This was a bird and bloom week! Some of our migratory birds have returned - like the orioles. I saw a female one sitting on the feeder and dipping her beak in the nectar, so I knew it is time to put out the grape jelly. Shortly after that the male oriole appeared and fed on the jelly. Orioles go crazy over grape jelly. They are quite spectacular birds, always chatting when they're around - and yes, it does sound like chatting. I found a site where you can hear this specific chatter call - if you go to the bottom of that page and click the very last call (called "chatter call") you can hear it. Unfortunately these birds are rather shy and it's difficult to photograph them. Here's a photo of a female from two years ago.
I am so glad that they are back. They will stay around for the entire summer until they make their way south in early fall. That's when they hang around the feeder a lot, filling up for the journey.
I have also noticed that the red shouldered hawks are getting more active which often results in fights with the crows. There is a pair of hawks very close to our home and I hear and see them every day now. Sometimes, when they're in one of their crow fights, they fly very low over my backyard. Against the sun their wings look almost transparent. I love birds of prey, but the red shouldered hawks have a special place in my heart. Again, no new photo, but one from 2013.
Spring is a really exciting time in the world of birds. Our scrub jays were busy building a nest in the big bush in front of our office - while I sat at my computer I could see them diving into the bush with their beaks full of grasses and tiny twigs. They had a nest here last year as well. It is a very protected site.
The "bloom part", of course, is very exciting, too. Unfortunately I have a nightly visitor who digs up my garden both front and back. I have no idea what animal it is; I suspect it is a skunk looking for grubs. To be honest, it is quite annoying to see the holes in the morning, soil thrown everywhere and unfortunately, some flowers uprooted as well. Since I can't really do anything about it (except for waiting all night and then shooting the animal - which is totally NOT my style) I try to see the positive - s/he loosens the soil and s/he is eating the grubs before they develop into nasty Japanese beetles.
Apart from that the garden is beautiful. The poppies are blooming, the French lilac is already past its prime, the California poppies are everywhere and the Spanish lavender is THE bee magnet. Two kinds of bees are buzzing around it all the time.
Jo and I went to some nurseries on Friday. This is always so inspiring! I was looking for some clematis - I love these climbing vines, they're cheerful and add amazing color to the garden. At one of the nurseries I saw this beauty and knew at once that I want it. It's called "Ville de Lyon" - my French friend lives in Lyon, what a lovely connection!
Isn't it amazing?
I will go out now and plant some more flowers as long as it is still cool out there. There is also a rose waiting to get into the huge planting box. Oh, I love gardening!
Have a lovely week and look at the small things in life.