One of the positives about our forum is that I get inspired by the enthusiasm of other energetic gardeners to push myself and get those gardening milestones done even when I'm feeling like I have zero energy -- Of course I overdid it and nearly gave myself a heatstroke, and the dull ache I was feeling from a low grade fever has increased to a throbbing pain. But now, if I can just keep the seedbeds watered, they will get the start they need to grow and let me enjoy something to harvest in the fall.
So I was taking it easy and looking out of my favorite window after spending some hours earlier out in the garden clearing weeds and amending and sowing seeds. What gives me so much pleasure about my garden is that when I look out that window, almost every time, something interesting is going on out there.
This time, a pair of cardinals came winging in and started foraging. I heard their distinct chirrupping when I was out earlier, so no doubt they had wanted to feed but were too wary of me. Apparently, there are more than just the elderberries and arrow wood viburnum berries which I thought were their intended menu since they were hopping and flittings here and there. As I watched, I noticed something odd about them, and realized that although they both had orange beaks and not black, they were still incompletely dressed in their adult plumage.
The male's red feathers were disarranged and he had brown feathers around the eyes and lacked the head crest, and the female had patches of gray-brown feathers were she should have been more colorfully adorned... And her feet were pink! I wonder if they were siblings that fledged together? I'm thinking these might be the babies for whom the male cardinal had come by to hunt often in my garden earlier in the summer.
The male settled down to snacking on buckwheat seeds and the female found something on the ground or in the weeds under the corn stalks. I couldn't tell what she was eating but it occupied her for some while.
After they were gone, a tiny shape hurtled by the window, so I grabbed the binoculars to follow it into the Spiral Garden. Wondering what the hummingbird was doing in the garden which now looked unusually less green and more brown, I realized that she was hovering where I pulled out a large Jewelweed because it would have shaded the newly seeded pea patch. She then shifted position and spent some time helicoptering around where I deadheaded the mostly finished hot pink monarda. I admit there were maybe one bloom left on the brown seed heads on perhaps 6 or 7, but really, they were looking pretty crummy. She hovered back and forth between those two areas, then finally gave up and went to check out the Rose of Sharon privacy hedge. Sorry!
Even if the young cardinals didn't want them, a catbird had no problems claiming the indigo blue arrow wood viburnum berries. It spent some time hopping from one cluster to another, gobbling and making catcalls.
Black Swallowtail sipping from the one patch of Cardinal flowers to another, and a dragonfly stopping to rest on a Sunflower leaf were some more interesting observations today.
... So what's going on in YOUR garden?