Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring Pause

Today may be the first day of spring, though you wouldn't know it by the weather or the landscape -- chilly temperatures and no discernable growth still gives today more of a wintery feel. Nonetheless, the birds know its spring and they broadcast it loudly -- mating songs and other tweets of joy are most discernable between 5:30 and 7 a.m. and their sweet notes can be heard for tremendous distances for such tiny lungs.

Progress is slowly being made on the landscaping. We've gotten bids on the work and plan to make final arrangements within the next week or two, and after that the work should progress quickly. Within six weeks I hope to have the project finished, or at least this phase. Likely we won't be planting much this year, but we'll be prepping the soil with composting material so it can be richer and more nourishing for plants next spring. Since much of the new bed has been continually exposed to the elements, the soil isn't as healthy as young plants would like.

This early in the season, the only visitors have still been sparrows, house finches, and Eurasian collared doves. I have spotted California quail and Western scrub jays in the nearby park, however, which bodes well for them visiting the backyard again this summer. As the days warm other species should begin to reappear, and hopefully they'll be interested enough in the changes to the yard to stop and investigate. I've switched to a richer birdseed mix -- more than five parts black oil sunflower seeds -- and with the birds who have already found it, it's popular for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

I just wish breakfast weren't quite so early some mornings.

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