Sunday, March 30, 2008

Apple Tree

Before Cleanup
(note brambles twisted high into the top of the tree)
After Cleanup
.Two Weeks Later --- In Full Bloom

. .

Two weeks back, I decided to make an attempt to clean up the fruit trees on the farm before spring really got rolling --- and well before the arrival of leaves, buds, blooms, and fruit. As anyone who knows me can tell you, apples (yuck) are not my thing, but I was hopeful that I could make the tree look healthier at least. I do love how it looks when all the branches are colorful --- and I think I have friends who will take and enjoy most of the apples. Tray (who works on the farm most Saturdays) did the lion's share of the work, removing a full pickup truck bed's worth of brush and bramble from around the base and up into the middle of the tree. Thank you Tray! I have pounded in a few tree fertilizer stakes as well, so with any luck this tree will be better in 2008 than ever before. So far, it looks like that will indeed be the case. There is also a pear tree nearby, so I am optimistic that there will be an abundance of fruit this year. And I do like pears. :-) Fingers crossed.

Bird Watching

Mourning Dove

Common Grackle

. Female Cardinal

..Male Cardinal

. Red-Bellied Woodpecker

. American Robin

.European Starling

.Eastern Bluebird

Spring has arrived and the birds are visiting my bird feeders in record numbers. I continue to be amazed at the variety of birds that come --- and only wish I had more time to photograph. For now I will enjoy their vivid colors and remarkable range of sounds. There is one who sounds exactly like "sweet sweet sweet" (over and over and over), which I gather is the sound of a Yellow Warbler. I have yet to see one at my feeder though. Stay tuned. I will add new birds as I meet them.