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Saturday, January 19, 2013

"another year over AND a new one just begun . . . " PART TWO-I- (November 2012)

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 entry concerns itself with the special "events" which occurred in my garden in the month of November 2012.

According to Thomas Hood, the British poet and scholar, November is a month of "nos." I wrote about this in a previous post (November 2011) here on Blogger, and if you'd like to, you may refer to it by clicking here.

In any event, according to Wiki, Hood's abridged poem re November is as follows: 
No sun - no moon! No morn - no noon -
No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day.

No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,

No comfortable feel in any member -

No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,

No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds -

However, even though in bygone years in my garden, November did begin with a "bunch" of "no's;" this year the first of November, even though it immediately followed Hurricane Sandy, and major clean-up in my garden, did begin with a resounding "yes," and that "yes" was a visit by a male cardinal pictured here atop today's blog entry. He can be seen here "perched" on a container which is home to my Vaccinium macrocarpon (AKA Cranberry Vine) where he has one eye on a bird feeder and one eye on me.
As I said in yesterday's post, the male cardinals' visits to my garden are rare; more frequent visits re cardinals are made by Cam, a lone female cardinal, and I have reason to assume that the guy pictured above is her male companion.

In any event, this gorgeous male cardinal was not my only "yes" the first week of November, for a few days after he appeared, I was greeted by a tiny little bird, a bird whose identity is either a tree swallow or a snow bird. I'm still trying to determine its identity as he/she has returned many times, for which I have better photo-ops, but you will see that as I go forward in this review. For now, a photo-op of this unidentified bird is posted below as he/she appeared within the first week of November, a couple of days after the cardinal graced me with his visit.

And another "yes" came in the form of visits by bluejays, who either performed ballet; or checked out my feeding system that was still there from when Michael and I had done our "work around" to accommodate my visiting birds' needs re their being able to eat during Hurricane Sandy, a "work around" which was discussed in yesterday's posting here on Blogger.

Moreover, a cousin of the unidentified bird (who as I said is either a tree swallow or a snow bird) spent time hanging out in the "home" of my Pyracantha coccinea (AKA Orange Charmer), as seen in the images below.

The latter of these two images was taken in hopes of capturing this mystery bird's physical characteristics so that I might be able to find out his/her identity.

In any event, all the aforementioned "events" re feathered friends (as well as the photo-ops accompanying them) happened on or before November 5th of 2012, so it did not appear as if November 2012 was going to be a month of "no's," as Hood had deemed November a month to be.

However, I still had one major "no" in my garden and that was no visit or sign of Cam (my lone female cardinal) since October! I was quite concerned that she had been displaced (or worst yet killed) by Hurricane Sandy! Therefore, I sought the advise of various bird experts re the feeders I was using as well as the "food" I was serving.

The consensus seemed to be for me to try another "style" of feeder and to use waste-free seed to make it easier for her to eat. The following is a photo-op of that bird-house feeder with the special seed mixture which are both from FAUNA.

Initially I placed the bird-house style feeder on the top shelf of the urban hedge which Juan had built and installed in April of 2012 as described in Part 2B of my 2012 review series, and as you can see my visiting house finches took to it with pleasure. The visits of these sweet birds also put a disclaimer on Hood's observation about November being a month of "no's"!

Thinking the bird-house style feeder might blow off the shelf on to my neighbor's balcony, I moved it to another location in my garden and placed it on a pedestal that supports a table in my garden.

The table top was still inside my studio apartment where I had placed it less than a week prior to prepare my garden for Hurricane Sandy as described in yesterday's post, and the pedestal seemed to be a good stop gap and the birds  seemed to enjoy it, as you might surmise from the images which I have posted below.

I though this was a good solution until I could find a spot in the garden to secure the feeder which I hoped to do with Juan V, who was due on the following day, November 6th 2012, which would be his first visit to my garden since Hurricane Sandy struck. 

And before Juan V was scheduled to return, another November-2012-yes occurred! Another visitor came back: my white throated sparrow seen in the photo-op below.

Ultimately, Juan did return on November 6th 2012, and we put my garden "stuff" in place after my having moved it to protect things in my garden as part of my prep for Hurricane Sandy. 

We even put up simple Thanksgiving decor; pumpkins and gourds, which Juan V captured in the aerial photo-ops that he took that day after we completed our work. The images are posted below.

The images posted above are two angles "showcasing" a portion of my Thanksgiving decorations which Juan V arranged on my garden table; and the two images below feature slightly different angles of the Thanksgiving decorations atop my "urban hedge," the shelving which Juan V built and installed earlier in the 2012 gardening season as discussed in a previous post.

The final aerial view Juan V took on November 6th 2012 not only featured the Thanksgiving decor, but it captured one of the biggest "yeses" for November 2012: the flowers of my autumn clematis, a vine that endures a lot in the 2012 gardening season, beginning with its having to be completely uprooted and put into a "new home" in March of 2012; to having to be uprooted again, and put into a body bag (in September of 2012) to accommodate the requirement for my "so-called" renovation.

The fact that my autumn clematis is such a survivor should not surprise me; after all, I've named this vine Donna's Legacy in honor of its dearly departed grower, whose "story" was posted here on blogger in 2010; and you may refer to it by clicking here

However, soon after this, things were about to change in my garden as November's "yeses" were going to be in the form of a nor'easter ("remember November," it has been said)!

For the evening of the day Juan V took these pictures, wet and heavy snow fell at such a fast rate that its heavy accumulation nearly broke the branches off of my Continus Coggygria (AKA Smokey Bush), which is the shrub — with the awesome foliage — in the square container in between the urban hedge (shelving) and bouncer chair, as seen in the image posted above. 

