February 26th, 2013 by Marc Opperman
It’s been a while since I’ve done anything with this space. Mainly I’ve stopped gardening now that I’ve moved to a rental duplex. While that normally wouldn’t stop me, the yard I have is completely shaded by elm trees, and mostly devoid of anything other than what most people would consider weeds. The trees are nice, but not much good for sun-loving vegetables.
I’ve poured a lot of energy into a few other outlets. Mainly, Capital Area Master Naturalist volunteer work, and raising Lukas – he’s almost three! – with a sense of wonder about the outdoors and nature.
I’ve been teaching him various specific Central Texas plants and birds. He can identify evergreen sumac, ashe juniper, twist-leaf yucca, prickly-pear cactus and oaks by sight. And he remembers the names without prompting! Pretty good for three years old!
I’ve taught him a few birds. He recognizes red-shouldered hawks, American crows and bewick’s wrens by sound, and turkey vultures by sight. The wrens have been easy – we have a few in the elms around the house, and they are singing a lot right now. Also, they fearlessly poke around the porch and eaves of the house looking for bugs and nesting spots. So today, we made a wren house out of a gourd I’ve had for a few years. It was thoroughly dried from hanging in a garage. I’m sure I got it from my parents, but I don’t know anything about what kind it is.
But I’ll let photos tell the story of how we made our birdhouse.
It wasn’t even finished – the urethane was still drying – when a wren sat on top of it and poked its head inside. Such curious birds.