Toads Hunkered Down

While moving a pile of bricks, I came across six toads that were hunkered down for the cold days.  The toads were tucked between the bricks and each had a mate by their side.

They were sleepy and slow moving. I carefully relocated the toads to a safe spot and put a broken clay pot over them.

I camouflaged the pot with bark and leaves to keep the toads safe for the time being.  It will be interesting to see if they will stay in their new digs.


Sugar Bees

The sugar feeder has become really popular.  Now bees have taken over.

I’m not sure where the bees came from, as it took months before they discovered the feeder.

The competition is high and the birds only have access to their sugar treat on cold and rainy days.

 

 


Birds and Sugar

My Sugar Bird is back.  This little bird is crazy for sugar and I do believe it is the same bird that has visited in previous years.

As it turns out, I identify this bird differently every year.  This year I’m going to say it is an Orange-crowned Warbler.  I can look at those bird pictures all day and not quite tell what this cutie is.

I was really surprised to see that a Chickadee had been observing Sugar Bird and decided to see what was so delicious.

When Chickadees feed, they go to the feeder and take a seed to a tree to eat.  They are very quick.

I have the sugar feeder set up outside my kitchen window, so I can be entertained while I eat.  I also took all the photos from my table, through the window that is about five feet away.

It took me weeks to get a shot of the fast moving Chickadee and I was thrilled when I got these four during one visit…and in focus.

 

 

 


A Sunny Day

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.

 


November Wildlife

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.

 


Dressed for Halloween

Happy Halloween!


Morning Scents

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.