Tiny Snake

An Earth Snake appeared in the garden again.  This tiny creature is mostly nocturnal and helps out by eating snails and bugs.

The Earth Snake only grows 7 to 10 inches in length and is as skinny as a pencil.  I photographed this little cutie beside a Coleus leaf.

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The Hunter and the Hunted

This big wasp has been hanging around the garden.  It is a Cicada Killer Wasp.  As its name implies, it hunts and eats Cicadas.

Within a day, I spotted this Cicada and so far the Killer Wasp did not find it.

This large bug has a face that only its mother could love, but not scary enough to keep from being hunted by the Killer Wasp.


Mine

Mine, mine, mine!  The Ruby Throated Hummingbirds are making a migration stop in the Automatic Garden.

It has been pandemonium or hummermonium around the feeders.  Some clever little birds decided to guard the feeders and chase the others away.

Dueling Hummers sit opposite each other fiercely defending the food source. The fights have been brutal, including wrestling each other to the ground. The hits are loud and are accompanied  with Hummingbird screams.

I have located 4 feeders in the yard and the Automatic Garden came through the storm rather well with flowers continuing to bloom.

From the perch on the back porch, this Hummer can survey all the feeders.  The bird was so absorbed with keeping an eye on the others, it never noticed me standing 12 inches away.  (This photo was later taken through a window.)

I know the Hummingbirds need to head south, but I am hoping they will stay for awhile.

 


Building High for the Flood

Did the ants know that a flooding storm was coming?

I noticed as I was surveying my plants, that there were more than usual ant hills built up on the rocks that surround the beds.  My property is also the highest in the area.

This ant hill is on the rocks and cradled in the stems of a salvia. Unfortunately, these ants bite and are making it hard to clean up the beds.


Service with a Smile

I noticed some motion on the back porch and spotted the rabbit named Patch near the back door.  Apparently, it was rabbit snack time.  Patch waited for me outside the garage door for a afternoon snack of sunflower seeds.


Birds Hate It

I recently got a new birdbath.  It is clear, yellow, looks great in the garden and can be seen from my kitchen window.  It is a replacement for an old one,  that the birds loved.  As it turns out, the birds hate this one.  I thought it was because of being clear, so I added some stones.  Not one bird has stopped by.

The new birdbath is easy to keep clean and always has fresh water in it, but that does not seem to be enough to entice the birds. The very cute Carolina Wrens prefer a bath in this toad station that is always dirty.

Or sometimes they use the rim of  the upside down fire pit when it holds water.

The wrens, Frick and Frack will even take a soak in plant saucers, which are not clean at all. Even the Cardinals prefer the water from the dirty saucers.

I found evidence of the Wrens enjoying a couples’ spa day.  After a soak they finished with a mud bath in the planter (notice two dents).  Sometimes we can try to do what we think wildlife would like, but it doesn’t always work out that way.  I guess the new birdbath will just have to please me and not the birds.

PS  I am shopping for a new one that they will like and I have another one that the rabbits and squirrels enjoy along with the birds.


Shades of Orange

Shades of orange seem to be popping out in the garden. Somehow more than usual were planted this year.

The orange plants can easily be seen from across the yard or inside the house.

Orange is a blend of red and yellow.  The color orange evokes joy, creativity, healthy eating, sunshine, the freedom of expression and many other things according to the internet.  Or it is simply a pretty, bright color.

This visitor popped out during the photo shoot, so I had to include the Coral Snake.  It does display the colors contained in orange.