Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pay Attention!

You never know what you might see in your garden if you are paying attention! Yesterday I lost a big branch from the normally well-behaved Bradford pear in my front garden and I went out to cut the pieces that were keeping it hung up in my privet hedge. Luckily it is a privet hedge because although quite a bit was broken and had to be cut out we all know it will return and be better for the pruning anyway. It also took out a chunk of a large pittosporum which will likewise be fine. I feel really fortunate that nothing less sturdy was damaged...the branch that fell was over 25 feet long, the main part was over 6 inches in diameter, and there were 7 smaller branches about 10 feet long each attached to that main piece. The hedge took the brunt of the fall and protected all the smaller plants below.

As I was cutting it out of the hedge I could hear what I thought was a bushtit chirping away. I've only see them traveling in a flock so thought it must be something else. Whatever it was I worried that there had been a nest that had come down with the branch since the bird was so noisy.

Today I went out to continue cleanup, cutting the broken privet and pittosporum branches and beginning to cut 18 inch pieces from the main trunk to save for firewood. I could hear the same bird and finally investigated more closely. And found that there was indeed a nest! True confession time...this is a city tree and I really need to call and have them work on it because it is covered in mistletoe. So don't wonder why those leaves don't look like pear leaves...mostly you see the mistletoe. I have to wonder why they chose the spot that they is only about 12 feet up and over the would think they would have chosen a quieter spot. Someone was looking out for them though because had the nest been on the other side of the tree it would be history now.

I have a crick in my neck from looking up for over half an hour watching the parents deliver insects to the unseen babies. I imagine all the chatter goes something like "Can you believe that happened? Do you know how how lucky we are?" And they're right!


Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said...

Leslie, that was so interesting the way you told the story. I've never seen a bushtit and had to look up what kind of bird it is. I'm glad they are safe. Baby birds seem so delicate.~~Dee

Unknown said...

I'm so glad that your bushtit babies are safe! Funny how some things work out that way, isn't it? Good thing that the parents had questionable choice when picking out a home this spring. :)

Carol Michel said...

They were probably also talking about you, wondering why you were standing there looking at them for so long. But I would have stood there and looked, too.

Annie in Austin said...

Wonderful story, Leslie - like Dee I had to leave and go look up bushtit.... guess the closest bird relative we have here is the Black-crested titmouse.

Bradford pears sometimes just start falling apart here when they reach a certain age- hope the mistletoe is not a sign it's on the way down - birds need nesting places!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

PS love the trellis and if you find a well behaved moderately sized evergreen vine please let ALL of us know!