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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Martha and the Christmas Bird Watch

A couple of months ago, when the weather was completely fall like, I thumbed through a Martha Stewart Living magazine and waited in the dentist's office. It was a new dentist, and my first look at Martha's magazine.

It is a large format magazine, with pictures of life on a grander scale than, say, Time, or People magazines, that I would normally expect in a dentist's office. I flipped idly past vast interiors and precious dinners, but was stopped short by Martha's garden.

I'm not making this us. Martha does not clear out the garden growth at the end of the season. My dears, do not bring in those tall stalks to spray paint and arrange artfully in the foyer--that's paraphrasing, of course. Leave them until spring.

The two young women who schlep to the compost made no complaint, and so my garden looks like this:



I can only say, I'll never do this again. Some of these stalks I would not have spray painted in any event will not be difficult to clear out come spring, but that August lily will be one wet mess.

Recall you mother told you to wear clean underwear when leaving home, and the front room generally is tidy, against the entrance of a surprise visitor. This morning two cars stopped in front of the house and did not move on for some time. The windows were down, folks were hanging out, surveying my front yard. A woman in the recesses of one car was writing down everything they reported.

I realized it is the Great Christmas Bird Count, but not before I also thought they were assessing my flower gardens. They were counting all my flying pigs, bless them.

Since we have had no sun for thirteen days, and I am counting, and no prospect of sun for another thirteen, here is a woodpecker from last winter. The Bird Counters probably saw him again today.



17 comments:

  1. Hari Om
    ...I recall my grandparents always leaving the 'pruning' and 'howking' until the snow had melted (ie march/april time)... had something to do with keeping the earth warm for the new growth and plantings. But your place sure looks tidy! YAM xx

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  2. LOVE your woodpecker.
    Do you hear the results of the flying pig survey? As in how many, and where?

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  3. I leave the ugly stuff to provide "mulch"...my excuse and I'm sticking to it!
    Jane x

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  4. I used to clear away all the dead stalks and plant leaves, but haven't made the time for it for ages. And we get freezing temperatures way before we get a good covering of snow, and I feel sorry for the perennials without their raggedy summer garments to keep them warm. So I've decided I'm that kind of gardener - the kind who leaves the cleanup until spring. Martha is probably copying me. Truth.

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  5. That's a pretty woodpecker; not sure I could have managed 13 days with no sun with another 13 days ahead without it.

    betty

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  6. I'd be very concerned if people started taking notes out by my front yard, since we don't have an abundance of bird varieties here.
    The wood pecker is pretty.

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  7. We never clear anything from our garden until after winter - often there are tiny creatures overwintering in them and if there are any seeds to be had then that is food for them and for the birds.

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  8. what a great sight to see a woodpecker if you haven't had sun in so long, cold here but at least we have sun, you garden looks neat to me, ha

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  9. We don't experience your kind of winter here in Hawaii so everything is kept tidy from day to day.

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  10. Bill's spent the last week cleaning out our daughter's flower beds... by the wheel barrow load. It all goes into the compost pile so it does get recycles. But here in TX, she'll probably plant pansies or something that will live all winter long despite the occasional snow.

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  11. The Great Christmas Bird Count....what a nifty thing.

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  12. Remember the first time I heard a woodpecker, I thought I had lost my mind and Alfred Hitchcock was around the corner.

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  13. It took me a minute to catch on to what a bird counter is. We don't have bird watchers around here--at least not that I know of. We have very few birds.

    Love,
    Janie

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  14. I would have thought they were casing the place :) Bird watchers sound much more friendly though. I always try to clean up the garden before the first frost, because I HATE pulling off mushy plant leaves. They actually make me want to vomit :) Probably why I can't eat cooked spinach.

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  15. Fame is in the offing--you never know.

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