I did finally re-fill the bird feeder, but in the meantime I discovered that my slothfulness was not causing bird starvation.  On the contrary, it appears my slothfulness has been a veritable feast for birds and other small creatures.  What happened is this:

About a month ago, we got a good frost.  The tomatoes died once and for all, and so did the lantana.  I made a note — perhaps even reported in this very blog? — to clear away the dead matter.  And I left it at that.  Just a note, no actually pulling up of brown withered plants.  Bad gardener, no biscuit. 

But, it turns out birds like lantana berries.  They also like something or another in the dead tomato vines — possibly the frostbitten tomatoes, possibly the insects that feed on frostbitten tomatoes, who knows.   They also like crepe myrtle seed pods, and they like to hide in the miscellaneous bushes and weeds growing up on the perimeter of the garden area.  Squirrels, too, like all this stuff.  It seems to me that squirrels are kind of bird-wannabe animals.  Can’t blame them.

Now the good news is that I’m all inspired to plant even more bird-friendly vegetation.  It’s just so exciting to finally have someone who is enthusiastic about the meager produce of our garden.  The bad news is that dead tomato vines do not fall under that category of plants that can be considered "winter interest".   So I did finally  pull those up, re-filled the bird feeder, and made a note to figure out some different plants to feed the birds with next winter. 

Other garden notes:

  • The remaining marigolds have finally died their natural death. 
  • Pansies are going strong despite no applications of Pansy Food.  
  • The peas are sprouting here and there, but growing very slowly. 
  • I am unable to remember what else I meant to plant this fall, but whatever it was, I didn’t plant it. 
  • Holly bushes are full of berries; due to a toddler in the house, there will be no bringing in of clippings this year.  Phoning poison control is not a festive activity. 
  • The garlic that was growing so well in my fridge (inspiring me to finally put it in the dirt) has gone into hibernation. 
  • The rogue sunflower sprouts are not yet dead, we are watching in earnest to see what becomes of them.