Friday, January 18, 2013

"another year over AND a new one just begun . . . " PART TWO-H-3 (Oct 24th — Oct 31st 2012)








Today's entry here on Blogger is part two-H-3 of a series of posts pertaining to a year-end review for special occurrences in my urban garden for the year 2012 (the schedule for this series is described in part one as well as part two-A of this topic) and, as I've said, because October 2012 was the month Hurricane Sandy hit the area near to where I live, my garden went through another upheaval, so I will be posting the review for October in three parts. The first part of October's review covered days which included the dates from October 1st through October 10th of 2012, and is what I discussed in a post on Wednesday, and yesterday, Thursday, January 18th, my review for October covered the dates from October 11th through October 24th; and today, Friday the nineteenth I will cover the remainder of October.

So without further ado, I "give" you today's entry, and I'll start with the five images atop this posting which feature some of my mourning doves doing a reenactment of a childern's song known as Five Little Pumpkins

On October the twenty-fifth, the day after Juan V and I had last worked together, and when these images were taken, I had been glad to see that some of my visiting mourning doves had finally become comfortable around my Jack-O-Lanterns; Jack-O-Lanterns which Juan V and I had placed in my garden when we had done our decorating for the 2012 Halloween season earlier in the month.

As you can surmise from these images, my mourning doves were quite animated around my Jack-O-Lanterns, but a lone house finch ultimately did appear on the scene to take part in the antics, as can be seen in the image below.



With only six days to go until Halloween, my feathered friends were in a feisty mood; but they also had pensive moments, as if predicting a storm (which would come to be known as the destructive Hurricane Sandy) was heading our way.

I'm told birds can feel it when severe weather conditions are about to occur; and perhaps that was on the minds, as well as in the hearts, of some of my birds as they pondered whilst sitting on the branches of my Actinida kolomikta and Actimida (AKA Kiwi Vines) as seen below.




Be that as it may, whether the birds were soul searching; or making plans to prepare for Hurricane Sandy whilst they "perched" on the branches of my kiwi vine, a few of them still found time to "make use" of my Halloween decor; and not just with my "feisty" Jack-O-Lanterns!

Some saw it fitting to "perch" on my Halloween pumpkin as evidenced by the "actions" of a lone mourning dove seen in the images below.


Mourning Dove Stares SHAMELESSLY Into my Neighbor's Window!
Mourning Dove Stares SHAMELESSLY Into My Window!
Mourning Dove Stares SHAMELESSLY Onto my Neighbor's Balcony!
At this time in October of 2012, it cerainly seemed that of all my visiting birds, the mourning dove was the most daring or shamelessly curious of all; in fact, at this time in October of 2012, it had been quite some time since Cam (my "lone" female cardinal) had visited my garden and I was quite concerned about her well being!

After a lot of googling and numerous phone calls I was consoled by the fact that she had gotten out of town re the news that Hurricane Sandy was about to hit our area. 

However, in the event Cam was still around, I tried another type of feeder, one that had a tray secured to it, as she often enjoyed eating "crumbs" that fell from a feeder rather than getting her food directly from the feeder itself. 

But the weather conditions  pre-Sandy began to produce heavy winds, and I did not want my "alternative" feeder to fall from the bracket from which I had hung it, and so I placed it on a table in my garden. Once again, the shameless mourning doves were the first ones to check it out, and some photo-ops of them doing this are posted below.





And, as you can see, my Jack-O-Lantern laughed heartily as he watched the morning dives "interact" with the "alternative" feeder. The female house finch was a little more cautious about trying to eat from the feeder as she seemed to study it from her "perspective" atop the branches of my kiwi vine! This is eident in the photographs I've posted below.




But she has reason to be cautious given her compromised eyesight (as you can deduce from the images posted above which show her eye is crusted over, or totally missing).

The plight of this finch re her eye sight is something I "introduced" in yesterday's post, and, as I promised there, I will get back to this topic at another time once this series is complete.

And eventually she did try out the feeder as seen in the image posted below, which is one you may recognize from a previous post here on Blogger.



The female finches' counterpart, the red male house finch has similar struggles with his eyesight, and instead of braving the "alternative" feeder, he "settled" for the "crumbs" left over from the mourning doves' noshing. This can be seen in the images posted below.



The latter of the images, dear reader, is one you may recognize from a prior post (November 2012) here on Blogger.

As for my tufted titmouse, who was still fairly new to my garden, he/she had no problems adjusting to the feeder as evidenced in the images below which are ones that you may recognize from a previous post (October 2012) here on Blogger.




