Phriday Pheathers – Ransacked Zinnias

Adorable August Bandits have been ransacking my zinnias. Do I care…only a little, and why is that? Even without every petal the nectar-producing disk florets are alive and will be visited by hummingbirds and butterflies.

Goldfinches are the bandits. The male is bold and brash, watching me carefully, but staying in plain sight.

The female likes to forage amid the cover of the zinnia leaves.

They aren’t the only ransackers in the garden. I’m a guilty party too, stripping off petals to press between the pages of a book. They will retain their bright colors and be useful in crafts later in the year.

Each petal has a seed attached. I break these away before pressing. Aha! I’ve had a great idea.

I gather the seeds and take them to the garden. The ring of florets on the zinnia makes a perfect miniature bird feeder for the goldfinches. This post is part of August Photo A Day Challenge/Start With A – August 3rd.

Pheathers & Problem-Solving – Cutting Back on Success

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I love feeding the birds. I have suet and seed feeders spaced out across my back yard. Standing at the kitchen window, or sitting on the porch, watching the feeding birds brings me joy…until this past month. Within a matter of a week my yard was overtaken with “bully” birds. Large grackles, still feeding their adult-sized babies, descended upon my feeders. Now at times, I must admit, I did enjoy the exuberant cackling chatter of the grackles, but as the days progressed, more grackles arrived, and soon my beautiful songbirds moved on to areas less consumed by the flocks of big birds.

I remedied the situation by removing all feeders for a few days. I’ve recently put up a very small, squirrel proof feeder again, and it has been visited by the birds I desire. Yesterday, I once again saw a goldfinch, and even a hummingbird felt safe to visit my gardens. Grackles can be fun for a few moments, a bit like a wild and raucous party, but for my yard, I choose the soft soothing sounds of the songbirds.