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Sunday, January 20, 2013

"another year over AND a new one just begun . . . " PART TWO-J (December 2012 — January 5, 2013)

Today's entry here on Blogger is part two-J 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 this particular post is also the conclusion of my series; in it I will be covering the "events" in my garden from December 1st 2012 through January 5th 2013.

The beginning of the month of December 2012 brought with it the return of Cam, my lone female cardinal visitor, who can be seen in the picture — as she appeared upon return — atop today's blog entry.

A number of changes had occurred in my garden since her last visit and she seemed cautious as she checked out my garden vis-a-vis the vantage point of my "fireplace-fixture-planter," an object which is usually at the north end of my garden as seen here, and it is the same object which secured my bird feeders during Hurricane Sandy as described in a previous post within this series.

Under "normal" circumstances, this object secures containers for various plants including my ornamental grass known as Ophipogon planiscapus (AKA Black Mondo Grass) triplets or my Heirloom Original Poet's Daffodils

And, when my "fireplace-fixture-planter," is filled with containers "housing" either the aforementioned grasses or flowers, I have privacy from the building across the courtyard (as picture windows from that condo face my garden). 

Moreover, the "normally" lush "wall" which the grasses or flowers provide; and which serve as a "barrier" or "urban hedge," between my neighbors and me, is a favorite hiding place for Cam, who is most tentative each time she visits my garden. 

However, when she returned here in December of 2012, Cam found my "wall" had been taken down; and, therefore, she cautiously surveyed my garden and yours truly through the "gaps" in my "fireplace-fixture-planter."

Indeed I had removed my "wall" of black mondo grass triplets, and I had done so to prepare for Juan V's scheduled December 2012 visits which were for the purpose of winterizing my garden; and decorating it for the Christmas holidays.

The following narrative is accompanied by some aerial photo-ops, taken by Juan V, after both those "tasks" were accomplished. These "tasks" spanned a number of days, but it is the results of them that were seen by Cam when she peered through my "fireplace-fixture-planter," when she returned to my garden after a long hiatus.

A variety of shapes have been superimposed over Juan V's image posted above. This has been done to give you an overview of what Cam discovered upon her December 2012 return to my garden.

The "items" in the yellow circles were probably of the most interest to Cam, for that is where two of my feeders were located. Even though Cam does not eat from feeders; she does eat from areas surrounding them as she prefers the crumbs that fall to the floor!

Be that as it may, she was probably discombobulated by seeing my fireplace-fixture-planter" empty. This was because (prior to decorating) we'd wrapped everything I grow and had moved most of it towards the wall of my building as is my "standard" winterizing practice.

In any event, a mere fraction of what was moved closer to the wall of my building upon being wrapped in bubble wrap as well as burlap (from on-line fabrics) can be seen in the image below, an aerial view taken by Juan V.

And a detailed photo-op, taken by yours truly, showcases what had been in my  in my "fireplace-fixture-planter," the black mondo grass triplets!

The white square in this image is denoting the black mondo grass triplets, the triplets which had been in the "fireplace-fixture-planter," and the ones which Cam was used to hiding behind. The turquoise circles in the image indicate the name tags that the things I grow normally "wear" so they can do their social networking; however, I find the name tags useful as an easy identifier in the event that a snowfall might disguise their features.

One of my new years's resolutions "shoulda" been to complete my name tag project, a project which has been on the back burner for quite some time and hopefully I will compelte it before spring of 2013!

But getting back to the references associated with the shapes in the aforementioned aerial image, the "items" within the purple squares are Christmas decorations that were not only placed to make my garden festive; but were strategically placed with my array of visiting birds in mind! 

For example, the purple square in the area to the left of the image shows several branches which had been adhered to my "trellis-style" urban hedge. And as you may recall, this a structure which Juan V and I had opted to leave empty for the 2012 growing season; as we had thought that since the garden was so lush, having something trail up or across the trellis would make my garden too crowded. 

But with our having moved everything for the impending winter, I was concerned that my visiting birds might feel too vulnerable if the environment was too barren! Hence the decision to adhere Christmas tree branches to the bamboo trellis, as seen in a "microscopic" view in the image posted below.

I cannot take credit for the installation of the branches nor the positioning of the lights intertwined within them.

This work was done by Stephanie, a woman who comes to NYC from Quebec every year with her business partner, Sebastian, to sell Christmas trees, and  images taken of their "store" can be seen below.

The first image features a "mascot' for their "store" and, dear reader, if you follow my other cyber-space venues, you may recognize it from one of my Pinterest Boards titled NY (MOSTLY) Places.

In the second image, below my copyright, to the far right are miniature reindeer made by Sebastian from the discarded scraps of these trees, and a closer "view" of these can be seen in the photo-op below.

If you'd like to read a bit more about these creations, I referred to them in a November 2012 post here on Blogger

And while Sebastian makes reindeers from discarded portions of Christmas' trees, Stephanie makes Christmas balls from paper; as evidenced in the image below, where her creation can be seen near a basket of suet which I had hung for my visiting birds.

In any event, Stephanie's installations were most welcome in my garden; her second one can be seen in the other purple square in the aerial image with the shapes superimposed on it.

Above it you can see a red circle which is denoting a small hanging from my Chelsea Larch; placing it there was Stephanie's idea and she dubbed it the "Charlie Brown star!" The following is a image of how this star looked in the brief, and only snowfall we had in December of 2012.

And lastly, in terms of shapes superimposed on the image, the white arrow is referring to my Christmas balls (made from recycled bleach bottles and pictured below) that Juan V hung on my Avellana corylus (AKA Contorted Hazel Nut).

