Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Beginning of autumn

Beginning of autumn
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
Both these maples grow along the old fence line. This same hedgerow also has two beautiful Serviceberry or Juneberry trees that bear beautiful white blooms in early spring. It makes me smile about birds sitting on the fence and digesting juneberries. It makes me think about hedgerows, what springs up there, and the wildlife they support, particularly on land like this that was marginal for farming. (Too cold here, too sandy.)
One afternoon last summer I noticed that the Juneberry tree in the east meadow seemed to be flipping its limbs or thrashing about. But it was a perfectly still day. I got my binoculars. A pair of Rose-breasted grosbeaks were feeding on the berries, and so was a squirrel. He worked his way out to the end of a branch and sort of swung on it, like a too-heavy Christmas ornament. When he reached the end of the branch, he swung down and transitioned to another branch. The grosbeaks moved around him and worked where he was not. The next day, when I walked out to the tree, I couldn't see a single red berry, although I had spotte quite a bit of red with my binoculars. I've read that early farm women made jelly from the berries, but I don't know how they got them in time. And I haven't tasted a single one.

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