biography of Elizabeth Lawrence

Jim McKenney
Mon, 07 Feb 2005 05:29:23 PST
At 07:27 AM 2/7/2005 -0500, Judy wrote:
>I've seen a robin, and a flock of bluebirds but the garden is still covered
>with snow, melting slowly day by day.

Here, several hundred miles south of you , we've been seeing robins for
over a week. I always wonder about these early robins: are they our
local-born-and-bred robins, or are they the ones on their way to Canada? 

The local birds are beginning to sing a bit, almost as if practicing. 

Having revealed myself in a recent Alpine-L posting to be a champion of
noxious weeds, I will now reveal another of my lapses in judgement. We have
a flock of over fifty house sparrows in the garden. They also roost in the
thick shrubs and move around the outside of the house, following the sun.
On sunny winter days their constant chatter and merry chirping fill the
house - it's a very cheerful sound. They are not without their faults.
Years ago they adopted a big winter jasmine as a favorite roost - not only
do the buds and flowers provide a sort of salad bar, but the dense twiggy
growth provides perfect cover when a Cooper's hawk shows up. I've watched
dozens of the sparrows dive into the jasmine so deeply that you would not
guess that there is a bird in that bush. Then, after a few minutes, someone
must give the all clear, and little heads begin to pop up out of the bush -
When the crocus begin to bloom soon I'll have a different opinion of their
activity, but for now they are welcome.

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where I've heard red bellied
woodpeckers and titmice warming up. 

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