October 26, 2015
Every year I look forward to the return of spring. I enjoy the four seasons which bring about different experiences. When we moved into our current house some 25 years ago, I planted a Nanking Cherry shrub and looked forward each year seeing the pinkish blossoms brighten up the backyard, even if only for a few days. Being an avid bird watcher for years, I often looked for the arrival of new species each spring and thought about how nice it would be to photograph a bird surrounded by the bright cherry blossoms. One year I purchased a small blind and set it up about 15-20 feet in front of the Nanking Cherry and waited patiently. I was rewarded with a few visits from a number of warblers including, from top to bottom, a Chestnut-sided warbler, a Cape May warbler, a Tennessee warbler and an Eastern Phoebe which I photographed on my rhubarb plant near the cherry shrub. Both the Nanking Cherry and the rhubarb are no longer but I will be planting another Nanking Cherry very soon! Trees and shrubs offer many benefits to the home owner including habitat and food for wildlife, to say nothing of the aesthetic appeal.