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

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

As I walked around the corner of the house, I heard rustling from the large patch of touch-me-not growing around the deck.  First one, then another bird flew out of the patch.  With camera in hand, I zoomed in to where one landed.  As so often happens, it wasn't until I uploaded the photos that I was able to identify what I saw.

I have to wonder what they were attracted to...it could easily have been the jewelweed (touch-me-not)--perhaps its seeds or the insects it attracts--or something else entirely.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Heart-stopping Encounter

 I was walking the paths with camera in hand hoping to get some butterfly photos with the good light of the low angle of the sun.  Nothing caught my eye, so I continued along the path and--it is a little fuzzy how it happened but--I suddenly realized that there was a bear--yes a bear--just a little ways ahead of me!  I snapped a picture, and then, my heart started to race as I realized the potential danger of the situation.  I didn't expect an attack...it didn't even seem to know that I was there.  I figure they are afraid of humans, but wild animals are unpredictable.
My first and best shot (cropped).

A tighter close-up of the above.  Not bad.

I kept trying to take pictures, but missed shots as it turned around at the sound of a car.  After it passed, the bear heading back towards the road...and I ended up with only a blurred second photo:

Just the other week, I was talking to the neighbor who told me to be careful of bears as someone told them they'd seen one crossing the road opposite our yard.  He said he'd been told that the bear looks both ways before crossing--I missed that part, but I'd like to be able to verify it here. :)

I just missed a shot of the bear as it crossed the road and disappeared.

The only other time we saw a bear was our first year here (before I'd done much of anything to the yard)...and we were inside watching it through a window as it ate birdseed...this was quite a different experience. :)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Changing Outfits

From July:

I was happy to find a couple of spicebush swallowtail caterpillars again this year.  After discovering them, I checked on them regularly.  What really thrilled me was the luck I had to get this photo:

Caught in the act...well, just after molting I guess--how cool is that!
Another day, I spotted his latest color change: