Most people think that gardens this time of year are done, and not worth looking at. I try to plan my beds for year round interest. But, I always find surprises when I go to haul garden ornaments away to the shed for the winter, or work at pulling up Japanese honeysuckle and Bradford pear seedlings. This oak seedling is only about 4" tall....but the leaf is just dumbfoundingly beautiful. I'm pretty sure it is a black oak, but it may be a burr oak....
I was startled to find this little nest in my lilac bush which is at the end of the deck. I guess it just goes to show how little we used our deck this summer...most of the time it was just too hot, and since it faces south, the sun broils you no matter what the general temperature is.
The nest is tiny and made rather loosely of the previous season's daylily leaves. For that reason, I suspect it is a Carolina wren nest. House wrens tend to be "pocket nesters" looking for nooks and crannies to build their nests...whereas the Carolina will often build nests in tree branches...but I might be wrong. Another odd habit of the wren is that the male builds several nests and the female chooses which one she prefers.
About 100 feet away, outside the fenced in area, I found yet another small nest in my Trident maple. Again, I think this is a wren nest, as hummingbirds build much more tidy and compact nests. I have both wrens and hummers in my garden....but I think the hummingbirds prefer nesting in the mature spruce on the edge of the property. The wrens run along my fence, but I am never really sure where they nest. I'll just have to wait until Mark sees this and he can tell us what kind of nests these are.