Saturday, June 4, 2011

Hatching Time

Early Summer Greetings from Mother Nature

It seems like it was just a few days ago and I was sending a picture about spring seeding in the snow and now it is 90 degrees. I got irritated with the train guys for not making a post in April or May, almost so much that I wanted to type it myself. But, then I remember I have no hands and it is up to humans to write text for me. Hopefully, they will heed my need to communicate more frequently or I may get angry with them. It is not nice to mess with Mother Nature.

So last month I decided to let some birds put a nest in the ornamental cherry trees (yes, I know they are not native to Iowa). The train guys did a pretty nice job of trimming them in February and getting rid of the low growth. The result is a much nicer place for a bird to build a nest. She has protection, but she can see if any predator is coming near. It is fairly well hidden; OK, she could have done better, but this is her first year, so give her a break. Remember, she has a bird brain. Fortunately I create a lot of birds so that some will survive.

The train guys did a nice job of using yellow caution tape to keep visitors out of the area and they did not mow near the tree which was also considerate. As you can see, in just a few short weeks, the result. A nice nest with six new birds. I had them take this picture on the second or third day (can't remember now) after they hatched. The babies are still very vulnerable, but the mother is fairly protective and she will be busy feeding them.

With all the neighbors ripping up their trees and insect and bird habitat, the insect population on the train farm is exploding this year. Lots of good bird food, but in the long term it will even out. Unfortunately, the desire to destroy habitat will have a detrimental effect on the birds' ability to find a variety of trees for their nests.

Enjoy the extra insects and birds this summer; next summer will be a bit worse as the humans continue to industrialize and intensify every last square inch of Iowa for a few extra bucks. All that destruction just to put some corn in their cars. The price will be steep, but it will be gradual until it is too late to change.

Yours truly,

Mother Nature