The brilliant red berries have been decorative since late summer on the Hawthorne trees growing in the scrub on an empty field in our neighborhood.   I walk by these trees almost every day while on my neighborhood stroll, observing  the seasonal birds with their busy activities in the trees.   Perched on a branch or flying from one branch to another pecking at bugs, seeds and the bright red plump berries hanging from the branches.

As the season matures, the leaves wither losing their color then leave the branches of the Hawthorne trees but the berries remain firm to the bare branches as they turn a deep burnt red.   Mostly the winter robins and flickers are attracted to the winter berries left on the stark gnarly dark branches for their main food supply.  The summer and fall foods have diminished during the cold, gray, wet and dormant months and they need a high powered carbohydrate food to keep them warm and active.  They are there everyday harvesting as many berries that their beaks can hold before competing birds get to the berries first.  Now, only a few really dark berries remain on the bare branches.

The young trees plus the overly mature trees now covered with thick lichen standout against the dark evergreens growing at the edge of the field.  The rugged old trees with the lichen clinging to the trunks and branches will eventually decay, break apart and fall to the ground creating cover and nests for the small birds in the spring.

The young trees are fast growers; next spring their leaves will appear, small birds will hide in the mass of leaves,  build their nests and sing again to attract mates plus bring joy to still and quiet listeners.  Again, the trees will bear fruit painting spring colors to the native flora and attract the wild fauna.



11 thoughts on “The Hawthorne berries have been harvested by the birds

  1. Deon: I am giving thought to your invitation to join the writing group in Freehand. Definitely, there is a need for me to learn how to improve my writing skills plus enjoy listening to other peoples life stories. I am presently trying to arrange other interests into my somewhat reclusive lifestyle w/o creating chaos in my present comfortable life. If you see me on January 24th, I am being brave!


  2. Paula, thank you. You don’t have to go out of the way to make a special post. I will browse Twitter to find your critique postings.

    As a friend had reminded me, the Rowan berries are Hawthorne berries, the ones I mentioned in a previous post.

    Enjoy a beautiful day creating art!


  3. Paula, hope the holidays warmth and spirit with friends and family will last throughout 2017 for you. It’s a good break from all the unstable worldly events that occurred in 2016. Observing and listening to the wild birds singing brings music to my ears to remind me spring will be around the corner soon.

    Rowan berries? I am not sure they grow in the northwestern part of the states. Also, I am not sure I have seen wood pigeons here either but they appear to have found a delightful treat and enjoyment among the rowan berries. Thanks for sharing many of your creative post. I miss reading your art critiques about classic painters you had done in the past! Hopefully, you will present more in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I wish you a Happy and Creative 2017 and thank you for your lovely blog posts of 2016. Your nature observational journal of Whidbey Island is wonderful.

    Berries! Our hungry birds are busy eating away rowan berries too. Sometimes they have to be real acrobats in order to pick these dangling berries on the fine branches that aren’t able to support the weight of the birds. Especially wood pigeons go kamikaze style: they hang as long as possible on weight bending branches, sometimes up side down, holding on with one leg. It is good for them not to forget to do this workout as picking bird food at my bird-feeding station makes them a bit lazy. Maybe our wood pigeons name my bird feeding station a ‘Fly Thur’ and aiming for the rowan berries ‘Slow Food’.


  5. Lois: I am reminding you that we are meeting at the Freeland Library Community Room on Tuesday, January 24th from 12-4. This is not our usual time of 1-5 because the library is having a function after and we needed to be out early. I hope you can come and bring a piece to read. This one is a nice one. Deon


  6. Thank you for this post and all of your wonderful work this past year. I always look forward to learning more about life on Whidbey Island. Always inspirational. Happy holidays and best to you and your family in the coming new year.


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