Lilacs Scenting the Air Eastern Kentucky

It’s almost the end of April here, and the Lilacs are just starting to come into their own. Lilacs are a favorite shrub here for a lot of reasons – one being that they bloom pretty early in the year, another that they come in several lovely colors and are SO fragrant.

LeslieAnne Hasty 2019

Lilacs are the State flower of New Hampshire, can grow up to 22 feet tall, and are tough as nails! They come in purple, blue, white and pink, and I’ve seen photos of a yellow one, as well. They only flower for about three weeks, but if you’ve ever had a bouquet of them, or better yet, walked past a lilac “fence”, you know why we gardeners are so enamored of them.

Common Lilac “Syringa vulgaris” LeslieAnne Hasty 2019

Lilacs have a special place in my heart because they will even grow in the high desert of Arizona, where I got to know them first. As I said, they’re tough, and drought tolerant as well. Even after the blooms are gone past, they’re a welcome sight with a thick covering of thin, deep green leaves.

Photo by Marian May on Unsplash

One of the great joys of having a yard big enough for lilacs is being able to gather armloads of flowers to bring into the house. They will spread their scent throughout the room they’re in, and for those of us who grew up with them, they evoke childhood memories of Moms smiling at bouquets given by grinning kids.

Photo by Juja Han on Unsplash

If you’re going to plant lilacs in your yard, be aware! If they’re happy, they’ll spread out and take over a LARGE area. They spread from the base of the plant, and I’ve seen old specimens that were easily 20 feet around.

Image by RitaE from Pixabay

They prefer full sun and a neutral or alkaline soil, and are an easy-care choice for the novice. You can train them into a tree shape, if you start when they’re young, but most of us just prune them up into a hedge or column.

Image by Дарья Яковлева from Pixabay

Lilacs are an important early season pollinator food source early in the year, when many flowers are just getting started. Bees, butterflies and even hummingbirds will visit your lilac shrubs. Although Lilacs are not native to North America, they’ve naturalized here extensively. Thankfully, they’re not considered invasive, though, so plant as many as your yard will hold!

As always, corrections, comments, criticism is always welcome at! Hope you have a grand day!

With Grace and Gratitude

LeslieAnne Hasty


9 Ways to be a Better Dog Parent

Dogs have been considered mans’ best friend for thousands of years. Humans aren’t nearly as good to dogs sometimes. You want to take good care of your doggy companion, don’t you? Here are some facts for you as a responsible dog ‘parent’.

1) Did you know that chocolate is dangerous for dogs? Here’s the scoop: Chocolate is dangerous because of the stimulants caffeine and theobromine. Baking chocolate is the most dangerous, with a high amount of stimulants. White chocolate contains the least amount of stimulants. Take your dog to the vet IMMEDIATELY if he ingests chocolate.

Image by Spiritze from Pixabay

2) Always take care to keep your dog cool while traveling during the summer by car. Even with your air-conditioning on, the dog may become over-heated in his pet carrier. A simple and low-cost countermeasure is freezing a few gallon jugs of water and placing them near him where he can curl up and cool off.

3) NEVER leave your dog unattended in your car. Temperatures in your car can reach well over 100 degrees even in the shade in the summer, and it’s not only unnecessary, it’s cruel. Many states have passed laws making this practice illegal as well.

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

4) Do you have a “wrinkly” dog, like a Bulldog or Shar Pei? If so, you have to be conscientious about the grooming process in order to help keep your pet clean. After you brush, take a baby wipe and use it to get in between the folds on their body. Make sure, though, to get them fully dry after doing so.

Image by style81 from Pixabay

5) If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, he or she may eventually come in contact with a skunk. If he gets sprayed, mix together one teaspoon of dish-washing detergent, a fourth a cup of baking soda and a quart of hydrogen peroxide solution (but make sure it is no more than three percent). Apply the mixture to your dog’s coat and allow it to sit for five minutes. Wash your dog off well afterward.

6) Never try to force your dog to eat things. If your dog doesn’t like a treat you give him, let it go. When you first get a dog, you should take some time to get to know what she likes and what she dislikes.

