Emerging from the darkness
to begin again.
An extreme freeze hit the garden last month. It took time to see the results, but most plants are damaged. There are survivors out there, like these Dandelions in the middle of a sad pile of Peter Pan Agapanthus.
Oh yes, the Dandelions have some very hardy friends such as these Oxalis next to rotting Bulbines.
The Dollar Weed looks like a million bucks next to the frost bitten Russelia. The weather is warming and I am holding out hope that my frozen plants will come back. Otherwise, I guess I could learn to embrace the weeds…some aren’t too bad.
I set up a hummingbird feeder to attract a Ruby Crowned Kinglet, but instead a Yellow-rumped Warbler came.
This bird is loving the sugar water and visits from sunrise to sunset. It has found a couple ways to get the drips of sugar from the feeder.
The Yellow-rump is so sugar addicted, it even will try to use the hanging feeders shown in a previous post. When the bird is not indulging in sugar, it likes to tap on my kitchen window and chase other birds.
We have had below freezing temperatures for 2 days now and the backyard has become a refuge for hungry birds. The flock of Goldfinches has enlarged and has been joined by Redwing Black Birds, Blue Jays, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and a Dark-eyed Junco, along with all the year-round regulars. I refilled the feeders and covered the ground under them with seed several times.
Because freezes happen so seldom here and rarely keep things frozen for more than a few hours, I completely forgot about providing water until I saw my Yellow-rumped Warbler pecking at frozen water. I quickly put out several containers of water.
I was very concerned about the Hummingbird, not knowing if it would make it through the freezing night. During the day I had been replacing the frozen sugar water and at first light today, I hung out fresh feeders. And happily, the Hummer came!
As I was sitting at my kitchen table writing this post and glancing out of the window at the birds, two suddenly hit the window followed by a hawk. I guess all the birds are hungry today. Now the feeders are empty and the garden is silent. They will come back.
The advantage of living in the South, is that we have plenty of winter visitors. Goldfinches have returned after not stopping by in about two years. I quickly went out to buy fresh Niger seeds as soon as they arrived.
The resident Cardinals don’t seem to mind sharing sunflower seed with the visitors.
A small flock of Sparrows have also been frequenting the garden.
Every year there seems to be a hummingbird in the yard and one finally showed up after Christmas. I believe this is a Rufous Hummingbird, but it really does not have much color. I have been trying to get a photo for days and I finally pulled a chair into the backyard and waited. It didn’t take too long to snap this one from a distance.
The day was sunny and the sky was Texas blue. When this photo is enlarged, leaf buds can be seen. Here in Texas spring is not far away and plants will be leafing out next month.
Unfortunately, the sunny day inspired this yellow Cloudless Sulphur butterfly to hatch out. I’m not sure it can take the cold nights to come.
This was written 3 days ago. See the update on the next post.
We are having another year with hard freezes. There are more to come this week, but I think the first freeze took all the plants that couldn’t take the cold temperatures. At first I didn’t think the freeze was that bad, but I day or so later the damage was evident. (Click to enlarge)
Amazingly, there are some flowers that are still blooming, including a climbing rose at a top of a tree. On the pink camellia a tiny bee is looking food. I will be getting plenty of exercise cutting back beds of plants killed by the freeze.
Well, what we near the Gulf Coast call cold. We had a hard freeze and I was surprised to see the hummingbird feeder frozen… complete with a drip.
Apparently, we also had sleet/freezing rain. But not to worry, it is going to be 70 degrees by Sunday.