Friday, June 29, 2012

New Backyard

A mover commented today while carrying a bench to the new backyard, "How did you find another nature preserve?"

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Saying Goodbye to a Garden

It's been a week of lasts. Last visit to the Carrboro Farmer's Market on a Saturday morning. Last watering of plants in the garden. Last sitting on a bench in the backyard watching birds. Last walks on familiar routes, where I saw deer and red-shouldered hawks. One block from my house, I heard a rustling in the trees along the road. I stopped, waited and a doe emerged, then two tiny fawns, covered in white spots. The doe stood still, looking right at me. I looked back. One fawn and then the other ran to their mother and began nursing.

Later, behind the deer fence, I dug up favorite plants. I felt a slight sense of guilt, even though these are my plants. But the letter of the contract on the house sale says that all plants in the ground are considered part of the property. Shh... Who's to know three or four dozen plants are moving with me? In fact, they're already resting under a pine tree at the new house, where the seller kindly offered to water them.

I took my favorites. Young shrubs that have not yet bloomed - two native azaleas, one pinxterbloom and one 'Clyo Red.' A Clethra alnifolia 'Hummingbird,' an Ilex sentinel holly, my only surviving blueberry bush. Two Christmas ferns, a few heucheras of purple and green variegated and limegreen foliage, hellebores, a spreading tiarella, three canna lilies ('Bengal Tiger') and a maidenhair fern. Japanese roof lilies, green 'n gold, and monarda, all of which will spread to become sizable patches. There must have been more - I dug for hours and filled two cars with plants, but I am not thinking clearly after days of packing.

More than 30 plants fit in a compact Prius.

I wish I could move the bluebirds with me. I believe the eggs hatched the other day. The male bluebird has been hovering around the box, proudly perching on the box top with fat green caterpillars and later a yellow moth. The bluebird then would fly to a favorite dead branch, eat his meal and return to the box, sometimes disappearing inside. This morning the male kept anxiously peering at the hole after the female went inside with an insect.

Then he disappeared inside the box. I'll miss the bluebirds. I hope bluebirds come live at our house in Raleigh. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Brown Pelican Says...

I try to keep my appreciation of nature separate from politics, but sometimes a cause calls. 

If our climate keeps warming at such a rapid pace, the barrier island where I saw this pelican will be underwater. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Carolina Wrens' New Home

Fortunately, there is no reason to decide which is my favorite bird - bluebirds or Carolina wrens. Both are nesting within feet of the front of the house. The wrens began home-building one day last week when the impatiens in the hanging basket grew tall enough to conceal a nest.

Wrens love to hop. One lands on the deck railing and looks up to the flower basket before taking a leap upward.

The nest is fairly obvious (note messy-looking leaf pile) from inside the house, but is well-concealed from the other three sides. The wrens first excavated a hole in the dirt, then brought old, soft leaves to line the nest. It has a side entrance, from which the wren below is exiting.

I presume the mother is sitting on her eggs as I speak. I've been working too much to monitor the nest closely. 

The wrens built their home as we prepare to leave ours. We're moving at the end of the month. I think I envy the birds their lack of possessions. No need for complicated logistics and expensive movers. Select a pot of flowers, move some leaves, and in one day - new home.