Fledged! And an update on fruit production

At our last house, we had robins and mourning doves nesting in our yard every year. It was fun to watch, especially after the babies hatched.

Of course, we’re on a much larger property now. And I see bird nests all over the place. But none of them were in a good place for observation. Until Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal decided to build a nest last month in the quince right outside our living room window, giving us a perfect view of everything.

I waited a few weeks. And then I saw obvious feedings, but no actual babies. Until the baby (yes, one baby) was big enough to poke its head out of the nest.

A few days later, it fledged.

Getting ready to leave the nest!

My mom was visiting when it happened, so we both got to see it.

I miss the little family. They were fun to watch. I haven’t seen the baby since, but I have seen the dad a few times out searching for food. Mom likely went off to look for another nesting site, since cardinals can have up to five broods in a season, which ends in September.

I have goldfinches and house finches all over the flower garden right now, getting their fill of the sunflowers and coneflowers. The hummingbirds come for the zinnias and primroses. The garden is a mess right now, but I love how many birds it attracts — not to mention the butterflies, bees, and our resident rabbits. And the odd mouse and snake.

Blackberry season is still going strong. I eat blackberries nearly every day, and I’ve filled two gallon-sized freezer bags and have nearly filled a third one. There are still a lot of berries left to ripen before the season is over. I don’t normally buy blackberries at the store (strawberries and blueberries are my choice, sometimes raspberries), but I noticed recently that a pint of organic blackberries is $5. Well, ours are organic. And I have nearly three gallon-sized bags full … you do the math. Just thrilled I have so many berries in the freezer, which should keep me for a while.

The concord grapes are turning purple, so those will be ready to harvest next month. Assuming the deer don’t eat them first. I’m doing nothing to prevent that because I didn’t really want the grapes in the first place. We’re dismantling the grapevines and supports after this season. I like grapes, but I’m not a big fan of concord grapes and I have no interest in growing grapes.

The apples are a lost cause. All of the apple trees are dead or dying. Only a few actually produced any apples, and most of them rotted on the tree (or fell off and turned into pulp when my husband hit them with the riding mower). The squirrels got any of the apples that might have been edible.

I had dreams of apple pies this fall, but blackberry pie is good, too.

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