Fall Crocus & More Birds

Crocus speciosus 'Oxonian'

This year I looked for the Fall Crocus that I planted last year and saw nothing as I was considering where to put the ones I bought for this season.  I decided that putting them in the lawn as I did last year was a dumb idea.  So this year’s batch I put next to some very big trees hoping that I would thus avoid mowing them down at a critical juncture in their growth.  It turned out I was just a little early in anticipating when they should appear.  They started flowering about 10 days ago and have been popping up ever since.  Nonetheless I think that my thoughts about where to put them in future is probably still a good idea.

I didn’t plant Fall Crocus for years because I associated them with Colchicum which I always found a bit to extravagant and floppy for my taste.  It turns out that the Fall Crocus are very much like the Spring Crocus and crocus are delightful to come upon in either season.

Crocus cartwrightianus 'Albus'

Instead of my usual birdwatching at the back of the garden I took an early morning into the woods a few days ago and discovered the Eastern Towhee hopping about on the forest floor.  All year long I wondered where the Towhee was and hadn’t seen any.  I know that they enjoy prospecting about in the brush for insects, fruit and seeds so one is not likely to see them in the trees.  But I have seen them come into our yard in the past.  Their markings are so striking that they are instantly identifiable as distinct from other species.  This is testimony to varying one’s habits and seeing what new things arise.

Eastern Towhee

A completely new species for me that showed up last week is another of the little birds that you might miss entirely if you didn’t look with binoculars or zoom lens in the trees.  The Golden Crowned Kinglet is one of the smallest native birds.

Golden-crowned Kinglet

I’ve seen them repeatedly now, both singly and in groups, in the woods and in the orchard, but I have yet to get a real bell-ringer of a photo.  They are constantly on the move and they are so small that it’s a challenge to get locked in on them.  I did see the Ruby-crowned Kinglet on one day but again no really great photo.

The Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers hung around for about a week and on one day I had about three of them checking out our Mulberry tree.  Here was the best picture I got of one of the females.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker female