Back at the Farm — It’s Mulberry Season!

June 7, 2017

The eastern bluebird is a regular visitor to our mulberry tree.

A few days after our return from Acadia National Park, I departed on a motorcycle trip to Kansas where I camped for two nights with my friend, Jim Downard, and a bunch of other Beemer riders. I’ve been back for a few days now, and most of my time has been divided between catching up on chores, resting up from so much time on the road, and watching the birds around the yard. It seems like there are fledglings everywhere, including bluebirds, field sparrows, house finches, phoebes, house sparrows, and a noisy group of red-shouldered hawks. You wouldn’t believe how goofy the young red-shouldered hawks sound. Any blue jay could make a much more credible red-shoulder call.

As with every year at this time, I spend most of the morning watching our mulberry tree, which attracts birds and other critters from near and far away. I haven’t made too many images from the mulberry this season, but I’ll share a few here including the featured image of a colorful male bluebird.

I caught this brown thrasher this morning under the red glow of sunrise. It was waiting its turn at the mulberry from its favorite perch in a scrubby hackberry tree nearby. This thrasher, along with a couple blue jays, probably spends more time gorging on mulberries than any of the other birds.

This little field sparrow doesn’t even eat mulberries. It just likes to sit in the mulberry tree and sing its song of spring.

This summer tanager wakes us up every morning, right outside our window, with its nonstop song. It never misses breakfast at the mulberry tree.

Every spring, I share my poem about our beloved Mulberry Tree for new subscribers to Nature Frames. It’s a little sappy but it helped me to convey just how important the little tree is to many of the critters here at the farm. I ask indulgence from my longtime readers to just skip this part if you’ve seen it before.

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A mulberry tree, far from statuesque, stands next to our driveway. Its branches, laden with fruit, leave purple streaks atop our car.

The mulberry is generous, providing nourishment for waxwings, tanagers, and other savvy songbirds. “Why search for food” they chatter, “when you can eat sweet mulberries all day?”

A fox squirrel minds its litter in a nest of maple leaves across the lane. With a short leap, it joins the birds at first light. Fumbled berries fall to the ground, some eventually ruptured by car tires.

But the butterflies have plans for the precious extract. They come at noon by the dozens, uncoiling their portable straws.

Later, a turtle arrives, trudging through the grounded berries, gorging. It looks up, revealing a droll smile of blackish lipstick.

Finally it’s dusk and the cottontails materialize, dutiful, stained fur and sticky paws. They feed into the night, even after I sleep.

My dreams find raccoons and opossums under the benevolent mulberry.

I awake to a jabbering mockingbird, a splotch of violet on its gray-white chest. The feast begins anew.

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I’ll be watching the birds and critters around the mulberry for the next week or so. I won’t hesitate to share a few more images if they come my way. Until then, I hope you continue to enjoy this verdant and temperate spring as much as I have.

Thanks for looking,

Danny Brown

I would love to hear from you at:  Natureframes@Rocketmail.Com

Gallery of Photos and Print Information:  www.dannybrownphotography.com

 

 

2 comments on “Back at the Farm — It’s Mulberry Season!”

  1. Awesome photos. The bluebird is my favorite. Your article and poem are wonderful. What a great place to live.

  2. Thank you for the words..and the birds!


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