Letter: Birds and wildflowers — A summer page turned

Posted 7/30/20

To the editor:

I wish you could be with me to walk through the Back 40. The paths are rimmed with dainty Queen Anne’s lace and the tall grasses that look like tiny bulrushes. Joe Pye has …

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Letter: Birds and wildflowers — A summer page turned

Posted

To the editor:

I wish you could be with me to walk through the Back 40. The paths are rimmed with dainty Queen Anne’s lace and the tall grasses that look like tiny bulrushes. Joe Pye has decided to bloom pale pink and very early.

You may laugh at me but every time we have our stroll I look to see what has changed since the day before. Yesterday had a wonderful surprise: a single stalk of Turk’s Head lily with two dangling buds. Tonight I’ll see if the deer found them before they could open.

I also checked on my favorite milkweed plant as it had four pinky lavender mop heads of flowers. As expected, no more flowers and on one two tiny milkweed pods, another had five. Next summer I will count the number of flowers – at least 20 per mop– so I guess the pollinators aren’t very attracted although we think the flowers smell so sweet.

I knew it was going to happen but I can’t help feeling a bit sad. A page in the book called summer was turned and all of a sudden there was no more bird song – or very little – and all the summer birds left. Red winged blackbirds have lost their red stripe, juvenile cardinals have brown bodies and a crest but a telltale red tail.

There was a surprise – a little group of titmice! Their breasts were white with pink streaks and I had to look in my tattered old Peterson to see what other little birds might possibly have a crest. My bird guru thinks it was a family not a flock. So when you see them this winter, all shrunken and gray , picture them in their warm weather clothes.

Cherish the days.

Sidney Tynan

Little Compton

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.