Thursday, May 18, 2006

Gray = green

Lots of dreary gray rainy days of late. Silly, but just a bit ago we were all worried about the dry conditions and fire danger, now, we are awash. Fortunately, we were spared the flooding that southern Maine, New Hampshire, and northern Massachusetts received.

Our rain gauge bit the dust, and I haven't installed the new one, so I'm not sure how much rain we received, but I can say things are greening up. The despised lawn is once again approaching knee high -- it's been too wet to mow, now we need a farm tractor. My Purple Knight butterfly bush is sprouting, just as I began to fear its demise. The Russian Sage hedge along the driveway is growing like mad, the beech tree is leafing out --right now, it's easy being green.

Our gorgeous old flowering crab is at its breathtaking peak. I wish the rain would hold off so the bees could enjoy it. On sunny days, it is just filled with bees, the sound of them calls to mind Yeats' 'bee loud glade,' the busy humming is audible from yards away.

The tree hasn't been pruned in years, we haven't touched it since taking ownership, and I doubt much was done before. I'm now too intimidated by its stunning beauty in the spring, and the amazing structure we see in winter. I will tackle a few dead branches this summer, and perhaps that overgrown watersprout just visible in the photo below, but I'll wait until my arborist friend Bill can be here to guide me before I tackle anything too radical. After all, perfection is the enemy of good, and this tree is sure good now.

I noticed a bird, I think a wren but I need to look it up, nesting in the nest box near the leaf composting bin. I saw the pair flitting in and out, once carrying a long piece of dried grass. I suppose soon we will have baby birds, if not already.
You cannot see it in the photo, but there is a bird just inside the entrance, and another to the left on a branch. We also have a pair of northern orioles regularly visiting the orange feeders, and there are at least 2 male orioles arguing over the territory. A pair of catbirds was at one of the orange feeders this morning, just after I put out fresh oranges. They join our resident pair of cardinals, and the grackle family living in the arborvitae hedge. I'm still hoping for a tanager stopping for a brief visit. We had a pair last year stop by for about a week, what a treat!

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