Just a few days ago, we had perfect weather with the temperatures in the 80’s and low humidity. I took advantage of the warming sun and just sat near a flower bed. And I wasn’t the only one. The blooms were covered with all kinds of pollinators. I managed to photograph a few.
The American White Pelicans were flying against the clear blue sky and some small flocks of visiting birds were poking around looking for bugs. One little bird, a Ruby Crowned Kinglet, didn’t seem to mind me sitting there and came very close.
Since that sunny day, our winter has returned with heavy rain and cold temperatures. But as it always happens in these parts, the weather is about to change and a great weekend is promised.
I always love the visiting wildlife in the yard. This day started with a rabbit waiting on his breakfast.
One sign of Fall is the arrival of the American White Pelicans. Every morning they take a long lazy flight.
A very unexpected visitor was this Tersa Sphinx Moth. I was weeding and when I brought my hand out of the plants, the moth was attached to my glove.
Take a close look at this photo to see the pine cones that were eaten by the squirrels. The ground was covered with the scales after the seeds were eaten. The squirrels had quite the feast, as a large area was littered with pine cone remains.
I was in the garden earlier than usual one morning and was pleasantly greeted by the strong scents of my blooming gingers. This one is Hedychium hybred “Pink V.
My most reliable ginger that has been with me for many years is Butterfly Ginger, Hedychium coronarium, which I believe has the strongest scent and can be detected from across the backyard. I had a neighbor that told me she could smell it as she walked by the front of my house. The plants bloom in the Spring and Autumn.
Because it was early morning, I was able to catch the scent of the Four O’Clocks, which bloom in the early evening. These flowers have a wonderful fragrance and are great to plant near a porch or patio. Oddly, I have never seen hummingbirds or bees on them. Maybe some night I will stay up and see what pollinates them.
Another night bloomer, is Evening Primrose, Oenothera grandiflora, and was collected by William Bartram. It has an usual scent that is an acquired taste. I never really saw any pollinators on this Primrose, until I spotted what I believe to be a green bee, which I hope my reader that is a bee expert will let me know. Anyway, the bee was really working on the flowers and when I passed by later, it was still gathering nectar.
I look forward to my morning garden tour and being greeted by a scent, new bloom or a backyard critter.
Unbelievably, the gang of Hummingbirds are still visiting my feeders. I have never had this many Hummers for this amount of time. At times, there are up to twelve birds fighting for the sugar water. I’ve been spending my days observing the tiny birds and was watching them from my kitchen window, when an interesting scenario began playing out. I grabbed my camera and started shooting through the window.
It was early in the evening when the feeding frenzy really ramps up and a new visitor appeared. The reddish brown creature is a Hummingbird Moth, which many mistake as a baby hummingbird. I had an entomologist identify one before and its proper name is Mournful Sphinx Moth (Enyo lugbris).
At first the moth couldn’t quite figure out how the feeder worked.
Before long it found the feeder’s hole. Needless to say, the Hummingbird was not happy and it actually poked the moth. The little Hummingbird Moth was not bothered and fed until it was full.
I took a chance, went outside and managed to get a photo before the moth took off to work on the flowers.
Click on the photo and scroll down to click on full size for a better look.
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.
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.