Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Spa Day

A late summer event, no time to send out the announcements! But as usual, I took photos. The first photo is of the petunia pot that rests in a corner of my deck this summer.

It gets visited by birds and butterflies throughout the months.

The pot is close to the birdbath which gets visited by an assortment of feathered beauties during the month. I water almost daily now that summer it at it hottest and as you can see I do not sweep the deck. One morning I noticed this below in the far corner of the flower pot!

This was taken on August 18...a wren's nest buried under the petunias.

Above was taken on August 20, two days later. You can see their pin-feathers.

Taken on August 23 with eyes open.

Taken on August 24 where you can clearly see there are four as they push open the mouth of the nest. I am now watering carefully around the nest.

I have not really been able to watch the parents feeding because they dive out of the pot and away into the woods hidden by the deck.  On August 27 one of the parents was hanging out on the post in the pot. I went out to take another photo.

Here they seem to be clearly fed up with my stalking them as they cower down. Within three hours when I went out to check again, they were all gone! They had fledged and I could not see them anywhere in the woods. A few hours later I captured this.

This is one of the parents, I am guessing Mom finally getting her spa day.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

The Birds

I have failed to journal the birds this summer and so I will share what has happened in just this last week in my neck of the woods.  You can click on the photos for a larger view.

The osprey are still hanging around teaching their offspring to fish and calling bravely when you pass too close to the nest in a boat.

As I said in an earlier post "our" osprey were only able to produce one little offspring.  The weather has been so wet that small plants are growing in among the sticks as you can see in the photo above.

My petunia pot has a wrens nest and even today they are just getting their feathers...looks like four.

The sandbar before the bridge still has the normal conglomeration of seagulls waiting for the setting sun so that they can go fishing.  They are actually not called a flock but a "colony."

There is an "island" offshore where the Cormorants and the Pelicans hang out, each on their own rock pile.  The white flags in the background are crab pots waiting to be pulled.

Sadly we lost one of our Yellow-billed Cuckoos this past week.  This is an example of their lovely rusty-colored feathers.  The skeleton was most of what remained and we can hear the mate calling and calling each day.  The call sounds like the whistle when one pumps one of those gallon sprayers that is used to spray an herbicide or pesticide!  It has got an echo sound and very hard to pinpoint exactly where the cuckoo may be sitting in a tree.  You can go to this link if you want to hear the sound...the first link is the one we hear in our woods,  supposed to be the female call or a male trying to attract a female ... sad.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Crazy Climate Quilt

There are fires and hot weather out West and this has been the situation for months in that region. There is a rare and strong hurricane headed toward the Hawaiian Islands after the slowing down of the volcano. 

Our summer months here in the mid-East have been unusually mild and even unusually wet for the end of summer. This morning, the second to the last week of August, we have been greeted by a sunny and nicely cool morning with just a hint of fall! 

My garden is also confused. I regularly pinch my mums back in July so they will sublimate their efforts to bloom until September and share their glory when much of the garden is going to rest. This year one-third of the plants had some buds already in July. Now one-third of many of my mum plants are blooming and another one-fifth of the plant has faded brown blossoms. What a crazy climate we now have!

Monday, August 20, 2018

Solace in Nature

"Every now and again take a good look at something not made with hands---a mountain, a star, the turn of a stream. There will come to you wisdom and patience and solace and, above all, the assurance that you are not alone in the world." Sid Lovett

Saturday, August 18, 2018


The population of goldfinch varies during the summer months. They do come through to eat in the winter at the bird feeders, but summer is not as predictable. This year I have an abundance of volunteer zinnias and a few volunteer sunflowers and thus, an abundance of goldfinch!  They are territorial at the sunflower head but seem to be willing to share elsewhere and at the birdbath.  You can see below why my zinnias get destroyed.  It seems that goldfinch also like to eat the petals of the flower!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Natural Entertainment

There is nothing worse than a summer cold unless it happens during those hot humid days toward the end month as you wait for fall having tired of comparing a mild fever to the real heat of a sweating brow when attempting to weed a flower bed while your nose drips, drips, drips to the ground. While lying in my bedroom one afternoon and sucking on a cough drop, I observed the view from the window at the foot of my bed.

Yes, I opened the window to get a better photo.  This is Auralia spinosa more commonly known as devils' walking stick.  The common name comes from the sharp and spiny thorns on its branches and trunk.  It thrives at the edges of woods or where soil has been disturbed.  Many people want to eradicate it, but it is an important pollinator and in my case a great source of entertainment while resting in bed.

I watch them dance and spar and then drink deeply of some amazing nectar: bees and bumblers and wasps, and butterflies.  It is good medicine.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Wings, an Abundance of Wings!

"Nature is so delightful and abundant in its variations that there would not be one that resembles another, and not only plants but among their branches, leaves, and fruit, will not be found one which is precisely like another." Leonardo Da Vinci 

Since the rains are diminishing I have been blessed with so many winged creatures this week! And below are just the most colorful of the winged ones.