But adjusting to a different feeder in my garden was one of the least of the challenges which my visiting birds would have in the last few days of October in the final days of October 2012, when my garden underwent another upheaval as I prepared it for Hurricane Sandy!

At first, before I had any clue as to how heavy the rains would be, I simply placed trays of bird seed under tables in the hopes that their food would not get soggy and lo and behold a bluejay appeared and ran across my garden's "floor" to avail himself/herself of it as seen in the image posted below.



And as the winds picked up, I laid my bouncer chair (a chair which was described earlier in this series) on its side so that it would not blow over and so that I could put trays of seed under it in order to "protect" the bird seed from getting too soggy, as the rain was coming down in droves! My efforts and the reactions of a couple of of my birds may be seen in the photo-ops which are posted below.




Re the anticipated heavy winds, I not only laid my bouncer chair on its side; I also removed my "fireplace-fixture-planter" and the Ophipogon planiscapus (AKA Black Mondo Grass) triplets they support, from the north end of my terrace; and I placed the "fireplace-fixture-planter" on its side as seen in the image below.



The red arrows superimposed over the image indicate the moving of my my "fireplace-fixture-planter;" I moved it as a safety precaution re the predicted high winds, but also I thought I could support the bird feeders with the "planter."

Moreover, I removed my marble table top from its pedestal and put it inside my apartment. I was used to lugging my garden "stuff" in and out of my apartment, which I had most recently done to prepare for my so-called renovation in September of 2012 as discussed in a previous post.

And I moved this pedestal near to my door (and did the same thing with most of my flowers, ornamental grasses, plants, shrubs and trees) as things are less vulnerable to the wrath of wind if they are near my door. I ultimately placed my dome-style feeder on the pedestal as my having the feeder near my door meant I could replenish it more easily in inclement weather.

It's not very surprising that the first bird to check out the dome feeder in this location was — you guessed it — my shamelessly curious mourning dove — and a couple of photo-ops of him/her assessing the situation are posted below.





As always, the house finches were more cautious about feeder arrangements, but a house finch did eventually make herself cozy as she noshed as evidenced in the image below.



I still feel sad for her when I think of the struggle she endues with her eyesight and this image shows her affliction.

But on a lighter note, the tufted titmouse made its way to my dome feeder atop a pedestal. He/she can be seen in the image below.



However, as careful as I had been to make my garden safe for myself and my neighbors with Hurricane Sandy increasing in storm category every minute; my friend Michael came to help me as I ultimately had to move things in my garden to safer parts of my "yard." 

And I also had to bring a number of objects — large and small — into my studio apartment; and although I didn't move my trees and shrubs inside as I had had to do with my renovation, it was still a big job, for which I'm not complaining; rather I'm including it as information on the highs and lows (as well some how-to tips) of urban container gardening.

The other thing we moved before the storm got more powerful was my "fireplace-fixture-planter," the planter I had moved earlier that day as I mentioned earlier in today's posting. We put it nearer to my door so that I could get to it easily to replenish it if need be, and we secured the feeders both on to and under my "fireplace-fixture-planter." A partial view of what we did can be seen in the image posted below.



And the following are photo-ops on how visiting birds responded to our solution on October 29th 2012, which was two days before Hurricane Sandy dissipated. 










As you can see, dear reader, an array of birds visited me in the midst of the heavy rains and high winds brought on by Hurricane Sandy, a hurricane that would ultimately devastate many people on the Eastern Seaboard and a hurricane that displaced many birds!


I did not see Cam (my lone female cardinal) but her male companion who I've only seen here on one occasion did stop by on October 30th, the day the storm was in full force, and his photo-op may be seen below.




I was glad he availed himself of the "system" which Michael and I had devised and even joked that perhaps Cam, not wanting to ruin her hair in the rain, sent him for take-out! Cam is usually the only cardinal who comes for the food and i was grateful that she was being helped.

Also, the tufted titmouse visited during the storm, carefully studying our feeder system before diving in as seen in the two  images below which show a sequence of his/her reactions.

The first image shows her assessing the situation; the second shows her going for it (as indicated with a red arrow).




I am very grateful to say that I did not sustain any danage during Sandy's wrath, and by the last day of October, October the thirty-first, Halloween, I did have a few trick treaters which included a newbie to my garden, a white breasted sparrow and he/she can be seen in the photo-ops below.





And this brings me to the conclusion of my review for October 2012, and I'll see you tomorrow for my review of November 2012 re the events in my garden.



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