Robins are welcome to our winterberries

American Robin

American Robin on a bleak day.

Small flocks of robins have been criss-crossing our back field and woods. They don’t come close to the house this time of year. They prefer the red maple swamp.winterberry

Winterberry grows wild and abundant there. Bluebirds like it too.

Ilex verticillata is our only native deciduous holly. It is attractive not only to birds but to otherwise nice ladies who like to decorate their homes with branches of “wild” winterberry … cut from other peoples’ yards. You start to see them stopping along the roads just before Thanksgiving and up until Christmas, stepping out of their cars with pruning shears in hand.

We have some winterberry planted (by my husband) near our mailbox. When I see a car slow down by our eye-catching red berry bushes, I open the front door and release my Tibetan mastiffs Fang and Claw. Just kidding.


The red maple swamp is good for wildlife… and good for owning land without paying a lot in property tax.

I’d like to see the drive-by winterberry harvesters try to get some of those decorations. Pruning shears and hip waders required.

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