Thursday, January 26, 2006

Grackle Invasion

Last summer, while my folks were visiting, my father commented a couple of times about how he'd never seen so many bugs in one backyard. I'd always considered the insects a sign of health for our yard, figuring it was indicative of a thriving ecosystem. In retrospect, he might have been saying there were a lot of mosquitoes — which there are some times of year.

This morning, I glanced out the window while giving Celeste her mid-morning snack and saw what could well be the end too many insects — a ton* of grackles (Quiscalus quiscula). Our backyard (as well as the neighbors' yards were full of the birds. They were everywhere — ground, trees, birdfeeder, ... — and in about five minutes there were gone, headed south ...

Grackle Invasion

And, yes, that dirt patch in front of the retaining wall is where the pond used to be. The grass that took didn't last, so it'll be springtime before we can try to do something proper with that space ... and we still have to figure out the deck situation ...

*There doesn't seem to be a colorful collective noun for grackles, unfortunately.

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