Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My Garden Surprise

DaffodilsLast night we finished our spring yard work as a family in a special ops assignment we mysteriously named Operation Raspberry Mice.


Yes, raspberry mice. We had a "To Do" List that included pruning the raspberries and taking care of the two dead mice the trap caught in our crawl space but of course we weren't so stupid as to tell the children about our plans. We just told them we were going to have a really, really fun family activity code named Operation Raspberry Mice.

The marketing ploy worked and they were rabid with anticipation. Until they eventually found out what the whole "raspberry" and "mice" thing actually was and were handed some plastic trash bags.

But to finish the story, Operation Raspberry Mice was a success and the garden looks gorgeous. I'm not sure why (maybe it was our mild winter?) but I've got more daffodils than I've ever had before. I've got bulbs that I planted six or seven years ago that never came up which are now inexplicably flowering. I've never had so many beautiful yellow flowers and I think I like it.

But while I was chopping back my chives, clearing out big handfuls of last year's dead stalks, I uncovered this:

Dark-eyed Junco Nest
It startled me so that I knocked the nest over and thought for a minute that the other eggs had fallen out but then after examining things more closely I think there was just the one.

At first we were worried that I'd knocked it around so much that the mother wouldn't come back but then after thinking about it I think it's an abandoned nest with an egg that didn't hatch.

Dark-eyed Junco Nest
It's a junco hyemalis or Dark-eyed Junco and I know this because we found one nesting on the side of our house six or seven years ago about the same time I had expected all those daffodil bulbs to be blooming but waited in vain. Now my daffodils are back and so are the juncos. It's a sign I tell you.

Dark-eyed Junco
They nest in grasses on the ground (which, as our seven year-old pointed out, doesn't seem to be too smart) and they usually lay three or four eggs speckled brown eggs at a time. It doesn't take the babies long to leave the nest so I think this one must be the egg that didn't hatch.

Now I'm just waiting for the crab apple trees to blossom and my climbing roses to bloom. They're towering at ten feet this year.

Sponsored by Dimples and Dandelions for Serena and Lily baby bedding.


Geekwif said...

We have Juncos around here too. They are so cute as they peck around on the ground looking for food. I didn't know they made their nests on the ground though. I'll have to keep my eyes open so I don't step on one!

Ann Flower said...

That must be a peaceful place to take a photowalk. Lovely shots.My Fav is the last one.

Kathy G said...

I uncovered a perfectly-formed nest last spring, and even though it didn't have any eggs in it yet I felt awful. Some bird worked awfully hard!

Kim said...

My daffodils were coming up . . . and then a moose ate them : ( Now they're all raggedy, and no blossoms.

Love that picture of the nest!

Heart2Heart said...

Perhaps the reason for putting the nest on the ground is so the little ones don't fall out of it?

Love that your bulbs are blossoming. We removed what we thought were all of ours before planting carnations in their vacant container and this year, we got freesia's blooming with carnations.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Scribbit said...

Update: I went out to the nest again today and there was a second egg.

That kind of blows my abandoned nest theory to pieces. We still haven't seen any birds around so I hope the nest is being warmed properly.