Nicely trimmed doggy nails!
Image by Pezibear from Pixabay

7) Although you may find the sound cute, your dog’s nails shouldn’t click along the floor when it walks. That’s a sign that the nails are too long. The nails should actually just barely touch the ground. Seek the advice of a professional on what tools are the best for giving your dog a pedicure.

8) Your dog should not be left outside all the time. This is common for people to do, but dogs need interaction with others. If your dog is alone outside, it will quickly get lonely. Daily walks, weekly visits to the local dog park, and occasional extra training sessions are all welcome events for your dog to participate in with you.

Image by bella67 from Pixabay

9) In addition to the need for socializing, you should not leave a dog to fend for himself in heavy rainstorms or very cold weather. Bring the dog indoors until the inclement weather passes. Some dogs get scared by loud events nearby, such as Fourth of July fireworks. Always have your dog indoors during events like these!

All in all, dogs are great companions, and they deserve good care from us, their humans. Spend some extra time with your dog today!

As always, comments, questions and criticisms are welcome at

Thanks for reading!

With Grace and Gratitude

LeslieAnne Hasty

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Parakeets or Budgies?

Have you ever had the pleasure of watching an aviary full of these little parrots with the BIG personality? I’ve had several different types of parrots over the last 20 years, and I have to say that these tiny feathered dynamos are one of my top two faves!

Right now we have a cage with five Budgies and they start chattering at daybreak and don’t stop until the lights go out. Daddy Bird(aka Petty Revenge), Twitchy, Blue, Bubbles and Screamy are constantly in motion, and although I haven’t really made an effort to hand-tame them, they’re quite easy to work with.

So are they Parakeets, or are they Budgies? They’re both! Parakeets are just a long-tailed parrot, and they come in small to quite large. The Alexandrine Parakeet is around 25 inches long, and like most “parakeets” over half of that is tail.

Where did the term Budgie come from, then? There are a couple of different stories about that, but my favorite is that Budgerigar is from an Aboriginal word that translates to “good to eat”. Honestly, that’s kind of hard to buy, since they’re barely big enough to put on a cracker, let alone cook over a campfire!

One thing I get asked about frequently is wing clipping. Now, I’m aware that there are a lot of people who don’t clip their pet birds’ wings, but I have to say that I’m very glad that I do. I can’t count how many times I’ve had a bird escape to relative freedom in my house, only to collide with the window glass. Every time, I’m thankful that with clipped wings, they can’t get up enough speed to hurt themselves when they run into a window. Contrary to what many people think, wing clipping is NOT painful, and if it’s done properly, they can still land quit well without getting hurt.

Your pet Parakeet can get plenty of exercise in an apartment, and if his wings are properly clipped, and all the windows are closed, he’ll be quite safe exploring while you supervise.

Budgies come in a wide variety of colors, and if you’ve got your heart set on a blue bird, for instance, you won’t have too much trouble finding one. If you prefer yellow, white, or the traditional green, you’ll find those easily as well. And if you like a multi colored bird, you can get budgies in yellow with blue, green with yellow, white with blue or violet – the combinations are amazing!

Now, depending on your situation, two birds may be best. A single bird may get too lonely if you aren’t home a lot to spend time interacting with him.

Parakeets are very social animals in the wild, and they may flock in huge numbers to watering holes and feeding grounds. If you’re at work all day, and don’t have a couple of hours to devote to your feathered friend every evening, you should consider getting two. Budgies of the same sex usually get along just fine in the the same cage, especially if they’ve been raised together, so if you do decide to get two it’s best to get them young, before you can tell what sex they are.

A single Budgie will need a cage at least 1 1/2 feet on a side, with the bars about 1/4 inch apart . She can move around enough to be comfy when you’re not holding her, or letting her fly and explore. Two budgies need twice as much space, so that they have room to stretch their wings and flap a bit to stay in shape.

Parakeets are simple in their tastes, and a simple palm leaf, small stick, or hard plastic ball will all make fun toys for a Parakeet. A toilet tissue roll will get rolled around, and if you want to really have fun, let them help you “decorate” your holiday card envelopes by piercing them with their busy beaks.

I’ve gotten packs of those tiny lightweight hard plastic bracelets that little girls are fond of and given those to my budgies. There are a couple who delight in picking them up and dragging them all over the cage.

