Once the leaves fall from the trees and shrubs, one can see where birds have built their nests. Some nests I know of, like the ones in the juniper and the clematis. This summer I noticed a pair of cardinals frequenting the honeysuckle vine - sure enough, a nest, complete with plastic lining.
The Black Haw viburnum dropped its leaves to reveal another nest.
Sunday I cleaned out bird houses, shaking the usual twigs and fluff from the wren houses, but I was surprised to find no nest in the bluebird box. Midsummer I had removed a sparrow nest because it looked like a wren wanted to use the box, but nothing more was built.
This spring I was puzzled by rabbit damage on the cotoneaster - highly unusual - until I realized a rabbit must have been trapped under the living room window overhang when it snowed. I didn't think anymore about it, until I found a little skull under there this summer.
This winter, if we get snow, I will try to remember to stomp an exit, to protect my bushes and prevent another bunny tragedy.
The weather was gorgeous on Sunday, and I spent about three hours in the yard, piddling around. I planted garlic in the raised bed by the patio. I suspect the voles have been tunneling under there and hope they don't like garlic. I also set up some of the bird feeders and plugged in the bird bath. From my perch on the love seat in the West Wing, I can see four feeders and the bird bath. Each feeder has a different kind of seed. I tried mixing seeds one time, but birds that are looking for one type will scatter the other on the ground. Enough of it falls there as it is.
I did not think too many birds favored safflower seed, but since I saw a cardinal eating it last year, I bought it again this year. Today I see the nuthatches and titmice also like it. The chickadees have been using the clematis trellis by the West Wing as a launching pad. I may stick a window feeder near there, to see who comes to call.
And Sunday I watered, watered, watered. We received about a quarter inch of rain last week, with none in the immediate forecast. I will continue to water until the ground freezes. If the weather continues to be as dry as it has been the past several years, I will have to set up an irrigation system for the vegetable garden. I'm glad I have not spent any money on rain barrels - without rain, they are rather useless.