Garden Art: the Postscript

I finished one final artful addition to my garden this weekend. Again inspired by the art in Patchwork’s garden, I decided to add some color to my blackberry trellis. It adds a little pop to the vegetable garden. I’m curious what it will be like during the fall and winter when there won’t be so much color everywhere.

If any of you have seen the color options John and I have been considering for our office, the colors on the trellis should look familiar.

As I’ve spent many hours quietly working on all of this garden art, I’ve gotten to know much more of the lives of the birds in my back yard.  About a month ago when I started working on my birdbath mosaic, I realized that there was a cardinal’s nest up in a mass of dead vines near that corner of the yard. The mother and father cardinal would periodically zip in to feed the two baby birds or sit and guard the nest. It was fun knowing the secret life in the corner of my garden.

Then tragedy struck. It was about a week later and I was out working on the mosaics when there was an explosion of shrieking and tweeting all around the nest. I looked over and saw a squirrel up in the tree by the nest and the two parent cardinals flying around it ferociously. The drama continued and I heard the fast cheeping of a baby close to the ground. I tried to see what was happening, but when I went to look through the honeysuckle to the yard next door, the mother cardinal flew at my face.

One of the babies had fallen out of the nest/been attacked by a squirrel and was so young it could barely fly. The cardinal parents split up. The father stayed with the baby in the nest while the mother desperately chirped to the fallen baby to try to fly to a perch further from the ground. I thought for sure that the neighbor’s cat Nala was going to have an easy kill, but somehow by nightfall the baby bird had flown in short bursts across my yard and into my other neighbor’s.

Since then, I’ve listened for the baby’s fast and excited chirps to its parents for food and from those sounds I’ve deduced that the little bird continues to thrive. It’s getting big by now, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a girl.

The other baby stayed in the nest with the father cardinal, but then the nest went silent. I thought for a little that the baby might also have left the nest to move across the yard, but I haven’t seen it, so I think maybe the squirrel came back for dinner. The squirrels have been much more active lately and I wouldn’t put it past them.

Meanwhile, I’ve fed a family of downy woodpeckers all summer. They’re fun to see on the suet. Last week I had a wren and I thought I heard the red bellied woodpeckers again after starlings forced them out of their nest this spring. This weekend a brown thrasher was back. I haven’t seen them since early spring.

Meanwhile this is happening:

And what tasty food am I making? I harvested some beets from my garden:

And sauteed them plus some red beets and summer squash from Patchwork’s garden plus some onions. Then I added all that to some pasta and pesto that I’d frozen from last year. It was tasty and the beets gave the pasta a pleasant and unique pink glow.

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