OLG: Old Lady Gardner #17 – feeding the little ones

We have left October – a month of sunny days, a few rainy, a couple with snow and lots of wind. The leaves are mostly down now leaving the gutters of the house and the street full. The crispy, crunchy and very dusty leaves are blowing everywhere but also have brought a bright brilliance to the streets. The color flashing in the breeze and then fading as they fall leaving just the dark brown of the tree trunks to hold their place until next spring when the green will return.

November arrived sunny and warm today. We reached 70 mid afternoon. It is November in Minnesota. This has us all out sitting on patios for dinner and pulling the grill back out. But as I sit in my front yard enjoying that my garden has been put to bed and it is warm out I realize there are others not quite as calm about this warmth.

I am watching the birds, squirrels and a small vole. It is clear they know that winter is not far away. There is a feeding frenzy at the bird feeder. The birds a swooping in and empty the two feeder every few days.

The squirrels are also grabbing any seed that falls to the ground. They have also attacked the pumpkins. They chewed a perfect circle and crawled in to enjoy the seeds and soft flesh inside. In the past I would try to find ways to save these pumpkins for a pretty display but this year I decided they needed the food more that I needed the perfect fall arrangement on my front steps.

If I stayed quiet there is a very small grey shape that darts out from the below the tall grasses. At first I did not see him but with time I noticed another round hole. This time coming out from the dried plants. This little guy was also working to get his share of the high protein snacks.

They are all going to need the fat that these seeds and nuts provide if they are going to make it through the winter, that I am sure will come. They are lucky to get this extra warm to gather more food and feed themselves.

The birds will fly off soon to warmer places and the vole I expect will burrow deeper in the the ground around the grasses for warm. I am not sure where the squirrels spend the winter. They come out on warm sunny days all winter but where they spend those cold and snowy days and night I am unsure. I expect many are tucked under the bushes in back. I know the rabbits are burrowed back there for sure.

I may live in the middle of a big city. Minneapolis is not small place but in this neighborhood of houses, gardens and parks there is still plenty of wild live to enjoy and support if you are willing to take the time to slow down and watch for them.

So here is to November – good eating for all. There is pumpkin pie inside for us and pumpkin seeds and fresh pumpkin flesh outside for the critters.

If you live in a cold climate where plants are not growing in the winter you might think about how you might assist a few small critters with a bit of seed or nuts to help them make it to next spring.

Happy November!

About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
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1 Response to OLG: Old Lady Gardner #17 – feeding the little ones

  1. A lovely beginning of November, so we’ll described. I wonder what a different scene it will be when December begins.

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