At the time of the storm, many folks in New York, and much of the northeast  were "still navigating the harrowing destruction of Superstorm Sandy."

And although my garden and I were unharmed re the destruction of Sandy, it looked as if in terms of my garden, I might be done in by the November 2012 nor'easter! 

And once again — although in the midst of rapidly falling snow this time — I brought certain objects inside, and I moved my more vulnerable flowers, ornamental grasses, plant, trees, and shrubs towards my door; whilst  my friend helped me to stake the smokey bush!

This storm left me quite concerned about the survival of my visiting birds, and so the morning after the storm, a storm in which the snow melted almost as quickly as it came, I was so relieved to see that the first feathered friend to return to my garden was Cam!

I had heard her in the wee hours of the morning and upon hearing her "chatter," I'd sprung from my bed to see what was the matter! And what to my wondering eyes did appear? My dear sweet Cam, but alas, no reindeer!

In any event, Cam can be seen in some of the images below. However the quality of the images isn't the greatest as I took them from quite a distance and through the window of my door as I did not want to frighten her, especially since she had not been around for such a long time!

And as for the birds availing themselves of food from my bird-house style feeder? I had a few takers as seen in the images (posted below) which were also  taken through my window so as to not frighten my finch friends in the aftermath of the nor'easter!

The three images of the bird-style feeder may look familiar to you, dear reader, as they appeared here on Blogger in November of 2012.

Meanwhile, my usual characters came back after the nor'easter and the following are photo-ops of them.

From the time after the nor'easter and the time Juan V would return again on November 20th 2012, "events" in my garden re the things I grow were pretty quiet, although roses from all three of my shrubs continued to bloom and I've posted an image of one of them below.

It looked as if the rose shrub was waving to the visiting birds in my garden — who were busy with their antics — and I've included their photo-ops below, photo-ops which are only are a fraction of the types of birds, as well as their mid November "activities," but which will give you a sense of life in my garden for that time period.

A loner Blue Jay, who "ruled the day" in my garden on November 15th 2012 can be seen here taking advantage of my garden chair as well as one of my feeders, but it seems he/she couldn't have cared less about my Thanksgiving centerpiece!

On November 18th of 2012, my sight-challanged House Finches, undeterred by their affliction, seemed to be engaged in making plans for where they would perch to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, which would occur four days from when the following images of them were taken.

And my still unidentified bird, the one who is either a tree swallow or snowbird spent his/her day eavesdropping on the house finches travel plans as she hopped around my garden floor (as seen in the photo-ops below) in search of crumbs left by her comrades.

However, my mystery bird did pause from running around my garden to have a quick convo with her pal, the white breasted (or white throat) sparrow as seen below.

And with all the"action" in my garden on the eighteenth of November — two days before Juan V was due to return — a newcomer visited my garden: a lone chickadee made his/herself right at home, availing herself of my feeder as seen in the images below.

The tufted titmouse also enjoyed himself/herself; and whilst he/she may believe that Thomas Hood, the poet (who I mentioned at the onset of this post), may have grounds to believe that November "is a month of no's," the little bird seems to be reassured that it doesn't mean no food in my garden!

As delighted as I was by all of these visiting birds, I missed seeing Cam who had disappeared agin after popping in for a quick visit the morning after the nor'easter! I certainly hoped I would see her again which is a concern I expressed to anyone who would listen, including Juan V, who returned to my garden on November 20th 2012, and after "yard work" was completed he took the aerial images which are posted below.

As you can surmise, from Juan's photo-ops, in spite of all my garden upheavals, my garden fared well, even in November, the months of no's!

Moreover, in the remaining days of November which followed after Juan left, there were still a number of "yeses" with my visiting birds' interactions, especially their interaction with what I grow.

This can be seen in photo-ops below which are just a select few of many, chosen to give you a sense of my garden and the birds that visit it in November 2012's final days. 

Even though I found it delightful to find such an array of birds enjoying what I grow in my garden, I still missed Cam and remained concerned abut her disappearance; even though it is characteristic of her to not show up he for a number of weeks and then suddenly reappear.

But the end of November brought with it, in terms of visiting birds yet another newbie feathered creature to my garden and that was a hairy woodpecker (seen below)!

He/she is quite hard to decipher in the following images taken through my door's window, but 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 with trying to avoid a camera!

However, someone in the building that faces my garden may have been taking photographs of this rare visitor! I say this because once when my friend Victor was visiting me, he noticed that powerful camera flashes went off from across the courtyard on to my garden.

I'm told woodpeckers rarely eat from feeders but since so many birds had been displaced by Hurricane Sandy (and her wrath being followed by a nor'easter), it wasn't a total surprise that a rare visitor should pass trough my garden on his/her journey!

And the month of November 2012 closed, in terms of visits by birds, with a return visit by a lone male cardinal, a cardinal I've dubbed as the wandering Cam's male companion, and a cardinal whose images from the last week of November can be seen below.

As with my photo-ops of the hairy woodpecker, these photo-ops of the male cardinal were taken through my door's window, as the male cardinal is also extremely camera shy, and since his visits are irregular, I decided to give the bird space and have him not be distracted with trying to avoid a camera!

And, dear reader, this brings me to the conclusion of my review for November 2012, a review that began and ended with photo-ops of my visiting male cardinal from very different vantage points.

Meanwhile, I'll see you tomorrow with the conclusion of review series in which I will post a review for the "events" in my garden that occurred in the month of December 2012 through January 5th 2013. However, before I leave this post, I have a question for you: is the month of November a month of no's when it comes to your gardening?

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