Saturday, January 26, 2013

American GoldFinch (Spinus tristis)

American GoldFinch (Spinus tristis)

Each July when the Goldfinch broods fledge, my garden is visited by family groups of Goldfinches.  The bright yellow males are the first to be noticed.  He perches on the tall stems of the Shasta Daisies, surveys the undergrowth for stalking urban leopards, house cats. The all-clear call is given and the rest of the group moves in to feed. In the background of the photo above can be seen the compound leaf of an Indiana Black Walnut, a tree that was once common through out Indiana before the forests were clear cut and burned for agriculture. The squirrels plant these trees, at one time I believed what I was told, squirrels bury tree seeds to hide for their next meal. After watching squirrels burying maple seeds one after another in my garden and the fact that the nearest walnut tree is a city block away from my yard, I tend to think that squirrels are distributing the tree seeds to replenish the forest habitat. After all no trees no squirrels.

July in my perennial wild flower garden.  The wild flowers were planted about twenty years ago, from bag and canned wild flower seed mixes.  I just turned the soil, broadcast the seed mix and let nature take its course. Every now and then, I'll root out the grass that invades from what little lawn that I have.  No ferts or pesticides, dividing the root clumps is a no-no also. Basically, no maintenance is the rule, I just let it grow. When I see plants taking hold that I do not want I just pull them out by the roots.  The deadheads are left on the stalks to re-seed, provide food for the visiting birds and shelter for the overwintering insects.

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