A Day of Grapes and Cardinals

August 8, 2009

Fledgling Cardinal

Fledgling Cardinal

“We should all do what, in the long run, give us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry.”

E. B. White

The grapevines at Dragonwyck Sanctuary were heavy with sweet, white grapes.  As such, we spent much of today picking (and eating) grapes.  And we were not alone.  In the early hours of the morning, a family of cardinals flew into the trees above the grapevines.  They stayed there all day long.  (In fact, it is 7:30 pm, and I can still hear those baby cardinals chirping away!)  The mother and father took turns joining us in the grapevines, taking grapes, and bringing them back to their offspring waiting in the nearby trees.  There were two fledgling cardinals—old enough to fly independently, but young enough to require assistance feeding.  We only saw them several times during the day, but we heard their continuous chirping throughout the day.  It was a big cardinal family event.

Baby Grackle Watching Cardinal Family

Baby Grackle Watching Cardinal Family

The cardinals were not the only birds partaking in the feast of grapes.  A catbird and a robin stopped by several times as well.  We also had a baby grackle come for a visit.  He seemed a little out of sorts.  He watched the cardinal family for a while, almost as if he wanted to join them.  Like the cardinals, the grackle was old enough to fly independently, but he was not very graceful.  He fell off a branch once, and later got tangled in a cluster of leaves.  He flew over to the People Pond for a swim, but one of the frogs jumped at him, and he immediately left with a squawk.  We never did see a grackle parent, but he didn’t seem injured or in any danger.

Overall, there was a lot of activity around the grapes today, but nobody seemed to mind that we were underneath those grapevines.  The birds enjoyed them so much that we ended up leaving half of them on the vines.

We picked over three gallons of grapes.  Tomorrow--jam!

We picked over three gallons of grapes. Tomorrow--jam!

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