Blog posts categorized as: Wildlife
Sep 27, 2009
Aug 23, 2009
The hummingbirds showed up very late this year. I was fretting they would not show up at all. But, we've had two female Ruby-throated move into our garden in the last couple of weeks. So exciting. Over the last week, they've become more accustomed to our presence and are now zipping around just a few feet from us. (click photos to enlarge)
I have a bounty of blooms in the garden for them to feed on such as the bog sage, Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue', above. They also like the Rose of Sharon, Rattlebox and the multitudes of other salvias in the garden.
They've also finally discovered the feeder that hangs right by the front door above the salvia. You can see a few red droplets in the neck on the one to the left. As they are territorial, I've found them perched close to the feeder more often, guarding it. I can't tell if these two are working together or if they are fighting for the feeder. They zip around in the air together in a sort of dance, but it's possible they are fighting over the turf.
We got some good video of them feeding at the feeder. As soon as I have a good format in which to post it, I'll get that up. Bees, butterflies, dragonflies and hummingbirds..the front yard is abuzz!! So fun.
Aug 19, 2009
Aug 19, 2009
The hummingbirds finally started showing up last week. Yay! I was really surprised at how late they finally made it to our garden this year. I have lots of plants in the front garden they can feed on, such as the Rattlebox tree in the photo, Salvia guaranitica 'Black & Blue', Angelonia, Autumn sage, Salvia 'Mystic Sprires' and so on. We also hang a feeder or two near the front door. We currently have two females that are either competing for the turf or are youngin's from the same nest. I think they are nesting in a large crapemyrtle next to the house. They put on a show each morning at about 8am, where they will zip around the yard together. On Sunday morning, I came face to face with one.
Hummingbirds will make visual associations with people, especially if they see you around their feeding area consistently for about a month. They you might find they'll come right up to you or feed in your presence without being afraid. Good times. I tried getting some photos of them on Sunday, but couldn't get a clear shot. Will keep trying...
Aug 17, 2009
It's tomato hornworm season. You know, those big fat green striped caterpillars you find on your tomatoes right about now? The ones with the big horn on their backside? Yep. As Nikki and I would describe it if we were having this conversation together...that's some big, fat, meaty, moist, juicy larvae...LOL You have to be careful when you pick these guys off of your plants. If you're not, and you squeezee just a little too tight, they will regurgitate lots of green digestive juices on you a la Alien style. No joke. I usually pick off the tiny branch they are latched on to in order to grab them. Then...they go to the chickens!
Exhibit A:: The hornworm. Exhibit B:: Mona licking the hornworm, then grossing out.
Honkers turns up her nose at it. Eunice gives it a try...then gives up.
Phyllis shows it who's boss. LOL
Btw, hornworms do turn into very cool sphinx months...in case you're wondering.
May 10, 2009
Because I garden organically, there is much wildlife activity in my garden. Anoles are everywhere, especially in the front yard. On the day I took this photo, about a week or so ago, I was surrounded by them in the beds. Babies everywhere! This was my favorite of the shots I got that day. This little guy..or perhaps gal due to the more subdued coloring, decided that this batch of irises was theirs...
Mar 23, 2009
It's a banner year for snakes in the Halleck garden. As you can see by the blurriness of the photo, it wasn't exactly easy to get a shot of this squirmy little guy, but you get the idea. It is a Texas brown snake. I have a bounty of babies in my garden this year. Just about everywhere I've started to dig around one of two if these little guys has popped out. I was removing a decaying stump from the back fence and fount a nest of them. I'm a reptile/amphibian enthusiast so snakes and the like bring me no end of entertainment. But I do realize there are a lot of you out there that would not be thrilled to find snakes in their yard. Texas brown snakes and rat snakes are non-venomous and they are a great natural pest control. They have small mouths so their prey tends to be small as well..they eat snails and slugs so they are great for gardeners. So your backyard chickens are safe...yay for snakes.
Sep 15, 2008
So, I put out lettuce seeds last week. We've had cloudy, rainy weather, so perfect for these seeds to quickly germinate on their own without my intervention. Right? Well...some patches germinated...only on certain sides of the two beds I seeded. Hmmm, that's weird...something is not right. So I figured my seed must be old and thew out a new batch of 'Black Seeded Simpson' lettuce while working in the garden. I happen to pass by the spot about 30 minutes later and look down to see what appears to be tiny white specks traveling along in the same direction.
As I peer closer, I realize it's my lettuce seeds! An army of tiny ants have discovered my seeds are carrying them one by one up to the corner of the cedar bed and dropping them into the crevace between the posts...where they have apparently built a nest. No wonder my lettuce wasn't germinating! So I watched these little guys systematically carry off every single lettuce seed that'd hit the ground. Sigh....if it's not the squirrels..it's the ants. Namaste my little ant friends...Namaste. Enjoy your dinner!