Wednesday, August 02, 2006

For the Birds

My brother has a way of collecting things, or they collect him. He and my sister-in-law have a bed and breakfast, plus gift shop called Scott’s County Barn in Rosburg, Washington. One day they were passing through Reno and dropped off the pieces to a barn loom that they had gotten in a lot of furniture they had purchased at auction. The pieces sat outside for a winter, and then Laura and I got it in our heads that we could assemble it, if only we could figure out what on earth it was. It was missing too many pieces to function as a loom, but we thought it would look cool outside – part of the landscape. She was living in a trailer north of our garage while her home was being built and Ian just thought – whatever. So we started Googling. At first we got nothing, but after a week of collecting clues, we had it. One weekend we decided to bring the little Frankenstein back to life. In the process, one of the beams came down on my cranium and just about sent me into the afterlife. I saw stars. We discovered that the components had notches to identify what beam went in what notch. An itinerant weaver would have pulled these pieces in his wagon from farm to farm, weaving cloth for families who had already spun the yarn. I still get a tingly scalp (nothing to do with seeing stars) when I think how this 150-year-old item is in my yard.

I planted a couple of roses by it that I bought from High Country Gardens in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They have this great key that advises what conditions the plants tolerate, including if they are rabbit or deer resistant. The rabbits here are abundant and voracious, but the plants have truly been resistant to the four-legged coyote bait. I planted two roses and one Nanking cherry at the loom, and then Ian hung bird feeders on it. They’re Ian’s feeders (the sheep and llamas are his too). While I have planted bird friendly plants, he truly spoils them. But there’s nothing like sitting on the porch in the company of birds.

The cowbirds tore holes in the old thistle sock when they migrated through. So Ian hung a new one, all decorated with daisies. It was all they had at the store. But he wondered what would happen, because the birds in town hadn’t liked the daisy thistle sock. No finches came to this one either, so he tossed it and bought another plain one at the feed store, hung it up, and we were in business. What is it about the thistle sock with daisies that the birds don’t like? Is it too ugly???


Ian said...

Nice !!!!

Birdsong said...

What a lovely treasure to have in your yard. The birds might relate the daisies to owl eyes or some other predator.

Purple Fuzzy Mittens said...

I love all your gardens! You have quite the eye for planting combinations!