Saturday, April 4, 2015

A Loud Alien Species: Ring-Necked Pheasant

Nearby Naramata has a much-decried marauding peacock problem, with several entertaining letters to the editor last summer.  I'm happy that Summerland doesn't have a similar troupe of screeching, prancing birds (that apparently also scratch cars, according to the Naramata reports).  However, the Okanagan is home to another alien species of colorful birds.  The ring-necked pheasant was introduced from China about 100 years ago, presumably for people who enjoy hunting them.  Not 30 minutes goes by without hearing this bird screech from somewhere nearby.  Sometimes I have to stop my vehicle to let it cross the road.  It doesn't seem adequately scared of vehicles, which might explain why we found a dead one on the road last year.  I have yet to see a female (maybe she's quieter?). 
Ring-necked pheasant in Summerland, BC
The spring bulbs blooming now include the mini daffodil, Narcissus "Tete-a-Tete".  The big daffodils in the sunniest locations are blooming, while the shaded ones are just coming up.  I am excited to see my Fritillaria imperialis are out of the ground and looking good.  Those stinky bulbs are supposed to grow into really stinky but attractive flowers.  The most common advice is to plant these to repel deer, but our fence does a good enough job of that.  We can just appreciate the scent ourselves. 

Narcissus "Tete-a-Tete"

Allium giganteum, with frost on the mulch this morning
Plum tree in blossom

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