And, properly cleaned first, plastic soda bottle caps are also very popular toys. Those get fought over in my birds’ cage, even though there are plenty to go around.

Image by Liselotte Brunner from Pixabay

All things considered, Budgies are a fabulous pet, even for an apartment dweller. They don’t take up a lot of space, require only a regular cage cleaning besides the basic daily care of feeding, watering, and handling, and are great companions that constantly chatter but don’t ever get as loud as most parrots.

If you’re considering a Budgie as a pet, please consider carefully what having these lovely little birds in your life will entail, though. There are many birds that get re-homed every year because they were impulse purchases, and having to change homes and families is just asstressful for a bird as it is for a human.

Purchase “My Parakeet Journal” to learn more about Budgies, Parakeets, and how to care for them while you decide if a Budgie is the right pet for you. It’s available at

And, if you want to check it out on your Kindle, it’s free with your Kindle Unlimited subscription!

More references:

  1. – lots of great info about nutrition
  2. – more info about taking care of your parakeet
  3. – info about care and feeding

As always, thanks for reading! Comments, corrections or questions are always welcome at

With Grace and Gratitude

LeslieAnne Hasty

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Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds Have Arrived

Today my first Hummer of the year came to the porch as I was typing away in my comfy chair on the porch. It’s been a breezy day, and has warmed up nicely as the sun rose. He was a welcome sight, as they are the best weather predictors I know. Surely summer is on the way!!

My bird feeders sit in front of my chair, and I’m out often enough that most of the wild birds will come and grab a seed or two even if I’m there. My Cardinals fuss at me when they come to the feeder, chipping angrily and keeping a close eye on me in case I should move.

I’m not sure this is a Ruby-Throat, but…

Image by Mickey Estes from Pixabay

The Hummingbirds, on the other hand, are not fazed at all by my presence, and in fact will come right up as I hang the filled feeder that they will empty daily as summer warms up. I actually had spotted the feeder a few days ago in the storage box of plastic containers and oddments, and brought it out to rinse and dry. (Usually I have to frantically search for it, because I hate making the little things wait for a meal.)

Back home in Arizona, the Hummers are many, diverse, and a lot earlier to appear. There, we watched Broad-Billed, Rufous, and Black-Chinned Hummingbirds on a regular basis. Here in Kentucky, we’re limited to just the Ruby-Throats, but they’re more welcome for that.

Rufous Hummingbird

Image by Brigitte Werner from Pixabay

Ruby-Throats migrate up from Central America, wings buzzing away at 15 to 80 times per second, flying low and by day so that they can spot any available flowers to get a drink of nectar to aid them in their marathon flight. They’ll eat insects, too, and they’re pretty fine at mosquito control!

Hummers make their migration alone, unlike the familiar geese and ducks who fly in easily recognizable flocks. Hummingbirds can fly up to around 23 miles each day, and when they can get a tailwind to help them on their journey, they’re experts at taking advantage of the boost.

Image by Stephan Evanitsky from Pixabay

Male Ruby-Throats court the females by displaying a large “U” shaped flight pattern accompanied by a distinctive buzz. They’ll also make short passes back and forth in front of the female if she’s perched. Once they’ve mated the male takes off looking for the next lady Hummingbird, and the female builds the nest and raises the babies alone.

Hummingbird hens will usually lay two tiny white eggs, then incubate them for 11 to 16 days. She’ll feed them for around 3 weeks as they grow their feathers and get strong enough to fly. She builds the nest so that it can actually stretch as the babies grow. Frequently they’re seen to begin building their second nest while still feeding the first clutch of babies.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Feed your hummingbirds a simple sugar water solution, no coloring is needed! I make mine quite thick, about 1 cup of sugar to 3 cups of filtered, boiled water, and stored in the fridge. We’ve also been careful to plant lots of flowering plants to give them a choice of nectar, and they’ll visit the Honeysuckle, Trumpet Vine, Mandevilla (in pots on the porch), and even the Scarlet Runner Bean blooms!

