Tuesday, June 16, 2015

birds and bees and other manifestations of the godhead

As I mentioned, it finally quit raining and when it did summer landed like a wet blanket. A wet blanket infested with mosquitoes. Suffice to say I'm spending lot of time indoors.

Spring is just a memory along with all those lovely flowers. Even the day lilies that bloomed profusely and for months last year are nearly done. A few put on a dazzling display but most the others, like the altheas before them, were disappointing. Some of the ginger is putting out bloom buds. The angel trumpets are frustrating me though. The one I planted last summer over at the shop is at least 3 1/2' tall and bushy and still nary a bloom. Sigh.

I've been collecting pictures of some of the other residents around here.

A male male cardinal has been feeding his two juniors for weeks now. He comes to the tea cup while the two juniors chirp and shiver their wings begging for food. Eventually one of the juniors got up the courage to come to the tea cup though that didn't stop it from begging from dad. 

I looked up the other day to see junior 1 and dad on the tea cup while junior 2 was waiting in the shrub. Dad is done with the feeding though. He's been chasing the juniors off the last two days when they come begging. They're on their own now.

I haven't seen the female feeding them. She's probably already sitting on another brood of eggs.

I spotted this nest the other day and while I did see her sit in it briefly, it is empty.

All the rain has made the frogs and toads happy. Their serenades fill the night with noise. Walking in the Little Backyard, an incautious step will send the little ones leaping away.

I'm happy to say I've seen more honeybees this year. This one was getting nectar from the flowering aloe.

This carpenter bee was hovering by my head until it finally flew up into the hole it had drilled in the end rafter of the barn. Everybody told me to kill it as they would ruin the rafter but I didn't do it.

Now I see there are four more holes so I guess we're going to have to discourage them.

A woodpecker, a yellow bellied sapsucker or a flicker maybe, was happily thunking away on a hollow dead branch in the tallow tree for weeks. 

It would thunk on the outside and then it would thunk on the inside.

The intrepid killdeer is still guarding her eggs in the gravel of the driveway of the shop. I'm impressed as it's too hot for me out there and she endures at least 10 hours of full sun. 

The eggs should be hatching any day now and I'm a little concerned with tropical storm Bill making landfall this morning somewhere between us and Houston.

And the anoles.

Giving me the eye.


  1. Our yards look so much the same. We do not have the Killdeer but beyond that, yep. Birds and bees and lizards and toads.
    And we need rain.

  2. Such a busy hive of activity even though it is hot and humid.

  3. There seems to be a lot going on in your neighborhood with all these creatures. Thanks for sharing them with us.

  4. i adore toads! cute anole, too. we have carpenter bees in our shed rafters. have for years. they drop oak pollen all over our vehicles. oh, well.

  5. I haven't seen honeybees here yet this year. Or butterflies. I did watch a robin instructing two off spring on finding food. They just stood with their mouths open. They were not rewarded for not paying attention.

  6. We have had two bright red cardinal flying through the yard together. I don't know if they are father and son or brothers. They don't stop long enough for me to get a photo.

  7. I'm impressed that the killdeer has been able to stay on that nest all this time and not fall victim to a dog or cat or snake. Pretty amazing! As for the tropical storm, I guess nature has its way of coping with such things. Poor carpenter bees!

  8. We have to watch for toads too - and we're both (the toad & I) alarmed if I startle one. Ha! I've noticed more honeybees this year as well.

  9. I like the little toad. I think you changed your font...

  10. Oh man you're getting rain all over again. The frogs and skeeters will love it, but your weather is over the top this year. Geeez.

  11. I've been thinking of you all day, what with the reports we're getting from over your direction. It just is killing me to this of that poor kildeer -- not to mention all the people and other critters having to put up with all this. Tonight it looks like Austin is a mess. Still raining here, but that's all it is. There's no wind, and just bands of rain.

    Leaf-cutter bees always are setting up shop in the little vents on the boats I work on. They trundle in with their perfectly cut piece of leaf, and add to the nest. I didn't know about carpenter bees. I'll have to go look them up.

  12. I love the anole, resting his hand on that bud like he owns it.
    Your detailed photography is remarkable. Your flowers may be dwindling, but your wildlife seems to be flourishing. I'm worried about that killdeer, thought, with her eggs just out in the open like that.


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