Posted by: atowhee | March 24, 2020


jan morris (3)_LI              –Jan Morris, In My Mind’s Eye, writing of her garden in Wales

Away from people now it is more fascinating than ever to watcb those around us.  Just today I caught a 1.5-inch hunting spider and ejected her from the dining room.  We use no toxins in our house or garden so there is significant life on a small scale when it is warm. Yesterday I carried in a piece of firewood from outside and noted a small slug had moved from the bark to my sweater.  A few days back I moved an object that had been in place beneath our apple trees for a few years–the density of the disturbed sowbug# population was considerable.  On warmish evenings I hear the male chorus frogs serenading for mates. The birds are at the feeders, dawn to dusk.  Last birds now are seen around 7PM, usually a junco or two.  They are assiduous feeders, often among the first to appear in the morning as well.
These days of confinement are surprisingly quiet even though we live within a couple miles of over 30,000 other people.  Gone is the constant day-time drone of cars and their tires.  Gone mostly are the loud gear-shifting of heavy diesel-burning pick-ups.  The noise on our morning walk today was a single lead-blower and the jays.  The real estate market for local nesting birds is heating up  The juncos, siskins, yellow-rumps will all move on before nesting.  The Bushtits have paired off and are now stealthily going about building their tear-drop shaped nesting sacs.  The scrub-jays….oh, why this is high season in THEIR housing market.   Thus the corvids’ contentious clarion comes from all quarters.  Clamor and competition are the mode of the moment.  Jay pairs fly at intruders, including robins, screams of “scram” aloud and about.
# Known also as woodlouse or pillbug.



Notice the pale side patch where she is shedding her heavy winter coat.

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