If you have room for a Hummingbird Garden, be sure to plant some annuals and some perennials, too. Favorites that I’ve seen are Butterfly Bush, Cardinal flower, Bee Balm, and even Petunia! Other good choices are Daylilies, Foxglove and Hollyhocks, and Impatiens. If you don’t have a lot of room, Petunias in hanging baskets will attract hummers and keep them coming back year after year.

Image by GeorgeB2 from Pixabay

Plant a few new flowers this year, just for your Hummingbird neighbors. Hang a feeder and a basket of Petunias, and help feed these tiny flying jewels as they entertain us with their antics and fearless reminders that the feeder’s empty! You’ll be glad you did!

As always, comments, criticism and corrections are welcome at – I read every one!!

With Grace and Gratitude

LeslieAnne Hasty

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Jellyfish in Your Home?

Have you seen those incredible Jellyfish tanks that are like a mesmerizing, moving work of art? I could stand there for hours just watching that magical movement, like a fast forward of the stars in the sky.

Photo by Karan Karnik on Unsplash

One Jelly that is very popular for the desktop sized tanks is the Moon Jellyfish. Moon Jellyfish are not toxic, and are relatively easy to keep. As with any aquarium, you’ll have to make partial water changes, but with Jelly tanks this must be done two or three times a week to keep the water quality high.  

Moon Jellies (and all Jellyfish) need a special kind of aquarium, and one of the features of this is a gentle, circular water flow. The flow helps them keep moving and find their food, without hitting obstacles like filters, pumps or screens.  

Another thing to know about Jelly aquariums is that you have to set them up at least several weeks before you can put your Jellies in, with something called “live rock”. Live rock is home to nitrifying bacteria, which break down the jellyfish waste and prevent ammonia and other waste products from building up in the water.

Photo by Jeffrey Hamilton via Unsplash

Alex Andon pioneered Jellyfish aquariums for non-professional aquarists. He runs Jellyfish Art, and he’s the guy who put Jellies in a tank that can sit on your desk. He started out re-purposing regular fish tanks, but quickly realized that a different design was needed. He came up with a cylindrical design that helps the water flow properly to keep your Jellies healthy and happy.

A Seven gallon Jelly tank should be enough space for up to five Moon Jellies, and you can feed them with frozen plankton in addition to brine shrimp.

Photo by Jack B on Unsplash ; Jellies at the Berlin Zoo

One of the interesting things about Jellyfish is that they have a network of nerve cells that isn’t a “brain” as we humans define one. In spite of this lack of a brain, they can sense changes in water chemistry, they can “feel” a touch, and some have an actual eye and respond to visual stimuli. 

Here’s another fun fact: Jellyfish can regenerate! They can re-create two jellies from the remains if they’re cut in half, and if they’re injured, they may clone themselves.

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

The Immortal Jellyfish are bell-shaped and only reach 0.18 inches tall, so they’re really hard to observe in the ocean. “Turritopsis dohrnii” young have eight tentacles, but the adults can have as many as 90!

They’ve been named immortal because they can actually transform themselves from a starving or injured adult Jelly to a plain “blob”. Attaching itself to a surface first, it can go back to the blobby (juvenile) state, and re-form all the different types of cells that it needs to survive, from whatever is left.

Photo by Shaun Low on Unsplash; at the S.E.A. Aquarium in Singapore

Flower Hat Jellies act different than most Jellyfish. They hang out on a pebbles or plants all day, then go looking for snacks around sundown. They
look as though they were painted by a child!  They come in purple, pink, orange, green and blue, and if that wasn’t enough, they glow, too.

Flower Hats have tentacles all over its body, not just underneath. They’re only found near southern Japan, and they’re very expensive to get for your aquarium! 

Photo by Karen Cantú Q on Unsplash:
the @sea_life_london Aquarium 

If you dream of having your own Jellyfish Aquarium someday, I encourage you to do some research and think of it as a goal to reach. There are people all over the world now who have Jelly tanks in their home or office, and you could be one, too.

