|Goldfinches are fun to watch picking seeds from mature cone flowers.|
I put thistle seed in the two bird feeders near windows. I like to watch birds close up, so the fun was spoiled by young squirrels fighting over sunflower seeds, hogging the food, and knocking it down with the bird swing.
|Norma A. Boeckler's Blue Bird|
That switch did not work in Bella Vista, where the super-squirrels routinely tore into bird-feeders, even when getting at thistle seed. They were not starving, living in oak forests, but felt entitled to dessert and some variety in their diet. Raccoons were also shameless gluttons, getting sick on suet bought for blue birds.
However, we now have a variety of finches eating at our windows. Cardinals and woodpeckers also stop by for thistle, and the supply diminishes very slowly. The newly-orphaned squirrels have their own feeder. Birds enjoy the fallout on the ground and an occasional trip upstairs to the trays.
|Mourning Doves feed from the ground but also land on feeders higher up.|
Dry Spell and Planting
I was pleased with the Joe Pye Weed planting. Did I mention that? Not yet today? Mrs. Ichabod referred to it as Slow Pie, which offended me - or so I pretended as she laughed.
|Joe Pye Weed will astound the gardener with butterfly traffic.|
I planted the very healthy Joe Pye from The Growers Exchange. But two days later, they looked a bit droopy from the heat. The promised rain did not arrive in the afternoon.
I told Sassy - "We will take care of yardwork, then have a walk." She sat on the floor looking astounded, not moving. The expression on her face mixed amusement with perplexity. I knew she was working me over emotionally. So I said, "OK. Walk first and then yardwork."
She heard the children playing out front so she wanted to join them. She walked over to the next property and waited for 10 children to surround her and start petting her. Most of them knew her from before. Several years ago, all the kids ran screaming into the house on Scott Street, seeing a dog. Then one child said, "Sassy!" and they all tumbled out.
Sassy had a great time with the children, who were sweet and gentle with her. I kept my hand on her to keep her from loud barks, which I explain as her happy barks. Soon they had to go and waved goodbye to us.
Sassy's interest in yardwork is minimal, so she waited inside while I tended the rain-starved plants. The wild roses burst into blooms I have never seen before. We could have filled the chapel with the best blooms (and my explosive sneezes). Roses and hostas were in great shape and all growing well, but hybrid teas are behind schedule.
There are two categories of plants that get the rest of the rainwater before a new rain comes:
- The newly established require more water and respond well.
- Crepe Myrtles get lots of extra attention because they survive a lack of water but thrive and bloom gloriously when treated royally. New or old, they repay any investment in time, water, and organic matter.
| The second bloom is on the Crepe Myrtle.|
The upper part is going to seed because the Cardina nest was up there.
|Norma A. Boeckler|