Looking Up

Silk Tree, Fig tree and Ponderosa Pine

Something we rarely do in our gardens is spend much time looking UP. And so we don’t get to partake of the life in the tree-tops very often. I just happen to be fortunate enough to have LOTS of tall trees in and around my garden, and last year I hung a hammock between two pines at the edge of the pond garden. From the first moment I lay in it I was enchanted by the beauty of the long Ponderosa pine needles against the deep blue sky overhead. Inter-twining with the beautifully shaped clusters of shiny deep green needles are the delicate, lacy Silk tree leaves. The artist in me drools…

Hammock after sunset…

And then this summer I discovered a whole new pleasure in tree top viewing and that’s bird watching! I have now spent many hours watching hummingbirds cruising up and down the pine trunks – looking for tiny insects, and chickadees hopping from branch to branch through the pine trees – also obviously searching as well. And sometimes finding some little treasure – that any nearby chickadee immediately comes to try to steal! And so I then get to watch little chickadee dramas played out overhead! Robins come and seem to just casually hang out, but every now and then, drop gracefully into the garden to score a worm or some other goody from the ground.

The little red-headed woodpecker does his dance – spiraling up and down one tree trunk after another, before flitting off to find a big dead branch on a madrone or oak tree nearby. I can hear him rat-a-tatting away.

Silk Tree after a rain

Little finches come and go from the Silk tree and occasionally the resident swallowtail butterfly sails by…

I get so much pleasure from my hammock – usually flopping in it for a well-earned rest after a morning of gardening. However, this summer I found at the end of the afternoon – when I really want to just hang out in it – the sun is hitting it straight on and its just too hot to enjoy. So last month I treated myself to a second hammock that I hung in our newly cleared little woodland garden where it’s always shady! This hammock is bright orange stripes and double-wide and soft and stretchy and so incredibly, luxuriously comfortable it’s hard to get out once I get in! Fizzy likes it very much too! As soon as I get in either hammock she hops up and flops herself across me purring contentedly. We are definitely hammock lovers, Fizzy and I. I have seen her try to get in them herself but it never quite works. It always flips her right out again!


The woodland hammock gives me a whole new skyward vista to enjoy because it’s made up of Douglas fir, black oak and Madrone leaves overhead – such an interesting contrast in shapes and colors. I get a whole new set of textures to enjoy against the bit of sky I see from there. I haven’t seen much bird activity in the woodland yet – but just the trees dancing in the summer breezes is enchanting enough to rock me to sleep… mmmmm.. summer bliss….


  1. Enjoyed your blog. Look forward to more. Missing my UK garden, but enjoying Sri Lanka for a few months. The birds and wild life here are amazing.


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