Friday, September 17, 2021

Last Full Week of Summer

Last week was pretty nice weather wise no real complaints for a change!  I can't seem to get the font the size I want so hope this one works for everyone...

Thru the viewfinder:
I went to my favorite cemetery nearby it's always good to find something alive....and this time I found one Loggerhead Shrike...




He found some high perches to hunt from and then he got tangled up with a couple of Mockingbirds, and they went into defense mode.


And chased him away...

From another perch not far away an Eastern Phoebe watched and made sure he wasn't going to be attacked next...


He was safe, then the Mockingbirds started to chase each other...lol so no one got to settle on the poke berries on the edges...


A Red Admiral hung onto this twig in the cedar tree I tried and tried to get him wings open but he would not co operate...just stuck h is nose up in the air!


The really small flowers on the ground attracted this Bee Fly, pretty good name for this fly that looks and acts like a Bee...


And I read that flies actually do a lot of pollination so I guess we need to think before we swat that fly! 

This flower is called Meadow Beauty...another awesome fall bloomer...


On my way out of the cemetery I heard a chip coming from the pines and found an immature Blue Grosbeak up top looking around 


Easy to see that big beak...he will eventually turn blue...

Moving to another location saw this field with a line of Canada Geese pulling the tops off this winter hay crop..



... on the way to my old stomps, of the Beaver Pond, looks very different now there is no pond to speak of since they trapped and killed the beaver...


 Im still bent about that...I did see this turtle with a garden growing on this back!

Pond Slider

And I found out from one of the locals the Eagle Nest tree has fallen down wondered why I couldn't spot it, hope they will find another tree in the area to build in come late December. 
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I made a stop at the vernal pool I have been watching for a couple years and lately this Great Egret has been fishing there, I believe there is still plenty of tadpole, frog, and small turtle in the pool...


a bit too deep for the Green Herons that I normally see here although earlier in the season they were around..

I went to Sandhills took a couple of short hikes, and had a lot of Pine Warbler scolding me along the way...


Hunting season is about to get going so I will have to be careful out and about from now till the end of Feb. 



Buck Eye 

Grasshopper with bonus spider(??) 

Meanwhile back at home look who is in the flower bed...


Writing Spider 3 inches across!!


I did find some seeds for my winter garden plans...But I had dig through the Halloween costumes, and Spooky yard decorations and push aside the boxes of "Christmas Garland" waiting to be unboxed...dear readers  we will starve to death if the Pandemic gets worse, every store is over stocked with useless junk from China and I had to dig through a disheveled box of seeds looking for some to plant....at the Dollar Store!   To me this is a real shame.  Every community should have a seed exchange in it...not talking GMO seeds either...The garden centers are full of Mums, Pansies, and decorative plants.  We can't eat that. 
What are your thoughts on this subject. 


PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Good Bad Ugly


I gotta say this week was such a challenge for me.  Right off the bat, nothing went right...and I guess I drew all that to me somehow...And all the PTSD of 9/11 wears on my mind.  Our beautiful humidity free days ended too fast but they say it will get better by the end of the week...hopefully by the time you are reading this post. 


This is one of the Butternut Squash I grew, actually I grew everything in this bowl except the Rice and Quinoa.   I love one bowl meals, easy peasy, 


More Homegrown
 


This Great Blue  Heron was grooming while standing on a submerged log and he made a nice reflection...I took this last week 

SO my new camera arrived it's exactly like my old one only not worn out.  It just arrived yesterday and I haven't done much with it since it's been raining  since it arrived...and what I did last week with my old camera I lost when my computer CRASHED...Windows 10 and Microsoft...used to put out a good product now its an unstable and temperamental beast. 


I thought this could be immature Northern Shovelers...thanks to a  couple of birding buddies, Jen of I Used to Hate Birds, 
 and Steve Patterson a local ebirder, who both advised  me on these ducks...
Best consensus is Blue Winged Teal female.  I don't think I've ever seen them without males to help give away the identity.  

modern turf sod farm 

 
I made a trip to a local sod farm last week to look for Upland Sandpiper 


found them. they were too far out for decent photos (on the right) and I found these 2 below  later but didn't have a clue what they were then  another birder  listed them as Buff Breasted Sandpiper, again pretty far away...we are not to disrupt sod farm operations by driving up their access roads or tromping out on the sod, so its hard to get close this one is 3.4 miles in total area


 so that was good 2 rare birds in one field.

And this was kind of rare also...and sad.  IN an empty Parking lot right across from the Piggly Wiggly in town  I found a dead Armadillo.  Poor thing-- they are so cute when they are alive...I can't see any obvious cause of death I wonder if poison was at work here??

Sometimes Nature is not all rainbows and everything nice...


Once only seen along our border states the Armadillo has made it's way north and some consider it a nuisance animal for the digging they do...can't say I would want one in my yard, but I think I would try to relocate it.  


Had some Wood Stork fly over one of my stops last week,,

Since my blog posts on Thursday at Midnight I normally start putting it together on Wednesday...I did upload a few photos to Google Photos that I havent shared so I will just have to dive into that and put something together since I lost all the photos on my laptop,  Thankfully I have saved most of my heirloom photos on T-Drives, so those are safe... but the recent stuff is what I lost. 


