Anyone notice it is just not people who are glad winter is finally done? Everywhere one looks there is fun and frivolity happening between the sexes. If you have not taken note yet…sit in a garden for an hour or so. It is a microscopic window into the world of promiscuity and sex.
The birds alone are delightful entertainment for their courtship rituals and industrious scavenging for nest-building materials.
We have been royally treated to some delightful antics by the house finches. It is very easy to spot these finches right now as the males are quite dashing in their brilliant red plumage. And very amorous! There have been such carryings-on as they chase after their lady-love. When one has finally been attracted…well, let’s just say, “It’s spring!”
Okay, so much for the fling thing. The female house finches then switched their attentions to finding a suitable nesting site. Once selected, construction began immediately.
When it comes to house finches and nest building, it appears to be the female who does all the work. We have watched one particular female as she pulled and tugged at the strands of twine holding the grape cordons to the arbour, trying industriously to unravel a few threads.
Meanwhile, her mate stood near by chattering at her the whole time…whether he was providing instruction on how best to accomplish her task or perhaps trying to entice her into more…well, you know.
Skip forward a few days and I am happy to report there is at least one family of house finches being raised in our cedar hedge.
We think there is also a family of hummingbirds in a different cedar tree further along in the hedge. There has been much flying back and forth from cedar hedge to chestnut tree. But we have not been able to pinpoint the exact cedar tree so are not able to confirm the existence of a hummingbird nest for sure. We are reluctant to investigate too closely for fear of disturbing the happy couple if such is the case.
I have discovered a female robin nesting on our downspout where it curves down under the eave. She sits on her nest very quietly, only her yellow bill and tail visible sticking over the edges. Not nearly as vocal as the house finches right now. However, I am sure we will hear all kinds of scolding as we pass by on the pathway from front to back garden once the babies are hatched.
But the promiscuity going on in the garden is not just restricted to the birds. The bees have been very active chasing after any available nectar for their nests. They need to build up those stores to feed the many larvae that will be hatching soon.
It is heart-warming to see those honey bees back for another year. Life has not been too kind to our little friend. Horrible decimations of entire colonies continue to happen in all parts of the world with no clear answers as to the real culprit…although there are any number of suspicions being floated around.
While the scientists quibble at finding the answer, I just give thanks we still have bees in our garden. And abundantly. Just about everywhere I look the bees are busy collecting their nectar, as well as getting coated in pollen. More promiscuity in the garden.
Now it is the plants’ turn. Pollen being passed from stamens to pistils from which fresh seeds will begin to develop in the ovaries to carry on procreation of their own species.
Ah, yes. It is most definitely spring and sex is happening in the garden.
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In case you have not heard…our garden is now open every weekend on Fridays and Saturdays from 12 to 4 p.m. through until the end of June. Check out my website at www.duchessofdirt.ca for complete details and a list of some of the plants we currently have for sale. Happy gardening!
Leslie Cox co-owns Growing Concern Cottage Garden in Black Creek.