Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Perched Pair

I took some photos of this handsome pair of red-tailed hawks a couple of weeks ago and spied them again this morning perched high in the same sunny spot on this cold windy morning.

They have been flying in wide circles over the meadows and hunting together, part of the mating ritual. There haven't been any altercations with the crows thusfar.

Red-tailed hawks have been nesting in the tall trees of the back woods for years creating a large stick nest. According to Lives of North American Birds by K. Kaufman, they have 2-3 eggs and incubation is done by both parents and lasts 28-52 days. The female stays with the young until they are 6-7 weeks old and during this time the male provides the food. I look forward to hearing the squawking of the babies later this spring.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Not always a Star!

The Star of Bethlehem is a prolific, fast spreading perennial that grows from a bulb similar to onion grass but without the smell and has a beautiful white 6 pedaled star like flower.

It is all over my yard and looks beautiful blooming amongst the grass in the early spring but it is a nightmare in a mulched garden and very difficult to eliminate without herbicides.

In searching for creative ways to eliminate it, I was amused to see the mice move the Star of Bethlehem bulbs out of their pathways in the meadow over the winter in carefully organized rows.

At first I thought the mice were storing it and then after more thought, decided they were removing it as it is very poisonous. If only I could train the mice to help me over in the garden beds.