Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Cicadas Had a Coming Out Party

 Dear Friends,

Thank you for your response to our eBook giveaway; We're doing it through today, so if you'd like a free copy, just drop us a line!

The other day we noticed a few alien lifeforms (aka cicada shells) all over the trees, and even on the tire swing's rope!
Evangeline and Frankie collected a few and played "Mama and Papa Cicada" for a while, but then they threw them down and said they were creepy! :) We've been enjoying the varied cicada songs ranging from droning to "buzzsaws" and "scissors grinders," who sound like they've been wound up only enough to sing for a few seconds, and then stop, and the "ZZZZZZZZIP" of the common meadow cicadas, who create such wonderful harmony! Our area missed out on the emergence of the periodical cicadas with their deafening droning, and we are grateful that we can still hear the crickets chirp each night. Here is a fun link to help identify the sounds of summer's insect orchestra:

And in garden news, Evangeline's sunflower has outdone all the others with its numerous heads~

 And Frankie is having a conversation with this sunflower; I wonder what it's saying?

We harvested a few elder blooms from the woods behind the house, and still haven't identified the plant in our picture that is in the mint family (but tastes horrible!)~ Elder flower is a folk remedy for fevers, used in a hot infusion to cause perspiration. It is best combined with mint, to avoid any nausea that may occur.

 Audrey made a poem and illustrated an Elderberry Fairy for me, which I thought was sweet!

 Our bee balm (Monarda didyma) is finally blooming, and is a favorite with hummingbirds! Since we have one solitary plant, we don't have enough to harvest lots, so we have been sneaking it here and there. We vastly prefer its "fireworks" to the much louder kinds our neighbors have been setting off!

 Our green beans are starting to come on, although we lost a few plants to the heat (next time we won't plant them on a hot wire fence!). We're hoping that the Kentucky Wonders will grow tall enough to shade our home in a month or so. Did you know that green bean hulls are said to control high blood sugar? It seems everything is jumping on the herbal bandwagon these days! ;)

Our chickens are growing up fast! We had to give our two roosters away, since they're not allowed in the city, but we still have our 6 Rhode Island Reds,  and one lone Hickity Pickity, my black hen (who makes a wonderful fashion accessory!).

 Look at those beautiful iridescent feathers!

 Thank you for coming by Birdsong Cottage today, dear friends; we hope you stay cool, if it's hot where you are. If it's cold where you are, we hope you stay warm!

Love and blessings,



  1. Good day to all you dweller's at Birdsong Cottage!

    When my youngest daughter and I drove from WA to New York, I was so curious about the strange buzzing noise we heard as we stretched our legs in a park in South Dakota. It was deafening! I think it would take me quite awhile to get used to that canstant buzzing! :~?
    Oh, my! Your sunflowers have reached such great heights, already! I had only one little plant that 'my marauders' made quick work of!!!
    I have wanted to try harvesting and using some elderberries that we have around here, but I am 'afraid' to because I have heard that there are two kinds of Elderberry trees here ~ one good and one poisonous. Do you have any words of advise? Pics? Audrey's drawing is amazing! Well done Audrey!
    My Bee Balm hasn't begun to blossom yet, but hope to try it in tea this year. And, I agree, it is a much more pleasant explosion than the noisy fireworks that are set of throughout the neighborhood at all hours of the evening ALL WEEK LONG! Several weeks, in fact. Hard for working men to get their required rest!
    My greenbeans have only just started twirling around their poles. I can hardly wait for them to be ready ~ Green beans with onion, garlic and bacon is perhaps my favorite 'comfort' food from growing up on my Grandparents farm. *happy sigh*
    Oh, I love the photo of you and your black hen. You are both pretty ladies! Is your hen an Austrolorp? We had a dozen of them and they were great layers ~ Granny laid right up until her untimely (freak accident) death and the age of 13! I'll leave you with the mental image of me giving poor old granny mouth to beak resuscitation! :>O~:

  2. Don't think we have any cicadas around here,or at least I don't hear them. Wish I could find an elderberry tree. But I did find some red currant bushes! You're sunflowers are beautiful and thanks for the information about the green beans. Ours are just in the flowering stage right now. Your long braid is lovely. I'm contemplating cutting my long hair, but after seeing your pictures, I think I'll reconsider it!

  3. We have cicadas it is funny to find those little shells in the oddest places.

    When wyatt was 3 he went to work with his dad and they picked up a tent at a graveyard, while there they filled up his little plastic lunchbox with them. He ws so excited to show me but didn't tell me what was in it, it was such a shock to open up to a hundred or so of those shells.

    Lovely sunflowers we have some multihead ones as well and they are so pretty.

    Love Erika

  4. Hi there would love a copy of your ebook if I am not too late. Little fairy's sunflower is now around 5 foot high but no flowers as yet and I missed the elderflower crop for which I am really annoyed at myself. One moment the trees were full of them and then the next day they had all but gone. Really wanted to make some cordial this year. Not sure about the cicadas, I don't do bugs very well I'm afraid. Have a lovely week. Dev x

  5. You are so knowledgeable... what a gift. I learn these things and then forget them as fast as I learned. Of course some of it sticks, and with effort I know more now than I did before I cared. I just wish I could retain even more. Did any of that even make sense?

    I love the little illustrated poem book... Looks like there's another artist in the family!

    Blessings to you, Debbie

  6. Marquetta, My youngest son found a dead cicada in the woods just last week. It must be a season...!
    I love your pictures and the little poem I could not read but the illustration is priceless!!!
    Have a lovely evening my dear....

  7. Hi my Friends I FINALLY got my own COMPUTER BACK!! I have missed visiting you here!!
    We haven't heard any cicadas here this year yet... but I bet it is because everything hatches and blooms later up north here ;-)

    Well I have been on packing frenzy, and guess what book I found for ya?
    I will be in touch, Blessings Hugs and Love Linnie

  8. Dear Marqueta,

    I love the pictures. The beans look very healthy. And the pictures of you with the hen! So sweet. LOVE your hat. And I think the fairy illustration is fabulous.

    Is the plant you want to ID behind the elderberry flower? I cannot really see the whole thing, and honestly am not sure. There is something about it that reminded me of obedient plant and yet not really. Be sure and post if you figure it out!

    I did want to show you a really cool link I found in searching:

    It was getting late, so did not look at all of these flowers. Looks like a book we'd both like.


  9. sounds like you all are having a great summer, hope its not too hot up your way. We've had those little creatures coming out in our yard too, those little skeletons are always so much fun for kids! I remember being fascinated by them too :)

  10. Oh yes, those cicadas are pretty creepy and the evening droning is enough to make one go mad!!
    It is too bad about your roosters having to leave the city, for roosters are such dandies. Our Rooster KING, is a Buff Orpington,, who wed a Rhode Island red and they made the most beautiful copper colored chickens you ever saw!
    Bless you and the children, and congratulations on your new E book!

  11. Hi, I like your blog. My real name is Marquea. No T. Pronounced like yours without the "t".

    Lots of people call me Marqueta. I always say, "that's a pretty name." LOL

  12. Have not seen any Cicadas here.. I love your sunflowers, they are just beautiful.. Thank you so much for visiting and your kind words.. I am so happy you enjoyed viewing Bebe.
    Blessings to you and family
    Have a lovely evening

  13. You are a busy girls making the most of what you have xoxo Clarice

  14. I hate cicadas. I could not enjoy my late spring. About noon everyday they would get so loud. They were everywhere. Worse was when they landed on you, what strange looking creatures they are!

  15. Hi, there! That sunflower is spectacular. And so is the purple firework! Thank you for the link, too! I love the sounds at night time.


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