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Well, the tree swallows that were nesting in the nest box right next to the front door have gone along their merry way. (I think I heard a parental sigh of relief.) Normally when baby birds fledge (i.e. leave the nest) you will see them around the yard for a few weeks, trying out their flying skills and begging food from their parents from every tree branch. Not so with swallows, who spend their lives finding food on the wing. I wasn’t there for the actual event, but I have a deep appreciation for a critter who, never having flown before, or even completely stretched out its wings in a small nest box with 3 or 4 siblings, makes that inaugural flight by leaping into the air, trusting to instinct that it will all work out just fine…and it does. I was able to capture these pictures a few days before the babies departed, when they were clearly getting big enough to be ready to go.

TreeSwallowFledgie

The yellow edge to their beaks, which all baby songbirds have, to my knowledge, is called a gape.

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Bugloss

I was really excited to move to a lower elevation and have a longer growing season. But with every new garden comes new challenges as well. My new weed nemesis (which I will happily accept instead of  bindweed in Colorado) is annual bugloss, which is in the borage family, and has the prickles to prove it. It is absolutely everywhere, has been coming up since April, and is STILL germinating.  Read the rest of this entry »

Jennifer Kleffner

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