Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Prettiest Thieves

Here up North, one needs a lot of winter interest in the garden.


On either side of our front door, I planted deciduous Winterberry Holly bushes.


They were full of winter interest.


Even in the snow the bright berries stood out.


They evidently stood out a little too much.


They caught the eye of some local wildlife.


A family of bluebirds greatly enjoyed my winter interest bushes.


Now my bushes don't have nearly so much winter interest.


But I do garden for wildlife as well, so what can I say?  


They really were the prettiest thieves!

33 comments:

  1. Perfect! The berries were lovely while they lasted, and provided nourishment for your beautiful guests. What more can one ask for?! :)

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    1. I have had a lot of fun watching the birds out of my window, too! I have a feeder in the front yard, so the birds congregate on the bushes and tree outside my windows.

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  2. Hey, I'm impressed that you got to the snow-covered berry stage at all! I never get through October without the birds eating them all. Plus how adorable is that bluebird?

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    1. I was impressed they made it that long, too! Maybe it's because they are right next to the front door. We have some sort of deciduous hollies in our woods, too, and those berries didn't make it nearly this long!

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  3. India, I'm so glad that you remember me and you visited my blog!
    Winterberry is a beautiful, colorful plants.
    I see that you are a great food for birds.
    I send greetings from distant and cold Polish.
    Lucia

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    1. It's pretty cold here, too, this winter! So looking forward to spring!

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  4. Lovely pictures and I especially loved the ones with the bluebirds on, I am still not very competent when it comes to taking bird pictures and find taking pictures of flowers so much easier!

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    1. I use the sports setting on my camera and a zoom lens, which helps a great deal. It is hard getting good shots when inside the house, though, as the lighting is off. And if I get too close to the window, I startle the bluebirds!

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    2. Well, that’s my problem you see, cause I can’t see my garden from any window in the house downstairs, apart from my kitchen window, where I have to lean over the work surface to spot about a quarter of the garden. So taking bird pictures means actually being outside and waiting for the birds to turn up and then get the camera and start shooting. And with my tiny garden I soon scare off the few that actually dare landing while I am there. So I haven’t taken more than I few reasonably OK ones and none really good ones yet. I think I need a different house to become a bird spotter :-)

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  5. Winterberry is such a wonderful shrub for winter and the birds do love it, which is an added bonus. I enjoyed your beautiful photographs of the berries against the snow. We are snowy here on Long Island as well.

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    1. I've been wanting to get winterberry bushes for awhile now, and now that I have my new garden up here, they seemed perfect! They were so pretty around Christmas time, with all the red berries in the snow!

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  6. They are so pretty...the berries and the birds! Great to see that the local wildlife is finding a happy home in your garden so quickly!

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    1. I have an impressive number of birds here, probably due to a decent amount of woods. They can clean out the bird feeders quite quickly! And the squirrels here seem less numerous and less ambitious, amazingly!

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  7. Wow, what beautiful thieves, I'm glad the pretty berries went to good use, though! Adorable little birds, I'm hoping our wild birds pull through this latest cold snap, we're going down to -20 for a daytime high. This has been a long winter.

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    1. Wow, that is cold!! I do worry about the birds when it dips so low (though it hasn't dipped THAT low here.) There are a couple hollowed out trees in our woods, and I always wonder if they huddle together in them when it is cold. Such a cold winter this year!

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  8. I never planted Winterberry because my neighbor had a hedge of it. Once she moved, the new people ripped it all out and with it went the wildlife that dined on it. They are a great plant to have in winter for the birds, and they look pretty in the snow as you have shown.

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    1. Oh how sad! A winterberry hedge would be so pretty. I wonder why they ripped it out. Did they just put in more lawn?

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  9. I wait impatiently for the bluebirds to return here. Color you lucky!

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    1. I am very lucky. I noticed bluebirds hanging out in my front yard right away when I moved in, so they must live in the woods right near my house. They are so pretty to watch!

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  10. Great photos! Those bushes provided you more winter interest than you had expected!

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    1. Ha, very true! I have enjoyed watching them out there!

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  11. Hi Indie
    What great shots of great bushes! I have always loved Winterberry bushes - those bright red berries are hard to beat - design wise and (obviously) menu-wise!

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    1. Thank you! It is interesting that it is only the bluebirds I see eating them, though I have juncos, cardinals, chickadees, and other birds out there. They must be extra delicious for the bluebird palate!

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  12. I love watching our bluebirds find berries....they are pretty thieves!! And they will stay around your garden I bet. If you have or can put up a house for them, they will definitely keep coming back.

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    1. Right when I moved in to our house, I noticed the bluebirds hanging out in the trees in my front yard, so they must live around here. I'll have to put up a bluebird house - it would be so great to see some bluebird babies!

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  13. haha - The berries on those bushes were absolutely gorgeous until the birds ate them all! But, you're right - watching the birds is so fascinating, I guess giving up your berries for them is well worth it. I love the look of those winterberry hollies! I'll have to check them out to see if they will grow here.

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    1. I'll bet they'd grow there, they are native to most of the eastern US. I saw them when I lived in North Carolina and knew I wanted them in my garden at some point!

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  14. This is the best winter interest you could have! I'd love to see a bluebird here.

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    1. I probably get a lot less done each day because I'm too busy looking out my window watching the birds! They are so pretty.

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  15. Hmmmmmm....Might one suggest gluing these on next year. You'll have pretty berries and the birds'll stay longer trying to nibble them off...Win! Win!

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    1. Ha, I had birds try to nibble the fake berries on the Christmas wreath on the front door. (I felt rather badly about that.) The only thing is I couldn't see them through the door - maybe getting fake winterberry bushes is the answer? ;)

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  16. Ah ha! I'll bet you didn't have to use a telephone lens with the birds this close. But a "frond" door? Girl, please fix that. I have you in my wordpress reader but it apparently is not notifying me of your new posts.

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    1. Oh, my! Can I blame my type editor, Mr. Red House, for that? ;)
      That's too bad about the wordpress reader! I'll ask my tech support (also Mr. Red House) about it..

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