May 29, 2008

Flowers and a Whip-poor-will

Today was one of the first days I’ve actually spent some time at home. While the morning was filled with work, the afternoon consisted of digging up some wildflowers and replanting them. A friend was removing excess plants at her house in Hollidaysburg and offered me some great plants. We dug up some purple cone flower, bee balm, feverfew, turtlehead, and yarrow. I started some of these species from seed, but they are so small (< .5 inches) that I don’t think they’ll make it. The rootstock of these transplants should do well. I placed them strategically in the yard with the idea that they will be the start of a meadow full of wildflowers.

The past month has been rainy and cooler than expected. I tried to plant a small garden in what I thought was a high spot in the yard, but the soil remained saturated with water until the past few days. I scattered some wildflower seed there, but I think that area will need to be planted with wet-loving plants. I’ll gather some seeds from cardinal flower, joe pye weed, and ironweed this summer after I get some advice from a friend who knows more about wetlands than I do.

A short walk this evening yielded two deer and a distant calling whip-poor-will. The diversity of birds on and around the house is amazing. I’m including birds seen within a half mile of the place over the past three months.




Canada Goose

Blue-headed Vireo

Yellow Warbler

Wood Duck

Red-eyed Vireo



Blue Jay

Common Yellowthroat

Ring-necked Pheasant

American Crow

Eastern Towhee

Great Blue Heron

Tree Swallow

Chipping Sparrow

Turkey Vulture

N. Rough-winged Swallow

Field Sparrow

Red-tailed Hawk

Barn Swallow

Song Sparrow

American Kestrel

Black-capped Chickadee

White-throated Sparrow


Tufted Titmouse

Dark-eyed Junco

American Woodcock

White-breasted Nuthatch

Northern Cardinal

Mourning Dove

Brown Creeper

Indigo Bunting

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Carolina Wren

Red-winged Blackbird


Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Eastern Meadowlark

Chimney Swift

Eastern Bluebird

Common Grackle

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

American Robin

Brown-headed Cowbird

Belted Kingfisher

Gray Catbird

Baltimore Oriole

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Northern Mockingbird

Purple Finch

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

Brown Thrasher

House Finch

Eastern Phoebe

European Starling

American Goldfinch

Great Crested Flycatcher

Cedar Waxwing

House Sparrow

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