Despite bouts of unseasonably cold weather and the never-ending cold rain, my favorite feisty birds, hummingbirds, have returned to my yard. Right now, my garden is in an in-between time – early bloomers are finishing up and summer ones haven’t started – so the birds are hungrily hovering at the feeders. Soon, they will expect more substance to their diet; they will want to feast on a buffet of flowers.
My six year old granddaughter wanted to have a serious conversation about the birds and the bees this past weekend. (To clarify, we are talking literal birds and bees here.) My budding entomologist/ornithologist was very curious because she couldn’t find any bugs to catch in her yard and her brand new bird feeder wasn’t always busy like mine. She just didn’t understand why. And more to the point for her, how could she get them to come to her yard?
A friend called the other day so excited because “they’re giving away free native trees at the farmers market downtown.” She’s a novice gardener and is passionate about planting to rejuvenate the earth. An hour later, I heard from her again, only this time the enthusiasm was definitely gone from her voice. “I’m sending you a picture of our trees,” she said, “only I’m not sure they really are trees. I think they gave us sticks in plastic bags.”
There’s a trend happening around our neighborhood that I am absolutely thrilled about. More and more people here are seeing their front yards as space to be used and enjoyed instead of maintaining it as the traditional green front yard carpet. I’m not sure if the change is a response to the past pandemic years, or if pinterest has exploded with ideas, but whatever the motivation has been, it has brought new life and vitality to an often underused and under appreciated space.