Sunday, June 11, 2006

Backyard Nature Report

Feeder visited by a second female hummingbird. Haven't seen much of her since so she must be dividing her time between here and the neighbors. The heat and humidity are getting increasingly oppressive now and many critters are hunkered down by midmorning, so unless I'm on the lookout at early morning or evening I'm not likely to see much.
One of the front-yard oaks has a litter of baby squirrels (3, we think) who have been getting out of the nest since mid-last week. I startled one coming out the door last week (musta been his first day out) and was surprised as he scrambled over the bagged leaves and up the siding boards of the house at how clumsy they are at that age. He's lucky I wasn't a cat. They're doing better getting up and down the trees now, and you can practically watch them grow. It helps that their tree is next door to a black cherry, of course, which must be like a pastry shop to them. (The fruit is too tart for human taste buds, though the field guide assures me that they can be used in jam.) Momma is a regular at the 'squirrel' feeder and throws down plenty of seed, so they eat pretty well. (Ditto the mourning doves.) As I have the feeder hanging on a metal post, I'll be interested to see when they master the art of climbing it.

Harvest: 2-6 cherry tomatoes ripe daily, lots of green ones on the vine. We may soon be swamped. Eggplants coming along; a small green pepper or two on each of my 7 plants. A gracious plenty of green cayenne peppers (only one plant.) Everything gets wilty if I don't water daily. Radishes are slowing down with the heat and beets aren't even bothering to come up. I'll have to try them again come fall.



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