Morning Greetings Spread Cheer Beyond the Garden


Goldfinch friend John Damron 

On a recent late summer morning, I was taking care of some overdue weeding — overdue because my covid-long-haul body is still too often reminding me of just who’s boss. As I was enjoying the cricket chorus and birdsong while working along the base of my bank, a gentleman caught my attention. He noted that I’d already been hard at work at this early hour — I’d begun my project before 7am and already had several piles heaped with weeds.

I turned to greet him with a smile and quick, “Yep!” He continued, sweeping his arm toward the area the goldfinches frequently attend, asking me what the pretty yellow birds were. I responded while standing up and showing him the chicory that they love so well. He explained that he’d recently taken to walking for his health and loved seeing them along his route. He added that he only sees them in our garden and has mentioned this to others.

John (pictured above, and the gentleman referred to in this post) went on to say that one morning he had counted five pretty little goldfinches and a few days later he’d seen three. I told him they usually came by between six and ten. They love this area of chicory because of the concentrated cover and its location near the hugelkultur, which houses the echinacea, another favorite.

Chicory and Echinacea blossoms

What I didn’t tell him was the more specific reason for their morning visits: It’s between those hours that the chicory flowers are open. The birds aren’t coming quite so early in late August, because the sun isn’t up and the flowers open later and later these days. Goldfinches also very people-shy, which is why it’s so darned hard for me to get a decent photo of the li’l goobers. Regardless, they always bring me joy as well when I see them partaking of our chicory.

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