Friday, January 07, 2005

Notes from the Backyard

Sometime back in late Nov. early Dec. I spied a little hummingbird in our yard soliciting the last vestiges of blooms from our fuchsia bush and mentioned to Curt that we should think about getting a hummingbird feeder. Later that week he bought me two lovely feeders that hang welcoming from a pretty wrought iron post right in front of our dining nook window as an early Christmas present. For weeks we were convinced the contraption would end up as somewhat expensive lawn art as no little hummer deigned to pay it a visit. Then on Christmas Day we received the most wonderful present – just as we were sitting in the nook with my Mom & Stepdad preparing dinner and bemoaning the fact that we were getting stood up by the hummer brigade, a little Anna’s Hummingbird showed up ! We are now the 8:10 a.m. stop on his daily feeding schedule, it appears because he shows up every morning just as we’re finishing breakfast.

We have another birdfeeder in the backyard that’s proving just as entertaining. Every day it gets mobbed by a mixed flock of chickadees and junco’s and then a pair of Stellar’s Jays move in. Our cat we call the “Great White Hunter”, Ozz was sorely tempted by one of the Jays recently – as he was stalking the one in the feeder its mate started to dive-bomb him. Needless to say Ozz has wisely decided it's not too smart to fuck with the jays.

Lately, Curt’s been seeing a pair of Northern Flickers hanging around who are finally giving the Jays a run for their money. I’ve never seen a Jay run from anything but apparently the Flickers do the trick.

In the flora department, I’ve been amazed at the resiliency of the Flowering Maple (a.k.a. “Chinese Bell Flower” ) I planted in the semi-contained bed in front of our front porch a year or two ago. It’s been budding and blooming non-stop since summer and is up to almost 6 feet. I think this cold snap that started last week might have finally reigned it in a bit, but I’m curious to see how it hangs through the winter. It’s wonderful to get such vibrant, fiery orange/blood red color so long after everything else has died back. Too bad the hummers haven't discovered it yet - I think they'd like it. Maybe next spring I'll plant another one in the backyard just for them.

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