Thursday, January 29, 2015

Signs of spring

Even though it's just at the end of January, there are signs of spring to come. Buds swelling, bluebirds and robins flocking, songs beginning.

I saw a group of 8 Great Blue Herons last week on my morning walk along the dikes above Lake Hartwell.  Most unusual, as normally I'd just see one, or two. 

On this day, too, there were bluebirds foraging in groups, most unusually. Maybe picking up a few dead insects in the grass?  They kept moving ahead of Woody and me, seeming intent on their foraging.

The giant Lonicera fragmantissima in back is now in full flower, and supporting honeybees on warmer afternoons.  We planted it almost 20 years ago as a small, bee-supporting shrub, and as a lawn replacement, and it's flourished.

In our last spring here, in this place, I'm noticing (again) the cycles of the seasons, and what we've contributed to make a vibrant and supportive landscape for birds, bees, etc.  Hmm, it also supports woodchucks and squirrels, and a recent interloper, deer! 

Who knew that deer relish unripe persimmons!   
a normal persimmon crop for our old tree

I've posted quite a bit about the venerable Japanese persimmon we brought with us from Georgia.  I've so enjoyed it.

But deer apparently ATE all of the unripe fruits this fall, amazingly.  I didn't know who the culprit was, until this week, talking to a fellow who was a veteran, and had been stationed in Japan (and loved harvesting persimmons in u-pick sorts of places there. 

He told me that deer loved unripe persimmons!

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