moonwise: (amalthea)
My husband and I have a fairly pleasant back yard. It's not large, but it is very green, and we have many bird nests all around the property. There is a pair of robins, and possibly a pair of cardinals, and some house sparrows in the front and the back.

On Saturday, we spent a lot of time outside, because all JP wants to do these days is run around outdoors and whack his golf balls. We can't complain about this, because little children need fresh air, and it's better than watching Cars for the millionth time. To keep my son from wandering out into the busy intersection that's catty-corner to the house, we have an arched three-foot high ornamental fence blocking off the gaps in the trees and in our larger privacy fence (we can't fence the whole back yard because of multiple easements.)

I kept seeing something fluttering in the fence, but I didn't think a whole lot of it. My husband had been cleaning up the patio and releasing dry brown pin oak leaves, and they were blowing all over the back yard. Since we also have a feeder, we have birds perching here and there for short periods. But, later on, I looked out the back door at the fence and saw that the fluttering thing was still there. Hoping it was a leaf, I went over to look.

It wasn't a leaf. It was a partially-fledged baby bird, caught by the neck between two of the arches. if it had been bigger or heavier, it would have choked to death or broken its neck. I gently eased the little fellow out of the arch, and it was so tired it didn't even try to get away. Some of the small feathers on the leading edge of one wing had been stripped away, but it didn't appear hurt besides that. We brought it inside and put it in a shoebox, and my husband and I were very relieved to see it settle its wings properly. Once safe, it promptly put its head behind its wing and went to sleep.

My husband was great - he called around and found out what to do with the baby. We weren't even sure what species the bird was - I thought it might be a sparrow, but the bird expert my husband was talking to thought it might be a robin. Luckily for us, Biscuit was hiding upstairs, because JP was around (and naturally quite interested in our visitor.) We told him it was a little bird, like Peter's friend in Peter and the Wolf, and we had to help it. First we looked for the nest, but we couldn't find any accessible nests. JP was very concerned about the bird's mommy and daddy, but if you can't find the mommy and daddy, there's not much else you can do. We were then told that we could take our foundling to a wildlife rescue in Mercer County, and it wasn't too far away. We had to hustle, though, because it was about 3 PM and the place closed at 4.

We got in the car and made tracks to the Mercer County Wildlife Center, where we dropped off the little bird along with a donation. The ranger told us that we had found a baby sparrow that was about 3-4 days from leaving the nest, but its mother would have been continuing to feed it until then. The wind was so high that the bird rescues had been getting many instances of babies being blown from their nests. They told us to check back in a few days to find out how the sparrow was doing.

The wildlife rescue was very close to the cities of Lambertville and New Hope, so I said I wanted to go get ice cream at Gerenser's (caramel pecan praline, yum.) Then we dooted around for a while, JP got to see the locomotive at the New Hope and Ivyland train station, and we had dinner at Triumph. Really a lovely evening, and all thanks to our feathered friend.

Here is our foundling, in all its downy glory:

sparrow

My MIL hates sparrows, they are greedy-guts at the feeder and messy to boot, but I'm happy we saved this little guy.

Pie

Jul. 4th, 2011 09:16 pm
moonwise: (Default)
Happy 4th of Pie-ly!

Garden!

May. 13th, 2009 09:41 am
moonwise: (johnny jump ups)
Hopefully today's post will be 100% fap-free. :P

The garden is coming along very nicely this year, except for the daffodils. (Should have fed them in the fall. Oh well.) The nice thing about planting perennials is that they take care of themselves if they're happy, and you don't have to buy new ones every year. This year I decided to move some stuff around, and everything appears to have taken well to their new locations. The catmint in particular is happy as can be, and it's already much larger this year than it was at the end of the summer last year. My husband moved our enormous Russian sage out to the mailbox, and I'm hoping it will take. It was too big for its spot, but it has some room to grow in the new location.

Most of my plants came back except for the rosemary, which was a goner due to the cold winter. The lemon balm is mounding up beautifully, and I'll probably have to give it a haircut a couple times this summer. Better find some uses for it! My MIL was overjoyed to have someone to give her excess plantings to, and now there I have a big pile of irises, lilies, sweet woodruff, and creeping geranium that all have to be planted.

The constant deer raiding forced me to stop filling the bird feeder for the winter, but now that there's forage for the deer, the birds have come back. We have a boy and girl cardinal who have claimed our back yard, and there are goldfinches everywhere. They're so pretty with their bright yellow plumage and little black caps, and we hear them chittering away all the time. Last year I had a finch feeder hanging on one of our cherry trees, but I put the regular feeder too close to it and the finches stopped coming. This year, I put the finch feeder near the living room window in hopes that watching the birdies could be Biscuit Entertainment. She hasn't noticed. Dumb cat.

In our rail boxes and hanging baskets, I decided on lantana, because it's drought-tolerant and likes heat. It gets damn hot out there in the summer. The boxes have orange lantana, silver dusty miller, and purple sweet potato vine for contrast, and I'm excited to see how they will look once they really start growing. In the back, I bought two huuuuuuge new planters and put bacopa and snapdragons in them. Now we have to throw out the crummy old foam planters that Betty left. They're looking pretty sad after a few winters.

Never thought I'd be the gardening type, but it's pleasant to have a back yard full of greenery. Once we get our fence up, it will be very pleasant indeed.

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