Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Migration Time

Fairbanks peonies in full bloom
I'm just in from a morning walk. Yesterday the trees were filled with migrating warblers, stopped in their tracks on their journey north by the cold and rain. Magnolia, Chestnut-Sided and Canada Warblers flittered through the branches in droves snapping up every bug and worm they could get their beaks on.

Today was almost quiet in comparison, yesterdays travelers having ventured on to points north. I could still hear the buzzy "beer, beer, bee" call of the Black-Throated Blues, they tend to linger for a couple of weeks here on their way to the breeding grounds. I heard the squeeky wheel call of the Black and White Warbler too but could never spot it. A few American Redstarts flashed me with their reddish orange, black and white feathers.

The Little Green Heron showed himself to me, back to spend the summer on our pond. He's not green at all, but sports a back of slatey gray and a cream colored throat that streaks down across his velvet purple breast. Indigo Buntings, and Common Yellow Throats skulk in the low shrubs at the marsh end of the pond while Scarlet and Summer Tanagers jump through the high canopy calling for mates.

A female Rose-Breasted Grosbeak has been at the feeder for several days, following a male that was here briefly last week. Red-Shouldered Hawks, Black and Turkey Vultures circle in the sky. Nesting flycatchers squeak from all sides; the Acadian with his two-noted "pizza', the PeeWee sings "pee wee, pee you" and the Phoebe calls its scratchy name out loud.

On the home front, the leeks need to be dug as they are bolting to flower, the asparagus are slowing down and the snap peas are speeding up. All the seeds I planted last week are up, okra, beans, cukes and squash, reaching for the sun after the two inches of rain that fell last weekend.

The rose trellis is finally completed. The rose, which had been lying on the ground, carefully tied across the posts, still looks a little awkward but we have faith it will fill in and naturalize with time. I'm planning to put three Jackmanii clematis one on each main post to help fill the monster up. Hopefully it will eventually shade the West side of the house a bit and break up that giant wall.

The little Chickadee that we returned to the nest last week was spotted the next day, being eaten by a snake. I had said to D when he put it back, though I heartily approved of his actions, that we were changing evolution, that bird perhaps was not meant to live. Well- our intervention was clearly unsuccessful, the harsher side of the natural world at work.

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