There has been more ebb and flux in the past month than I can ever remember for this or any time of year. The temperature drops to 0 F and then a few days later races up to 50. And then back down. And then up. We have had three coverings of snow and then successive meltings within days leaving a tired and gray landscape. The animals are equally confused as they prematurely exit torpor and look for a Spring or mid-Winter snack. They find it in the compost heap with semi-frozen grapefruit rinds and desiccated banana peels.
The birds aren’t nearly as confused though their food sources come and go with the successive coatings of snow. When the ground is bare, it takes a few days for the feeders to be emptied. When the snow is thick, they barely last a day as the birds swarm kamikaze-like around the feeder trying to dislodge other eaters. Today, the birds are between states as the first thick snowflakes of winter start to coat the ground and begin to force them toward the feeder. It will need filling later today.
As the birds consume seeds I am busy buying them planning my gardens of spring, summer and fall. The Christmas and post-Christmas sales catalogs have been replaced in the mail by those from the seed purveyors. This year, like last, I split my business between two: Fedco and Baker’s Creek. Fedco continues to deliver the highest quality and lowest price seeds (by far) of any of the other companies that I have used. It is great for lots of the standard stuff that I grow year in and out in the garden like zinnias, cosmos, greens and radishes. Baker’s Creek is where I go for the exotic and weird to impress my granddaughter and clients at Ann’s Place. I can harvest purple carrots and peas to amaze and astound my charges.