Weekend Notes: Who Was that Masked Bird?

Another Avian First for Gardeninacity: Yesterday a Cedar Waxwing came to visit a couple of times. Here’s hoping he soon returns with a flock of friends. This is the first sighting of this species in our yard. I’m guessing the red elderberries made the difference, since this bird is a big fruit eater and has a particular fondness for red berries.

Cedar Waxwing on our backyard fountain.

Cedar Waxwings have been a high priority on our list of birds we’ve been trying to attract. It’s a dramatic looking bird, with the Zoro-like black mask, red spots on the wings and partly yellow tail feathers. Combined with the Indigo Buntings sighted earlier this spring, this has been a banner year for backyard bird watching.

Farewell to Carolina. I’ve dug up and disposed of the Carolina Rose (Rosa carolina) that had been growing in the bed north of the crabapple tree. This rose just wasn’t a good fit for a bed intended to be for low- to medium-height plants. Carolina Rose is supposed to grow to 3′ tall, but it had reached 4′ and I’d say it had no intention of stopping. It also had a habit of spreading by runners. and was shading and crowding out my Prairie Dropseed (Sporobulus heterolepis). On top of everything else, it refused to bloom. So I dug it out – carefully, because this plant has serious thorns.

Now I have to decide what to replace it with. For this year, I’ve just filled in with Calibrachoa. I’ll plant some perennials in the fall. I want something that can take a sunny, drier spot and won’t shade the Dropseed. I’m thinking Downy Phlox, Harebell, Butterflyweed, maybe in combination. I’ve had good experiences with Butterflyweed and Harebell and have been wanting to try Downy Phlox.

Downy Phlox

Finally, Some Rain. I have been watering like a demon all week. Finally, we got somewhat over a half inch of rain last night.  Even after last night, though, we are within shouting distance of the record for driest year so far, about 4″ below normal. On top of that, the weather service predicts several days in the upper 90s this week. I’m going to have to be vigilant in order to make sure my new plants between the stepping stones don’t get fried.

Something Cute to Start the Week With. This juvenile robin has been hopping around our backyard all weekend.

Juvenile Robin at the bird bath.

2 Comments on “Weekend Notes: Who Was that Masked Bird?”

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