I watch the birds, bees and weeds.

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In the back yard I heard the jay before I saw him, as he remarked in short screeches about the breakfast I’d laid out. In the last couple of weeks I’ve taken pictures of doves, chickadees and juncos at the feeders, but the jay was the first to come since I moved this one closer to the window, and he is a larger target to focus on, so his picture came out best.

As soon as he flew off I went out front to tackle the perennial bed that was a mess, but before ten minutes of weeding had passed, I had a burning need to go back indoors and fetch my Weeds of the West.  I returned to sit on the bench swing and leaf through the whole book, trying to find the names of two or three weeds that had challenged me that morning. It’s good to know your enemy.

Though it’s hard to think of Persian Speedwell as an enemy. It is pretty, and the book says “It was probably introduced as a border or rock garden ornamental.” See, the ladybug likes it.

I spent a lot of time on the beds where chard, collards and kale grow, and I picked a big bowl of greens which I washed later in the day. In the picture below you can see Swiss chard behind the speedwell and also the feather-like arrangement of “scattery weed” seed pods that exploded a few minutes later at the touch of my hand.

I still have not found out the real name of that scattery weed, whose picture I re-post below. In the past I asked if any of my readers knows its name, but they did not; maybe one of my newer readers does? I couldn’t find it in Weeds of the West. It arrived in our garden in the last ten years. UPDATE: It’s Hairy Bittercress or cardamine hirsuta.

cardamine hirsuta

Just a few feet away from the Persian Speedwell — a weed to me — is another cultivated type that I planted because I wanted it, Creeping Speedwell (below). So far the Persian has not even tried to invade the Creeping, though if the Creeping can be said to creep, the Persian gallops.

Before Fall I plan to revamp this whole area, but in the meantime, I must try to keep a little order. Today I put in several hours of work and got plumb tuckered out! I’m glad tomorrow is a day of rest.

15 thoughts on “I watch the birds, bees and weeds.

  1. The unknown weed makes me think of garlic mustard, though I am not positive from the photo. It’s hideously invasive if that is what it is….


    1. Thank you, Kristi, for your help. I am learning about more weeds that I’m glad I don’t have! Maybe you have seen that another reader researched for me and found out that this weed is Hairy Bittercress.


    1. Nicole, garden cress is Lepidium sativum, in the same family as Hairy Bittercress, but a different genus. They both have cress in their name! I just looked into your suggestion online, because I hadn’t known garden cress either; my weed knowledge is increasing! And more than that, because it sounds like garden cress is worth culitvating as a vegetable. Thanks!


  2. Even the weeds are of great interest to me. I have the book, Weeds of the West, too and I can usually find most things, but there are a few that are not included in that book. So many variations in different areas of the country and even within the state.

    Love that bluejay. We get very few of them here so to us, they are fun to see.


  3. Thank you for your visit to my blog and your comment. Looks like you are quite the gardener. It is such hard work for sure. I’m the mower at our house and I enjoy the exercise and am thankful to God I can still do that. Have a great week!


  4. You’re in Northern California…(we’re in TN) and one of our sons works near Etna at a Christian retreat at Ft. Jones. The area looks beautiful in his photos. I can imagine where you live now. Have been reading you awhile. I have a book blog at http://thebookofcommonlife.blogspot which is where I found a link here….through joint friends.


  5. Ah, scrub jays. I don’t see them here. I thought they were annoying when I lived in California, but now that I don’t hear them at all I’m reconsidering.

    I had not thought of a book of weeds, but I’m happy to hear such a thing exists! If I’m curious I usually ask the Dearliest. He hasn’t been wrong yet. 🙂


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