Just the back yard!? Nah, I want the front and side yards landscaped in natives too.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Seeds Germinated, Growing, and Identified

It has been a while since I've posted about the wildflower seeds I planted late winter. I've not done much with them except water them on occasion. Today I weeded out a couple weeds. I realized that I recognized a lot of the young plants, so I decided to take some pictures, label them, and post them here.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Visiting Butterfly

I had little energy after work today, but I went out and walked my paths with camera in hand. I happened to see a butterfly flutter by, and, luckily, it stayed put long enough for the camera to focus on it-- I can't wait until I get a camera that allows me to do manual focus!

I think I've identified it correctly as a small heath butterfly (Coenonympha tullia-inornata).

It is a nice start to see some butterflies in the yard, but I'm hoping that, as I add more nectar and host plants, I'll see a LOT more. That is one of my goals, attracting more birds and butterflies...as well as other wildlife.

Since I was already outside, I ended up watering my new dogwoods, seedlings, and a few wildflowers I put in recently...and a couple that are still in pots. I'm hoping to have more energy again SOON!

small heath butterfly (Coenonympha tullia-inornata)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

May Flowers

...Okay, I know, I threw in some leaves and ferns with the flowers.

Tree Swallow Pair

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Empty Nest

No picture this time, but I thought I'd better not put off writing this much longer. Friday, May 14th I got a feeling that the bluebird pair were holding off on feeding to encourage their young to fledge. I set up the video camera on a tripod and hope to have caught them leaving on tape. (I've yet to view the tape.) They may have already left before I set up the camcorder.

Later in the day, I was walking the yard and when I got near the bushier areas, the two parents seemed to make a bit more noise. I'm assuming their fledglings were hiding nearby. Hopefully, I'll find some good footage on the tape and then upload it. I know I have to edit a video from a day or two earlier of the parents going back and forth feeding them.

Saturday, I peeked inside through the entrance hole. Seeing nothing, I opened the front a crack and looked in. They were gone. I'll have to remove the old nest, wipe the box down with bleach and water. I'll check sialis.org to find out exactly what to do.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Today I planted another of the six dogwoods we bought last weekend. I realize that I've not posted about that nor the pictures of those that I've already planted. I've planted four so far.

Also, it has occurred to me that I'm not really using my blog as a gardening journal--which I should be. Early on, I decided that I would post as many pictures as possible. I hate to type anything without an accompanying picture. Sometimes, I have to crop a picture, rotate it, or edit a video. Other times, I just don't have the energy or desire to type. Most days when the weather is good, I'm out there enjoying the yard or getting something done, I just don't always post about it...so, this blog is my incomplete gardening journal--but it is more than I've ever done before.

Anyway, today while digging a hole for the dogwood, I spotted a toad nearby. I'm assuming my digging disturbed him. Anyway, here is his (or her) picture:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What I Spotted Today

While out documenting the bluebirds feeding, I spotted two other birds flying toward the blueberry bushes. I didn't get a good shot of them because I had to run back in to get the memory card. I never got close enough to identify them, but I did spot their small nest in the bush. That makes five different birds nesting in our yard; the bluebirds, robins, phoebes, tree swallows, and these new mystery birds.

It is possible that the nest may belong to a chipping sparrow...I saw one perched nearby. Also, near the hedgerow, I spotted another small bird. The body shape reminded me of a nuthatch but the coloring was wrong. Hopefully I'll spot it again and be able to identify it.

Proud Daddy

Today was the first 'warm' day we've had in a while. The past three nights have been 29 to 32 degrees! Strange there was a freeze last year around this time too. So, I have not been bothering the bluebirds. I'm sure they've been busy keeping the babies warm and seeking out any insects in the unseasonably cold days (50s).

After work today, I went out to take more pictures. Mostly, I took videos of the parents feeding their young. I'll post those later, after editing the best shots together. For now, I just have a picture of the proud papa and a baby peering out into the world.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Our Bluebirds are "Fuzzing Out"

I took more pictures of the bluebird nestlings today. A lot can happen in two days (I think I missed two days of pictures). Today you can see how much their feathers have grown...and the fuzz on their cute, little heads.

I will likely not be taking too many more pictures; as they get older, I have to make sure they don't end up jumping out sooner than they are ready to fledge.

Robin Nestlings, Too

A couple of weeks ago I noticed a robin sitting on a nest. I tried not to disturb her, but today decided to get a shot of the nest. I had a clear shot and she was not around. I found that the eggs had already hatched and the nestlings look about he same age as our bluebird babies. They must've thought it was feeding time when they heard me, but I also have a shot of them resting.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Our Babies

Our four babies are growing up:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

More Pictures

This is Prunus virginiana , choke cherry, I believe. It is growing in a few spots on our property and I'm hoping to spread it in to the hedgerow and future hedgerows.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bluebird Nest, Eggs, and Hatchlings

Again, procrastinating paid off! (I must admit it does not happen often.) The bluebirds began building their nest quite a while back and I photographed their progress. So, now I can post them as a series. The last picture was taken today.

Today's Visitors

I have yet to post the pictures of the bluebirds' nest in the one nestbox. Hopefully those pictures will come shortly. Today I went outside to take pictures of the bluebird pair, but immediately I saw the new visitors, a pair of tree swallows! =)

Last year, I had a pair of tree swallows in one box and bluebirds in the other. The tree swallows seem to have shown up later than last year. Well, first come first serve. The bluebirds have the box the swallows had last year. The swallow pair were checking out the second box today.

...and one of the bluebirds: