Mid-December spectacle: Blooming plants, Mongolian pheasant

To the editor:

Some of my plants are as confused about the weather as I am. The Jasmine nudiflorum is covered with yellow flowers and an April blooming Viburnum has several bunches of sweet pink flowers. A hardy cyclamen has little fuchsia buds, so tightly curled that they look like tiny beaks and a bed of day lilies is covered with new green shoots.

Although I miss the green leaves, there have been several times when my fields and bare bushes became fairyland. Once there was hoar frost on every twig and dead weed and before the sun came out in force it was as though each had a glittery white shadow. The other was after a night of rain and drops of water hung on everything reflecting rainbows.

But by far the most beautiful sight has been the appearance of a gorgeous Mongolian pheasant. With his bright red eye patch, stunning white collar which doesn’t quite meet in front, a blue green iridescent head and neck and deep cranberry sides he is a wonder.

put out cracked corn for him and most days I see him but I was really worried Saturday when I didn’t get a glimpse. I was so afraid that having escaped coyotes he had fallen prey to the Fisher Cat which we know is in the area. Fisher Cats are not cats but are closely related to minks and otters so you will realize how horrific it was for a couple to look out one morning and find over one hundred of their laying hens decapitated.

I have named this pheasant Genghis Khan after the brilliant and ruthless Mongolian who unified many tribes into one nation. But all is well as he was around today and even spent some time hunkered down in the bushes. Whether he was afraid to venture into the open or just needed a rest I will never know.

With best wishes for happy times with your family and friends.

Sidney Tynan

Little Compton

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