Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Five Photos, Five Stories: Day 5

Some call the Orkin man when pests arrive; I call the Mountain Blue Bird Gals.

Rattlesnake bean leaves spread broad and tattered. Vegetative lace is not my goal in gardening. Whatever is feasting on my newly sprouted plants is evidently unaware that I planted marigolds for pest control.

Early in April I planted two entire flats with marigold seeds and kept them warm and moist in my laundry room. In May, I moved the flats outside and as I began seeding my kitchen gardens, I carefully broke apart tangled marigold roots to plant individuals among my mounds that promised to sprout cauliflower, corn, peas, radishes, butternut squash, pumpkins, zucchini, patty pans or a variety of beans including the rattlenakes.

Some devious little nibblers stripped or ate many of my marigold pest deterrents!

So I called in the big guns. The. Big. Blue. Guns. Actually, it was a stroke luck; I don't really know how to call in blue birds. But they flocked, about seven females with light gray bodies and a hint of blue as if they had been hastily painted. Maybe it was a girls day out and they were famished after sitting in their nests all spring. Now that the little ones had fledged, they were looking to feast.

And they found it in my garden. For most of the morning, they dove and perched among my new crops and now I am pest free! How remarkable is that? I feel as if I work in partnership when I garden without chemical intervention. One dose of blue birds was all that my garden needed to get over its pest ailment.

If that doesn't work in the future, I might try spraying with coffee. Wonder what the birds would think of that?

This is Day 5 of a photo and story challenge from Norah Colvin. Today I nominate my talented cousin who is a professional designer and photographer with a fledgling blog of his own. JR Warren of Ramble Dog, I pass the final baton to you if you are so obliged to participate. Thank you, Norah! This was a fun challenge!

The rules of the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge are:
1) Post a photo each day for five consecutive days.
2) Attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or a short paragraph. It’s entirely up to the individual.
3) Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation. This is fun, not a command performance! 


  1. I loved your blue birds from the beginning, but now I love them even more. Nature beckoned because you nurture chemical-free. Hopefully there will be no need for coffee sprays, though I too wonder what the birds would make of that. I've enjoyed your posts. I'm pleased you enjoyed the challenge as much as I did.

    1. Thank you, Norah! It was a fun way to get back into the swing of things at Elmira Pond. Though it is completed, I have another pest story to post! And this one is too big for the birds, but she was mindful of the potatoes. :-)