|The birds flew away when they saw the camera.|
Oh, pardon me. Before I get too far along with this blog post, let me introduce myself.
I am Malus 'Guinzam', but most folks just call me Guinevere®. I'm a flowering crabapple tree. Having said that I know just what you are thinking. Diseases! Crabapples dropping everywhere!
But that's not me!
I have the prettiest dark pink buds that turn pinkish-white as they open around the middle of April. My fruit is small and so quickly devoured by birds that one hardly notices there was any fruit at all.
Diseases? None here, thank you. I am proud of my foliage which stays green all season until it turns all shades of yellow and orange before gently falling to the ground in the fall.
But I'm not here to extol my virtues, which are many but obviously do not include humility.
I'm here to tell the story of how I was chosen amongst all the trees at May Dreams Gardens to play hostess for Carol's new obsession with feeding birds.
One could say I was chosen simply because I am right outside her library window.
She sits at a little desk in the middle of her library, with old gardening books all around her, and types and types and types. One wonders what she is doing. Anyway, I know I really was chosen because I am right where she can just look up and see me through the windows, which she finally washed so she could actually see out of them, thank goodness.
At first, I was delighted to be chosen for the bird feeding station. Of course, that's when I assumed she'd put up those shepherd's crooks and hang the feeders from them. Then I would just have to provide nice landing spots for the birds.
But I soon realized she got hooks to hang the feeders directly from my branches. "Be careful there, that's not my strongest branch." "Ouch, I think you nipped off a bud putting that hook there." "Can you move that hook over just a bit, I think it's sliding down to my trunk."
Fortunately, she chose some of my stronger branches for those hooks and the feeders aren't all that heavy. There's a tube feeder, which is the main feeding station. She has to fill it nearly every day now that the red finches, sparrows and other birds have found it.
There's also a little platform feeder. She puts safflower in it because she was told that would attract cardinals. Indeed, she has noticed a few cardinals partaking of the safflower. So much so she had to go buy another bag of it.
Then there's the suet cake, which is actually a suet cylinder. It's been used quite a bit from the ragged looks of it.
And finally, there is a wreath with peanuts in it.
Mostly squirrels are eating the peanuts, with Carol's blessing from all indications. But when squirrels try to eat from the tube feeder when Carol is sitting in her library typing, typing, typing, and looking out the window, she often comes barging out the front door ready to throw a handful of ice at them
Of course, by the time she opens the front door, clomps her way across the porch, and takes aim with her throwing arm, the squirrels have scattered up my branches and on to the roof. There they just sit and look at Carol like she's nuts, and then scamper off. (Sometimes we all just look at Carol like she's nuts, but that's another story for another day.)
Usually, Carol still throws the ice, sometimes right at me. "Hey, be careful there!" It's really not my fault I'm attractive to squirrels. Or is it the peanuts and birdseed they are attracted to?
Speaking of being attractive, I do enjoy most of the birds that visit and dine, but that one downy woodpecker keeps pecking at my bark. I wonder if I have insects under there? Now that would be embarrassing for such a fine tree as me, wouldn't it?
Did I mention there's an old nest in my branches? I'm proud of that nest. Have I ever told you the story about how when my leaves dropped one fall, Carol realized I had played hostess to a bunch of bald-faced hornets all summer? She didn't like that nest one bit.
Anyway, the bird feeding from my branches is going quite well and seems to please Carol since she keeps filling the feeders and added a–get this–heated birdbath.
Between my lovely branches, which she also draped with Christmas lights the other day, the feeders filled with high quality, top notch bird seed, and the bird bath, we are practically four star when it comes to hospitality.
I've never been prouder.