Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Signs of Spring

I've never written a blog before, though I've kept a journal for years. I thought it might be fun to put together some of the things I've learned, read, wondered about, gotten mad about, or otherwise encountered. In any case, if you're an actual reader, welcome!

I only see my garden on the weekends. We have 8 bird feeders in the yard, and all week I look forward to watching many types of birds come and go. They perch on the feeders, or in the branches of the pine tree, or on the trunk of our walnut tree. They chase each other through the branches and zoom by the kitchen window. It's like watching a game of musical chairs.

This past weekend, I saw the usual assortment of chickadees, titmice, goldfinches, blue jays, cardinals, house finches, and -- best of all -- woodpeckers. But the big news was the absence of the female pileated woodpecker. For weeks, we've been thrilled to see the male and female coming to the suet feeders together. The male goes to the suet first, while the female waits on the tree trunk below, calling and watching. When he moves up the trunk, she takes his place at the feeder. They may stay for as long as 15 minutes. (And I hang out the kitchen window with the camera for as long as they're here.) But this weekend, he came without her. WHERE IS "MRS. BIG BIRD?" To my ever-hopeful mind, there can be just one explanation: maybe she's on the nest! Pileateds are early nesters-- they can nest as early as February. Last year, the 2 parents and 1 fledgling visited our yard in June. So I can't say for sure, but I imagine her keeping eggs warm somewhere deep in the trees. Perhaps "Mr. Big Bird" is feeding her bits of suet gathered from our feeders. Live long and prosper!


Liza's Pages said...

Hi, Simcha. I found your blog via your Ravelry site. I've had a knitting blog for a while www. My partner's house is in the wilds of NW NJ. Just this weekend she hung up two yarn scrap balls for the birds to use to build their nests. I stuffed the yarn bits in an old onion bag and another mesh whoosie that came with something other other but which I saved 'cause it looked handy for suet cakes for the birds. But, because we have bears, who just love suet, I didn't make the birds this treast. My partnera hung up the yarn scrap balls on trees on our NJ "estate!". It's about 5.5 acres and, like you, we also have lots of birds. Two of the nests in the forsythia incorporate bits of plastic bags so we hope they enjoy these new yarn scraps I've saved over the years. Some years ago we hung a mesh shopping bag with yarn bits which the birds have almost used up. Nice to talke to you!

Simcha said...

That's so cool. We also hung nesting material out -- we used a net apple bag to put yarn scraps, small pieces of string, dog hair (we have a beagle who is a professional shedder), and wool bits (these we bought). We had 3 nests in the yard last year. It's wonderful that you have land -- my dream is to buy wooded acreage and live in the middle of it...