Garden Notes, August 6

August 6th, 2003

Birds: saw either 3 hummingbirds or 1 hummingbird 3 times between 5 and 5:30 this afternoon. It came around the Buddleja and the Lantana, but spent the most time around the Cuphea. It also perched a couple of times in the little oak tree near where I was sitting. While this was going on there was a pair of goldfinches and a downy woodpecker at the Nuttery feeder and a cardinal on the ground.

I just received my first issue of Backyard Bird News today and read it cover to cover this afternoon. I learned that I have been misspelling Buddleia all these years – it is supposed to be Buddleja, with a J not an I. I had noticed this in English gardening magazines, but thought it was a regional variation.

Insects: just noticed last week (or was it the week before?) the cicadas chirping in the woods. They are doing it just now.

Chores: deadheaded the Cosmos and Buddleja yesterday, and watered the containers in back today. All our episodes of rain lately didn’t do much good. The lawn service was here yesterday around noon, spraying herbicide everywhere

Planets: the weather finally cleared up this morning and when I went out to get the paper (around 5:45 am), Mars was shining brightly in the southwest. I now see what all the fuss is about – with the naked eye you can see that it is a disk and not a point of light. I had seen Mars in the morning earlier in the summer when we were at the Outer Banks, but didn’t know what it was until after we got home. Then it was visible in the east even as the sun was rising. Hope we get some clear weather for more observing while it is close and bright.

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