One of the most relaxing things for me to do is to walk the property. Why don’t you come along and allow me to show you what I love most about this quiet, majestic, yet simple piece of land?
One of these days, I’ll complete the ‘About Me’ page so you have an understanding of what I started with when I first bought the farm. The ‘Wildloose’ as I like to call my land, was nothing more than heavily overgrown fields, a stream and a mangled hemlock forest climbing a steep north-facing hill. Years after I wrestled with removing the foul teasel, I discovered that a variation of its seeds were sold for tony prices at feed stores as fodder for backyard finches. The irony! The stone wall that you see in the above photo, just right of center, was rebuilt from a fallen stone wall that used to run from the 5 o’clock position of the picture to the 11 o clock. You can see the aforementioned hemlock in the distance, a relaxing deep green backdrop to the vibrant colors of spring and early summer.
When I selected photos for this blog, I made a mental walk through the property and pulled the pictures that represented the sites I was most likely to stop at and take time to admire. The strawberry patch would be such a spot. This brand is called Northeaster. For more information on Northeaster and the other varieties of strawberries that PSU (Pennsylvania State University) says grows well in NePA, you can check out this link.
Every spring I am treated to the liquid noted call of the baltimore oreole. It’s always a surprise to me that such a fantastically ORANGE colored bird lives here and not the climes of someplace warmer and more exotic. I was drawn to the flighty behavior of this bird one spring while it climbed, monkey style. through the boughs of my fruit trees. An online search helped me determine what the bird was doing. Nectar feeding! Who knew? It’s a pollinator, a balladeer, a bit of eye candy, and a builder of high swinging nests, located roughly 30 or more feet into the dizzying sky
Another spring visitor! The cedar waxwing. I remember how SHOCKED I was to see one for the first time. Look at it’s sculpted beauty! Also, check out the ‘wax’, those bright red markings on the tip of the bird’s wings. Is it really wax? I don’t know. I think I looked it up once, but I forget. Look it up for me and leave the answer in the comments section 🙂
I need to mention what they eat. Each spring…usually in April or May, they descend in groups of 20 or so, climb through my ‘wildlife’ crab and eat the apples born on it from the previous season (and still hanging on!). Word on the Internet has it that the birds sometimes become intoxicated from the fruit, since it’s had a whole winter to hang on the tree and ferment. Again, you’ll have to help me out and tell me whether there’s any truth in that.
Up till 2015, I thought they were only a spring visitor. Keener eyes would have been helpful. These birds feed on last year’s apples, this year’s apples, this year’s wild cherries, and I presume much else (though I have no hard proof )