As the kids already know… it’s not all about the flora… or it is?!

We may go to the Gardens to see beautiful flowers, read a book in the shade or enjoy the peace that surrounds us but the kids, they go to the Gardens it see the birds and the bees.

Bees feeding on an Allium at the Halifax Public Gardens

At the height of summer it’s hard to see the flowers without seeing colonies of bees buzilly feeding on nectar and pollen. Some plants, like this Allium, attract them in swarms.
At times like this it’s hard to believe that there is a serious and worrying decline in the global bee population.

Duck on Griffin's Pond at the Halifax Public GardensThough people often comment about the lack of ducks, in my time (which is admittedly short) of frequenting the Gardens, I haven’t noticed any difference in the population other than an increase each fall during migration.
Those ducks that spend the summer here seem to enjoying themselves and partake in many activities which put a smile on our faces…

Dancing duck at the Halifax Public GardensDancing to the beat of the band…
You put you right foot in, you put your right foot out… and you shake it all about.

Duck aboard the Titanic at the Halifax Public GardensGoing for a ride on a boat…

Walking on water at the Halifax Public GardensWalking on water…Duck at the Halifax Public GardensOr pretending to be a goose so that the staff will feed them.

Starling at the Halifax Public GardensAnother resident you’re highly likely to encounter, particularly if you sit outside the cafe, are the Starlings. Being Canadians, they very politely sit on the railing close to your table trying to impersonate a begging Lab.

Pigeons at the Halifax Public GardensThe pigeons on the other hand find it easier to gather by the bird enclosure, and wait until the gardeners or (unfortunately) visitors have put out food for the geese.

Gathering nesting material at the Halifax Public GardensNesting material is plentiful making the Gardens prime bird real estate.

Gull on the Sackville model at the Halifax Public GardensThe seagulls were very happy when the Sackville joined the fleet this summer. Now they  have their own boat to ride on.

Turtle at the Halifax Public GardensFlying critters aren’t the only ones who reside at the Gardens. The turtles have been rather shy this year though there was a sighting early summer.

Squirrels at the Halifax Public GardensSquirrels are abundant and one managed to make its way into many Instagram accounts on my last tour as it sat on a bump on a tree feeding, just above our heads.
Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera at the time.
This one required a zoom lens.

Gold finch at the Halifax Public GardensBrad (one of the gardeners) pointed out a group of Gold finches which were feeding in a clump of perennials. These non migrating citizens of the world (they’re found everywhere  except Australia and the Poles) have beaks especially adapted to consuming their favourite food…. seeds.
Plenty of those at the Gardens, especially at this time of year.

Blue heron at the Halifax Public GardensThe blue heron will forever be associated with Suellen Murray in my mind, though I never knew her.
At the awarding of the Suellen Murray Bursary on Dahlia Day her mother told of  Suellen’s last visit to the Gardens , and her excitement over  seeing a blue heron.
Moments earlier (and 2 years after her death)  the heron made its way back to the Public Gardens.
Many cultures accept the view that birds can act as the visible spirit of the dead.
Flora the Toulouse goose at the Halifax Public GardensIt is about Flora after all.
She and her companion Diana draw the crowds with their gyrating necks and aloof demeanour.
Sometimes though she can’t help but take a peak to see if we’re paying attention.

Though we can’t yet feel Fall in the air, the season of activities at the Gardens are winding down.
Next Sunday the last concert of the season will take place, featuring The Halifax Trombone Summit. Same time (2PM) same place.
I will continue my tour until the end of September. Same time Wednesdays at 10AM,  same place.
The flower beds are very exuberant right now, berries are abundant and the leaves have yet to turn, though there are whispers of what’s to come.
Get out and enjoy our ‘Indian summer’.

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