Sunday, May 3, 2009

SUNDAY IN THE YARD


This morning was the first day I really got out into the yard for anything beyond filling the birdfeeders. My plan is to leave one silo feeder and two niger feeders in the lilac bush, in hopes of attracting an indigo bunting or two this year. The silo feeder of mixed seed will insure that there's plenty of activity around the bush, and there are still house and gold finches that visit, so I'm counting on word getting around to the indigos. But today, I went out with my forked weed digger and flipped out a few dozen dandelions - and there lying on the grass I found the first eggshell of the season. I'm not sure whose it is, or where the nest might be. Many species of birds fly the empty shells and drop them away from the nest, to keep predators from finding it, so it could be from anywhere. But it was a wonderful thing to see. A lot of the other birds are still displaying to potential mates, so whoever dropped this shell is a real...early bird!



Nearby, the violets I transplanted from my neighbor's yard have begun to bloom. There's some regular dark purple ones mixed in there, too, but they haven't begun to open yet. A weathered leaf from the red maple, destined to become topsoil, rests beside them like a memento mori of the past winter. All in all, it was a dewy, peaceful Sunday, with scarcely a breeze; the lake barely making a murmur.

13 comments:

Lin said...

lovely spring scene, I never knew birds dropped their egg shells somewhere else to fool predators-smart birds.

bobbie said...

Birds are pretty darned clever, aren't they?

Your violets are so pretty!

bobbie said...

Check out this one if you don't already read it.
http://riverdaze.blogspot.com/
He's talking about indigo buntings today.

mom/caryn said...

I absolutely love flowers growing in a lawn. That's one of my favorite things about violets. They look so pretty and old fashioned snuggled into the lawn.

That dang old fussbudget of a perfectionist that I'm married to mows em down every spring. He doesn't get the whole "naturalization" thing in a garden. Oops! Daffodil popped up in his mowing path. It's gone! But I hold him at bay as long as I can.

I also had no idea that a bird would carry an empty shell in it's beak to protect the nest. Interesting to learn that.

Wayne and I have been out hunting for eggs along the ditch banks and in the taller grass of the pastures. Our chickens aren't laying in the coop the way they were. We're wondering if a couple of them haven't started laying outside. We may have to pen them in for a few days to see if we can figure out what's happening.
I hate to have the hens lay out where the hawks will swoop down and eat the eggs.

What does any of this have to do with your post? Sorry... I got the engine cranked up and didn't seem to be able to turn it off...

gardenpath said...

I didn't know that birds did that. It explains why the shells are never under the nests.

Our yard is full of violets now, too. Mostly white, but a few purple ones, here and there. The johnny jump ups will be showing up next.

gardenpath said...

I didn't know that birds did that. It explains why the shells are never under the nests.

Our yard is full of violets now, too. Mostly white, but a few purple ones, here and there. The johnny jump ups will be showing up next.

david mcmahon said...

Ah, red maple. I remember it well!

Sylvia K said...

how beautiful the violets are! hope you can see the birds around soon! They are a clever lot aren't they.

Ruth said...

I am hoping to attract a Rose-breasted Grosbeak to my feeder this week. They did come one year. I planted a couple of violet plants from a friend in 1987 and they have taken over! After they bloom each spring I thin them out. They are such cheerful blooms.

Indrani said...

So you have a mystery to solve.

Kallen305 said...

Wonderful signs of spring in your yard. I always marvel over the intelligence of birds. They certainly know what they are doing. I guess they have to in order to survive.

me ann my camera said...

Deborah, maybe some bird is doing their spring housecleaning and the shell is a left over from last year;s family. I notice I have a white violet in bloom in my garden today, also a smallJOHNNYJUMP UP IT LOOKS LIKE a minature Pansey in bloom
Ann

Beth P. said...

Love the white of the shell and the white of the violets...so different from the white of the last few months!

hurrah and huzza--
Thanks!