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Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 15, 11 at 11:30

This thread is intended to give people a place to post photos and/or talk about birds, critters, wildlife, fish, whatever - topics you might not want to start a whole thread on, but are still garden-related. You can see the range of possible topics in the previous threads:

Birds and other mobile features in the garden

Birds and other mobile features in the garden #2

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2009

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2010

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2010 #2

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2010 #3

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2010 #4

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2010 #5

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2010 #6

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #1

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #2

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #3

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #4

Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #5

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I've been seeing more hawks lately; here a juvenile Cooper's Hawk surveying the bird feeder area.
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Cardinals are very wary of hawks and don't hang around long to be photographed. I just caught this one in the winterberry probably waiting for the berries to ripen. He flew away as soon as he saw me (or my camera lens). I have winterberry fruits again! Last year there were none.
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And then there's a chipmunk that's learned it can con me into giving it peanuts if it scampers near my feet while I'm eating breakfast out on the deck. It's astonishing how much they can stuff into that pouch.
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Did I forget any? there must be another one here somewhere...
Image and video hosting by TinyPica

Claire


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

I know little lives run when they come, but hawks are interesting. That handful of peanuts gives new meaning to stuffed chipmunk. Holy cow...look at that cheek pouch! Any margarita to go with the nuts?

They've stopped the mother/baby feeding routine just recently. Last week the red belly woodpeckers were still at it with their last brood:


Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 20, 11 at 20:22

"..last brood"? You must have a full flight squadron of red-bellies in your yard! ...and you're able to stand handling warm suet all summer... that's more than I can do. I was just thinking the other day that it was almost getting cool enough to put suet out again.

Great pics of the woodpeckers.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 27, 11 at 17:24

The Eastern Red Cedar berries are getting ripe and the cardinals are beginning to nosh on them. They've been checking out the cedars for a while, but today is the first time I noticed them eating. The robins and cedar waxwings will probably stop by soon.

Here a female cardinal:
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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

and a male cardinal:
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Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

Claire - those cardinal photos would make an excellent christmas card photo!


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

Beautiful shots of the cardinals!


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

This guy was hanging out on my clothesline a couple weeks ago. Maybe a broadwing hawk?

Hawk


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 1, 11 at 11:48

I'm not a hawk expert, but Broad-winged Hawk certainly fits. I'm getting an image of two hawks on a clothesline holding a sheet out to dry.

Hawks are migrating now - in the past week I saw one very big hawk flying by along the coastal bank. I'm used to seeing gulls flying around but they look very effortless, just soaring in whatever direction. At first my attention was caught by the very powerful flight movement and then I saw the hawk-type head. It was like the difference between seeing a sailboat (a gull) and a locomotive (hawk). I don't know which type of hawk it was.

Another big one flew right by my deck. Of course I didn't have the camera ready. The crows have been going crazy yelling about the hawks, I saw one chasing a Cooper's hawk which is a more reasonable size to attack.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

Hello
Just stopped by to say hello and let the photographers here know that your pictures are amazing... and thank you so much for sharing them. Jane, I think you do have the perfect holiday card there...just beautiful! Hmm, I thought the male was supposed to be the prettiest? Maybe just the most colorful. That female cardinal in the first photo is just nature at its most beautiful.
Susan


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

As the garden season winds down, I'm greedily taking pleasure in the plants that are still blooming. I've been watching as the bumblebees settle down to sleep in the evenings. They are particularly fond of this type of dahlia, and I will consistently find them in the bloom, so "frozen" in their stupor state, that I can gently touch them, without them reacting. (Yes, I admit to occasionally petting the bees!)

Of course, you can't see the fact that they are immobile, but, trust me. This bloom has one bee...

Photobucket

some blossoms have two or more bees...
Photobucket

and, this guy/gal hangs on the petal all night....

Photobucket

Emily
Western MA


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 14, 11 at 20:20

What lovely pics, Emily! I didn't know bees liked dahlias, but they look like they belong there. I envy you getting to pet them - I haven't tried, but maybe I will try on one of the bees that hangs on the jelly feeder in the morning. I just have to be careful because there are a few yellow-jackets and bald-faced hornets hanging around too.

Something empties the jelly feeder very early most mornings, or maybe in the night, and most of the bees are gone when I go out in the morning. They seem to know me; at least they appear out of nowhere and a few will follow me around when I get near with a jelly jar. Sometimes one will land on me. Today I adjusted the feeder on my way to the car and then got into the car without realizing that a bee was inadvertently coming along for the ride. A little frantic buzzing when I closed the door got my attention and I let the worried bee out.

