Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May opened with rain then bird songs.

This month began with a few days of very heavy rains and flooding. I watched from my window as ponds formed in the field across the street and in our garden from the heavy down pours. A squirrel sat on the branch by my window eating an acorn soaking wet in the rain. 

Then a familiar sound came floating in our windows as the skies cleared and the birds began to rejoice. I said to Keith. I hear what sounds like the house wren did you hear it? Sure enough in our back yard there was a little brown and gray house wren singing his heart out and filling our bird house with twigs. In one day it was nearly filled up. I added a second house to help ensure the hen would find one she liked in our garden.

Today for the third time I saw both wrens in the garden. The hen comes and goes but I think she is liking this old gray cedar house the best. Near by the Robins are incubating their eggs in the nest that looks like it is on a serving tray for any of the alley cats who might like a snack. They placed the nest on the lowest bow of the choke cherry tree at the corner of our yard.
I have to sneak up closer to the tree to get a view of the nest but it isn't much more than 8 feet off the ground. The choke cherry blossoms are about to bloom too as the leaves fill in making the view more and more difficult. 

It's a delight to see the garden flowering and leafing out but to have new birds in it is one of my greatest pleasures. Listening to them sing and watching them come and go with twigs and grasses then bugs and worms to feed the fledglings is a daily delight. This morning the noise from middle school construction continues from 7 AM right through to evening at 7PM trucks and heavy equipment continue to make the annoying peace piercing Beep beep beep... but I saw something very interesting yesterday. What looked like the entire work force of the school project assembled on the tennis courts in their bright vests of green glowing yellow and hard hats. It was quite a sight and I took my zoom lens and focused in to capture the moment. It looks like close to 100 people out there for a site crew meeting. And Pepco was working on the power lines on the corner for a couple days now. I assume this electric crew work has something to do with the power going to the new play ground equipment seen in part in the foreground of this photo.

 To my amazement there was another annoying sound under my window of some engine running about 8:00 this morning. Once I got up I was pretty surprised to see a man in a vest with a long orange hose and a water truck! He was filling the bags around all the new trees on our block. I counted 22 new Linden trees on the far side of 10th street and there are almost as many new flowering trees on our side as well as down the side street of Randolph.  It's the first time this year they have been filled and I have been wondering for a while if they ever would be. Here I got a few shots of him at work. It is very encouraging to see the city hired a contractor to plant these great big trees with stakes and watering bags and now they are going to be coming around to water them in so they might have a chance to survive the heat of our summer.

I have been contacting the city and local activists about the care of the trees in Turkey Thicket play ground and was wondering also about all these trees the city planted along our block. It is gratifying to see something has come of my concern. Still no signs of watering in the park and those trees often die of drought with a little kinder abuse thrown in for good measure. I proposed a summer youth job program with a young urban forestry mentor to lead a team of high school kids in a summer of tree care watering and learning about how these trees benefit our community and city. I rediscovered that Casey Trees has just such a program for a few youth. I wish the city took part in this sort of tree and nature program for the summer jobs program instead of placing these young people at desks in community centers bored with nothing to do which we have seen in recent summers right here at the Turkey Thicket Recreation Center. 
There are a few people who agree with me that it is a good idea but we need more letters to the Mayor and the Urban Forestry director to get them to support the tree watering guardians program as a summer job program. 

Mean while I am working on my newest quilt a log cabin in neutrals with orange highlights and finishing up the purple and orange log cabin is going to happen any day now.  

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