Nature Notes: Empty Nest

robins with feathers
On Sunday our robins had many feathers and open, dark eyes.
empty nest
And then there were none. On Monday, my daughter noticed only one bird was left in the nest. By midday, when I thought to take a photo, it was gone.

portulaca pale yellow with orange middle
Portulaca is a great flower to grow if you have an area that gets a lot of sun. It spreads nicely, and you can tell from its thick green leaves it doesn’t need a lot of water, because it stores water in those fat leaves.

small red portulaca
I have portulaca (also known as moss rose) growing in my front yard next to other flowers such as rudbeckia. It’s an annual, so I need to replant it each year. The seeds are tiny, so grow them first in growing media apart from your garden so you won’t lose them. The truth is, I think I just sprinkled the tiny seeds in this area and was lucky that two survived into flowerhood.

eaten tomato
I’m fairly certain a deer ate this tomato. How could a groundhog reach up into those tall branches and bite off the top of the tomato plant?

green tomato
It used to look like this tomato. I’ve never had such problems growing tomatoes. I bought materials for a fence in the late spring, but I’m waiting for one of my sons to be available so we can set it up. And it’s been so hot, too.

whimisical catbird on a fence
A whimsical catbird sits on the fence in our backyard.

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14 thoughts on “Nature Notes: Empty Nest

    • This is the first year I have had success with one large zucchini plant. I’m growing it in a makeshift cage (chicken wire around next to tomato cage), and thus far, not eaten by an animal. We don’t seem to have slugs here, thankfully.

  • And the robins are on their way…how much fun they are to watch… I had a vegetable garden at our first house…it was a lot of fun to have my daughter involved….

  • I am full of admiration over your thriving garden. I know of people who grow tomatoes in Norway too, but the usually have a green house to help mother nature.
    Your portulacas are even rare as indoor plants here. I wouldn’t even think to set them even on the terrace. My hydrangeas are thriving; lots of water and sour soil.

    The birds leaving nest are a beautiful illustration for your previous article; the coach teaching people to handle the watershed moments of life.
    It gave me a lot to think about. I guess becoming old and helpless is what I am least prepared of; as was my parents.
    The end of the circle is so problematic to relate to. To need assistance, but be reluctant to accept it. I guess all our lives we have been awarded for becoming clever and independent, and suddenly the most wise thing to do is accepting help, maybe even from strangers. Hmm. Maybe some already are coaching senior citizens too,- in America, I mean.

    • Yes, in the U.S. we have coaches for seniors, as well as senior who are trained as coaches (or/and as therapists).

      After working with a professional coach or therapist for a while, they no longer feel like strangers.

  • LOVE those baby robins! Really nice photo of them. I used to have a ton or portulaca and it reseeded itself. But I have none this year, which is too bad because it would probably be ecstatic about the hot dry weather we have right now. 🙂

  • Baby robins like grape jelly!! Mama Robin may already be making a new nest and getting ready for at least one more family! Daddy Robin is the caretaker of all young robins. ~karen

    • I asked a friend – she said robins don’t re-use nests. So even if mama does hatch some new eggs, they probably won’t be so close to our porch next time.

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