Red-Shouldered Hawk

While walking through the house, I glanced out of a window and saw this beautiful Red-Shouldered Hawk sitting on a branch.  It had one leg tucked up and seemed to be resting. The hawk’s feather patterns are a work of art.

I watched for awhile and then ran through the house to grab my camera.  The window I was watching through was a half moon shape near the ceiling.  I stood on a little stool and started shooting.  Surprisingly, these photos are not too bad considering they were taken through a window.


Hummers Part II

A new day and the feeding frenzy has escalated.  Seven or more hummingbirds have descended on the garden.  Another hummer has claimed the second feeder leaving the others to fight for it.

I was watching from a window and saw the hummingbirds acting differently and went out to see what was going on.  It turns out that hummers aren’t the only ones interested in the sugar water.  A green anole was blocking their access.

And the birds were not happy.

The anole eventually climbed up on the stand and encroached on the hummingbird’s perch.  The bird tried going after the lizard with its needle-like bill.

The anole was steadfast.

The hummingbird was not amused.

The hummer sat on its perch for a few minutes trying not to look at the lizard, while the anole may have been wondering if it could swallow the little bird.

In the end, the anole outlasted the hummers who finally met their match.

 


There’s Always One

There is always one hummingbird that decides it will be the bully and guard of the food source. Hummingbirds seem like such cute little birds, but they can be very vicious to each other and even to large birds.  This little bird is spending its days chasing away any creature that comes near the feeders or flowers.

Right now there are 3 to 4 hummers in the garden.  That works out well when the dominate bird chases another away, the third one can grab some nectar.

My garden is filled with hummingbird friendly flowers, such as this Cigar Plant (Cuphea ignea)…

and a Hummingbird Bush (Hamelia patens). Plus beds filled with nectar producing flowers in the back and front yards.  Yet, it is an endless fight all day long with the bully attacking and knocking the other hummers away.

And does the bully feel bad about this at all?  Ppptttthhh, the hummingbird  just sticks out its tongue and continues its reign of terror.


You Never Know Who Is Watching

You never know who is watching while working in the garden.  I spotted the head of a toad peeking from a hole.  It burrowed into the soft soil the Cicada Wasps have dug up.

While working near the house, I found this brown anole watching me from a weep hole between the bricks. The brown anoles live out front and the greens are in the back yard. (He is small and the photos were taken with a phone, so not the best.)

This time, I’m the one watching this little green anole.  It is so tiny and cute exploring the world it just entered.


Patch is Back

My favorite wild rabbit, Patch is back.  I haven’t seen her for months and there are two reasons I know it is her.  First, the patches of missing fur on her back.

And she chased me into the garage when I came outside to give her sunflower seeds.


A Killer

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When this flying creature is spotted, one’s first thought is to run from the world’s biggest bee. This flying killer makes the human heart jump, but thankfully it is only cicadas that this wasp  (Sphecius speciosus) is after.

Commonly called Cicada Killers, the females hunt and sting cicadas to feed their offspring in nests that are burrowed 10 to 20 inches into soft soil.   The eggs and larvae overwinter and emerge in June and early July.

I first noticed these flying beasts a few years ago. I have to say they are very scary and make a loud buzz. I once saw one carrying a cicada on a pine tree.  Neighbors have complained about knocking at their doors that turned out to be the Cicada Killers.

I got a lucky shot of this wasp with my cell phone.  The Cicada Killers are only up to 2 inches long, but I swear this one was at least 3 inches as she flew around checking me out.

The Cicada Killers do not hurt humans unless they are handled roughly.  I’m not sure who would really want to handle them. I prefer to just let them fly by.


Digging Cicada Hunter

I was working in a bed and noticed something had been digging holes. Of course, I immediately blamed the squirrels for messing up my garden.

Then I hear a loud buzzing sound.  A three inch Cicada Hunter flew to the ground with a cicada in its clutches and popped down the hole before I could get my phone to snap a photo.  I did get the tail end of the cicada being dragged into the nest.

Even though the wasp is huge, I can’t believe the amount of dirt it dug. The wasp threw out enough soil to reach about 12 inches from the hole.  The Killer Wasp is a very impressive excavator.