POP QUIZ:  What track do you think this is?  Not the man made ones but the ones in the middle? 

Here is another hint...

Answer at bottom 

 I  enjoy how the light glows through this Fritillary wings, from my butterfly field trip..




Answer to the Pop Quiz is:

Wild Turkey, the feather is a tail feather...and the track of Turkey  always has a big middle toe. I hope you  learn something new from this blog each time you visit. 



PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.

Friday, September 3, 2021

Jewels of Fall

Hi Friends, as promised more butterflies.  I took so many photos of these three Monarch Butterflies they were so busy they didn't even notice I was there...



How awesome it must be wearing polka dots!! 



And they all three want to be on the same flower head...lol


We all know Monarchs migrate and they can travel from 50 - 100 miles per day!  It takes about 2 months to complete the trip and July-October is the months they begin to move south.  The Eastern Monarchs go to the mountains of Mexico where they will over winter in fir trees,  in Oyamel forests, (happily the Mexican Government is protecting these forests and created the Monarch Butterfly Reserve.) and the Western area Monarchs go to California near Santa Cruz and San Diego and overwinter in eucalyptus, Monterey pine, and Cyprus.  So TREES are very important to the success of this Beautiful Butterfly.   

Thank you Mexico!!


I like this shot because a Sweat Bee photobombed it...lol LOVE all the Deep toned orange going on here...


I wish I knew more about butterflies, I used to be better at remembering the names but that escapes me more each year.  I have tried to ID the following but if Im wrong just let me know in the comment section...as Stated Fall is our butterfly season.  We have more abundant wild flowers in fall than in Spring and Spring is short lived here..fall flowers seem to linger a little longer the summer bloomers are pretty much done..


Migrating birds will love these Black Eyed Susan seed heads...


A Cloudy Sulphur lays an egg on the leaf of this Rattle Box plant,  The larvae  will hatch and then munch on this plant and on each other before entering the Pupae stage where they don't eat but they wait to mature...

Here is a Common Buckeye..



They also migrate to the south regions to winter...they have big Eye Spots as part of their defense against predators...and here is one folded up so you can see the underwing...this plant is called Rabbit Tobacco! Another fall blooming plant. 

Underwing of the Common Buckeye


This next guy is called a Sleepy Orange!  One of the Sulphur butterflies, 

Sleepy Orange

SO Hard to get a shot of the wings open but here in his escape shot you can see the beautiful chocolate and school bus yellow that outlines his wings..


They lay their eggs on the underside of a leaf, where as the Cloudy Sulphur lays eggs on the top side of the leaf. They also Migrate South....so see  these butterflies come here to spend the winter...

Now this one I am not sure of but I think it's o ne of the Crescents, maybe a Pearl Crescent...he is warming up or basking on this piece of glass...I thought that was interesting..

Pearl Crescent 


This is one that likes Swamp Milkweed...like I showed you in my last post...

This busy fellow below is a Variegated Fritillary.  We see these a lot!! They are about 2 to 3 inches in size, they have a very colorful Caterpillar stripped with a red, black and white and  6 rows of black spikes coming off the body!   You gotta see it here..

Variegated Fritillary

They like all kinds of nectar plants this one is sitting on a wild White Verbena which we have all over the place this time of year!


Back side of Gulf Fritillary

This is another Fritillary and it's about 3 inches across the Gulf Fritillary.  One common name is the Passion Butterfly....One of my favorite fall visitors...the underside is even more beautiful...this little plant grows everywhere here it had tiny little pinky/purple flowers and it's a ground cover, I don't know the name...but the Butterflies love it must be very sweet tasting. The flower is barely the size of a rice grain. 

underside of the Gulf Fritillary

They have an nasty odorous defense against predators and release pheromones  to attract a mate...and they love to nectar on the Lantana plants like in my yard, and the Passion Flower which is all over the place at this time...they are mostly a Southern Species and tend to Migrate to Florida.

Passion Flower 

This Dark Morph female Tiger Swallowtail (Eastern) is also enjoying the Lantana flowers in my yard...She is rather beat up with bits of her wing missing...

Dark Morph E. Tiger Swallowtail 

Of course Monarch's are the most well known butterfly and their host plant is the Milkweed. 

Monarch on Milkweed 

 Below these are nectaring on Tall Zinna flowers.  I have tried and been unsuccessful on getting Common Milkweed to grow on my homestead, they like a more moist water holding soil...I keep trying tho...and I have found one area on my place that stays moist..so Im gonna try again I do have some seeds....cause who wouldn't love seeing more of these beauties in the yard!


Polka dots and stained glass...what a combo


Hope you get a chance to enjoy the Jewels of Fall in your world.

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If  you would like to receive $20 off the purchase of some good used camera gear go to MPB.com and 
check out their stock use this code when you check out and get $20 off click on the link then submit your email and you will get a discount code, it should be good for 2 weeks. 

After some initial problems I finally ordered a camera.  I found the one I wanted and it was in UK and they would not ship it to me...so I got free shipping on the same model I have now from their USA store, so it should arrive in about 10 days. So Im happy because there will be no learning curve!!

PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.