Sunday, April 30, 2017

Garden Wildlife

I wrote a while back that I would take a photo of the very neat interior lining of the cardinal's nest in the rose arbor.  Well, by the time I took the camera outside, she'd already added another layer inside!

Cardinal's Nest

What was the interior (the lighter-colored material) was now covered up by a finer weaving of what looks like pine straw.

Cardinal's Nest

A day or two later, I heard a bird startle away from the arbor when I (apparently) got too close for comfort.  I took a look to see if she'd made any further remodeling efforts-- and there was a little speckled egg!

Cardinal Egg

Another couple of days, and there were two of them!
It's been a few days more, with no more eggs.  Donald read that cardinals typically have a clutch of 2 to 5 eggs, so this may be all she'll lay.

Cardinal Eggs

There are not a ton of bees, lately, but I have seen a variety of them.  Bumblebees seem to be the most common type in our garden.  Butterflies, moths, and ladybugs are reappearing, too-- and I saw a hummingbird a couple of times this week.  Time to refill the feeder!

Bee on 'Blue Bedder' Sage

We've been enjoying the fireflies, lately.  There were so many of them, the other evening!  Lightning bugs are just as mesmerizing and magical as they were when I was a kid; some things never lose their ability to amaze.

Less amazing are the young grasshoppers.  (That's what that is in the next photo, right?)  I don't mind them as long as they don't eat too much of my plants, though.  At least they don't (usually) fly right at you, like leaf-footed bugs, or threaten to sting, like wasps.


There's no photo of it, but we've been seeing the same black snake in the garden, several times this spring.  I'm not sure if it's a black rat snake or a black racer.  It's about three feet long and very quick to move along, when we see it.  As long as it stays safely away from us and the dogs, I'm not that worried about it.  I've always heard that a few "good" snakes in the yard can deter the venomous ones by cutting down the prey population.

Speaking of snake prey, we're enjoying the antics of the Carolina anoles and skinks (both the pretty ones with blue tails-- I think they're called "Southeastern five-lined skinks"-- and the less attractive broad-headed skinks).

There's also the occasional toad and frog...

Frog on Canna Leaf

He spent hours hanging out on this new, dark-leaved canna.  I think he's on 'Wyoming', but I'm not positive which is which, yet.  (It'll be easier to tell when they get a little bigger.)  One is 'Wyoming' and one is 'Russian Red'.

Dark Canna

Then we have rabbits slipping through the fence for free salad fixin's-- and of course the occasional garden fairy...

Garden Fairy

...or tiny garden cherub.  ;o)

Mini Sculpture with Mint