A “big red” Begonia and blue pot I got this week
Why are those rabbits mine? David asks. You like them and I have to blame someone for their voracious habits, I tell him the next time he calls me to the door to “see the cute little bunny.”
Johnny caught and killed a baby rabbit last year, but that hasn’t prevented their nighttime forays.
My strawberry plants are about to produce, and I wonder if I will get single one this year. I don’t know if the rabbits ate them last year, or the birds, or something else, but every one of them disappeared. I filled a hanging planter with little strawberry plants this year but the birds are sure to find them as well as the plants in the strawberry jars.
Just as well I seldom eat strawberries…the litttle seeds get in my teeth and cause problems. But its the principle of the thing. Besides these little fraises de bois strawberries have extremely small seeds that don’t seem to bother me. When I’m in the garden, I pop the sun-warmed berries in my mouth, mash them with my tongue and swallow them. For a few seconds the taste is startling, nothing like these monstrosities sold in supermarkets.
Ah well such is life for the gardener.
Yesterday being Earth Day, we celebrated with a new “under the sink” container to capture kitchen compost. This time I’m using biodegradable bags for the refuse. You simply lift the little bag out and take it to your compost bin (we have four of them). Or, here in Arlington County, you can use the new green roller bin to capture bags of compost and yard waste. This morning the egg shells, grapefruit rinds and coffee grounds all went into the composter. No meat products allowed, which is just as well because we seldom eat meat anyway.
I also have two trugs for collecting garden waste outside and use biodegradable garden bags I buy at Trader Joes. No dog poop allowed in these bags, all that is flushed down the toilet, per county regulations. Pick it up, pick it up is their mantra, even in your own yard. I wouldn’t leave it lying in the garden anyway.
I was really tickled yesterday to discover the Clethra I thought was dead was really alive…it put forth nice green leaves. And the Serviceberry tree I planted last year finally proved it was alive also. Even though we live on the East Coast we’ve had very dry weather recently, so everything looked a bit iffy for a while.
Only my Fothergilla looks as if it is in distress. The Fothergilla means a lot to me because Joy and I planted it when she was in six-grade and president of the Ecology Club. Its raining today, I hope the little shrub recovers.
Lately, I’ve been bird-spotting for Audubon. This means when I see a bird in my backyard I list the bird on my Audubon Ap. The nearest cross-reference for me is Arlington Cemetery, so plenty of birds are linked to that reference point by me and other neighbors.
This activity is great fun because you can use the Ap to locate bird sighting hot spots which are plentiful for us because Arlington is bordered by the Potomac River and the edge of the river is lined with many trees. We also have numerous parks and green spaces and many yards are like mine. Given we are on the eastern flyway, many of the birds like the Hermit Thrush we feed are headed north for the summer.
Think of the flyway as a bird highway where Felicity the Northern Parula on her way from Cuba to Nova Scotia says to mate Frank, “lets rest in Arlington where we can find a place to stay overnight and get a good meal.”
Northern Parula; Photo by Dan Snyder