Sunday, September 14, 2014

Finding Interest in Birds, Bugs and Seeds

Nearly three months after surgery, I am still sticking close to home. Luckily for me, there are lots of things to do and see right in the yard, such as gathering seeds and observing the many birds and bugs that visit Block 832, right off Park & Seventh. (Click images to enlarge.)

The Portulaca seeds pictured above form in little capsules that I collect from the plants. The tiny seeds have to be separated from the pods and saved for planting in the spring. Other seeds I have collected so far include Peruvian Impatiens, Black-Eyed Susan, Yarrow, Cosmos and Nasturtium.
 We had a lot of Sunflowers this year. One produced a seed head that was a foot across. I made a sling for it and hung it from a shepherd's crook, where it attracted a Downy Woodpecker. I stuck a smaller seed head in the top of my topiary basket and the little bird came there to peck as well.
The Praying Mantises hang out in the flowers to catch unsuspecting insects. This one is a male in a patch of Daisy Fleabane.
This is a female engorged with eggs ready to be fertilized. She will then create an egg case from which young mantises will emerge in spring. The adults only live for one season.

Our Goldfinches visit every day to eat seeds from various plants including the Purple Coneflower. I was deadheading them until I realized the birds enjoy the seeds. They also picked seeds out of the Evening Primrose, Black-Eyed Susan and the smaller Sunflowers.

So while I have not yet ventured to Westfield and am missing a lot of events, there are still some interesting things to see right here.



  1. Um. Well. I have squirrels in the Dumpster here! Your garden is always active. Except come winter. But we won't think about that!

  2. I've got to start splitting up my hosta... soooooo much to put somewhere...

    1. I gave plants away to Faith, Bricks & Mortar and also participated in plant swaps to share divided plants. Maybe someone else would like some Hosta.