Sunday, April 8, 2018

The Perching Tree

When we bought our Littleton, Colorado, farm in 1990, we noticed that a weeping mulberry tree, less than 10 feet from our picture window, was partly obstructing our view of the South Platte Valley and of the High Plains Escarpment to the southeast.  There was some discussion as to whether we should cut it down but, fortunately, it still stands.

During the warmer months, its dense clusters of curved branches are festooned with rich green foliage and, in early summer, it provides a copious supply of sweet red mulberries, enjoyed by humans and wildlife alike.  If one lives in the semiarid climate of the Front Range, anything that is green and provides tasty fruit is best left alone.

But it is during the colder months that I most appreciate this "ugly" tree.  It is then that a wide variety of birds perch on or within its net of barren branches.  Bathed in sunshine from dawn to dusk, the weeping mulberry attracts small songbirds such as juncos, finches, sparrows and bushtits but is also a favored resting spot for doves, jays, thrushes and woodpeckers; were I inclined toward wildlife photography, it would offer a steady supply of close-up subjects.  As it is, I'm content to merely enjoy their company, especially on cold winter days.