Our Wonderful Daylily Mystery

My husband says I planted these and forgot that I did it. Nope. I forget some things, but I’d remember planting flowers. I think. Really, these I would remember.

Aren't they beautiful?

Aren’t they beautiful?

I’d also remember the location, right by the mailbox near the street, because when we went to Kelowna, BC, last year, I was so impressed with all the beautiful yards that it made me want to do more to mine. So far, I’ve basically pulled weeds and cut things back which is a constant thing around here. Haven’t got to the planting part yet.¬†During one of those weed pulling sessions, I noticed some long grassy blades that looked different. When I see something coming up that I can’t identify right off, I usually leave it so that when it grows up I can see what it is and whether or not I want it to stay. I’ve regretted that a time or two, but it’s also how I got my mock orange and Turk’s cap. (Turk’s cap is a great flower for attracting hummingbirds, by the way!)

We really don’t know how these got here unless we have a neighbor or friend who is planting things surreptitiously in folks’ yards. I have some pretty cool family and friends, so that is a possibility. Actually, I think it’s probable because after reading a bit, it looks like daylilies won’t just pop up in a clump like this. ¬†They will spread, but that’s only after being planted by a human. Another thing I learned is that hummingbirds and orioles are both attracted to daylilies. Wow! That just adds some excitement to this whole mystery!

Another good thing is that they can be expected to hang around here for a long time. I still have some yellow ones growing by the water faucet that my Aunt Myrtle planted when she lived here back in the 1960’s. My mom has always said that Aunt Myrtle could plant a dead stick and it’d come back to life and grow. I’m not like her. These babies are tough, and that’s just the kind of plant I need. The fussy ones can’t survive my sporadic care. Daylilies can handle drought and are pest resistant and they crowd out the weeds. Yea, for fewer weeds!

Well, we don’t know how these flowers ended up in our yard, but we sure are glad to have them. May God bless our mystery gardener!

I sure do wonder who…?

 

So pretty!

So pretty!

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Good Morning, Scarlet Tanager!

Our mulberry tree has been attracting a variety of birds this week! A few days ago I saw a rose-breasted grosbeak and yesterday my husband saw a red and yellow bird that he said looked like a tanager but the colors weren’t right for either the summer or the scarlet tanager. Those are the two we are likely to see – if we see one at all.

This morning when he was leaving for work my husband called me to the back door. There was a male scarlet tanager in the mulberry tree. I started watching and here is what I saw: cardinals, a wren or two, several chickadees, a male scarlet tanager, a male summer tanager, a female who was one or the other of those two tanagers (They are hard to tell apart for me – I’m not that good at this yet.), a red-bellied woodpecker, two male Baltimore Orioles and one female. I saw a few birds I couldn’t identify, and also saw the bird my husband described to me yesterday. It could have been an immature male summer tanager, or it could have been what my friend told me about, which is a cross between those two tanagers. Once when looking through binoculars, I could see a male scarlet tanager, a male Baltimore Oriole and the red-bellied woodpecker without even moving the binoculars. It was so stunning it was hard to believe I was really awake and aware. I also saw a black and white warbler (Only the second one I’ve ever seen!) in the trees at the edge of the woods behind the mulberry tree.

I haven’t given up on those I don’t recognize yet. Persistence pays off with learning about birds. Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a great site if you want to learn more or see photos of the birds I’ve named. Here is the link in case you would like to check it out: Your online guide to birds and birdwatching, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

A Bit About Birds

My husband and I enjoy watching birds that come to feeders in our yard. I noticed something about the hummingbirds. They don’t like to share their space with cardinals, doves, sparrows and everybody else who comes for seed. (We have a feeding station we built with PVC pipe that holds several feeders and even has a platform on top.) I moved the hummer feeder a few feet away and that solved the problem.

I’ve learned that a vagrant is a hummingbird that is out of it’s usual territory and it’s been happening a lot the past few years, especially on the east coast. Sure would be neat to see someone new out there!

We have lost a lot of trees in the woods behind us due to hurricanes but it’s not all bad, I guess. This year we were able to see mulberry trees that were previously hidden and in those trees there were orchard orioles. A friend who is very knowledgeable about birds told us if we put a sugar water feeder near the back of the yard we may get some of those orioles to come into the yard next year. That would be really cool!

Well, I hear a blue jay hollering right now. There are no peanuts on the platform and being the well trained human that I am, I better go put some out.