I have to admit that a Jelly tank would be too distracting for me, but I will keep dreaming of having one anyway! I created “My Jellyfish Journal” just for people like you and I who are entranced by the hypnotic swaying of Jellies in a natural environment, and I encourage you to buy it if you want to learn more. It’s available on Amazon now at

#jellyfish #start #Tank #Jelly Fish Tanks, #Jelly Tank
#moonjellyfish #jellyfishtank #jellyfishinformation #Bigredmeanie #Portuguesemanowar #freshwaterjellyfish #peanutbutterandjellyfish #boxjellyfish #jellyfishspecies #jellyfishclassification #jellyfishhabitat #jellyfishcharacteristics #jellyfishdiet 

So You Want to Get a Dog?

Have you ALWAYS wanted your OWN dog? Here’s some advice from a lifetime dog owner…

It’s natural that you and your kids would love the whole idea of having a dog. Dogs are awesome pets, great company, and have been amazing comrades for thousands of years. It’s always a great idea to get a dog, but you have to remember that you are also taking on some responsibility when you bring a dog into your house. Here are some ways you can handle those responsibilities.

Photo by Nikolay Tchaouchev on Unsplash

Always give your dog plenty of attention and affection. When your dog behaves properly, make sure you pet them, talk positively to them, let the dog know you are happy and give them some affection. This helps reinforce the good behavior and the dog will try to behave this way for the positive attention.

If your young dog is teething and gnawing on everything (including you and the kids), buy him a couple of fun chew toys and keep one in the fridge. Not only does this provide him with a good alternative to your furniture, but the cold will help to make his gums feel better. Most younger dogs gnaw out of necessity, because their mouth and gums are painful when their adult teeth are emerging. They don’t generally chew just to be a nuisance, but because it makes their mouth hurt less.

Photo by Andrew Pons on Unsplash

Never allow your dog to be alone with small children, no matter how much you trust his temperament. Many little kids have been bitten by family dogs who have otherwise never demonstrated a tendency towards violence. Sleeping dogs may be woken by a toddler, and often a toddler doesn’t have any idea that the dog doesn’t like to be hit, punched, or have its tail or ears pulled. Any dog may react negatively, and it is NOT the dogs’ fault.

Photo by Stainless Images on Unsplash

Not everyone is good at training dogs, so quit trying if you see things are not going as well as planned. Instead of beating yourself up about it, find a professional trainer in your area. Since they have more experience with dogs, it should be much easier for them to train yours. Alternatively, group classes in basic obedience are often less expensive and just as useful, and you’ll learn as much as your dog does if you attend training sessions!

Photo by Autri Taheri on Unsplash

If your dog is unused to the grooming process, only work with him or her in short bursts. Groom for about five minutes and then stop and move on to another activity. Eventually, start adding on two or three minutes to your total grooming time until your pet is able to handle a full session. Grooming is stressful for many dogs at first, and a young dog especially will have a hard time staying still for long periods of time. Be aware and sympathetic – your attitude will have a lot to do with how well the process goes!

Photo by Jake Oates on Unsplash

Keep your dog at a healthy weight. Plenty of dogs are overweight, and just like humans, this can lead to health issues. People tend to overfeed their dogs, and many also feed them table scraps. A dog doesn’t need as many calories as most people think; talk to your vet about how much you should feed him each day, and what food is most suitable. A vet will advise you based on his size, age and lifestyle. Table scraps are a bad idea for a number of reasons, but the most important one is that they’ll learn bad manners very quickly.

If your dog seems to have a lot of stomach issues, consider a grain-free diet. Dogs can have or develop allergies, and they can be allergic to wheat or corn just like people can. Dogs’ digestive systems aren’t designed to use grain, anyway!

Keep your dog’s teeth in tip top condition. Just like humans, a dog can suffer from toothache, gum disease and even tooth loss. Regular brushing will ensure that that his teeth and gums stay healthy and strong. Without regular brushing, it is estimated that dental disease will affect up to 80% of dogs by the age of three. Dental cleaning by a vet should be an annual or bi-annual event.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

If you’re thinking about getting a dog, but aren’t sure you want to make the commitment, try serving as a foster home. Shelters for abused or homeless dogs are often looking for temporary homes, called foster homes, where dogs can live until they are adopted out to a permanent home. You can give one a home for a while to help the cause and you can also keep it if you suit each other!

