Saturday, June 14, 2014


Time to update life around the yards outside our home.

SWMBO had been referring to this as a holly bush, mainly because of the leaves.

But, having never seen a holly bush with blue berries before I did some searching on The Google.  I found one just like it and it is a Mahonia Aquifolium, otherwise known as an Oregon Grape.

The grapes are edible, though very tart.  I think we'll leave them as ornamentals.

By the way, the word "aquifolium" in the name means "holly-leaved", so I guess SWMBO wasn't that far off.

Now about our finches.  You may remember a couple built a nest atop a column under our front porch.  We've been keeping an eye on them and I'm happy to report there are four new babies.

Our view of the nest from our front window.

Somewhat closer.  Those are all chicks in that nest.

You can't really make them out but they are there.

And hungry.  Always hungry.

The eggs were hatched one day apart and we believe they hatched at about the same rate.  The baby with his mouth wide open, waiting for mother to return, is the oldest, we believe.

And no, we haven't named them.

Here's a short video of mom feeding her brood.  Just as she flies off, you can see several heads pop up, looking for more.  Unfortunately I wasn't expecting that so I turned the camera off just as they popped up.

Meanwhile in the back yard, our bird bath is loved by the finches. And a couple of Mountain Jays have also discovered it.

We also have bunnies.  Desert Cottontails is what they're called. One or two at a time come in to graze the weeds in the back yard.  Judy has put some carrot chunks out a couple of times and they love the treats.

Then she said "I think I need to put out a water dish for them."

I said "Oh, c'mon, they won't use it.  The Google says they get their water from the plants they eat."

So, who won that argument?

I don't call her SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) for nuthin', folks.


joeh said...

When will you own your porch again?

Should Fish More said...

I've seen a lot of Oregon Grapes (grew up in Oregon), I've never heard of anyone eating them...had no idea they were edible.
I have a robins nest in my eaves, they start warbling at 4:30am.

Phil Perisich said...

I grew up in Oregon also and have never eaten an Oregon grape.
Avoid attachment by not naming the bunnies or birdies; nature can be cruel.

Catalyst/Taylor said...

I'm not sure we ever will, Joeh. Judy says finches can have several batches of babies every year.

Catalyst/Taylor said...

The Google was the one that said they were edible. I don't intend to try them. Fortunately finches are relatively quiet.

Catalyst/Taylor said...

Good advice, Phil.

The Geezers said...

Wish my rabbits would come and eat the weeds instead of the lupine. Fortunately, rabbits, they are edible.....

Stephen Hayes said...

That nest is going to get very crowded very quickly.

Steve said...

Nice post. We have found a few dead young birds around the house where nests are in the eaves. The young tend to push siblings out of the nest to get more food, hope that doesn't happen there.

The Bug said...

Aw - your yard is as busy as ours is!