April in the Garden

More things are blooming in the garden this week, and more birds have been showing up at the feeder. The redbud tree has burst into glorious color, a lavender-pink that is just beautiful. It is alive with honey bees.

The branches are full of blooms.

When a goldfinch landed on a branch, I tried to get a photo of him. His brilliant yellow against the flowers would be a great photo for the state fair this year. But of course, I couldn’t get the focusing right before he flitted off to the feeder again to stuff his beak.

My scrawny wild cherry is blooming. The flowers are pretty, but the tree is in the cove and doesn’t get enough sunlight. It is at least 10-12 feet tall, but just makes it up over the retaining wall. I’ve actually thought about moving it, but it would be difficult to dig up where it is.

Oliver is showing up regularly, along with a few of his buddies. You can see a few cherry blossoms near him.

But he got a scare when this young red tail hawk made a swooping dive across our front yard area, right in front of the kitchen window. I grabbed the camera and got several shots as he perched in a tree and looked around for prey.

He turned around, still scanning for movement on the ground in the cove. I hoped he didn’t see Oliver. I know he has to eat too, but I want him to find a nice fat mouse.

It was funny to see him tuck one foot up under his feathers. It was a bit cool that morning. Shortly after, he dove down into the cove, and I think he attacked a single turkey that visits from time to time. There was a lot of thrashing noises in the leaves and turkey calls for a moment, but I couldn’t get over to the edge in time to see. All I did see was the hawk flying away, with nothing in its claws. So Oliver was safe. The turkey survived too, and I saw her a bit later with no injuries apparent. I hope the hawk found a meal somewhere else.

Elsewhere, the wild violets are starting to bloom all over the hills. Most of them are purple, but here and there are some that are more magenta.

More birds are coming to the feeder too. This is a house finch, he’s only here in spring and summer.

I’ll be looking for more opportunities to photograph the wildlife for the state fair contests. I hope I can get a pretty bird in the redbud tree. What birds are you seeing in your garden?

18 thoughts on “April in the Garden

  1. Mary Stori

    Sure looks like spring there……we have snow ont he ground from Fri & Sat. storms……chilly 32 degrees this morning.

  2. Lesley Gilbert

    Yes, it is a dilemma, when you know each species has to survive by eating each other – today little Oliver survived and maybe didn’t even notice the threat nearby.
    Thanks as always for sharing your garden photo’s 🙂

  3. Julie

    Spectacular hawk photos! You rarely get to see the details that well. They have nestlings too but I’m in agreement with you, a mouse is more appropriate. I thought it was scary when a red tail landed on the deck rail outside my window. Did Oliver play “statue” to blend in with the background? Some brave daffodils & squill have joined the crocus popping up around the yard. After a warm & sunny March it looks like we’re in for another cold April.

  4. Beautiful photos~~!!~~ You have a great eye for the detail. I hope you enter the photo of Oliver with his lunch in the state fair! Thank you for sharing your beautiful mountainside with us. This week the birds in view were our resident turkey buzzards…..perched in the trees on the edge of the woods getting sun on a cold morning.

  5. We’ve had a few hawk attacks here (one on video). It’s pretty brutal. One morning as I was sitting on the deck, all the birds suddenly went silent, and the little red squirrel that was in the tree flattened himself against the tree and didn’t move. Then I noticed the hawk circling above. It was interesting to watch the little red. He literally was motionless. Glad Oliver is ok.

  6. karenfae

    the finch on the redbud looks wonderful – my redbuds are just a little slow this year! in fact others are too – last year my weeping cherry tree had blossomed at the end of March and it is just now starting to open

  7. Always a treat on Sunday to read your posts. Sweet gorgeous goldfinch! A beautiful spring trip around your garden and thankful Oliver is safe. Our Oliver named Friendly, has been visiting for his little peanut butter sandwiches 🙂

  8. KJ

    Nice to see Spring trying to arrive. Last Spring and Summer, we replaced a lot of the gardens the previous house owners removed so I am seeing forsythia in full bloom right now, as well as Candytuft, hyacinths, daffodils and tulips. The lilac is ready to burst into colour and the other shrubs are leafing out beautifully. I was worried as the garden was very young and we had a really rough fall and winter, but, I am being rewarded for last year’s efforts to bring life back to the yard. Even the winter pansies have bounced back from long, heavy rains.
    So glad both Oliver and the turkey are safe. We had a Cooper’s Hawk in the yard last year but I have not seen him this year. I have been watching the bald eagles fish the lagoon, and be harassed by seagulls. Nature is amazing.

  9. Stunning photos. Glad Oliver and turkey are safe from the beautiful, but pesky hawk. Yes, I think a mouse would be better prey for the hawk too. Oh, I absolutely love the violets. Thank you for sharing your photos and wishing you luck with photos to enter at the fair. Have a beautiful week.

  10. Jean McKinstry

    Your Goldfinch focus is perfect, he is so beautiful, and blurry blossoms behind make a lovely backdrop. Wild violets are so pretty, and the hawk, I know it is the way for any bird or animal to survive, so glad he flew off to find somewhere else for his search.

  11. Cooke in the Piedmont

    Love your blog. such a variety of things from beautiful flowers, wildlife and of course quilting and books. Would love to get hooked up with other blogs similar to yours if you know of any.
    Thanks for all that you do for your readers and charity events.

  12. Rosemary B

    as always, your blog makes me happy.
    I have some medical crap going on, I will share with you later. Busy week.
    Your photos are stellar. You know I enjoy every single one of your blog posts

  13. Joan Sheppard

    Photos are spectacular! The magenta pansies – I don’t think I have ever seen that color!
    Please give Mr. Hawk my address – I just found mice have moved into my drawer of green fabric and my interfacing drawer! They brought their own food from the bird feeder outside into the house! We continue to have cold temps but hoping the mice can be enticed to move! Thanks for the lovely pics.

  14. The goldfinch is beautiful. What a stunning colour and so pretty against the pink blossoms.
    The hawk is so majestic. Another beautiful bird.
    You are lucky to have them around your area.

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