Friday, February 8, 2013

The Post I Never Thought I'd Write

When we decided to build our dream house three years ago here in North Carolina, I thought, that's it.  After moving so often growing up, we were now settling down, raising our family here, and our kids would eventually have to wheel me out of this house right into an assisted living home.

Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans...

our beautiful red house
Recently Mr. Red House got a job offer he couldn't refuse - and it was near where his family had recently settled.  That's right, people, we're moving to...


Um, did you hear that they are supposed to get 3 feet of snow this weekend?
So, for the last few months, since we got wind of a possible move, garden expansion has come to a halt.  My garden as well as the blogosphere has been somewhat neglected as we have been researching the Boston area and taking a couple trips up to visit.  My in-laws made sure we saw the beauty of the Northeast and talked up the area quite a bit (as they could barely contain their excitement at the thought of grandchildren living nearby!)

Beautiful fall color!

Pick your own apple orchards!

Dirt so amazing, the plants evidently grow so well that they swallow large buildings whole!

Of course, I had a couple reservations.  I might have been born in the Northeast and even lived in Alaska when I was young (as Mr. Red House pointed out), but I haven't lived up north since college days, and I have never actually (successfully) driven in snow before.  

Um, what are these for again?
And I would certainly miss our friends and our close-knit neighborhood.  But neither I nor Mr. Red House ever got to live near our grandparents, and the thought of my kids growing up so close to theirs just warms my heart.  (Now I just have to get my parents to move close by!)

on a walk with her Grandpa
So I might not be blogging quite so much for the next couple months as we prepare to get our house on the market and move, but I will be back in full force eventually!  I will miss my Red House garden here in North Carolina, as well as my little backyard wildlife community.

Noooooo!! You can't take the bird feeders away from us!!!
But planning my next Red House Garden will be sure to be fun as well, with a whole new set of challenges and lessons in store, and a whole new family of squirrels to thwart!  
Which leads me to wonder......what color will our next house be?!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Ode to the Lot Next Door

My garden has probably wondered what has become of me.  To tell you the truth, I haven't been out gardening/taking photos/otherwise adoring my garden for quite some time.  I have a couple excuses, the first of which is... it's been rather noisy out there for the past few months.

The empty lot next to us sold, and the air has been filled with the sounds of trucks going to and fro, the vibration of air compressors, the sharp staccato of nail guns and, well, you can imagine.  Gardening has not been quite the tranquil experience as usual.

what the lot next to us used to look like
It is sad to loose the woods next to our house.  The wooded lot was home to several tall Oak trees, a couple of Sweetgums, and some beautiful native Dogwoods.  I tried to transplant one of the little Dogwoods that would have been mowed over, but to no avail.

Dogwood blossoms
Over the past couple years I enjoyed trying to identify various native plants that grew there.

Top:  Mockingbird inspecting the berries of a Pokeweed plant
Bottom:  Deerberry in bloom, the flowers of Hearts a'Bustin
One of my favorite things about living next to this wooded lot was how it attracted birds.  It was always filled with Nuthatches, Cardinals, Mourning Doves, and Woodpeckers, among others.  For quite some time, a Red-headed Woodpecker seemed to reside there, constantly perching on a particular branch, pecking about and chattering its distinctive vocalizations.

the Red-headed Woodpecker on its favorite perch
As much as I enjoyed the wildlife and the woods, however, I do have to admit that I am rather glad they have finally built on this lot.  One of the reasons this lot attracted so many Woodpeckers and other birds was - many of the trees were dead or diseased.  I suspect that the same disease that plagued so many of my Oak trees also ran rampant in the lot next door.  Every time we got a storm, I feared that one of these trees would collapse onto our roof.

a Downy Woodpecker on a leaning tree
So I am glad to have the construction almost over, and maybe my poor garden will see a little more of me...

Whoa.. hello newly-built house!  Privacy screenings have been planted.. check!
... but this was only the first of my excuses for not being in the garden for the last while.  You will have to stay tuned for the next post, which will be about my second excuse, and the post I never thought I'd write...
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