It’s been a week since a flock of grackles descended in the trees around my home and unleashed a hailstorm of acorns. I have since learned that acorns are one of the species’ culinary favorites, especially as the iridescent birds begin their migration south.
That being said, they aren’t very neat or efficient eaters. In fact, I don’t think the ’80s band A Flock of Seagulls could have caused this much of a mess in their hotel room, not even during the height of their popularity.
Seven days since their arrival — that’s seven days filled with more grackles, squirrels, and wind — the driveway and path looked as if they were the end-result of some slapstick comedy routine — you know, the one where an innocent passerby (me, for example) slips on some casually placed marbles (or acorns, as the case may be), so that the prankster (or grackle) can have a few laughs.
It was definitely time to sweep or someone — me — was going down for the count. Five pails later, the walking areas are acorn-free — at least, until the next gust of wind or grackle rattles a few more loose.
The sweeping completed, it was time to turn my attention to the babies — five lacecap hydrangeas. They had rooted themselves after mature branches from the mother plants touched the ground and took hold, a process known as layering. In a previous post, I demonstrated how I carefully dug up the new plants and potted them.
After a summer in their individual pots — and one look at the root development — it was time to get them in the ground. Today, with the autumnal equinox arriving by late afternoon, seemed like the perfect day to plant. Warm enough to help the plants get established before the ground freezes, and cool enough to ease some of the planting stress.
I selected an area along the westside of the house, somewhat protected but long neglected. In essence, it had become a storage area, since no one really walks along that side of the property. I’m not sure, though, which came first. Did it become a dumping ground because it was a forgotten area of the yard, or did it become forgotten because it had become a dumping ground?
Either way, it was time for a makeover.
A few hours later, this was the end result.
All in all, a fun day to be outside, to say goodbye to summer and hello to autumn.