COLLECTING THE AMERICAN BEECH

Last year, in May 2016, we talked about a very special tree on site. Our American Beech tree had been recognized and protected by Trees Ontario as a Heritage Tree. It stands by the House of Dove as it has stood for the last 100 years. Trees of this age have unique genetics in that their longevity shows a resistance to disease, climate change, pollution and have grit to survive whatever Mother Nature dishes out.

 

We have waited 7 years for this tree to produce fruit and, finally, this is the year. After every wind or rain event I visit the tree and collect the seeds laying about on the ground and fight off the squirrels and chipmunks trying to collect seed for their winter stashes. We want to collect as many seeds as possible since, it seems, that we can only harvest every 7 years. Soon the seeds will be processed and next year a new wave of American Beech will germinate carrying the genetics of this beautiful heritage tree forward. Something worth celebrating.

THE ART OF GAPING

This is the best year, so far, for having orioles come to the feeders. We estimate we have 30 – 40 northern orioles coming to feed on the grape jelly, daily, at the five feeders. We wanted to share some photos of the orioles gaping our trumpet vine.

You have to realize, northern orioles are regular consumers of nectar. In this area, they love trumpet vine. They do not feed like the hummingbirds but, rather, by gaping. They pierce the bottom of the flower and pry open the gap and rob the nectar from the flower. Unfortunately, the flower does not get pollinated since the orioles bypass the sexual parts.