Monday, May 31, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

How to Fool a Cowbird.... accident.On the day I thought my bluebirds fledged the box, I checked in to make sure they had actually left.
There were two Bluebird eggs still in there.
I left them in there for a couple days just to make sure they weren't new. I know bluebirds will have more than one brood, but since this was my first successful pair I didn't have too much knowledge on the subject. After a couple days I realized these eggs were not viable, and from the first brood.
I carefully removed the nest and set in in the woods not far from the nest box. I left the eggs in the nest....I have no idea why I did it that way...I just did.
Yesterday I, for some reason went to look at the nest...and I found this Brown-headed Cowbird egg in it. One of the "dead" Bluebird eggs was poked and pushed out of the nest!
Now I feel pretty good about this as last year I saw a Summer Tanager feeding a baby Cowbird and I know I may have just saved a Warbler, Tanager, Cuckoo, or other bird from this parasitic nest robber.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rose Campion

The Rose Campion is in bloom here on the mountain. I just love this plant.It comes up everywhere......and brightens every corner of the yard.They look good in front of plants......or around plants.Ok, I just had to throw this Red Hot Poker in here for fun!Rose Campion are easy to grow from seed and if you have a place for them to roam, let them!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Great Crested Flycatcher

There have been a few Great Crested Flycatchers hanging out right here in the yard for a couple days so I was able to get an opportunity to get a couple shots off for you. This is the answer to the Bird Quiz posted a few days ago.I can't believe I was able to catch this individual as it took off from the perch above.
I'm really enjoying hearing them chat to each other right here in the yard.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Good Garden Friends

It's that time of year when one must be a little careful while watering plants in the garden. I came very close to stepping on this Black Kingsnake while tending to my Coneflowers the other day.This was not a very big Kingsnake as Kingsnakes go but no matter what size, they are all very welcome in my yard. As a matter of fact I was overjoyed to see him. Black Kingsnakes are resistant to Pit-Viper venom and they "readily eat Copperheads, Cottonmouths, and Rattlesnakes." They are also aggressive but easily tamed..hummm... Now my other favorite snake is this Worm Snake. I cannot seem to dig a hole for a plant without running into this fellow.They eat earthworms, which is what one needs in the garden, but if these guys are aerating the soil I guess we'll keep them around too. Morgan was more than happy to model this fellow for the camera. She noted the point at the end of its tail and although they are know to be harmless they may push this point against the captor.
No one was hurt or poked during the filming of this post!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bird Quiz

This fellow forages high in the canopy but it will perch in the open.
He is quite LOUD with his whee-eep call. They are quite common in deciduous or mixed forests during breeding and can be found across the east and central US.
Up north I had to travel to the woods to see them but here they are everywhere.
Hopefully I'll get a color photo for you after you guess from the silhouette!
Good luck to you and wish me luck too!

Monday, May 3, 2010

May Days

I've been a busy bee here on the mountain just enjoying my surroundings in general.
I've been exploring my area and helping a friend plant trees.
I've found a new nursery and took a bunch of fun garden photos and am just enjoying the weather.
So I finally got around to taking pictures from my own garden to post today.
This little male Ruby-throated Hummingbird is enjoying the Iris as much as me.

They just opened this morning.All the Iris are blooming in profusion.The sun is filtering through the woods.I found this fern along my driveway and relocated it to a garden in the yard.The dragonflies are out in full force and all my Hosta pots have filled up!This Scarlet Tanager is still singing happily in the trees above.It's a world of sun and shade.

I'm lovin every bit of it!