This is our Starling stump – tall and proud, and entwined with honeysuckle vines. Hanging from the wooden arm is a tiny little birdhouse with a very small honeycomb styled bees nest in it, and hidden amidst the honeysuckle is a little garden fairy water gauge, to show us how much rain we’ve had so far.
At the base of the stump is a very full flower garden that includes Hardy Geraniums, Bleeding Hearts, Lily of the Valley, Pansies, pink blooming Ivy, Hens & Chicks, Red Clover, and a few ground cover plants as well. It’s gorgeous in the summer, although very hard to weed!
Every spring, a Starling mama makes her nest in the hole (as you can see pictured above) and we have been blessed to watch her hatch out her babies, and feed them until they are ready to leave the nest and fly out to explore the world on their own. ♥
We actually have two of these stumps in our yard, and each year both of them are taken over by the Starlings during their breeding season. The one right out the kitchen window allows us to watch the babies up close, and this one in the back yard allows us to watch more of the flight of the Starling parents when they swoop in and out to feed their babies.
Sadly, our beautiful Starling stump (above) has come to its end; sometime during the night, the stump fell to the ground. The bottom of it shows some very rotted wood where it broke off, and I am thinking that the huge amount of snowfall we had this year – along with our recent rains – have softened the earth too much and the weight of the stump carried itself over.
I feel sad that our Starlings will not have one of their ready-made nests this year, and it will certainly change the look and feel of our back yard, but I am thankful that it did not fall the other way – towards the house – and take out any of our ground floor windows!
I’m not quite sure what we are going to do with this little spot in the back yard now. Obviously, we are going to have to get out a chainsaw and chop it up so we can get it moved, and then either dig out the rest of the stump that is still below ground, or burn it out once the ground dries a bit. After that, I’m not quite sure what this area will become.
A giant in-ground fire pit?
Clean up the area, and turn it into a container garden?
Move the rocks and just let the grass take over?
If you have any great landscaping ideas, I would love to hear them!