Tuesday, July 26


Saturday: Cedar Waxwing in the nearly dead maple out front. I'd never seen one. My wife says they were common in her youth. I grew up across the street from a dairy farm. The birds that shared my world--Eastern meadowlark, red-winged blackbird, Northern bobwhite, brown-headed cowbird, Baltimore oriole, bobolink--I never see anymore, except for the rare feeder visit from a red-wing or the sight of a meadowlark on a farm fence on our way to a hike. Its song, or the rasp of the red-wing, is instantly nostalgic. Wish I could go to sleep on a warm spring night listening to the bobwhites again. And that train whistle off in the distance.

Sunday: First sighting of a clearwing hummingbird moth on the bee balm. A real hummingbird has been around, and spotted at the feeder once or twice. We never get much activity until right before migration, and then it's usually one aggressive female who chases off all competition. We counted five at one time one day, but only the one got the nectar. For you Westerners it's the ruby-throated hummingbird. If we see any of the seven species you folks have, we know they're lost.

All Summer: Happy increase in honeybees, now in its third year. They don't care much for bee balm. I'm not sure if that's because it's covered with bumblebees or not. Five or six reliably on the catnip flowers in the last few days though.


D. Sidhe said...

We get redwinged blackbirds all over the pond. They muscle up to the birdfeeder and start pounding on the window with baseball bats until I get out there and refill it.
Well, obviously not really, but they are damned aggressive. I'm okay with this, since it gives the cats something to watch.
But, man, they're loud.

A couple years back, the idiot Home Owners' Association paid a couple morons to go out and stomp on all the baby frogs and snakes and whatnot as they hacked the cattails down with weedwhackers. What wasn't killed was piled into trucks with the cattails and left in the hot parking lot long enough for it to expire of heat, I suppose, though I did manage to relocate a salamander and some frogs that had fled the trucks back to the pond area.

None of this was exactly a minor factor when I pointed out to the HOA that they were morons for even contemplating this, and nor was the notion that the cattails grow back from the roots abundantly because the lawn service overfeeds the grass, nor was the fact that the birds they all liked so much *live* in said cattails.
They did it anyway.

No blackbirds for a full year, they finally came back last spring, possibly because the pond they relocated to is owned by morons who cut down *their* cattails.

"Why don't we ever see those really pretty birds anymore with all the color on their wings?"
"Because you're idiots."

I am not destined for board president, sadly.

Glad you're seeing hummingbirds. I've been pretty much too busy, and water is going to be too scarce, this year to keep up with the stuff on my balcony. The honeysuckles are all pretty much dead, so if I want hummingbirds, I'll have to get some new ones next year.

KathyR said...

Mmm. Catnip honey...