May’s Monthly Moments

If I had needed a name for May’s Monthly Moments, I would have probably settled on ‘Green’.  The hot weather that overtook the cold of April brought sap surging up from below ground into the veins of the trees and shrubs.  Then their leaves exploded in an exhibition of green.  Alongside the leaves in many trees were the colours of spring—Mother Nature’s bouquet of blossoms presented to us free of charge.

Along with the blossoms came the bees.  One day, at dusk, I was walking past our Amur Cherry tree and heard a loud, low frequency sound, not unlike the sound of the trains that pass about six blocks away.  I walked by the tree several times before I figured out that the sound was coming from the tree itself.  After inspection, I discovered that the sound was from dozens upon dozens of bees, working all the blossoms on the tree.  Their work went on for almost two weeks until the blossoms were past their prime, then the bees moved to the crabapple trees.  Other than a few deer walking by now and then, the bee encounter was one of the only other wildlife experiences we had during May.

I say one of the only experiences, because we had another that was a surprise.

When we had the tall spruce trees in the back—they are gone, thank goodness—the grackles would make their home in the spring at the top of those trees.  When the young hatched, the grackles moved up their defensive attacks, nattering noisily and dive bombing us every time we stepped out on our deck.  That would keep us off our deck for about two weeks until the young fledged and were gone, along with mom and dad.

A pair of grackles appeared on schedule, but there were no trees in our yard for nesting so we weren’t worried.  However, after a week or so, we started to get pestered.  I kept checking all the other trees in our yard and couldn’t find any nests.  Then we noticed where they were.  I’m guessing those two were the ones from the year before or their offspring.  They seemed to think our yard was home, regardless of the tree situation, and had started to build a nest on the ground, underneath one of our big juniper bushes.  I couldn’t believe it and neither could friend Jim who knows more about birds than I ever will.  Grackles normally build high up, out of the reach of any animals.  I got the nest out of there before any eggs were laid and those two grackles left with it.  Peace again.