Sunday, August 28, 2016

Quiet, but beautiful...

Ruby-throated hummer
I got to the park around 7:00. It was 66 degrees, promising to be a beautiful morning with a few clouds in the sky. The sun was just starting to light up the gardens.

I was struck by how very quiet it was in the lower gardens save for the insects of late summer, but as I walked around, little sounds started to make themselves known and the birds started to appear. First, a female cardinal landed on a fence not far away. Then a hummingbird appeared. Song sparrows were busy foraging in the high weeds and sadly several house sparrows were in a huge flock devouring seeds on the tall stems of overgrown grass. Seagulls and then a lone mallard flew overhead.

A seemingly lone house wren scolded from the back of the gardens near where they had nested after the tree swallows. Two eastern phoebes seemed bent on chasing each other from tree to tree. A catbird called from the path. The gardens are so full of bounty. I wish I had a garden there myself.

Morning Glories
The upper gardens were bathed in sunlight - more so than the lower gardens so there was a little bit more activity. A few gardeners were already hard at work. A young robin stood out on a fence while several others flew in. Chickadees and downy woodpeckers were enamored of the sunflower seeds and couldn't get enough. One downy was busy enlarging a hole in one of the bird boxes last used by tree swallows. It was also removing some of the nesting material. Is it looking for a place to roost during winter? Song sparrows were busy exploring food sources.  A couple of tree swallows flew high overhead - dipping and diving. A bluejay called out several times. A hummingbird was feeding in the honeysuckle.

I had to check on the artichokes again. It's so fascinating to see them growing. I didn't realize last week that there are four plants, only two of which have bloomed, but they each have about three flowers on them! I will have to keep an eye on them to see how they develop into the full artichoke. Although I've failed miserably in the past in my own garden, maybe this will give me the impetus to try again.

As I headed to my car, I was so happy to hear a peewee calling from one of it's favorite areas - the woods behind the JCC.

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