NOT NOW

storia uccelliStoria Naturale degli Uccelli Trattata con Mmetodo e Adornata di Figure Intagliate in Rame e Miniate al Naturale. Ornithologia methodice digesta atque iconibus aeneis ad vivum illuminatis ornate
Saviero Manetti (1723-1784) (editor)
Lorenzo Lorenzi (act. c. 1760) and Violante Vanni (c. 1732-1776)                     (artists and engravers)

When To Prune Trees: NOT NOW

The idea that we can keep pruning, if we’re careful, is wishful thinking.
When arborists or tree trimmers tell you it’s OK to prune in April, May or June because they will keep an eye out for nests, the blunt translation is: “Forget the birds.”
Although rules exist that require tree workers to stop cutting when active nests are discovered, a nest revealed is a nest imperiled.

In short, only one valid excuse exists for spring or early summer pruning: a danger in which a potentially falling tree threatens life or property.

California has a long nesting season.
Hummingbirds have been broody since January and will remain so for some time.
Think of them when you tell your gardener to leave the hedges, camellias and hibiscuses alone.
Bushtits, swallows, wrens, woodpeckers, phoebes and finches are either sitting on eggs or constructing nests.
Think of them, then put off termite work, gutter repair and tree thinning.

Also: Nothing else does the kind of job that birds do controlling insects.
No pesticide matches their safety for humans.
If your hibiscus has whitefly, it’s probably because constant pruning keeps out the flocks of bushtits that would have devoured the insects.
If unwelcome caterpillars are wreaking havoc on your vegetables, rethink letting the garden crews with buzz saws evict the finches that would otherwise have eaten the pests.
If rats appear on your telephone wires at night, you don’t need poison. You need a hawk.

For trees and shrubs, water deeply and occasionally, say once a month, to avoid the stress of drought.

Years ago, in a bid to stop the routine destruction of nesting grounds in Southern California, the Los Angeles Audubon Society produced the Guide to Bird-Friendly Tree and Shrub Trimming and Removal.
Online versions are available in Spanish and English.


http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/…/…/when-to-prune-trees.html

The Sandpiper

sandpiperGerardus van Veen (circa 1620 – 1683)
Standing Ruff, pen and brown ink, watercolor, and bodycolor


The Sandpiper

The roaring alongside he takes for granted,
and that every so often the world is bound to shake.
He runs, he runs to the south, finical, awkward,
in a state of controlled panic, a student of Blake.

The beach hisses like fat. On his left, a sheet
of interrupting water comes and goes
and glazes over his dark and brittle feet.
He runs, he runs straight through it, watching his toes.

– Watching, rather, the spaces of sand between them
where (no detail too small) the Atlantic drains
rapidly backwards and downwards. As he runs,
he stares at the dragging grains.

The world is a mist. And then the world is
minute and vast and clear. The tide
is higher or lower. He couldn’t tell you which.
His beak is focussed; he is preoccupied,

looking for something, something, something.
Poor bird, he is obsessed!
The millions of grains are black, white, tan, and gray
mixed with quartz grains, rose and amethyst.


Elizabeth Bishop (1911 – 1979)

“Intelligence Is Nothing That Evolved Only Once”

Giovanni Nanni, also Giovanni de' Ricamatori, better known as Giovanni da Udine (1487–1564)

STUDY OF A PARROT, Giovanni da Udine (1487–1564)
Red chalk and gouache, pen and brown ink, black chalk and watercolour

 

Birds are capable of abstract logical reasoning, a trait previously shown only by [that is to say, previously noticed only in] primates.

http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2012/08/african-grey-parrots-have-the-reasoning-skills-of-3-year-olds/

A River No More

Young Kingfishers. The bird book: illustrating in natural colors more than seven hundred North American birds; also several hundred photographs of their nests and eggs by Chester A. Reed.

Young Kingfishers. The bird book: illustrating in natural colors more than seven hundred North American birds; also several hundred photographs of their nests and eggs by Chester A. Reed.

By William Yardley for the New York Times

Philip Fradkin, who died on July 8th, was a writer whose 13 books often focused on the legacy of environmental destruction in the West and took aim at what he and others viewed as the persistent misunderstanding and simplification of the region and its culture by many in the East.
One, “A River No More: The Colorado River and the West,” detailed how water wars, dams and development devastated that river’s natural course.

Philip Lawrence Fradkin was born in Manhattan on Feb. 28, 1935, the son of Dr. Leon H. Fradkin, a dentist who had migrated from Russia, and Elvira Kush, an activist who wrote and advocated for disarmament and women’s rights. He became enamored of the West during a road trip with his father when he was 14.

After graduating from Williams College he made his way westward, working for small newspapers in California in the early 1960s before being hired by The Los Angeles Times in 1964. He shared in a Pulitzer Prize the paper received in 1966 for its coverage of the Watts riots, and later covered the Vietnam War.

In 1970 he created an environmental beat at the paper. He left in 1975 — he said his editor had told him his articles were tilting toward environmentalism — and became an environmental policy expert in the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/us/philip-fradkin-writer-of-western-themes-dies-at-77.html

Ground Birds in Open Country

John Ruskin, Study of a peacock feather, 1863

John Ruskin, Study of a peacock feather, 1863

They fly up in front of you so suddenly,
tossed, like gravel, by the handful,
kicked like snow or dead leaves into life.
Or if it's spring they break back and forth
like schools of fish silver at the surface,
like the swifts I saw in the hundreds
over the red tile roofs of Assisi—
they made shadows, they changed sunlight,
and at evening, before vespers,
waved back to the blackbird nuns.
My life list is one bird at a time long,
what Roethke calls looking. The eye,
particular for color, remembers when 
a treeful would go gray with applause,
in the middle of nowhere, in a one-oak field.
I clapped my hands just for the company.
As one lonely morning, green under glass,
a redwing flew straight at me, its shoulders
slick with rain that hadn't fallen yet.
In the birdbook there, where the names are,
it's always May, and the thing so fixed
we can see it—Cerulean, Blackpoll, Pine.
The time one got into the schoolroom
we didn't know what it was, but it sang,
it sailed along the ceiling on all sides,
and blew back out, wild, still lost,
before any of us, stunned, could shout
it down. And in a hallway once,
a bird went mad, window by locked window,
the hollow echo length of a building.
I picked it up closed inside my hand.
I picked it up and tried to let it go.
They fly up so quickly in front of you,
without names, in the slurred shapes of wings.
Scatter as if shot from twelve-gauge guns.
Or they fly from room to room, from memory
past the future, having already gathered
                in great numbers on the ground.
 Stanley Plumly

Published in: on September 16, 2011 at 10:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

A Kingfisher On A Branch

Jacques le Moyne de Morgues (c. 1533–1588)

 

We don’t need to eat anyone who would run, swim, or fly away from us if he could.

~James Cromwell