That's a gorgeous dahlia too.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

So, I finally catch on camera, the culprits who have been eating the Swiss chard, Impatiens capensis, and Aster laevis. They also ate my morning glories down twice, but then I got smart and laid down 4 foot wire fencing flat on the ground along the back and sides of the trellis. This worked great! They don't like walking on it, and the Morning glories made something of a comeback.

I think this is a Mama and her 3 youngsters.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

Terrene, what a great capture! Would that be Yvonne's Salvia I see in the picture, too?

Claire, the dahlia is Atropurpurea (a mouthful) from Old House Gardens. That purple color is really gorgeous, unlike any other purple flower I have. The bumbles don't seem to care for the other dahlias that have more cactus-like blooms. Go figure.

Emily


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 15, 11 at 10:33

That's an interesting idea, terrene, of laying the four foot wire fencing flat on the ground. I suppose it wouldn't work if the deer were desperate, but might just deter them in normal times.

I wonder if it would help to lay the fencing down in combination with an upright fence. Maybe the deer wouldn't be willing to jump up over the fence if they had to take off while standing on the wire on the ground.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

Hi Emily, that is indeed Yvonnes! These plants are descendents of your seeds. It has done fabulously this year! One of the tricks is making sure that the slugs don't get it when they're little. Slugs LOVE Salvia. The last couple years, my plants didn't do so well and they never set seed. This year I've collected lots of seed to share in SASBEs.

Claire, the previous owner of this house and I were having lunch and she mentioned that her brother-in-law uses cattle guard for their driveway. They have the entire yard fenced off, and cattle grid laid down across the driveway. Livestock won't walk across it.

The deer really don't like walking on the fencing. Mine is old rusty fencing that is kinda uneven. It is very wobbly and unsteady, they can't get their footing. Even my cat doesn't like walking on it (and I have to watch not to trip over it!).


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 15, 11 at 15:51

I just added terrene's comments to the How do I keep deer and moose from eating up my garden? FAQ

Maybe this will help someone. Thanks, terrene!

Claire


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RE RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 15, 11 at 16:26

This morning I looked out my kitchen window and saw a robin eating pokeberries just outside the window. I couldn't get my camera in time, but I had another chance (and more) this afternoon.

I was out on the deck treasuring the last few times I can sit out there with my computer (ignoring the fact that the temperature was dropping and the cold wind picking up off the bay). There was a lot of activity in the cedar trees, first a bunch of robins:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

and then a Northern Flicker arrived!
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

There are at least two robins still up there, but I think I'd better go inside - I'm sitting here with my hoodie zipped and the hood on but it's getting chilly.

Claire (in season denial)


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

Claire, I'm joining you in "season denial," despite the fact that our local paper announced today that we are due for our first killing frost very soon.

I really love that first shot of the robin behind the cedar berries.
Emily


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Oct 23, 11 at 16:40

Today I noticed a few Common Grackles visiting the feeders. This is an unusual time for them - they usually leave in mid-summer and don't come back until next spring. Occasionally one will stay for the winter, but that's rare. Maybe they're migrating through and just stopped because they know the area.

To me the grackle is a beautiful bird, as well as being a voracious caterpillar eater, so they're welcome. Looks good with the ornamental grasses.
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This may be a juvenile (lighter color) and an adult (giving me the suspicious eye).
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

I agree, the Grackle is a stunning bird--and, one who would certainly win any stare-down contest!

I was excited to see a Hermit Thrush in my yard briefly this morning. My urban neighborhood is not where they "hang out," but, I read that they do migrate through. This guy was visiting my water fountain, and poking through the leaves. Another reason not to rake.

I had mixed emotions when I also saw my first Junco of the season today. I do like those little birds, but, they are a true harbinger of winter!

Emily


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 24, 11 at 16:09

Ah, Emily, there are so many reasons not to rake! Hermit Thrushes, Eastern Towhees, various sparrows - all sorts of birds digging around for insects in the leaves. I figure I have to rake enough so that I have paths to the bird feeders (and so I don't offend the neighbors' sensibilities....).

Hermit Thrushes winter over here and I sometimes see them. None yet this year, and no juncoes either, but fall is long on the SE coast. Lots of robins today, one was just taking a bath in a bird bath.

I've continued putting jam in the oriole/catbird feeder even though the orioles are long gone. I did see a catbird last week, but it was eating pokeberries.

The jam feeder has become a buzzer/insect feeder. At first I did it on general principles; "pollinators are good, should encourage pollinators", but I'm getting enthralled with seeing what shows up that I didn't know was here. I've also been reading that wasps and hornets will sting when defending their nests, but usually don't sting away from the nest unless they're stepped on or grabbed. Since I have no desire to step on or grab a stinging insect, I'm gingerly getting close to the feeder. I did finally pet a bumblebee that was sluggish in the cold early one morning.

