not bulbs but cool

Tim Eck
Sat, 31 May 2014 09:05:55 PDT
When we built our house near the Susquehanna river, my wife wanted songbirds
so we put up birdfeeders and spread birdseed on the deck, etc.  But not a
single bit of bird food was eaten and not a single bird appeared for several
years, until I got too busy to keep the brush down.  Now, I can watch the
eagles and hawks soaring on the updrafts from the upper deck and watch the
songbirds dart from the bushes and shrubs near the lower deck.
'obvious in retrospect'
In Lancaster county PA.

-----Original Message-----
From: pbs [] On Behalf Of Richard
Sent: Saturday, May 31, 2014 11:37 AM
To: Pacific Bulb Society
Subject: [pbs] not bulbs but cool

A seed collecting story - I shared this story with nursery staff thought you
would like this one too.

I've beed collecting Twinberry, (Lonicera involucrata), fruits this week.
This early season crop always is available just after the cottonwood fluff
is flying. It's a matter of a seasonal heavy flush of fruits that overwhelm
the birds who feed on the berries. The plant has black  'involucrate' bracts
the look very much like fruits after they are gone and attract birds (and
seed collectors) to harvest every last berry on the plant. Later ripenings
of berries are gradual and birds get them all.

For a seed collector it is not worthwhile to pick fruits where birds have
taken most of the them. Wandering around the county Wednesday collecting in
neighborhood roadsides, I was musing that households maintaining bird
feeders, attracting them in abundance, that the nearby twinberry  are
completely cleaned of fruits. Hmmm, hard to prove just a seed collectors

Yesterday, however I was on the back end of this fruit flush. Driving
through Skagit county on backroads most of the plants had been cleaned of
fruits by birds. So I headed towards Conway where we usually harvest Pacific
Willow seed. Taking the I-5 exit I noticed some twinberry plants in a
wetland meadow that were heavy with berries. Pulled in and started
collecting and the grove was exactly under an active nest of Red Tail Hawks.
I collected 2 gallons of huge black berries in the shade of a small
cottonwood grove while the pair of hawks flew overhead and complained
loudly. Not a single berry had been taken by birds from these bushes, yet
about 200 yards away in the same meadow these shrubs were cleaned off. 

Rich H

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