Early November Birds and Garden

I saw my last hummingbird a few days ago. I think it was on Monday (November 3). I have a friend who lives a few miles north of me and she had three in her yard on Tuesday. I am still hoping for a Rufous Hummingbird so I’ll leave my feeders out for at least a couple more weeks. I’ve never had a Rufous in my yard but you never know. Some birds have been showing up in unusual places the past few years. We are supposed to leave those feeders out for a couple weeks after seeing the last bird anyway for the stragglers.

My friend also saw her first White-throated Sparrow of the season this week. We get those in the winter so I’ll be watching for them. There is a bird that I’ve seen a couple times lately that I have not been able to identify. I think it’s an Eastern Kingbird but I’ve not gotten a good look at the tail feathers. I need to see if it has that white bar across the bottom of the tail.

Today I heard a Catbird and a Pileated Woodpecker. I’ve also been hearing the Blue Jays. I’ll never forget the first time I heard a Catbird. I was hiking the Woodlands Trail in the Big Thicket and I’d gone off by myself. The bird was in a bush near the trail and I wasn’t sure if I was hearing a Bobcat’s kitten or not. I didn’t know whether to hang around or get out of there. Later I learned what the Catbird sounds like and I knew that was what I heard. The Pileated Woodpecker sounds like a tropical bird. I love to hear them; makes me think of tropical jungles.

Well, it was sort of like a tropical jungle in my back yard today. I was wrestling weeds while feeding mosquitoes. (Feeding: they were biting me!) It’s always mosquito season around here. It’s been worse this year because we had Hurricane Ike last year. Hurricanes bring them in from the marshes so we have marsh mosquitoes in addition to our usual swamp and field and city mosquitoes.

The frustrating thing is the mosquitoes but the neat thing is the really long garden season we have here. I planted herbs Monday. Fall is the best time to plant the herbs that like cool weather if you live in South Texas or along the coast. I planted parsley, dill, cilantro and spearmint. I’d like to make dill bread later on. And I use the parsley to help with asthma. It’s an expectorant and an anti-spasmodic; it helps me with very mild asthma. I wouldn’t use it for a bad attack! I’m looking forward to using the spearmint in tea and cilantro goes great with Mexican food.

My husband planted a Satsuma tree last winter and he got a few satsumas off it already this year. The man at the nursery told him he will get more next year and by the third year he will be giving them away. I hope to make some marmalade or something in a year or two.

I sure am looking forward to the New Heavens and the New Earth so we won’t have to wrestle with mosquitoes and weeds. In the meantime I’ll just have to keep at it and do what I can to create a bit of beauty and order around here.

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