Featuring Digital PhotoArt of Rainbow Creek
by: brendasue

The Birds of Rainbow Creek

The Birds of Rainbow Creek
by: brendasue of Kates Cabin Bird Sanctuary in Waller County, Texas

Saturday, January 30, 2010

January 30, 2010 Discover Life On Rainbow Creek by: brendasue

BRRRRRRRRR! It is so cold the roses have turned blue at Kates Cabin on Rainbow Creek!
Welcome to a new page of our mini Nature Class for the World. Let's go on up to the roof where a cold Kay Lonnie is waiting to begin our class.

Kay Lonnie it is too cold for our class on the roof. Go ahead and give the signal, please.

Let the Class Begin!

Still going---my, what a long signal. We can actually see the signal where your hot breath hits the cold air and makes smoke!

Come on down to your warm bed and we will have class on the computer today.

Yes, it is a lovely day in here! Just for a quick review for our new classmates: We are using the bird sanctuary here at Kates as our observatory. We are looking at different living things that live here with us on the planet. You may not have these species of Rainbow Creek, so I am bringing them out of the woods for you to see here on this blogger venue. I am presenting a daily photostudy of a topic as I come across things.
I hope I encourage you to pick up your camera and photodocument the living things around you. I offer examples of different shots with my camera (which is a point & shoot).

Our Photostudy today will be on this little fruit. Does anybody already know what it is?

This is the fruit of an Eleagnus Shrub. It is called a drupe. The 'tail' seen above was the flower before it was pollinated. Once the flower was pollinated by the bees, the ovum at the base of the flower began to grow into this fruit. As the fruit ripens, the dried up, now useless flower petal 'tail' will fall off. The purpose of all flowers is to be pollinated and make seed for the next generation. The new seed that is growing is inside this fruit. It is one large seed. The sweet/tart fruit is adored by birds which eat the fruit and fly to another location to deposit spent seed after fruit is ingested.

The drupe turns bright red when it is ready. Birds are attracted not only to the fruit, but also the insects that like the ripe fruit.

This is not a rare bush, just no longer as popular as it once was in the smaller flowerbeds as it gets large. The leaves are not as pretty as more popular garden shrubs.

But for those who have the space, a long hedgerow of these eleagnus shrubs is wonderful as a wind break and fantastic for the birds with its dense growth habit. It is evergreen.

In my zone 9 area, this shrub flowers in December. The small white spotty flowers have a very strong cinnamon smell.

The fruits have a distinct lemony taste and astringent. But when they are ripe, there is a lovely sweetness.

When I spent some time at the tree farm, I helped the guys harvest the fruit. We had to suck the fruit off and spit the seed on a paper plate then put them in the sun to dry where we could watch that the birds did not steal it away! Then we would plant one seed per pot of dirt to make new shrubs. It was a very tasty part of the job!

Also, I have made jelly and sauces from cooking the fruit. Very good and pretty color.

Check to see if this plant will grow in your zone. If it will, get yourself one or two.
You can plant it for the birds.

Now look closely. Here is someone else who likes this fruit!

He is spotted like the fruit. I do not know his name. I had a dear scientist friend who identified everything I ever sent her. She left us last summer. So if anyone out there knows what this guy is, please write a comment or drop me a line at: katescabin@gmail.com

I was eating these fruits after I took a photo of them. Good thing I spotted this spotty guy before I popped him in my mouth!

He has wings.

And a big appetite for this fruit!

These fruits are ready now (end of January).

The shrub again is eleagnus. I just call mine ellie.

If you find this fruit, you should try it.

This is the sky directlly above my ellie bush. Yes those are the sun trees for the buzzards on the right. They have all gone off to bed. The last one is going over now.

Wouldn't you know, it is King Buzz heading for the pines.
Goodnite King and Goodnite Kate,

Good night Everyone, Everywhere!
Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you again.
.................................this is brendasue signing off from Rainbow Creek. C.A.S.B.M.S.I.Y.L.M.

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