Good gosh, has it really been over two months since I posted here? Apparently so.
The Year of Weird Weather continues in North Central Texas. Flowers are still in bloom, and leaves remain on many of the trees. Some areas had a few snowflakes on Thanksgiving, but that's been it for the cold weather. To borrow the McDonald's tagline: I'm lovin' it.
I did find a great (and organic) landscaper to do the "big stuff" mentioned in an earlier post. It's been wonderful to have a new holes to fill and, of course, I've been doing just that. A gorgeous purple smoke tree now stands where the ugly mean yuccas once were. My bearded iris -- all 60+ of them, dug up and divided from the original 14 I'd planted three short years ago -- are now back in the ground and rebounding nicely around the new smoke tree. The Hakonechloa macra Beni Kaze is/was in the spot previously occupied by a large holly bush, but sadly it has since been munched to the ground by rabbits and/or rats.
I was worried that ripping out so many dense shrubs would discourage my winter bird friends from returning, but I've seen nearly all of them so far. The ruby-crowned kinglet has been enjoying the suet, plus a pair of chickadees and a white-throated sparrow are all back from last year. Haven't seen the downy woodpecker couple yet, but I'm sure they're just as mystified as us humans about the balmy weather.