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.
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.
So I came up with a plan to do stealth planting, strategically putting the Primrose among plants rabbits don’t eat. In the middle of the photo is one planted with Shrimp Plants.
In this photo a Primrose is planted with Salvia. I bet you can’t even find it.
Rabbits never touch the Gulf Coast Penstemon and neither do I as they smell bad, but make up for that fact by being pretty.
The Primrose in the front yard are the tall plants that were surrounded by the Penstemon when they were small. They look darn good.
Yup, I was feeling pretty clever thwarting those rabbits. As it turns out, deer like the Primrose too and they start eating at the top. The tall plants in the front yard were just about finished off by the deer (not the rabbits).
I guess I will have to count on the Evening Primrose I planted in pots, in a high planter, in the fenced in backyard.
One of my favorite plants is William Bartram’s Evening Primrose (Oenothera grandiflora). I purchased the original seeds at Bartram’s Garden in Philadelphia. The instructions said they were difficult to germinate, so I was thrilled when I was able to grow them.
Unfortunately over the past few years, the rabbits have taken to eating them or just biting the stems in half. This year, I was determined to grow some Primrose to replenish my seed supply. I managed to get six plants to grow in pots and elevated them in a tall planter.
It worked and the Evening Primroses bloomed. Soon I will be able to collect seeds for next year.
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.
One never knows when it could happen. The day could start out innocent enough with a stroll about the gardens. A turn around the corner and then you see her. The stalker.
Carefully and slowly you try to back away. But you have been spotted.
Your gait becomes faster, but the stalker keeps pace.
The only thing left to do is run to the safety of your home and slam the door tight as the stalker looks on.
And now the back story. This rabbit was a frequent visitor to the garden and had disappeared for about 6 months. I assumed she had moved on to a new home or her final destination. Somehow she is back. Yes, I admit that I feed the rabbits then complain about them eating my flowers. This particular one is extremely friendly and comes up to me for food. Unfortunately, she thinks the food ejects from my feet, so closed toed shoes are a must. In the past, the rabbit would wait on the porch for me to feed her. It will be interesting to see if she remembers that trick.
For some reason I am seeing Copperhead Snakes everywhere. Usually, they are around mostly in the Spring, but there seems to be a new brood of snakelets this Fall. The first photo, taken on September 10th, is a medium sized one, probably a juvenile. I was cleaning out a bed when I spotted it.
While volunteering at our botanical garden on the 13th, I was pulling weeds around this baby Copperhead that was molting.
On September 19th, this big snake was exploring outside my kitchen window.
It caught my eye because the rabbit was also in the same bed and was acting strangely. The only predators for Copperheads are the occasional hawk and humans. But I swear I saw a rabbit kill a Copperhead once, the rabbit had blood on it and the snake was dead.
This was an interesting situation and I watched it play out while safely inside taking photos through the window. The rabbit took a non aggressive stance and kept an eye on the snake until it moved on. When all was clear, the rabbit went back to its favorite napping spot under the Camellias.
Two days later, I spotted a little head from the other side of a flower pot, but it turned out to be a rather large Five-lined Skink.