The Mockingbird and the Beautyberry ( click to enlarge- October, 2012)

Perfect desert

I shall choose just the right one

This berry looks just right

I must be cautious and watch and listen for those that will eat me

The Beautyberry is an easy to grow native shrub and one that

I began with two broken off twigs that I removed from a shrub near Lake Palestine in east Texas many years ago. Once in a while my husband would take our children and me on an overnight fishing trip. I have never likeed camping and on this trip it was very hot and humid. I was miserable the whole time besides trying to keep an eye on my children who I made wear life jackets if they were near the water or in the boat. Both our children were excellent swimmers by the time they were 3 and 5 years old. But when near the water and not knowing the lake I insisted they have on a life jacket.

 Anyhoo- the best part of this little trip was getting the early spring cuttings to take root and now I have several beautyberry shrubs in various parts of the yard. The birds helped spread the seed and I almost always leave the plant to grow wherever it has sprung up.

I was sitting in my little electic cart watching for butterflies when this bird flew to the beautberry. I don’t think that he/she even noticed me. I am sorry that these are not sharper and larger. My lens is an 18-200mm zoom and I could not place the camera on a tripod or the bird would surely have flown away.

Post and photographs: Yvonne

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21 thoughts on “The Mockingbird and the Beautyberry ( click to enlarge- October, 2012)

  1. Lake Palestine, the first lake I ever went water skiing on.

    • Thanks again. Yep, good ole Lake Palestine. My husband fished that lake many times with his fishing buddies. Always brought home fish that I would have to fix for supper meals.

      So do you have a place to ski other than the ocean or do you still ski?

  2. exiledprospero says:

    Scout is the central character in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (we have drifted from nature to literature!). Still, I was very interested in seeing your pictures of that beautiful bird.

    • Well so much for my lack of education. Here is another I’m afraid to admit, only it is no joke. I never read Harper Lee’s To Kill…….! is she not the writer that only wrote the one book. I have read snippets of reviews and I should have remembered the name but- I did not. Woe is me. I could never get interested in reading any of the great writer’s and really hated Shakesphere. However, I like some of the british poets a lot. That is if I don’t have to stretch my pea size brain too much to understand what the poem is about and as long as there is a nice flow of words.

      I have just finished reading my answer to you about Scout and the mockingbird. I began laughing and giggling and said aloud to myself- (you stupid woman) and again I have frightened a cat or two. They seldom hear me laugh and I almost fell out of my chair. I bet you had a good time with that reply from me.

  3. exiledprospero says:

    I always think of Scout when I see a mockingbird. Great pictures, Yvonne.

    • Prospero, you do have a sense of humor. I have never heard the Scout association with a mocker but that is quite fitting. You are being nice to say those are great photos but the pics are not sharp and the image should be larger. But the over all poses that I caught, I think were good. The sharpness thing really bugs me but I keep thinking that before long I can afford that prime lens.

    • Not really. But thank you. The pics are okay but far from good. The poses are nice but the photos lack in sharpness. I keep hoping I can soon get a really good portrait lens and a telephoto lens of about 400 or 500mm.

  4. Northern Narratives says:

    I like to watch the birds eat berries. I think it is hard to take photos of the birds. They are always moving and they don’t like us to get too close.

    • Thanks for commenting. I agree with you that it is hard to get a pic of any bird. This one was just intent on eating- maybe he knew I was harmles for this bird and its mate see me out and about the yard every day. Bird photography is about like photographing some species of butterflies. They flit away with the slightest movement.

  5. TexWisGirl says:

    that’s great that you got the bushes to root and grow for you!

    • Thanks for the comment. I was very surprised that the cuttings rooted so well. I just happened to get them at the right time of year, maybe. Do you have any beauty berry on your property? Some native plant nurseries even sell the beautyberry that produces white berries.

  6. Linda Royal says:

    Funny little mockingbird. They seem to love berries. I have had them devour the pyracantha berries. When my children were little, we had mockingbirds that mimicked their cries. I would go running outside, only to find the children happily playing.

    • Linda, thanks for commenting. I love the story of the bird mimicking Rex and April. I imagine that you got sorta perturbed every time you ran out to see what was wrong. I wonder if a mocker has or could alert someone if something were amiss. I know that they are good for snake alert, hawks, and owls but that is for their own defense as well as for other wildlife near by.

      Of all the things that I have planted for the birds I have yet to plant a pyracantha but I am gonna do that this late winter. I am so glad you wrote about that. I forget every year. And do you know that the birds supposedly like the orange berries more than the red ones?

  7. Andrew says:

    NIce memories. Plants are a great connector of the generations. When my grandmother dies in 1970 my mother took some cuttings from her hydrangea and planted it in her garden. I later took cuttings off my mother’s plant and they survived her passing in 2000. Only when I moved permanently to Hong Kong did the hydrangea-chain break but I asked the young couple who bought my house in Britain to keep and tend the hydrangea. The first plant I bought when I settled down here was a blue Hydrangea macrophylla. I can’t see a mockingbird picture without hearing Carly Simon in my head 🙂

    • The hydrabgea will always remind you of your grandmother and mother. It’s too bad that you could not bring some of those cuttings with you to Hong Kong. I’ve seen photos of how beautifull flowers grow in England. There is something about the climate/soil that makes then so beautiful. Were you taking photos back then? Did you get any pics of the plant and do you know if the people have kept that plant going? One last question? How well does your hydrangea grow for you and Ms Ha?

      I don’t know C. Simon’s song and the mockingbird. But if you compare singers to mockingbirds or vice versa- well this bird is quite a mimic and sings a lot even at night sometimes.

      Thanks for the comments. I enjoyed reading about the flower in your family and how you still love the plant. They are so very pretty.

      • Andrew says:

        Alas no, Yvonne, I wasn’t taking photos then. Hydrangeas don’t grow well in HK but we have had some blooms I’m happy to say. About 10 years ago I saw a painting of a hydrangea in the house of a colleague in Singapore. I discovered his wife was the artist. I discreetly asked if the painting was for sale but sadly it wasn’t. A few months later the wife sent me a very similar painting she had done after learning why I wanted it for my own home. She wouldn’t take anything for it. It came with a delightful letter which I keep attached to the back of the painting for future owners to read after I am gone. There are good people on this planet. We just have to seek them out.

        • That is too bad- no pictures. I sort of figured that the hydrangea does not grow as it does in England. The gift from the colleague’s wife was a wonderful gesture. I bet that you adore that painting and that you look at it often. You are right about nice people. You just never know where you will find them. It is such a pleasant surprise to meet someone that is so thoughtful.

  8. so beautifully vivid. I went camping with my family too–and I agree with your accessment of the activity

    • Thanks for commenting. I am glad you agree with me about camping. I love the oudoors and grew up in the country. But I hate all of the packing, unpacking, then packing it all up again and then one more unpacking after you return home. And, I totally hate having to use the outdoors as a bathroom. My husband could never underrstand that I lived in the country until 18 years of age- and that I detested camping so much.

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