Monday, January 16, 2012
This Garden is For the Birds!
It's white and cold in the Stone Wall Garden. The layer of snow is thin, just enough to get some bird footprints. This afternoon I ventured out to take some pictures. While I was out there I managed to see woodpeckers, blue jays, slate gray juncos, the ever present black capped chickadees and what appears to be goldfinches. I wasn't sure about them at first. I don't think that the goldfinches have ever stayed through the winter since we have been here. To be honest the chickadees don't seem so happy to have them here. There is a whole lot of squabbling going on around the bird feeder.
There is a lot of bird traffic under the plants that have gone to seed. The birds are welcome to all the seeds they can eat. I'm sure there will be plenty of dropped seeds left to come up in the garden beds.
Earlier in the day I watched a group of mourning doves in the garden and under the bird feeder. Several doves sat on top of Ed's walls. One was high atop the wire support for the Grandpa Ott morning glories. I sure hope those seeds are on the menu. It will mean fewer plants for me to pull out in the spring. Mourning doves need all the energy they can muster here. As I watched out the window one of them flew across the garden from east to west at terrific speed with the Marsh hawk right on his tail. They flew out of view. If the mourning dove was too slow he will flying as fast as a Marsh hawk soon, but perhaps he escaped this time.
Earlier this morning the crows were in the garden. A different hawk had landed in the top of a white pine in the trees opposite the garden. One crow sat above the hawk in an adjacent tree. The other crows took turns flying as close as they could to the hawk. One crow did a speed dive and came so close he nearly touched the hawk. The hawk never flinched. Eventually when the he had had enough of the crows harassment, he flew off and out of sight.
I have seen no sign of the pair of cardinals that usually spend the winter here. I miss the bright red color against the snow. Still the activity of the birds adds a great deal to our winter garden. If I want really bright color I can always visit Sunita's Garden. Right now it is very HOT!