User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

I saw this gorgeous green legged spider with metallic abdomen on the garden gate:

Image

I believe it’s an — Orchard Spider (Leucauge venusta)
...looks like the photos here :arrow: https://www.decemberized.com/ribugs/index.php?ID=247
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
PraticalGardener
Cool Member
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:02 pm
Location: Potomac Highlands region, West Virginia, USA (Zone 6a?)

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

Admittedly I usually don't actively bird watch, but I though I would share this yarn from yesterday. I was hand-weeding and tying up pea plants in the garden for a good hour, while two wrens (or something similar) of some kind kept chirping at me and wouldn't leave the garden for long. :? What I didn't quite figure out at the time was that they had a fledgling chick in the middle of the garden. It was perched on a pea trellis, hiding underneath one of the pea plant branches. Surprisingly, it stayed put, even when I unwittingly walked right up to it! :shock: I didn't see any obvious signs of injury, so I left the garden shortly afterwards. I secretely watched while one of the parents fed it again a short while later. I didn't see it when I went to check on it late this morning. It presumably moved to a new location or was eaten.
Fledgling wren perched on 'cattle panel' pea trellis
Fledgling wren perched on 'cattle panel' pea trellis
Half grown wren perched on pea trellis.jpg (153.9 KiB) Viewed 4735 times
Fledgling wren hiding on pea trellis
Fledgling wren hiding on pea trellis
Half grown wren on pea trellis.jpg (145.06 KiB) Viewed 4735 times
I noticed that both parents had a distinctly lighter brown on the top of their heads in the shape of a 'pointed oval'/lens, and I think also white chests speckled throughout with darker feathers. They seem to most closely resemble wrens when I attempted to look them up today. Their warning call was like 'DEEET DAAT', in key of A (La) then F (Fa), each part at an eighth music note long. (I apologize for not being able to describe it any better, pretend you are whistling it), very distinct, and very unhappy at my presence. :roll:

pow wow
Senior Member
Posts: 227
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:55 pm
Location: Alberta Canada

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

The usual summer birds in my yard, Sparrows, Grackles, Red Wing Blackbirds, Cowbirds, Goldfinch, Chickadees, Nuthatches, Crows, and those pesky Magpies.

I finally got around to those birdhouse gourds I grew last summer. Cleaned and painted several.
These are the best ones, the rest I won't show because after my paint job, they look absolutely horrible.
P1060427.JPG
Attachments
P1060432.JPG
P1060433.JPG

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

Beautiful! You’re not hanging them outside to weather away are you?

...

First Monarch butterfly sighting of the season :()

Image
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

I’ve seen Monarch butterflies in my garden practically every day since, although most of the sightings have been from the windows, and I haven’t had good photo-ops.

- Females are landing and touching the underside of the milkweed leaves to lay eggs. I have been peeking underneath leaves with holes, and finding caterpillars on the milkweeds, so they have been busy.

- I also see the typical male territorial flight patterns as they meticulously trace the perimeter of the garden, and two mid-air entanglements a few times (these are typically males fighting). One time I saw three in a tangled flight — I think those were probably two males and a female caught in the middle.

Image
... BOTTOM RIGHT : this Red Admiral butterfly let me take photos as a consolation for not being able to approach the Monarchs. This one landed right in front of me and posed for several good shots. :D


Are you seeing Monarch Butterflies in your area? :-()
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Image

...I saw a Monarch butterfly (maybe more than one) too, but it was shy. I do feel like they have been more skittish this year — maybe because I hadn’t been out in the garden much during the first 2 weeks of July when they started to visit.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

West
Full Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:59 am
Location: Vancouver. BC

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

Anna's are big drinkers during the winter months.

Image

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

So cute! We only have Ruby Throated visiting during the summer months here, so it’s always fun to see the other species where they visit.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

After realizing I can make animated gif from live photo using one of the apps, I tried it with this one ;)
...a Robin...
Robin bathing in pond
Robin bathing in pond
316A5A98-A4BE-4475-877D-C0152673F84B.gif (1.85 MiB) Viewed 4641 times
And this one
... a Catbird ...
Catbird bathing in pond
Catbird bathing in pond
1C878EAF-106A-4CB8-9DE6-74B75EF3E7C7.gif (1.97 MiB) Viewed 4641 times
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

Big butterflies like Monarch, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Image

Image


…the low res gifs don’t do them justice…
Image

Garden pest butterflies, too —
...cabbage whites (of course), silver spotted skippers (soybeans/edamame pest), smaller skippers...

- I’m also seeing big black butterflies that are too big to be black swallowtail. Last year, I decided it’s probably the black form of the tiger swallowtail.

