Here’s where all the fun happens!!
Welcome to the world of Ilex!!
If you’ve been following me for awhile, you’ve probably seen many bird, squirrel, humorous and serious posts that have originated from the view from my desk. I work in a large, renovated-into-an-office house. I love the feel here, as it really feels like home. I can make a grilled cheese for lunch on the stove, not have to share poop smells with a stall neighbor and best of all, have my desk right up against a picture window!
My predecessor had a bird feeder hanging from the tree, however she never offered the birds anything good, so she never got any interesting visitors aside from sparrows.
My tree, held together with a strap.
After she left, I stepped up the game and started offering sunflower seeds, suet and thistle. It wasn’t long before word got out that Ilex’s Bird Bonanza was open for business! I started getting visitors of all shapes and sizes. I had never been a big birder in the past, however now I had my bird book out and learned all of the different species, what they liked to eat, how they serenaded their mates, fed their young and sometimes avoided death. I even got to see visitors with fur instead of feathers. Sadly, sometimes the furries even ate my feathered friends. Nature happens like that.
Our normal Springs are very windy. Ironically, they do not call Chicago the ‘Windy City’ because of the gusty weather we have here, it’s because of the blow-hardy politicians! Remember, Mr. Obama is from our wonderful state. =P
It was during a particularly windy day that I noticed my tree was swaying a bit. I went outside to get a better look and inspect it like a true arborist should. I used a rubber mallet to tap on the crack in the center and all I heard was hollow noises… NOT good. Most likely, this was two trees that grew together. This causes the inner bark to constantly wear and rot when water or debris gets stuck in it.
I had the crew strap the limbs together so I wouldn’t get killed on the job. There are better ways to deal with this, however when you know the tree has to go, there’s no reason to do a full guy wire to try to lengthen the life of the tree. It’s not going to be safe to leave it. So, with a heavy heart, I watched our crew cut the branches down and finally the trunk, down to the stump that is left today.
I cried a little. The guys knew how I felt about this tree and my feathered friends. They helped me take the feeders down and were extra nice at finding alternative methods to hang my feeders from the gutters.
I was really worried I’d loose many of my visitors, however so far, only two species went MIA, the Red-Belled Woodpecker & the Brown Creepers. Both are trunk feeders. They loved coming by for suet on the tree trunk. I do put suet on a tree out of my view from the window. I know someone is eating it though, as it does disappear!
Ah, memories!! I loved watching the birds land on the trunk and snack.
My new view. Not as forest looking as it used to be, but I’ll get used to it. I do also get my pick of replacement trees. I’m torn between a Black Tupelo and a Crimson Frost Birch. Both are pretty awesome trees. I’m sure there will be a post when I do decide.
© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl