Dandecide and Birds on a Dogleg (Stillwater Diary)

Dandelions, Stone Ridge, NY, 5/8/16

Dandelions, Stone Ridge, NY, 5/8/16

I don’t like yellow (unless it’s mixed with lots of red), with one big exception–Labrador fur. I particularly dislike dandelion yellow and I’ve been ridding  the lawn-ish and the spaces between the bluestones of the unwanted flowers.

The plants have tenacious roots that resist tugging, Roundup is always overkill and the leaves are attractive (and their relatives, delicious with marinated anchovies and a mustardy dressing), welcome to continue growing, so my method is to pop off the buds as they appear. And to reach into the dandelion’s navel where invariably another tight green globe hides. Those I miss are pulled off when they become blaring flowers. Three years into my experiment, it seems that by reducing the number of dandelions that can go to seed (the beautiful ethereal stage), I’ve eliminated lots of yellow.

Dandelions, Stone Ridge, NY, 5/17/16

Dandelions, Stone Ridge, NY, 5/17/16

Where the gutter/drain pipe makes a dogleg, there’s a nest built from grasses and moss. Last year’s attempt to colonize the same area failed, swept to the ground by wind and rain. Babette, from my imperfect description of the nest and its inhabitants, said that the birds were probably Phoebes, and as we talked, I saw one balance on a large dried stalk. She asked if the bird seemed to wag its tail. Funnily enough, yes. ID confirmed.

Phoebes, Stone Ridge, 6/18/16

Phoebes, Stone Ridge, 6/18/16

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