Wednesday May 2nd 2012 Tim
Three weeks is
twenty one days. If the weather is cooler, it's about the time
from Field Sparrow nest to Field Sparrow fledging. Meadow Larks
also nest on the ground, their first children are already out and about,
sharing the confusion of sunrise with equally good looking Dove.
A Field Sparrow has
the little pink beak. It is described as a 'drab sparrow of bushy
pasture and old fields.' Which is a good enough description of me.
A Field Sparrow is the little one on the taller grass, struggling to
bend it to the ground, the better to get at the seeds. He weighs about
half an once, which is about two and a quarter Ruby-throated
Hummingbirds. And like Hummingbirds he can eat insects. It's
Goldfinch that only eat seeds, and who are always described as
'handsome' and 'a favorite at the bird feeder.' They are the yellower
ones you can see hungry on the Dandelion, because sometimes that's about
it for seeds. Then when the year lengthens it's Goldfinch that swarm to
ravage Sunflower, where they gain good weight and can turn a mind to
This year in the garden
there are two kinds of wheat. We call them Egyptian Wheat or Kamut,
and Bronze Age Wheat, or Spelt. Not certain why we are growing these
two such colonies, other than for the sound their names make back through
the ages to ancestors who did not have to live as long as we now do. I
think the original theory for planting Wheat, had something to do with a
ground cover for winter months, which would then be dug into the soil, which
in my view is an exercise of great poetry and value and solemn-ness. But it
has been a strange year, and there it is, Ancient Wheat In A Raised Bed.
Field Sparrows prefer to feed their
children insects, and so do Cardinals. Dove eat seeds, and fortunately
they don't like long grass, but they know how delicious a Bean Sprout can be
so long as the bed is well weeded and there is a gardener daring them.
So I reckon, having seen Goldfinch on Sunflower, it'll be Goldfinch who'll
first know when it's time to harvest, and we'd better be quick.