Thursday, April 12, 2012

Early Bird

This morning, while stepping out to move our vehicle, I noticed a group of house sparrows, fat as they are around here, fluttering about the shrub rose. I can't recall ever seeing any birds in the garden, so I thought it odd.

Keeping to the driver's seat, I then watched them move over to the New Dawn climber, this time pecking at the tips of newly formed rose buds. Aphids, of course. But why would these birds suddenly be taking an interest in aphids? They are always there, but again, I have yet to see any local birds care to be about these thorny bushes.

Then it hit me. They, the proverbial canary, are reacting to the utter lack of water in the neighborhood. Aphids are, not unlike last summer's tomatoes in that nasty hot and dry spell, a water source in times of scarcity.

We are in the midst of a garden drought -my coinage for drought conditions gardeners face when it doesn't seriously rain for such an extended period that we become deeply concerned yet the greater population has not begun to notice. With such glorious sunny days and full reservoirs, what's to notice? But a gardener's drought is often a farmers' drought, becoming a local foodie drought. And we wouldn't want that. So, even though no significant rain is forecast for the next ten days, I for one am hoping that forecast is mistaken.

Sparrows doing their good work.


  1. I got hit with a few drops this afternoon and got all excited and then it just pooped out. It's sure looked like it was going to rain the last few days and even smelled like it too. Wah.

  2. I'm still waiting for those acclaimed April showers. It looks like I'll have to get the hose out earlier than usual.

  3. Hope they turned on the water at the garden. It's gonna be a long dry stretch.


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