Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Littlest Gardener

Littlest Gardener
Perched Upon Beet Stems
Only a Few Holes

With feathers striped like truffles-in-the making, a mix of melted chocolate and cream, the littlest gardener of Elmira Pond toe-hops among the beet greens. Tiny enough to perch on a red beet-stalk, the bird rustles through the leaves with her beak. She’s a pine siskin, although her yellow is not so obvious. But, that’s how it goes with females.  Thus, I’m relying on the truffled streaking for identification.

Water-sprite is another way to describe her. The pine siskins listen for the hose, chirping from the trees, then alighting upon the fence with eager little bird eyes like teddy-bears. The littlest gardener showers in the hose-water, fluffing feathers and shaking wings. This is not a shy bird. Thankfully, neither is it aggressive like nesting kingbirds or crazy like window-attacking cat birds.

She’s welcome among my beets and watering.

Of course, I’m trying to figure out the snack or meal she’s finding. A few of my beet leaves look like tatted lace, and the lush rutabaga leaves have a hole or two like socks in need of darning. The rutabagas are full of wasps like soldiers marching up and down the ranks. While I’m not a fan of wasps evidently they are serving a huge purpose here. Grasshoppers? They abound in the pastures, even nibbling my roses, but not my garden. Well done, wasps.

Organic is not difficult when you let the little ones roam.

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