It's chilly (upper 30s at 10:00 a.m.) and foggy but promises to be a sunny and almost warm (50s) day. I will post this before I get lured outside.
The New York Times has an interesting article today about a new book Bringing Nature Home by Doug Tallamy:
The field pictured at the top of the article looks just like our former pasture where I had taken pictures of goldenrod last summer ("A goldenrod community"). Cows weren't on this pasture since 1996. The pasture had grown up with mostly Virginia pines. In the summer of 2006, my neighbor brush hogged the old pasture and piled the small pines to the side. In the winter, I've seen dark-eyed junco birds taking shelter in the dead pines. During the summer, the former pasture is filled with native wildflowers--goldenrods, milkweeds, rose pinks, asters, and grasses. Just like Tallamy discusses, these native wildflowers attract a variety of insects which in turn will attract birds.
On another note, I have a collection of found objects on my kitchen windowsill (how many other nature bloggers do that?) One of my favorites is this nest:
I found it last summer below a large Eastern White Pine tree that grows in our big pasture (the only one left that has cows on it). It appeared to have just fallen from the tree. Does anyone know what bird might have made this nest?