(continued from Growing Animals Part 1: The Burrow)
PART 2: The Nest
With the summer heat and the abundance from our garden, it was just a matter of time before things started to die out, just as easily as they had come in. One of the hardest parts about the garden so far has been watching nature takes it’s course with our plants as they struggle to produce their final seeds before perishing. The peas were one of the first to go, and while it was sad, it also meant it was time to start thinking of what would take it’s place for our fall planting. We have at least two beds that will be free for our fall crop. Andrew wants to try broccoli again, and I would like more spinach, lettuce, and carrots, as well as some fresh herbs.
The day we were going to rip up the peas and remove the trellis, Andrew pointed out that our garden had again become a place of animal nativity, as a small nest holding two tiny blue eggs was perched amongst the vines of dead peas. All I could do was shake my head. Again!?! I couldn’t complain too much, as I am sure the birds are a bit more friend than the rabbits, our foes, who in their adorable cuteness would happily eat the contents of our garden.
I turned again to the internet to learn more about what sort of animal we were growing in our garden. Based on the eggs, and the short glances I got from the birds, we determined it was a House Sparrow‘s nest. Again, I was surprised at how fast the eggs would hatch into tiny birds (after ~ 2 weeks) and how quickly those little birds would be out of the nest (another ~2 weeks). Since we weren’t planning on planting until the beginning of August anyway (this was in the beginning of July), we decided that we would just let nature do her thing and watch as the eggs hatched and the tiny birds developed.
As soon as the eggs hatched, both parents would chirp at me whenever I came to the garden with the dogs. While I am a fan of birdsongs, their constant warning calls were not exactly a relaxing sound. The little birds started to out grow their nest, and one day, the chirped warnings stopped, and I knew our little birdies had left the nest. (Did you know that all the chicks leave the nest within the same period of a couple of hours?) Now that they are gone, we can tear down the dead peas and think ahead to our fall harvest. Due to the aforementioned rabbit issue we will probably fence off the newly planted beds, but this is all a project for next week.