Just four days ago on January 24th 2021, I published a blog post
(where I included a copy of the snapshot above this entry) in which I discussed my maternal grandfather
's apppreciation for trees
, something I seem to have inherited.
Then last night I had a conversation with a neighbor (LS) about the recent vandalism which occurred in my building and my roof extension garden, I mentioned that a main concern I had experienced during that crime was for the birds who visit my place and who have enjoyed the trees that I have planted over the years.
Knowing my love for trees, LS kindly told me that Tu B’Sheva had begun at sunset then explained that it would end at sunset tonight (1-28-2021). She went on to say Tu B’Shevat (or the birthday of all fruit trees) is s a minor holiday.
My knowedge of many aspects of Jewish holidays is minimal, even though I have a somewhat famous paternal Jewish ancestor, Rosa Sonnenschein, whom I've written about on this blog and who is featured in the image below).
After I spoke with LS, I did some research. I learned (from a writer re Jewish learning who calls him/herself MJL) Tu B’Shevat's name "is Hebrew for the 15th of the Hebrew month of Shevat. In ancient times, Tu B’Shevat was merely a date on the calendar that helped Jewish farmers establish exactly when they should bring their fourth-year produce of fruit from recently planted trees to the Temple as first-fruit offerings."
Now, honor of Tu B’Shevat, I will share photo-ops of birds enjoying the trees in my garden (during by gone years and at this present time).
I will also include photographs of them enjoying the Ailanthus Trees
in the courtyard and trees. I will start with the trees that are no longer with me as a way of honoring their memory.
One of the trees that I no longer have (it sdid not survive one of the winters in spite of my winterizing
) is a Japanese Maple variety known as a 'Shisitatsu' Sawa.'
This maple can be seen in the image directly below, where a young female cardinal
has "wrapped" her foot around one of the branches while she gazes at other branches within that tree as she nibbles on bird seed.
Another Japanese maple that I had for a few years (but who also succumbed ito winter conditions in spite of winterizing) is a variety known as Autumn Moon
. She can be seen in the next picture where a Mourning dove
is using her container as a vantage point to spy on what is happening in the vicinity.
The Japanese maple, 'Tamukeyama
,' who is still going strong and who came to my garden at the same time as the two aforementioned Japanese maples varities did, was visited by a dark-eyed junco
the other day.
Over the years, my 'Tamukeyama' has been visited by numerous bird
varieties, including a female Baltimoe oriole
Another one of my trees that the birds continue to enjoy is my Japanese larch
, below are some photo-ops feature this.
As for birds who visit the Ailanthus trees in my courtayd, there are many, including the ones pictured within the next sequence of images.
And there you have it, dear reader, my commemoration for Tu B’Shevat 2021, it's a small one given how many trees there are to celebrate. On another note, if you'd like to learn more about the trees and birds featured in these pictures, they all have back stories in my three volume hard cover book series, Words In Our Beak (WIOB),
where the stories are told in the voice of a female cardinal.
The goal of these books is to open readers to a simple understanding of the winged world and their environment. Set in a rooftop urban garden (mine) in New York City, my story is told in the voice of Cam, a female cardinal, who visits it. These books are directed to children and adults who are curious about birds, and want to learn about them from a unique perspective.
Now that almost every person (across the globe) must spend more time at home due to consequences of the coronavirus, my books have proven to be essential in bringing the outdoors indoors.
This fact has led me to believe that these books would make a great gift to give to someone for Valentine's Day, a holiday that will be here in less than a month's time.
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