Leaf it be
Wednesday July 03rd 2024, 9:47 pm
Filed under: Garden

Two volunteer sunflower plants, presumably with the same parent (I only grew one last year) but they did not come out the same variety at all. Cool.

I saw a small chickadee type landing on the multi-headed one this afternoon and I thought at first it was coming to inspect for seeds. Wrong plant, bird, you want the one over there, that’s where they’re starting to fill in.

But that’s not what it was after.

It carefully stabbed then shredded a leaf.

I hadn’t known I’d taken a before picture.

There are more sunflowers along the fence, and I actually planted those, and it bugged me yesterday when the leaves of the tallest were suddenly mostly gone. I blamed snails. And I had spent a lot of time hand-picking them out of my yard.

Side note: some idiot in the Gold Rush days thought he was going to make his particular fortune by selling escargot to the 49er types and imported French snails towards that end. When the business somehow did not take off among that segment of the American population, the snails were released around the river that runs by San Jose Airport. Where even the local wildlife mostly turned up their noses.

But this looked like what I’d just watched.

I found myself flashing back to my late neighbor proudly showing me their garden and the squash plant leaves that were totally shredded: birds had used them to build their nests and Jim loved that they’d contributed to the next generation.

I would never have known if not for that. Birds? Steal zucchini leaves? But of course it made sense.

And now here I was actually watching how it was done.

July 3 is awfully late for nest-building–but on the other hand, if a clutch fails, bereaved songbird parents will throw the year a do-over if the weather is good. Um. It hit 102F these past two days and I wouldn’t call that good for much, but I’ll let them do them.

I’m hoping that means that in another month I’ll get to see baby birds learning to fly all over again. It is always such a kick.

3 Comments so far
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Wow! I’ve always assumed damage like that was from a smaller critter. Hope you enjoy a lovely, if very warm, day.

Comment by DebbieR 07.04.24 @ 9:51 am

Are these hot temperatures new for your region
Or is this how you can grow mangoes and citrus at home?
I do not do well in 100F or higher temperatures … just not used to it.

Comment by Lisa R-R 07.04.24 @ 3:47 pm

I don’t know why it never would have occurred to me that they would use leaves in their nests, but sure, that kind of makes sense.

Comment by ccr in MA 07.07.24 @ 7:44 am

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