Sunday, May 18, 2014

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

Yesterday, the SouthEast Wisconsin Master Gardeners held their annual plant sale. I did my homework ahead of time, poring over the 12 pages of plants offered. We managed to get at least one of almost everything on our short list, including another Woodland Poppy! Even the Cinnamon Flakes Birch tree that I knew I wanted but wasn't sure (i.e. had no idea) where it would go. It doesn't get very big and has really cool-looking bark, so I want it close to the house where we can see it. We're testing locations; this looks likely:

Cinnamon Flakes Birch possible backyard location 

We placed the other newbies out and about in the gardens where they will go. Noted with irritation that the deer are hungry - time to spray anti-deer stink. It/they ate most of the astilbes, chomped some hostas, Tiarella and even some Bloodroot. The bites that really chapped my arse are those on the Bishop's Hat and Lady's-Slipper orchids - WTF!! It only takes a couple bites to figure out they aren't tasty, but it only takes one or two bites to ruin the plant. I'm particularly miffed about the Lady's-Slippers; the plants came from my parents home and I'm keen for them to survive.

Anyhoo, we spotted a Rose-Breasted Grosbeak in our ravine. We saw him, had no idea what it was, and dashed into the house for binocs & a bird book. I've heard both the chirp and the song without realizing it; the song is likened to a robin with opera training, or one that's just really happy. That's what I've heard - a robin singing its heart out. I don't know how we ever missed spotting a bird as big and distinctive as this before.

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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