This is the third year I’ve seen this guy and every summer he sports a chrome dome! The first year, I was quite worried about him. How would he survive the winter? Would he fly South? Luckily, in September, I noticed feathers growing back and by October, his full, red crest was back. I figured it was a mite or bug thing and figured the cold killed them off. The second year, when it happened again, I researched what was happening to the guy.
I found out baldness may result from feather mites, lice or an environmental or nutritional imbalance. Often in those cases, growths or a scabby coating can be seen on the skin. My Cardinal had a clean, black head, which indicates he was healthy. So now what?
Since he was otherwise healthy and the feathers did come back, he most likely has some issues with molting. Birds usually lose random feathers and they get replaced without a notice. Something in his wiring is off and instead of randomly, he lost them all at once. Blue Jays are known to be afflicted with this same pattern balding. There does seem to be a few wild hairs coming back. Hopefully, he’ll again grow back his beautiful crest.
It is believed that sometime after the fourth century, Buddhist monks carried this fruit from India to China, where it came to symbolize happiness, wealth and longevity. The Chinese like to use it as a centerpiece in their homes, and present it as an offering on temple altars. The Japanese like to use it as a decorative ornament and place it on top of specially pounded rice cakes, or they use it in lieu of flowers in the home’s sacred tokonomo (alcove).
Though esteemed chiefly for its exquisite form and aroma, the Buddha’s Hand citron is also prescribed as a stimulant, expectorant, and tonic in non-traditional medicine.
A fragrant air freshener
Shave thin slices of Buddha’s hand and add it to a salad
Top steamed tofu or fish
Sugar and Salt: Use zest or a whole finger to make scented sugar and flavored salt
Zest mixed into cake frosting makes it very aromatic
For salad dressing:
4 Tbsps olive oil – 1/2 teaspoon salt – 2 Tbsps Meyer Lemon juice – 2 Tbsps zested Buddha’s Hand