Archive for May, 2007

Where have all the mockingbirds gone?

Since we bought our property 35 years ago the main bird resident has always been the mockingbird. What a bird it is! It’s personality is aggressive, loud, noisy, dangerous to humans when nesting, and totally king of its domain.

Being mere humans we have had to put up with its constant singing, aggressiveness, and bravado for a long time. The mockingbirds allow no insect-eating birds to build nests anywhere near their own nests. Early on, we’ve had beautiful bluebirds build nests in our bluebird boxes. They are small, shy, and definitely don’t have a dominant personality. I believe they lasted maybe two days in their boxes with the mockingbirds constantly dive-bombing them whenever they came out of the boxes. The bluebirds decided our property wasn’t safe for raising their children and moved on. What a shame for us.

We feed birds year-round. We especially enjoy watching the cardinals bring their offspring to our feeder, showing them how to crack open and enjoy the sunflower seeds we provide them. We’ve watched many birds, including chickadees and tufted titmice, do the same.

Since last year things are different. There are no mockingbirds in our immediate area. The mornings are quiet without their warbling. Actually, we’ve heard them warble in the  middle of the night in early spring. Last year I didn’t actually notice their disappearance even though they were not here. This year, though, I have noticed the lack of mockingbirds.

Now we have cardinals making nests on our property for the first time in 35 years. What a great joy that is. They are building nests in our hemlock hedge and in our clematis trellis next to the house. We’re getting smaller birds, too, nesting in the burning bush and the hemlocks. It’s wonderful to know that these birds feel comfortable enough to build their nests here.

What a relief that we will not have to worry about being divebombed anymore by mockingbirds as they protect their babies in the nests. They have sharp beaks!

Another thought has struck, though. Why aren’t the mockingbirds here? What happened to drive them away? Did all of the mockingbirds die or did they just move on to other areas? I wonder. 


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Garden Designer

I started this weblog at least a year or two ago but I never kept it up because I didn’t know what to do with it.

 Now I know!

I love gardens. I love plants. I love garden design.

It was so beautiful outside today. It was nice and cool for a mid-May day.

Most of the beautiful spring flowers–dogwoods, early azaleas, daffodils, bulbs, and cherries have already bloomed and I enjoyed each and every one. Spring is just too wonderful for words. At about this time my garden slows down a little bit and some of the less showy plants start to show their beautiful leaves and/or flowers.

It’s now time for iris (the old German iris are the ones that I love) and I no longer have the beautiful, fragrant Iris ‘Pacific Panaroma’ that I once had. I dug them up one year after blooming, as required. I gave some away and didn’t keep any for myself. At the last Horticultural Society of Maryland meeting, a fellow member was giving away some dark purple iris that were originally from his grandmother’s garden. I took one nice clump and gave away the rest to someone else since I don’t have that much sunny space left in my garden. I must plant it soon or it will die. Maybe I will plant it tomorrow.

As you can see, I now know what a weblog is for–to get all of those thoughts rolling around in my head down on “paper”. This isn’t exactly “paper”, but it is close enough.

It’s a great life!

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