would I have this opportunity to be so close again, I wondered!

No fear you see... for the back of the mahogony cabinet had a large rectangular hole cut into it when it was made. This hole I assume is to allow for access to the back of electrical equipment when placed inside. Mr. Robin, looking through the window, thought this to be an ideal nesting spot...a perfect bush in front to hop into and cover the view of said nesting area...a lovely roof overhead...and a beautiful large opening to place said nest into...as long as the cabinet door remainded closed that is! His only issue was...how to get through the window into that perfect nesting area!

He was a very insistant Mr. Robin! After a full hour of clicking images, I believed I had all of the angles I could want...for now...closed the cabinet door, and went to continue about my day.

Poor Mr. Robin!
He wanted that spot very, very much! And for two solid weeks continued to tap on the window. I feared that he would waste too many days trying to nest somewhere he could not.

And below was why he desired this nesting spot!

~ Little Red Squirrel ~

Little Red Squirrel is very, very cute...but quite naughty. Scampering here and there, from tree to tree, chattering away if he happens to catch anyone looking his way. Little Red Squirrel and friend litter the ground with pinecones, chewed off pine branches, and in the spring, little eggshells (sometimes Mr. Robin's little blue eggs) and tipped over nests.

But what a cute face on Little Red Squirrel! 

~ Miss Chippy Chipmunk ~

Miss Chippy Chipmunk is another wild Whimsy critter...and she too is quite smart. She has an amazing way of training humans! You see, in the Whimsy gardens there grow blueberry bushes. These blueberry bushes grow fat, delicious blueberries! Each summer I watch and wait as the little green blueberries grow larger and larger...then turn pink, light purple, darker purple, and one more day until...HEY, where did those ripe blueberries go!

Not until last year did Miss Chippy Chipmunk confess she and Mr. Chippy had been enjoying ripe blueberries for breakfast! I had always wondered who was leaving little tooth and tongue marks in the not quite ripe blueberries growing next to the missing ripe berries! Yes, Miss Chippy Chipmunk told me it was her as she scampered excitedly in front of me to reach the bushes, dashed nimbly into them and sat looking at me as if to say..."My blueberries?"

I guess this human took a little longer to train than some. After that day, peanuts appeared morning and evening for Mr. and Miss Chippy...and blueberries were found on the bushes, ripe and unsampled!

Many other wild critters visit the Whimsy gardens, some only once, others more often. What stories will they tell this year?

Mr. Robin did eventually decide that it was past time to move on and find another nesting area. Where? I am not quite sure, but I hope it was quite safe from Little Red Squirrel.

I look forward to more adventures of the wild critters of Whimsy gardens! 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Winners...and... Woodpeckers?

I wish to thank everyone for all of your wonderful
birthday wishes!

The day which has now come and gone was spent with grandchildren, grown children, and Mr. Whimsy. After I received a bundle of wonderful handmade cards from the grandchildren, the evening was spent feasting on delicious pizza, brownies baked by granddaughter, and board game playing! Truly a fun day!


Time past, the day finally arrived to pick a winner...and on that day the 3rd snowstorm of the week hit!
Shoveling, snowblowing, shoveling, snowblowing...
...when evening fell and the Whimsy clock struck 9:00 PM, Mr Whimsy was fast asleep!

We're late! We're late!


the grand plumed hat has now been filled with folded name strips on blue parchment of those that entered...
names were stirred, bounced, and stirred again. As I held the hat well above mine and Mr. Whimsy's head to allow for no peeking, Mr. Whimsy slowly drew a name as I held my breath and closed my eyes. Asking if he should read the name to me, I quietly nodded yes.

The name Mr. Whimsy plucked

for the winner of the 5"x7" Peek A Boo print


Linda from

Congratulations Linda!

But wait!!!

I had a wish that each one that had entered would be a winner!

So, to...

Tammie Lee
and Gulf Coast Laser Graphics

I would love to send you a mini version of Peek A Boo,
a 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" ACEO print (which really is the size of the original it was created from)!

If you would love to find this little print in your mailbox, please email me the address you wish it shipped to at info@delarena.com

Again thank you all!!!

But wait you say?

What about the woodpeckers?

Today the giant 17" Pileated Woodpeckers are calling! A true sign of the beginning of Spring!

~ Pileated Nest ~

These parents were very smart birds! If you look carefully you will notice the nesting hole of last year was created perfectly under the tree growing fungus, providing a natural awning to help shed rain.

~ Pileated Woodpecker Chick Calling for Lunch ~

  Last year these amazing birds decided to nest in a tree at the edge of Whimsy lawn. Such a racket these little fledglings created as they waited for the parents to return again and again with tasty morsels. And what a joy it was for quiet to return to the neighborhood once they flew out in search of their own meals!

Where will the parents create their nest this year? Despite the noise from hungy chicks, these large prehistoric looking birds are a delight to watch! 


Thank you for popping into the Chronicles of Whimsy!

~ I wish you all an amazing week ahead! ~