Monthly Archives: August 2013

Best. Thing. Ever.

By | Birds | 6 Comments

There is a baby hummingbird in the garden.

I can tell it’s a baby because it has the remains of a fluffy gray cap and I don’t think hummingbirds have taken to wearing wigs. It’s a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, that being the only species that breeds out here. (Incidentally, this brings our fledgling count of the year up to a dozen, which is leaps and bounds past anything we’ve ever achieved in the garden—just an incredible year. I am still not sure if this is because the garden is getting older and has a better carrying capacity or if the rains led to a mosquito explosion that fed zillions of fledglings, but just—amazing year.)

As I watched, the fledgling hummingbird fed off the scarlet runner-bean flowers adorning the deck, and shoved its beak deep into one particular carmine flower.

Which came off.

On its beak.

Suddenly the hummingbird is zipping around in a panic with GIANT HEAD-SIZED RED FLOWER STUCK TO MY FACE AAAAAAHHHH GET IT OFF GET IT OFF GET IT OFF while I laughed like a hyena on nitrous. Fortunately the flower fell off within a second or two, much to the bird’s relief (and mine, since once I stopped laughing, I’d have had to figure out how to help the bird, and that would be a mess.)

There is pretty much nothing that can top that ever today, so I’m gonna go get coffee.

Random Things In The Garden

By | Insects, Stuff In My Yard | One Comment

So my hickory tree—the big one outside my window—is being systematically defoliated by a pack of walnut caterpillars. They are large and look stingy, with their long white hairs, they congregate in groups, and they are quite large. Even a relentless friend of wildlife such as myself will admit to bein’ a little squicked out. Given their size and how actively they move, it’s kind of like having a group of boneless, elongated mice crawling along the tree.

They are also going to be eaten by more or less everything, so that’s okay.

In happier news, new species keep on appearing in the garden—I’ve added the Rosy Maple Moth, Hoary Skipper (very similar to the far more common Silver-Spotted Skipper) and check out what volunteered in the pasture area up front! (Some day I will hire somebody to mow an edge around it so it looks more intentional and less like Two People Who Don’t Give A Shit Live Here,* but honestly, the neighbor on that side is a beekeeper AND has rusted trucks in his yard, so frankly, he doesn’t care. And the soggy area down at the bottom is getting increasingly interesting. I put in the Joe Pye Weed and the Swamp Sunflower, but this stuff showed up all on its own.)

rosepink

Common Rose Pink, aka Sabatia angularis aka Rose Gentian aka Bitterbloom

It’s a biennial and will hopefully seed enough to return in a year or two, as I am perfectly delighted to have it in residence.

The starry rosinweed continues to host All The Butterflies All The Time.

tigeronrosinweed

Om nom nom nom nectar nom nom imsopretty nom

And I found this little guy on the dwarf ironweed. He looked…pointy. If anybody knows what he is, give a yell!

smallwhitestingy

I steeeng you!

*Not that this isn’t true.