Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Toucan do it....

Speaking of birds, we have been inundated with seeds this year.  We have three large maple trees around our house and each one had a bumper crop of seeds.  They were thick enough that they covered the grass and the flower beds that were the closest to the trees.  Hubs was staining the deck and had dug trenches around the base so he could stain the lowest boards.  The trenches filled with seeds, it rained and now we have literally thousands of germinating maple seeds.  And I have Preen down in those garden beds so I can't imagine how many seeds would be coming to life without it.  Our resident chipmunk loves the maple seeds but he can't eat them fast enough to suit me.  We managed to sweep up a large garbage can full of them and that didn't make a dent.  Luckily the seeds that germinate in the yard will be lost to the John Deere; unfortunately, the rest will need to be pulled by hand.

As soon as we breathed a sigh of relief over the end of the maple seeds dropping, we were faced with the seeds from the River Birch.  We only have one but it's over our deck and shade gardens.  The seeds look like oatmeal and so float on the wind making it all the way to the pond.  The goldfinches love the River Birch seeds and help enormously in spreading them all over, while they feed it sounds like rain when they fall on the canopy on the deck.  We had so many goldfinches when the seeds were ripe that I went through two full 24 inch thistle feeders in two days.  And now the goldfinches seem to have left.  They're funny that way - one day you have a huge flock and the next they are no where to be found.  I've heard the oriole but he's hiding in the trees and we've been blessed with an Eastern Phoebe for the first time ever; he's been hanging around for several days.  The bad news is hubs spent so much time around the deck both staining and replacing the lattice that the wrens seem to have moved from the deck nest box into the back of the shed in an old bird house mounted on a tree trunk.  The male checked out the box on the deck this morning, but the female wasn't around and the box behind the shed had one egg in it yesterday.  Same pair?  Different pair?  Who knows.  The chickadees in the little box next to the trumpet vine in the front yard have disappeared.  Dad had been scolding us every time we passed the box but suddenly all is quiet.  That particular box only opens from the bottom so I will wait a day or two more and see if the wrens destroyed the eggs.  As cute as wrens are, they are very destructive to other cavity nesting birds.

Now that the River Birch is done the cottonwoods have started shedding their cotton-like seeds.  I see them float through the air everywhere.  There are too many cottonwoods up here to even count.  Another trip to clean out the gutters, hubs seems to do that every other day this spring.  But we've had lots of birds, the flowers are doing very well, the rain has finally come, the temperatures are moderate, the gazebo is finished except for the screens and the door - life is good where we live and we hope it's good where you are.  If something wonderful is happening in your garden, I'd love to hear about it.

Recipe:  The Paper Shelter Toucan digital image, DCWV Safari Chic, Stamping Scrapping Card Creator, Jilly Bean sentiment.  Copics are shown above.


  1. Wonderful card Cindy, fab colouring of the toucan. you are going to have a lot of work to do in the garden.
    Kevin xx