Catbird Seat

Slowly but surely, the four yards of mulch is disappearing into the garden beds, one wheelbarrow at a time.  Mulchapalooza 2011. I do this every year. What happens to it all?

It’s tedious, but I’ve had company: a gray catbird. Honestly, I could not swear it’s been the same catbird all along; you’d have to be pretty sharp to recognize individual catbirds — or be a catbird.

Anyway, the catbird has gotten in the habit of flitting down near where I’m working and keeping an eye on me. It picks through the newly mulched beds and flys off with stuff, often zipping by just a few feet from my head.

In one corner of the yard the catbirds have a nest. It’s deep inside a thorny bush that I’ve been thinking of pulling out, but now that the catbirds are living there all bets are off.

In the last few days around the feeder there have been cardinals, gold finches, chickadees, grackles (raucous and voracious), mourning doves, blue jays, and downy woodpeckers. The squirrels and chipmunks busily work the ground for dropped seed.

I’ve read recently about people poisoning chipmunks because their tunneling is a nuisance. I would never do that, mostly because the chipmunks are amusing — and because when you start spreading poison around your yard, you don’t know what it may kill.

No, the chipmunks get a pass. But attention moles: you are on notice.

5 thoughts on “Catbird Seat

  1. Love the catbirds, love the grackles, and love the mockingbird that spins amazing riffs in the backyard in the evening, often when we’re sitting out in the hot tub . . . we’ve got a great yard for birds and squirrels and chipmunks too. (There’s a chipmunk nest under our deck, and I pour bird seed into it whenever I fill the feeders, like the LORD sprinkling manna on the children of Israel). We have tons of bunnies too, which bothers the gardener in the family, though I like watching them just as much as I like the other stuff that lives back there. (Don’t tell her I said so, though, since I say “Grrrr!” and “Shoo!” to them whenever she is around). But one place where you and I differ is in the Mulchapalooza . . . I did it all for a lot of years, but eventually decided that the value of my time and the health of my spine dictated subcontracting that particular chore to younger bodies. Don’t you have some sons you could supervise from the deck???

  2. Every so often, I think about getting a little bird feeder and putting it in the back yard of my new place. You know… something to dress the backyard up. Maybe someday I will. We shall see.

  3. We had one ‘wild’ rabbit, “Notch”, who hung in there for about 5 years. She’d munch clover while I cut the lawn, knowing to move over about 2 feet on each pass. She was a big fan of grapes as well as almonds. She is buried by the bird bath, her ‘Pride Rock’ from which she ruled the back yard every evening from 7:00 to 8-ish.

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