A few warm days has stimulated the Indica Azaleas to begin blooming. Normally, they do not bloom until early or mid-March. And a Monarch Butterfly appeared in the garden, it is really too soon for butterflies. The temperatures are dropping again and will hopefully slow down the blooms.
The trail was lined with Spanish Moss laden trees.
It was a wonderful day under the moss, spotting alligators.
Well, I just found out it was Squirrel Appreciation Day. I am trying to think of a reason to appreciate them. They are fun to watch … sometimes. That’s all I can come up with. Maybe some of you have some better reasons to appreciate them.
Today’s Flashback is to a cute little squirrel taking refuge on a second story windowsill.
I finally purchased a new camera and took it for a quick trial run. It is an improvement over my aging one. This camera has so many electronic features, it may take a long time to figure them all out. I remember when cube flashes were the newest thing! What will the future bring?
Click on photos for a slideshow.
We have been suffering through several years of drought, which is highly unusual for this region as we normally have too much rain. We have gone from driving through high water and violent thunder storms to water rationing. Now the rains have returned. All those drought tolerant plants we were encourage to use are not very happy. Even the raised beds are soggy.
We received 5.5 inches of rain in the last 30 days and 66 inches for the last 365 days. Our average is about 52.69 inches.
This week’s flashback is to 2013 when a rainy day was an event to photograph.
Sugar bird is back! This is a Ruby-crowned Kinglet and I am sure it is the same Kinglet that has been visiting the garden every winter for a few years. The Kinglet hangs out in the bed outside the kitchen window and picks at the Camellias removing scale and over-wintering eggs from the shrubs. The bird then heads for the hummingbird feeder for a sweet treat. This is a different feeder from last year, but its tiny beak can fit right in.
The rest of the winter visitors have arrived and include, Sparrows, Goldfinches, Yellow Rumps and a Rufous Hummingbird. A Robin has been hanging out in the yard too, but won’t pose for a photo. The year-round birds have also been feasting from the feeders. Some are Titmice, Chickadees, Red Bellied Woodpeckers, Carolina Wrens, Hawks, Doves and Cardinals. (These are the birds found around the feeders. Many others are passing by or gathering in the trees.)
What a difference a year makes. Last year there was silence in the yard as most of the birds were missing. It was happening everywhere in the area. It was so shocking that people were writing to the papers. Theories were that hawks had taken all our beloved birds. But, there would need to be a lot of hawks to clean out such large area. Some thought the birds were poisoned. Well, that would have had to be a massive amount spread everywhere. The most likely explanation is that the drought had finally ended and the woods were full of natural food that had been in low supply the last few years and the birds were feeding elsewhere.
Now the garden is full of Cardinals again. There has been up to 10 feeding at a time and the males are busy chasing each other around the yard. All is well in the garden again!