Today I was admiring the insect mosh pit and thinking how beautiful the yellow-jackets and bald-faced hornets were together (yellow and black and white stripes), when I noticed that there was a BIG insect in with them that looked like a huge wasp also eating the jam.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Diligent searching led to a probable identification as a European Giant Hornet which has a "Distribution: southern Massachusetts, south to Georgia, west to Indiana". These are predators of smaller insects like bees, wasps and hornets, but here it's eating jam. Another creature that would rather eat dessert than eat an entree.

I guess these insects will all die off or go to hibernate after the first frost, but it's a nice segue to Project FeederWatch season which starts in November.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

Claire - those bees are really amazing!

I found this guy on my slate walkway this morning. Before it warmed up. He wasn't really moving. I debated just leaving him there, but in the end I moved him into the grass.

I have no idea what he is.

Salamander


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 9, 11 at 11:38

Pixie_lou: Maybe a salamander? It certainly looks out of place on a slate walkway. Perhaps something fished it out of your pond and decided it didn't taste good and left it there.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Nov 15, 11 at 10:14

Project FeederWatch has started and the feeder birdwatching season will continue until April 6. Birdwatching is always a good positive reason to look at your garden instead of getting depressed about the dormant plants.

The turkeys are enjoying the warm weather, with one of them here lying down and attending to the morning grooming. Not worried about the approach of Thanksgiving - this is a turkey safe zone.

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Sunrise this morning was beautiful with most of the leaves off the trees.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

Very fortunate turkeys and a beautiful sunrise, Claire. Looks so much better than the doves and junco during our Arborgeddon.

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Nov 15, 11 at 17:23

Wow, Jane, you really got hit by the snowstorm! Were you without power for any time? And how did your trees and shrubs fare?

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

No power, water, or heat for 8 days, no house damage was a blessing, but lots of tree/shrub damage as most of central CT incurred. One of our maples cracked and closed a street for a day, the old rhodies in the new border were uprooted by weight of snow - had to restake and secure them using the riding mower to pull them back up off the ground. 20' tall new heritage birches bent to the ground, but did not snap. Large Prairefire crabapple lost its whole top and young ones snapped in half, on and on. However, looking around the world with its mudslides, flooding, fires, et cetera, we have been fortunate. But I'm quitting gardening...
again...probably...at least till spring...nothing till those Dark Eyed Juncos leave!


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Nov 15, 11 at 20:16

Those eight days must have a horror - and seeing the rhodies and trees damaged to boot. At least the house and bodies were undamaged. Spring will come, really, it will, and Mother Nature is a marvelous healer.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

Photobucket

Ms. Pileated came to snack on some crabapples


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 23, 11 at 9:42

Lovely photo! I've never seen a Pileated Woodpecker - snow seems like a distant memory too. Just a lot of wet, wind-blown birds and squirrels here.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Nov 25, 11 at 11:32

I was just sitting at my computer where I can see out of one window and have a limited view of the kitchen window as well. Out of the corner of my eye I saw movement, glanced over, and saw a Cooper's Hawk on the pokeberry and rose a few feet way from the kitchen window. The camera was next to me so I grabbed it and got two shots before the hawk flew off. I don't think I've ever seen a hawk that close.

That explains why there were no small birds in view out of the computer window.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

Love the Pileated woodpecker...their voice makes me think of pterodactyls--not that I've heard any of those, but, they sound imposing! And, Claire, how lucky to have your camera while that hawk was right there. Great capture. They always look so stern!

Emily


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

Great capture Claire.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

Excellent timing on the hawk visit - very nice shot. The way the bird is framed by civilization almost makes the bird look tame. Well done, Claire.

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Nov 27, 11 at 10:11

Thanks, Jane. Another example of fortuitous good timing this morning - I went into the kitchen to get some more coffee this morning (camera had been left on the island) and saw this Cooper's Hawk on a birdfeeder hook.

It looked around a bit
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and then decided "Gotta go"
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and it was gone, leaving some ripples in the atmosphere.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Turkeys

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Nov 28, 11 at 12:40

And of course the turkeys are still here - relaxing on a nice warm day with the Thanksgiving angst past. When they're finished eating they often lounge around in the brush. It gives me yet another excuse not to clean up the yard.

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

The bottom turkey photo would be nice framed!

No photo of the visitors per se, but moments ago I was here in my office reading online when thunderous pounding occurred outside my windows. I jumped up and saw 2 horses running between my rhododendron border and the house. I admit my first impulse was to grab the camera, but instinct took me outside to calm them. I was surprised and glad that they actually obeyed my "Stay". I drove over to the owner's house who did not know the horses were out for a stroll. They're back home now and the prints will diminish come spring, and for today, they were my "Backyard Mobile Features".

Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 30, 11 at 16:39

Horses in your yard?? Did you tie them up, and to what, while you went to inform the owner? I'm picturing the horses tethered to your fence and looking for some nice perennials to munch on. Good thing the perennials are mostly dormant now. Most gardeners complain about deer, not horses.

And did they at least leave you some nice manure for your compost pile?

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

Yup, in the yard. They live 2 houses up, but across the street - a few acres away. No, didn't tie them - didn't want to spook them. They actually stopped and listened to me while calming them down and stayed and munched grass while I zipped up the street. No, no manure samples, but in retrospect, they're actually preferable to deer who eat everything, lol!


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

Fabulous photos,Claire!


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 8, 11 at 14:27

Thanks, franeli. Do you have Cedar Waxwings eating your winterberries?

Today I saw one scout checking out the berries. I think they're not quite ready yet since the main flock didn't come by. A robin was looking around about a week ago.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The winterberries may not be ripe yet, but I just looked out the back windows and saw a lot of waxwings on the red cedars where there are still some berries left.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I hope I catch the next visit to the winterberries - the waxwings swoop through, gobble up the fruit, and then they're gone. All in the blink of an eye, or a camera if I'm around.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

I always have a large flock of Cedar Waxwings in the spring. They swoop in to eat all the service berries before the berries ripen. I think I have about 9 large shrubs and they are picked clean in no time. I'll continue to see the wax wings off and on during the year. They usually come for crabapples mid winter.
Last year I had an enormous flock of robins come through during the fall and they ate every single winterberry...I have about 3 dozen of these shrubs including shrubs along a wetland area.
Early fall of this year, turkeys ate all the crabapples from one of my trees;funny sight to watch. When Ms. pileated comes to eat crabapples, she has a hard time clinging to the branches as she grabs a fruit and she squawks and squawks the entire time she's feeding. I can hear her squawking from inside the house. Funny.


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Dec 13, 11 at 14:45

This thread is getting long, but I'd rather wait until the new year (2012) to start a new thread. That way I avoid problems of naming it - I can start out with 2012 #1. I hope this isn't a problem with loading for too many people.

...................................................................... .............
Nights are getting cold now, even here on the coast, and it's time for lawn dragons to start their annual migration to a warmer clime.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The transport vehicle is my new wagon meant to transport heavy stuff from the car to the house. Like big bags of bird seed. The wagon even has little red skis that interchange with the wheels for snowy, icy weather! An early Christmas present.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The dragon is now sheltering on my porch, next to the bucket of gloves (also mobile features in my garden).
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 22, 11 at 12:18

A few days ago a Dark-eyed Junco decided to feed on my nyjer feeder. I'd never seen this before - usually just goldfinches and an occasional chickadee. While I was watching, another junco flew up and kicked the first junco off the feeder just like they do on the ground. Feisty little birds.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

This was when we still had some snow. It's all gone now.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Dec 26, 11 at 10:21

Turkeys here are very law-abiding; they observe the Wild Turkey Crossing Zone, single-file of course.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

Even though I don't always post, I continue to enjoy all the photos and commentary in this thread! There's something about the turkeys that always make me smile...

Emily


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

And of course the turkeys looked both ways before crossing the street!

I'm happy with my new camera. I was able to take a picture of this squirrel way up high in the tree today!

Squirrel


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Dec 26, 11 at 21:15

Me too, Emily. I still think "Turkeys!" every time I see them, even when they're gobbling up all the food I just put down for the other, smaller birds. And crows are smaller birds when there are turkeys in the yard.

Nice shot, pixie_lou! A good zoom really frees you up and expands your world. There's all sorts of things going on that you just don't usually notice with your ordinary vision. Field glasses are great, but they don't freeze the action like a camera does. You can take a quick photo and then figure out later what it was.

I'm looking forward to seeing your new photos.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

Feeders are just as busy as when the ground is snow covered. Personally, I'm delighted not to be shoveling and it appears that this Northern Flicker is also happy resting in a warmed birch today:

Then, a bit later this afternoon, 10 robins gathered in an old large maple and in pairs, they came to the crabapple tree and the chokeberry bushes.

Thanks to digital camera directories in the magic PC, this is 32 days earlier for berry eating than last year. Last year the robins and Cedar Waxwings came together. No waxwings yet.

All the best to everyone in 2012,
Jane


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Jan 1, 12 at 17:28

That's a great flicker picture, Jane - such a dapper bird with his waistcoat and cravat.

Maybe your snowstorm disaster last month helped ripen the berries early.

All the best to you too for the new year.

Claire


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RE: New thread

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Jan 1, 12 at 17:29

I'll start a new thread very soon, maybe tomorrow. I'm hoping to have some nice photos to post to start it off, but I may have to start without.

Claire


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RE: Birds and other mobile features in the garden 2011 #6

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 2, 12 at 10:53

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