Saturday, August 31, 2013

Community Gardens

We have a community garden here in Nashua where residents can get a plot of land to garden in. The gardens are a haven for migrating songbirds this time of year so I decided to go for a drive with my camera to see what I could see. Well, the gardens are absolutely full to the brim with sunflowers! What a delight! I spoke with a couple of gardeners and apparently the sunflowers self sow and they are mostly volunteers. A few of the gardeners plant some fancier varieties but, for the most part, the sunflowers come up wherever they want. Apparently one of the spring chores in the gardens is weeding out the sunflowers where people want to plant vegetables. 

The gardens were alive with Goldfinches yesterday. There were probably over a hundred birds feeding on all the sunflower seeds. Our American Goldfinches breed later than most North American birds and they normally nest in  July when milkweed, thistle, and other plants have produced their fibrous seeds and down. The birds use the milkweed and thistle down to make their nests and use the seeds to feed their young.  They are also our only finches that molt their body feathers twice a year. The brilliant yellow males only keep this coloring during breeding season.

I got so caught up with getting pictures of the beautiful sunflowers, birds, butterflies etc. I forgot to get the smaller lens out so I could take an overview photograph of the gardens.  I guess I'll have to go back soon to grab some more shots!




















 


15 comments:

  1. Oh My! Such lovely photos! Do you use a tripod?

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    1. Thanks Alison, yes I do use a tripod. These photos were taken with my 500mm f/4 telephoto lens. I need a tripod to use the heavy telephoto.

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  2. Just beautiful Deanne! I love them all. Hope ypu get a chance to get back and show us some wide views of the garden !

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    1. Thanks Kathy, I'm planning to get back there next week. We are starting to get some migrating songbirds through here and that area gets a lot of sparrows and warblers. I try to get out with camera at least once a week this time of the year.

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  3. Your post has settled an issue for me. I made a mess of my vegetable garden this summer and have been wondering what to do next year to get more enjoyment out of it (instead of growing vegetables I allow to wither in our usually miserable summer heat). Next year, I'm going to dedicate at least 1 raised bed to sunflowers, ensuring that at least the bees and the birds will get good use of the space! Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures.

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    1. Many thanks Kris, I think that's a wonderful idea. The sunflowers also have woodpeckers, House Finches, Cardinals as well as the Goldfinches feeding in them. The folks at the gardens also plant lots of zinnias as well. It's really pretty, even though there are a lot of neglected plots the overall look of the garden is a riot of color.

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  4. You are forgiven for taking only lovely close-ups! Just stunning! The clarity of the bee just below a sunflower - oh my!

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    1. Many thanks, I was wondering if anyone would notice that bee!

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  5. Wow...one could get lost in those gorgeous photos for days!

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  6. Wow Deanne, great photos as always!

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  7. I was going to go out and deadhead the Echinacea in the front curb garden this weekend then this morning I hear that tel tale sweet tweeting and noticed goldfinches feeding on them. Great pictures!

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  8. Tempted to get a plot in the GC? I've been admiring everyone else's sunflowers at my GC. Now you've really inspired me. Next year there will be sunflowers!

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    1. Yes indeed Denise, my friend Chris and I are talking about getting a plot and planting bird friendly crops next year, including sunflowers of course!

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  9. Always blown away by your terrific images. The sunflowers with bee in flight, third from the bottom is very special! Cleome took my breath away. Thanks for sharing your incredible talent!

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