Well, the arboretum is still closed, so I will settle for a garden update. The plant growth presents quite a contrast with last month- it’s been a slow, cool spring with plenty of rain. The chickadees who inhabited the wren house raised and fledged 3 clutches of young. They moved out on a Saturday, May 9. That morning there was a fog of chickadees all up in and around the sycamore tree where the house hangs, a regular chickadee caravan forming up to head out and learn to fend for themselves. By that afternoon I saw the wren who inhabits the second house we put up staking claim to the former chickadee house. He was carrying out the chickadee nesting material and carrying in his own. Now he appears to be raising two separate families, as I’ve heard they will do. He is an aggressive little bugger- it is amusing to watch him chase the squirrels who come near his house. He dive bombs them, you can actually see the impact when he pecks them with his sharp, curved beak. I do miss the cheery little chickadees, but every now and then I hear them chattering close by in the bushes at the back of the yard, or even in the sycamore tree. Hummingbirds are now regulars in the garden, and we have had several interesting warblers migrate through, and once a rose-breasted grosbeak for 2 days. There is also a pair of catbirds who have nested nearby, and we see them and their young in the yard frequently. The most fun is in the early mornings, when I hear a group of young barred owls hooting and chuckling and chortling with each other like they do. That always makes me smile.
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