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

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fitting Right In

I planted all of the new additions except the queen of the prairie which I think needs more moisture than the site I'd picked for it will provide.  Once established, I will try to grow some in, perhaps, less than the ideal site, but I'd rather wait until I have more, and plant them in the spring or fall not the heat of summer.

The pollinators already attracted to the other native flowers I have took no time at all to explore the new arrivals.  I've never seen this one before:

Our Newest Additions

Yesterday, I stopped at a native plant nursery looking to add more biodiversity to the summer-blooming natives I've already added.  Here is what I got:

queen of the prairie (Filipendula rubra)

ox-eye sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides)

cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum)

Phlox paniculata -which had a visitor before I even put it in the
ground...this tiny bee actually followed it as I moved the pot, to
set up the group shot above!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Looking More Closely

It is rare for me to pick flowers from the natives I'm adding to the property.  So far, I really have so few, and I feel the nectar, pollen, and eventual seeds that they are providing for wildlife is vitally important.  I hate to take away from the little I've provided.  However, the oldest butterflyweeds I have planted are blooming profusely...so I took three small sprigs.  With them, I took a few non-natives that are blooming (I'm trying to rid the property of these anyway), and then I grabbed a few of the daisy fleabane...that is when, as I reached for a second stem, I saw an already large caterpillar chomping away at one of the flowers.  Of course, I let go and went to get the camera.

I have to wonder what else I'd see if I learned to look more closely more often.

I've yet to identify it, but here is what he looks like:

Chomping away!  Just look at those petals fall.
What a messy eater.

I went back for more photos.

...and today, I noticed there were at least two of them!

Oh, and here is the bouquet I came up with:

Sunday, July 7, 2013

His Favorite Perch?

I spotted the hummingbird atop the dead elm tree again today. I'm assuming it gives him a great vantage point--as it does for other birds that use it.  That is just one more good reason to keep snags on one's property--who would've thought a hummingbird would make use of one.

Now I just have to invest in a telephoto lens...

Friday, July 5, 2013

Poor Vision, Great Eyes

For having such poor vision all my life, I've got some pretty good eyes!  As so often happens, I spot a bird or two perched atop the dead elm at the edge of our property.  Usually I have to zoom in and take a picture to upload on the computer before I know what it is.  Today, I spotted a tiny bird on the uppermost branch.  I figured I'd be learning a new bird, once I saw it up close--it never occurred to me that it would be a hummingbird.  I'm shocked that I even noticed it at that distance.