Positive reinforcement is the best way to train your dog. You should congratulate your dog when it displays a good behavior, for instance by giving it a treat or petting it. Talk to your dog in a soft voice and make sure you praise it every time the good behavior is displayed.

Some dog breeds are more likely to suffer from health problems and so you should know what to look out for in your dog. If you have a specific breed of dog in mind, take the time to read up on your chosen breed before you decide so you don’t get any surprises down the road. You should inquire with your vet about how you can take care of your dog the right way.

Photo by Chloe Andrews on Unsplash

Having a dog of your own won’t be all fun and games, but it can be very rewarding for both of you. You have to take time to really think about what you want, and to act accordingly. You can use the tips here to help you figure out what you really want. The more you think about it first, the happier you and your dog will be, together!

As always, questions, comments, criticisms or corrections are welcome at

With Grace and Gratitude

LeslieAnne Hasty

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3 Facts about Poison Dart Frogs

Have you considered getting Poison Dart Frogs as a pet? They are wonderful to see, in all the colors of the rainbow. Most are tiny, and they do need some specialized care, but they’re not that much more difficult to keep than, say, a fish or a hamster.

Photo by Zachary Spears via Unsplash

Fact One: The most common question about these tiny jewels is “Are they really that poisonous?” Well, the short answer is, it depends. In the wild, they are. But in captivity, they aren’t. Apparently, something in their diet in their native habitat contributes to their toxicity, and they don’t get that in a captive environment.

Photo by Ruben Engel on Unsplash

What do you feed Dart Frogs in your home, then? Crickets and fruit flies are the most common diet, and are the easiest to find, too.

Fact Two: You DO have to spend some time getting their home ready first! You’ll have to build up your terrarium over a few weeks before it’s ready to hold your tiny jewels, and many Dart Frog owners find that process very enjoyable.

Some of the things you’ll need are tropical plants, mosses, an automatic misting system with filtered water, and the enclosure itself will probably cost more than the inhabitants!

Photo by Marvin Nauendorff on Unsplash

The great part of that is, that once you get the environment set up successfully, the actual frog keeping isn’t difficult at all. In fact, if you get the environment set up, and manage to get opposite sexes, you’ll most likely have lots of eggs and then baby frogs, too!

Photo by Zdeněk Macháček on Unsplash

Fact Three: Dart Frogs are different than most frogs in another way: they take care of their offspring! Males usually tend the eggs, making sure they stay moist, and then moving the hatchlings to water.

In some species, the male will call the female and court her, inducing her to lay infertile eggs which are then fed to the tadpoles.

Other species will have larger numbers of eggs and babies, and in the wild the male and female will feed and care for each tadpole in its own tiny pool.

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

Breeder Patrick Nabors has been in the business since 1994, and his first advice to anyone interested is to buy from a reputable breeder. While some people might think this is just a ploy to get sales, I have found this to be true with any animal and especially true with exotics.

Think about it – do you really want to spend money on a pet that may have been bred from sickly or poorly fed parents? Or a pet that’s got diseases or parasites that you won’t ever see or know about until it dies? How about one that’s suffered through the process of being caught, “packaged”, and (possibly illegally) imported? Not only would you be throwing your money away, you’d be supporting the trade in illegal animals.

Image by Jonathan Stegemann from Pixabay

Poison Dart Frogs make amazing and gorgeous pets for your home or office, but you do need to consider whether you’re actually ready for the whole process, and whether you want to commit the time and energy to do a proper job of keeping them.

If you’re still wanting to hop into Dart Frog ownership, purchase “My Poison Dart Frog Journal” to get some facts, some trivia, and a few froggy quotes as you build your habitat and prepare for your very own tiny living jewels!

As always, complaints, comments and criticism always welcome at

With Grace and Gratitude,

LeslieAnne Hasty

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Robins Nesting in the Porch Rafters…

I’ve been watching our ‘house’ Robins for 2 or 3 weeks now.

We spotted the nest, probably right as it was finished. So, when I go out on the porch to use my rowing machine, or my computer, or just to read, they both keep a close eye on me!

I could tell when she started to incubate her eggs, because she was watching me VERY closely.

And for the last two or three days, she didn’t come off the nest but a couple of times that I saw.

Today, everything changed, though! Both birds were flying in and out of the rafters, completely ignoring me.

At a strategic moment, I got the ladder up and peeked, and here’s what I saw:

I believe there are three tiny, ugly baby robins in the nest! I’ll be keeping tabs on them. It’s truly incredible how fast baby birds grow!

Scientists believe that birds evolved from the lizards, and when you see baby birds in all their homely beauty, it’s easy to see why. They look pretty lizard-like when they’re tiny. The down will fluff out and cover them in a couple of days, and then the feathers, and after all, what’s a bird without feathers, anyway?

The American Robin is a member of the family of Thrushes and it’s a migratory songbird closely related to the Bluebirds. They arrived here in Kentucky a couple of months ago, but are just now starting to hatch out their first clutch now. Many people don’t know that most of the songbirds will hatch at least two sets of babies in a season, some will even go for three if the weather and food is good.

Photo by Joe Cox on Unsplash

Our Robins here are very busy now gathering worms, crickets, and what few grasshoppers are out this early. Now that they have three extra mouths to feed, I’ll put some mealworms out in the feeder to see if they’ll try those.

Until tomorrow, then…

With Grace and Gratitude,

LeslieAnne Hasty

#turdus migratorius #babyrobins #robinsraisingfamilies #

Daffodils Nodding in the Breeze…

Photo by Simon Bowles courtesy of Unsplash

Here in Eastern Kentucky, the daffodils have been blooming for about a month already, and they’re so cheerful looking! I grew up in the Arizona desert, and daffys did NOT grow there, except in a pot for a while, in the house.

I still get side-tracked here, seeing clumps of sunny yellow, white, and even orange daffodils blooming in the middle of empty fields, on hilltops, and in the many small family cemeteries that you’ll see driving around.

Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash

We started planting daffodils as soon as we moved into this house, and two years later, we’re beginning to see some real results!

We have daffys along our driveway on both sides.

There’s daffys in the front flower garden.

And there are daffys in the side garden, as well.

Oh, and don’t forget, there are three BIG bunches of daffys in the basement waiting to get re-planted, that my hubby and son rescued from a neighbor’s field. I have given bags full to the next door neighbors, too, just to cut down on the re-planting!

Can’t wait for next year!!

As always, comments, criticism, and complaints to me at

Have a blessed day!

With Grace and Gratitude

LeslieAnne Hasty

#flowers #flowergardens #flowergardening

Peafowl Are a Fun Country Pet

Photo by aniketh kanukurthi via Unsplash

We had Peafowl at our ranch in Arizona. They were really interesting, but very loud in the Spring especially. The Peacock has a call that he uses to attract hens from far away, through the jungle, so it has to be really loud!

If you have neighbors closer than a mile away, you probably want to let them know if you get Peafowl! That loud call sounds like a woman yelling “HELP” to a LOT of people, and your neighbors can be understandably upset to hear this if they don’t get an adequate warning. Also, Peacocks will call at night if they’re disturbed, so they’re not the best pet for those who have trouble sleeping!

Photo by isa isa via

If you’ve been lucky enough to see one spread his tail like this, you know it’s one of Nature’s amazing displays! What I learned recently is that there’s a sort of rustling, clicking noise he makes when he’s adjusting his fan (I had heard this) that is a particular sound frequency, and the hens have special feathers on their heads that are actually tuned to that exact frequency, so that they can find him no matter how thick the jungle.

Photo by darshan patel via Unsplash

Another thing most people don’t realize is that a Peacock or Peahen can fly! They’re actually incredible to see, the only thing I’ve seen that even comes close is watching a Wild Turkey fly. They’re about the same size and build (except for the tail), and watching these big, bulky birds soar just made my heart sing!

Photo by stephen hickman via Unsplash

Peacocks shed their tail every year, and every year it just gets bigger and better. So, don’t feel guilty for getting those amazing feathers, they’re all natural and freely donated every Fall!

Want to learn more about Peafowl? Here’s a book that’s way better than a diary, and a heckuva lot more educational than a plain journal:

My Peacock Journal available NOW!

Questions, comments, criticism? Contact me at

With Grace and Gratitude,

LeslieAnne Hasty


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