A peanut purchase pays off!

Gardens are for birds too! Glad to support my area birds through the winter!

Walfred Photography

When everyone else was running off to get bread and milk at the grocery store, I ran to my local hardware store and bought several bags of this and that to offer my bird neighbors a meal. Once the snow stopped, I cleared several inches off the deck railing and waited. The blue jays are the hardest for me to photograph. They are so skittish. But today it was milder and much of the snow on the deck had melted so I refreshed the peanuts and waited.

The blue jays let me know they were coming. I noticed they squawk and squeak, either to alert their tribe, or to warn other birds. I did some research about them on YouTube. Unlike cardinals and other birds, male and female blue jays look nearly identical, and near impossible to figure out which is which if they appear separately! But one video said…

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May Traffic at the Pink Bucket Inn

Nothing enhances a landscape more than the wildlife and birds who stop by for a visit and enjoy the growth as well as the human contributions such as this birdseed tossed inside a pink bucket left over from 2020. The songs and chirps add to the serene and lively soundtrack of my garden, not to mention the biological control of these birds as they feed on both bird feeders and the growing insect population that ushers in in May!

Walfred Photography

Beach traffic at the Pink Bucket Inn in Lewes is steady. Word-by-beak must be spreading!

A House Finch family arrives to teach their youngin’ how to eat seed properly!

She clearly was having none of it. She squawked the whole time with her mouth opened, determined to have her parent feed her. First she appealed to her father.

Then entreated her mother for treats. Ah to no avail at first

Finally, her mother gave it. Anything to keep the little one quiet!

The commotion brought the attention of this catbird, who cleared away the finches so she could dine in peace.

The catbird left, but soon brought back its mate!

A surprise visit from this youthful rose-breasted grosbeak was a big treat for me! My irst-ever photo and observation of this bird! I haven’t seen it since

Just left of where the pink bucket sits on this deck ledge, I…

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The Pink Bucket Inn

Keeping a garden simply increases one’s appreciation for the surrounding wildlife. The view out my backyard is currently blossoming with birds!

Walfred Photography

As a novice birdwatcher, one of the trickiest parts of photographing birds is not scaring them. And birdwatching from home is especially so. The minute you see activity in your feeders, just try and grab your camera and get outside without causing flight!

However, I stumbled onto a new technique.

Outside my home office, I have a small deck and deck railings. Last year I used a pink planter/pail/bucket filled with soil to hold mosquito sticks in place. Last week, I was outside replenishing my bird feeders and passed by the neglected pail and decided to put a handful of mixed seed on top of the soil.

I was rewarded with lots of visitors. From my desk chair, I can get to my camera and shoot through one of the panes of glass in my sliding door window. The birds (and squirrels) don’t seem to see me, and thanks to…

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Introducing Master Gardener Minute

Being a social media enthusiast (I graduated from the University of Delaware  Social Media Strategic Social Media Marketing course in 2014) I kicked around some ideas to share Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener program on various platforms.

Working with county agents, we developed the idea of a Master Gardener Minute, using the hashtag #MGMinute. One minute or under, the short informative video series will cover popular garden topics at a length suitable for Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, as well as YouTube.

Yesterday, I shot a few segments with Delaware Master Gardener Wendy Ferranti and here is the first roll out. What do you think? What future topics would you like to see?

Growing fresh foods with the New Castle County Master Gardeners

So proud of the partnerships Delaware Master Gardeners cultivates. Gardens are meant to share with others! Read this lovely article from the Food Bank of Delaware blog! Kudos to all for what you do!

Food Bank of Delaware

New Castle County Master Gardeners have been working hard all summer tending to their demonstration garden outside the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension office in Newark.

Produce grown in the garden is donated to the Food Bank and Little Sisters of the Poor. Last year, the group donated close to 900 pounds!

Master Gardener Rick Judd leads the group of dedicated volunteers who spend time weeding, watering, pruning, harvesting and more to make sure the demonstration garden is in tip-top shape. The garden serves three purposes – teaches the community best practices for vegetable and fruit gardening, shows how easy it is to compost and provides an opportunity for Master Gardeners to donate fresh foods to Delawareans in need.

The 288-square-foot garden has produced more than 300 pounds of food for the Food Bank so far this year. Rick says the gardeners are now harvesting some of their heaviest crops…

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Grilling on Fourth of July? Try lemon balm pesto.

The answer to my prayers! I have lemon balm growing everywhere! Participating on Monday’s #gardenchat on Twitter, I discovered this recipe and cannot wait to try it!


The Fourth of July is a big day for grilling in the US–although just about any summertime evening when it isn’t storming makes a pretty compelling candidate. I love grilling foods, from meats, fish, and shellfish to vegetables and fruits. More than that, I like to create my own marinades and sauces with the herbs I grow. If you’re looking for something fresh, summery, and different that’s also extremely easy to make, give my lemon balm pesto a try.

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is an herb in the mint family. Its small white flowers attract bees and other pollinators, but you’ll be drawn by the lemony scent of the foliage as you brush it with your fingers. It is reputed to be effective as a mosquito repellant when the leaves are rubbed on the skin. But more than all of that, you’ll like the bright…

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