Last year I had "used" this particular shrub as a Christmas tree, and I was even inspired to use an image of it in my 2011 Christmas card (as seen below).

This was discussed in a post here on Blogger which you may refer to by clicking hereHowever, my visiting birds were the ones to inspire my 2012 Christmas card which can be seen below.

In any event, this year was the first time I put a Christmas tree in my garden! It was placed in the stand which supported my contorted hazelnut during the 2012 season, and since it is a shrub my visiting birds had liked to perch or rest in; and it is a shrub which had to be moved for winterizing protection; rather than leave the stand empty, Stephanie and I filled the empty stand with a Christmas tree as I was hoping my visiting birds would enjoy hanging out in it during the winter season.

Stephanie and I only put lights and a star on it and the tree can be seen in the aerial image I've been referring to (posted above). However another image, another aerial one, taken by Juan V, which showcases my 2012 Christmas Tree is posted below.

The red arrow behind my Christmas tree is referencing a completed "task," and is a task which was referred to earlier in this series, and that task was to repot the Chelsea Larch into my Physocarpus opulifolius's (Coppertina Tree) former "home." 

I had done this before any winterizing or decorating occurred but I'm telling you about it now as it explains the "gap" behind my Christmas Tree as that is where the coppertina had lived.

The Chelsea Larch is on the opposite side (off camera in this image) and the "changing of the guard" (my container swap) can probably be seen better in the image below in spite of the fact that everything is wrapped!

I had thought that my Chelsea Larch might be a good place to re-hang the suet  as  the place I initially had it was too close to my door which seemed to make my birds wary. The suet's placement in the larch can be seen in the image below.

But to my knowledge none of my visiting birds partook in the "taste treat," perhaps they're following Mayor Bloomberg's lead, and abstaining from trans-fats which have been banned in many places in NYC! 

However when it came to the "usual" food I "serve" here, yet another newbie graced my garden in December and that guy/gal is known as a Common Grackle and a couple of photo-ops of him/her are posted below.

I must confess that I had to do a lot of research to determine the newcomer's identity, and even one of my mourning doves, seemed curious as to who this "new kid n the block" was as evident from the picture posted below.

Moreover, my new friend from November, a lone hairy woodpecker, hovered near the larch, as can be seen in a couple of photo-ops below, images which,  hard to decipher as they are, are images taken through my door's window, for as I said in yesterday's post, "this bird was extremely camera shy, and since his/her visit was so rare, I opted to give the bird space and have him/her not be distracted by trying to avoid a camera!"

And even Cam stopped by to check out a feeder that someone loaned me as a "test," and she can be seen (below) checking out the "crumbs" which fell from it onto a tray.

Meanwhile, the other usual cast of characters continued to stop by for their "luncheons," and their enjoyment of these occasions is refelected in te photographs posted below.

Additionally the mystery bird, the one who is either a tree swallow or a snowbird, spent many of his/her December 2012 afternoons "strolling" in my garden as seen in the following images.

And this almost brings me to the end of my review for December 2012, but not quite because the day before the eve of the new year, I noticed one of my red house finches deep in thought (as seen in the image below).

Perhaps he was making his 2013 new year's resolutions, something that I'm not too good at doing as I confessed in a previous post here on Blogger.

Be that as it may, I certainly hope that if indeed this house finch was making new year's resolutions, that visiting my garden more often was top on his list!

Meanwhile, whilst this brings me to the end of my review for "events" in my garden in December 2012, it does not bring me to the end of this post; as I committed to including a review of "events" which took place from January 1st through January 5th of 2013, within this post.

As you may recall, my reason for including the first five days of 2013 in this review series is that while "I realize that most accountings of a given 'year in review' take place in late December of the year being reviewed; but since this review will solely be dedicated to my urban garden, I have chosen this particular date, because last year on this day, Juan V came over to help me complete my garden winterizing for the winter of 2012! Hence January the 5th 2012 through January the 5th 2013 was the last full year in my garden!"

There are just a few "events" to report from those first five days of January 2013 re "events" in my garden, and they are (pictorially) as follows:

Cam (seen in the first image) and a lone tufted titmouse (seen in the second image) appear to be staring forlornly at "something" in my garden; and it was not because of the lack of food; but rather it was the results of an "accident" that had occurred in my garden!

High winds had caused my Christmas tree and the "object" which it had been placed in by Stephanie and me (in early December of 2012), to crash on to my garden's floor! A photo-op is posted below.

Fortunately I was able to lay my Christmas tree on the table in my garden,

where it could rest until winds died down enough for me to secure both my tree and the "object" it "rested" in. 

Meanwhile, "someone" (a white breasted sparrow) found my Christmas-tree-on-table to be a nice place to perch as seen in the image above, whilst one of his comrades availed him/herself of snacks as he/she snarfed down what was left of the food that had been placed in one of my feeders as seen in the image posted below.

Moreover, some members of the family of white breasted sparrows discovered my suet as I had moved it from the Chelsea Larch to a less vulnerable location in my urban garden — the urban hedge where Stephanie had adhered Christmas tree branches in early December — and photo-ops are posted below.

And with the white breasted sparrows' discovery of my suet, I conclude my January 5th 2012  — January 5th 2013 year end review series re "events," in my urban garden.  I do so with the hope that the gardening years to come bring many discoveries both from the things I grow and the birds which hopefully will continue to visit me!

However, before I leave this post, I have a question for you: what were your garden discoveries in the month of December 2012 and the first few days of the new year?

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