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

Friday, August 22, 2014

It's Happening!

Although since I started my restoration project I've had many encounters with wildlife, lately I seem to be saying to myself, "It's happening!"  A couple of weeks ago, I was walking the paths of my field (and future wildflower meadow)...and although I still have mugwort and crownvetch invading areas, while walking the upper section, it seemed that it was predominantly natives--though mostly various goldenrod species that have filled in on their own.  I know I have a long way to go, but being able to walk most paths and not be bored by monocultures of non-natives is a huge step forward.  It is starting to happen.

I know I've been quiet.  I can't quite explain it.  However, I have been doing things to improve the property, and I've witnessed a fair share of wildlife.  Each time, I think I'll post, but never seem to get around to it.   What shocked me the most was that I didn't post yesterday about the "walking stick" insect I spotted (on the screen of a window outside).  I think too many photos are taken on my new smart phone, and I've yet to figure out how to access them on the computer without e-mailing them to myself.

So, what prompted this post?  This morning, I overslept.  Well, I had no obligations/appointments, so I guess I just slept in--until almost 10:00!  I guess I really needed it, as I doubt I got 8 hours of sleep more than a half-dozen times all summer!  (I go back to school--work--in a couple of days.)  I'm glad I did (oversleep).

I'd left the window open all night, and had a fan running, but I could still hear birds outside the window this morning--a resident catbird, but, when I went to shut the window, I saw three unusual looking, gawky birds.  It didn't take me long to figure out that they were fledglings--well, juveniles really.  But, what kind?  My first thought was juvenile Baltimore orioles--since I know they nested here this spring.  The second thought, after seeing the pictures, was rose-breasted grosbeaks.  That is what I think they are, but please correct me if I've misidentified them.

Keep in mind, the photos were taken through two double-paned windows.

(I just have to add, I used a feature of my smart phone that allows me to use its voice-recognition Google search--I said clearly, "Images of juvenile rose breasted--" then got tongue-tied, and made some guttural sounds.  To my surprise, it pulled up "rose breasted grosbeak".  I've had a "dumb phone", as Jeff calls them, for years...so the smart phone is still new and amazing to me.)

Oh...I almost forgot:  just a short distance away, where I'd added another nesting box, I spotted this squirrel!  Normally, I only see them in the winter when they are attracted to the sunflower seed, I put out.

I love the idea that, where ever I look, I spot wildlife, nature in action, and my beloved native plants in their various seasons of beauty.  It really feels like it is happening!


Rebecca said...

Lucky you on the rose-breasted grosbeak! I have seen them only twice in my life, neither of them at home.

David said...

Thanks, Rebecca. I think I saw my first one ever...HERE! It was an adult male. :)

I can't remember if I mentioned it in the post, but I actually saw THREE juveniles that morning...but by the time I got the camera ready, only one had not flown off.

I do feel very fortunate to have seen them in our own yard. I hope you will see them again--and perhaps in your own yard eventually. :)