Hi all! I was out this morning testing my video gear and I came across a robin feeding on the over-wintered berries of a Bittersweet vine, growing in an apple tree. I thought that I’d snatched a nice clip showing him swallowing a berry, but when I viewed it later in my studio, I was surprised to discover that he actually dropped the berry … “Phooey!,” he seems to exclaim, before flying to a new perch.
Ha! A little bit of humor on a frosty spring morning with snow still on the ground!
NOTE: I have been informed that the berry-producing vine is Oriental Bittersweet, Celastrus orbiculatus. This species is native to central Asia and is an aggressive invasive in North America that is displacing our native Bittersweet, Celastrus scandens. Birds are attracted to the berries, however, and some landscapers actually recommend the plant for this reason.
Here’s what the National Park Service has to say: “Do not buy, plant, transplant Oriental bittersweet or dispose of live or dead seed-containing material. Manual, mechanical and chemical methods can be employed to control it. Vines can be pulled out by the roots, cut repeatedly or treated with systemic herbicides. No biological controls are currently available for this plant.”
With this little video clip, I hereby “officially” re-boot our wonderful blog. Given that our “NatureWatch” titles will now be our primary means of publishing formalized content, our “Blog” can be more immediate and informal, featuring brief videos, sound recordings, photographs, and other media that will remind us of the unfolding of the seasons and the plethora of life that surrounds us.
But now I need to boot-up our team of bloggers, so that you will be able to enjoy a steady flow of diverse content from a variety of authors … not just me, myself, and I!
I encourage you to say hi by leaving a comment below. And be sure to sign up for our newsletter, if you haven’t done so already. And please do spread the word about our wonderful new website … we want to share our content with gazillions of people and eventually turn the whole world into a big happy family of nature lovers!