Target fixation, goldfinch style

This goldfinch must’ve been ravenous! He proved quite determined to pluck every single seed out of a faded wild sunflower, pecking at the little globe from every angle.

My had husband pointed out the flash of yellow among the quivering stems and we watched for about 10-15 minutes as he performed his acrobatics during breakfast yesterday.  A few minutes later, the Mrs. showed up to finish off what he’d left.

Goldfinch on seed head.
He didn’t fall on his head, but was working his way around the globe of a sunflower seed head.
Goldfinch eating seeds.
There’s got to be more seed at this angle.
Goldfinch eating seed.
Keep going. A clue to how he got into the position of the top photo.

Spring’s abundance

Even if spring was a little late coming to the mountain, the trees and vines have made up for lost time. The first grape clusters are everywhere and the mulberry tree’s offerings are looking abundant so far. It’ll be a race to see who gets there first — the birds or us! (The birds usually win. This is their territory.)

Green mulberries.
Green mulberries.
Baby grapes clusters.
Baby grapes.

 

Orange

From the just-bloomed daylily in our hand-me-down garden to the near spotless orange ladybug slumbering in a leaf, orange is making its presence known in the Ouachitan landscape.

Almost torrid, very florid

It’s been warm here in Arkansas. National Weather Service records show that during February 2012 there were only four days where the temps fell to freezing or below and there were two days in February that hit 80 or higher. In January, there were only 13 days that saw lows at freezing or below and three days hit 70 or above.

The warm air and warm soil temperatures accelerated this year’s flower show.

LAVENDER -- Flower spikes reach for the sky on a gorgeous blue-sky day.
IN BLOOM -- Little lavender plants from a big box store fare surprisingly well into their second season on the mountain.
NOTHING BUT SUNSHINE -- The coreopsis that came in a native wildflower seed mix has produced blooms almost non-stop since last summer. A great choice for brown thumb gardeners like us!
YELLOWBEARD -- A colleague from the office shared cuttings from her prolific irises.