Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Buckeye Birds

Northern Cardinal, female
in snow

A small tree stands just beyond my back-facing window.
As it grows steadily, taller every year, I’ve come to realize that this lanky specimen brought proudly home from school by my fourth-grader over 15 years ago, is much like the long-legged, hungry puppy, whose large feet hint at its future size while it waits, wagging--innocently asking for a home.
It’s an Ohio Buckeye—our state tree. And although the woods edging our property contain an assortment of others—pin and shingle oaks, shagbark and pignut hickories, sycamore, honey locust, sugar, red and silver maples, black cherry, white pine and spruce—the buckeye wasn’t here. The small tree with the broad palmate leaves and the beautifully doe-eyed fruit was missing from the woods of our new Ohio home.
So I planted it where all could see—the short, spindly stem with four huge, 9-inch leaves, just beyond my back-facing window.


Northern Cardinal, male and female
in Ohio Buckeye


Now, approaching 15 feet in height, I wish I had planted it further than the 8 feet it stands from our house at the woods’ edge. But its closeness brings the birds to our backdoor. In the spring, its sweet, tubular flowers in tall pyramids of pale yellow attract hummingbirds to sip its nectar. And, with leaves fallen through the winter months, its slender horizontal branches fill with feeder birds, dashing in to snag a sunflower seed or darting down beneath it, foraging from the snow-covered ground.
These are my Buckeye Birds.


White-breasted Nuthatch

Carolina Chickadee

Song Sparrow

American Goldfinch

Blue Jay

Northern Cardinal

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26 comments:

Heather said...

What a treasure trove your lovely tree has brought you. Thank you for sharing it!

Mary said...

You must spend hours watching your Buckeye and the birds it holds. They look especially pretty during a snowfall.

Laure Ferlita said...

Such a lovely post! Glad you found the upside to having a tree so close.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

We have a Buckeye just a few short blocks from my house that I love to visit. I should try to sprout some of those buckeyes that I bring home. I think they are the most cheerful things to have and of course they say they are good luck. It must be good luck, just look at all of the birds that visit.

cestoady said...

My what a rogue's gallery of Buckeye birds that are all fluffed-up against the winter chill and enjoying your 15 year old tree as much as you are. Love that second cardinal pic.

Jennifer said...

very lovely pix... i might have to be checking out a new camera body instead of a new lens... next time...

Sky said...

such a lovely post of stunning photos! wish i had some of them framed on my walls!

thanks for the heads up about the wildlife conservation area in the post below. my niece is finishing her doctoral internship in the akron, ohio area. i will let her know about this place before she leaves the state in summer. sounds like a fascinating place to visit.

scienceguy288 said...

Enjoy it while you can. I don't want to sound apocryphal, but I read that the buckeye is slowly but surely going extinct.

Susan Gets Native said...

You planted them a nice stage, Nina.

Deborah Carr said...

All are cozily fluffed up against the cold. I wonder if birds realize how much delight they bring us.

deejbrown said...

Love the buckeye birds! And your trees!
(I am also getting many spammers...so annoying).

It's Time to Live said...

Can I borrow your tree ;) Nice Images.

Jill said...

I stumbled upon your blog while visiting a friend's and clicking-thru to yours. What gorgeous photos you take! Thank you for sharing them.

Kathiesbirds said...

I like your "Buckeye birds!" Beautiful!

KaHolly said...

The birds certainly love that tree. What beautiful photos you've posted on this day. Lovely text to accompany the pictures. Interesting, light, informative, with your own unique personal touch. You are so gifted, Nina. Thank you for sharing your observations and stories. ~karen

wncmountainliving said...

Nice post about your lovely tree. Such an array of birds who like it alos!

Robert V. Sobczak said...

That's a special tree indeed. I always hear that about trees getting planted too close to the house, but there's nothing like a front row seat either.

eileeninmd said...

Beautiful bird photos! Great shots!

Felicia said...

Your Goldfinch is starting to get some yellow under its chin again--spring is slowly, but surely on its way. Lovely shots!

mon@rch said...

The Cardinals . . . wow

RuthieJ said...

Nice birdies Nina!
I have a crabapple tree really close to the house too. I have to trim the branches back every year to keep it from scratching the siding, but it's been the best thing for being able to see birds that come in close for the feeders that I have out there.

fudgelady said...

Hi, Nina -- I miss your posts! :-( Hope you're okay!!

elvira pajarola said...

FANTASTIC SHOTS of the little Cardinal.......This little bird is just my favourite......such a pity but in Tuscany we won't see them....it is too warm probably!

have a sunny sunday!
ciao ciao elvira

Mel said...

Hi Nina!
You get to see such beautiful birds! All of those would be lifers for me, beautiful photographs too :)
Besos,
Mel

BrittanyGirl said...

Beautiful bird photographs. So different from ours in Brittany, France. I've really enjoyed visiting your blogs.

Cathy said...

Exquisite photos. I've been to professional photography blogs. They don't do this.