This evening, we had one “Mocker” sitting so perfectly in the neighbor’s tree, that the Moon was behind the bird and the last rays of the Sun were reflecting in an orange-red shade on its feathers. The Mockingbird sang a song about Spring, warmth, sunshine, mating and probably a couple lines about the rising Moon. I just hope for him, he’s not the Bachelor, that sits in a nearby tree and sings this very same song from 2:30 – 4:00 every morning.
The warm and the rainy days help the garden to progress very quickly. Flora and Fauna are flourishing. Our Meyer Lemon tree has a lot of flower buds; and we have a first blossom. The tomatoes are growing fast. Planting them on a good layer of compost did the trick. The peach tree is full with fruits. I can’t wait for July to come, so I can harvest them.
A little Bewick’s Wren made its home in the nestbox outside of Katelynn’s window. She loves it, when the wren wakes her up with a beautiful song every morning. The Blue Jays are very pleased, how the raised beds come along. The birds did their part of growing the beds as well. Lots of seeds turned into seedlings. In Summer, they will enjoy a Sunflower “jungle”.
This morning, the day started out frosty. But it became a very nice, sunny afternoon. Usually, Autumn stays around all the way into mid to late December, here in North Texas. But recent high winds blew most of the colorful leaves off the trees, early on. Only a few trees are left with some Autumn foliage. One is the neighbor’s Sweet Gum tree, I photographed last months. The crape myrtles opened their pods to release their seeds. And the Chinese Tallow has beautiful white berries, which usually attract many birds; however mainly the neighborhood doves seem to go crazy for them.
Marlena, the Mockingbird, looks for berries and seeds in our yard. By 3:20 pm, she sits on the Christmas deer antlers and waits for Sara to come home from school. Once Sara greets her and walks into the house, Marlena goes back to her insect hunting in our yard.
For about a week now, I’m watching the leaves changing into their new colorful dresses. It went like almost overnight. And it seems that they are more colorful than usual, this year. I wonder, if all this good rain from October has something to do with it. While I waited for Sara and Katelynn to come home from school, I walked up and down to capture some photos on our street. A Mockingbird greeted me, when I walked by the neighbor’s house. She sang the song of Autumn and soon much cooler days ahead.
November will be very busy for us, this year: Today is the Witches New Year (Samhain); tomorrow we celebrate Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead); on Sunday we change our clocks back one hour (Daylight Saving will be over); the NASCAR races are coming to town this weekend; Election Day is around the corner; than we have festivities for to honor our Veterans on the following weekend; Fall Break and Thanksgiving is later in the month; and then it’s time to get lights out of the attic, and buy a fresh tree for Christmas.
When I hike with my camera, the trails are always full of surprises. One time, I walked on The Colony Nature Trail and found two bobcat kittens sitting in the Autumn foliage. On this hike, I walked into a Great Horned Owl. First it sat on a low branch in a tree right in front of me. The owl blended so well in the forested area, I’ve didn’t even notice it. But I’ve must have come too close for comfort. And it flew in a higher tree branch further away. It was still a stunning sight to see this beautiful Great Horned Owl in nature.
Early May, Kevin told me that a couple of Mockingbirds were building a nest in our Photinia. After we cut the bush back to a tree, it seems to attract birds to build nest in it again. (There was a Cardinal nest earlier in the year. But a critter must have gotten to the eggs. The shells were scattered under the Photinia shortly after Mrs. Cardinal laid them.) Over the weeks, I watched the mockers come to their nest. First they checked on their eggs, and then they brought worms and bugs to the baby bird nursery. I always liked it, when the adult birds picked up these pesky June bugs out of my yard. That’s a few less fat bugs buzzing around my head, when I want to have a drink on my porch in the evenings.
Today, I heard a lot of cheeping in my frontyard. Chewbacca must have heard it, too. He looked out the front door. And there was Mr. and Mrs. Mockingbird causing a ruckus, because the cat sat by the door. That got my attention. I walked out on the front porch. Hm, no noisy little cheep. The adult Mockingbirds watched every move I made in the frontyard. Still nothing! In this heat, I decided it was better to go back into the house. A little bit later, I heard a high-pitched “Cheeeep, cheeeep, cheeeep”, again. This time, the adult bird flew over to the Texas Sage. I went outside, looked in the bush and saw a precious little fluff ball. Awww, it’s a beautiful little fledgling. Since the Northern Mockingbird is the Texas State Bird, I have to be very careful around it. But this little guy/girl made my heart melt.
There is some love, and also some fighting over mating rights and ‘when?’, ‘where?’, ‘how?, going on my backyard. Mr. Cardinal sings the most wonderful songs to his Love, and even Mr. Blue Jay is not screaming so loud as usual and rather helps Mrs. Blue Jay with the perfect nesting spot high in the tree. But while Ms. Mockingbird enjoys, that two males are arguing and literally fighting over her in my trees and on my roof most of the time, she still can’t decide which ‘guy’ she wants to partner up with this season.
On the other end of my yard sits Mrs. White-winged Dove and coos to her mate from the gazebo frame: “Would you just quit the talking and get this whole mating thing started, so I still can tell Elvira (must be her friend) the newest gossip from the alley, today!!!”
I guess, these two ladies have their own struggles with their men in Spring. I hope, I’ll see some nests with some cute little mockingbird chicks and white-winged dove chicks, soon. 😉
UPDATE: In Spring, weeks after I wrote this blog on “A Garden Full of Memories”, both ladies built a nest and raised their chicks in my yard. Here are photos of their nests in 2015:
Due to the warmer weather I could leave my greenhouse window open the last couple of days/nights. But this afternoon, the rain became more severe and a cold front moved in. The temperatures dropped from 70ºF (21ºC) down to 48ºC (9ºC) within a few hours. And it supposed to get even cooler tonight. In neighboring counties is Winter Weather Advisory until tomorrow evening. In the meantime, the wildlife tries to stay warm. And we don’t know, what happens to the trees, which just budded over the last few days. If Mother Nature is not bi-polar, then I don’t know what is is going on with this crazy ol’ lady.
Sara walked into the door, after I picked her up from school this afternoon. When I came around the car, a mockingbird sat on the bird feeder and stared at Chewbacca. The cat sat inside behind the storm door. But he could care less, that the bird watched him from a short distance. And the mockingbird didn’t mind, me being so close. I talked to the bird: “I’m getting a birdie treat ready, with seeds and peanut butter. If you want, you can visit the backyard. I know, it’s cold. And a nice peanut butter snack would keep you warm at night.” I don’t know, if the this bird has noticed the food. But I saw a couple of mockingbirds eating in the backyard.