- Red spotted purples are in the plum trees again — they are after the damaged/spoiled fruits.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

- TL - This tiny tree frog was on squash vine that I was rearranging to stay in its bed. I was absent-reaching for what I thought was a dried up debris — my fingertip was inches from the frog.
- TR - this tiny praying mantis was on a cucumber vine
Image
- BOTTOM - next time I saw it, it was doing something — is it in a convoluted position? Did it catch a prey? I couldn’t tell.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

Red-spotted Purple butterflies are frequent visitors in my garden, especially when the plum begins to ripen and the wounded diseased and the insect-infested fruits as well as half squirrel eaten fruits begin to spoil in July.

Recently, I saw a similar-looking butterfly that had a white-band on the outer wings that I couldn’t identify. Each time it landed and spread its wings in leisurely way, I would see the brilliant blue inner wing that marked the Red-spotted Purple. It was very confusing.

But I finally found the answer — and to my delight, I was right and wrong at the same time. The name given to the different form — “White Admiral” (the one I saw was probably a hybrid) is fun to know, too, since another regular — Red Admiral butterflies — are showing up near the Nettle patch.

As if to underscore and confirm my ID, someone else from this general area had posted a photo for identification last month! :D

Red-spotted Purple or White Admiral Limenitis arthemis (Drury, 1773) | Butterflies and Moths of North America
https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/spe ... s-arthemis
Identification: These two very different forms had once been considered separate species.

...The two forms hybridize where their ranges overlap, creating various intermediate forms

...The White Admiral form usually occurs north of a line through north central New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Minnesota. The Red-spotted Purple form is usually found south of this line.


Observation date: Jul 01, 2019
Submitted by: tom nolan
Region: Burlington County, New Jersey, United States
Verified by: Will Kerling
Verified date: Jul 10, 2019
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

I saw a Red Spotted Purple today! It wouldn’t let me get close enough for a good enough LivePhoto to turn into a GIF (I have one of its shadow, fluttering around over the garden bed :lol:), but I was able to zoom in when it finally landed on the apple tree —

Image
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

This time, a Red-spotted Purple landed on a nearby cucumber leaf, and I got a decent shot of the red spots on the outer hind-wing :D

Image
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

This approximately 1.5 inch wasp came struggling up from the deep grass/weeds by the rain barrel. It was flexing what I think might be an ovipositor, rather than a stinger, so that sometimes it looked black — the sheath? And sometimes flashed yellow.

Based on the size and lack of thread-waist, which as far as I know is an identifying physiology for the only other similar sized wasp around here, I think this is a Cicada Killer.

What I couldn’t tell is whether this is a female with a nest burrow under all the grass, maybe even under the bottom rim of the barrel which might provide a good overhang — and she just came back up from stuffing a cicada in a chamber, or whether this is a new freshly emerged adult.

Image
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

I’m on groundHOG watch at an upstairs window this morning.

Shortly after sun rose over the intervening landscape and houses around 6:30am, there was a commotion in the Redbud tree or the Tulip Poplar tree, sort of gear teeth grinding and an extra-loud buzzing like a cicada, then a white-looking body — much too big to be a cicada — flew hurtling out and into the mulberry tree branches. It was too quick for me to see what it was, but there was a lot of chirping and then whatever it was, flew back into the redbud/tulip branches, then back into the mulberry.

I was bummed because I still couldn’t tell what it had been. With all the chirping, it had to be a bird, but which one? Looking with the binocs didn’t help since it was deep in the foliage. Then it started to trill in a familiar song that escaped me.

I had my face nearly plastered against the screen trying to see better, when the bird took pity on my frustration and deigned to fly over and land on the edge of the single story roof next to this window — it was a Carolina Wren, clutching something whitish and greenish and bleeding in its beaks. I think it might have been a just hatched cicada. Nice tasty morsel for the babies.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

Hahaha! I had read somewhere that they do eat cicadas in Japan, particularly the larvae that come out of the ground before they emerge as adult.

Look what I found — there is a club and this is in Tokyo I think? All you have to do is register by email to join the fun :lol:

Apparently, the adult cicadas are either dusted in flour first or tossed straight into hot oil. According to this article, best way to eat the larvae is to marinate in Japanese noodle sauce (it’s a basic stock mixture of dried seafood/veg, soy sauce, maybe mirin (seasoned cooking wine) or sugar), then SMOKED.

Didn’t check how much is translated on Chrome, but lots of photos following a cartoon-style journal of the day’s events.

セミをみんなで食べちゃおう! セミをその場でキャッチ&イートする「東京セミ会」に潜入! - ぐるなび みんなのごはん
( Let’s all eat Cicadas! | Snuck into the “Tokyo Cicada Club” to catch and eat cicadas on site | GourNavi Everyone’s Meals ) <— my translation —>
https://r.gnavi.co.jp/g-interview/entry/1539


* I was reading through the comic journal and she mentioned she awoke to idea of learning to eat insects 5 years ago (as of 2014 writing) and as she became more adventurous, tried other bugs including calling a friend who was having STINKBUG invasion problems to ship her some — if You like CILANTRO, that’s what they tasted like … according to her. :twisted:

…therefore, STINKBUGS are not recommended for those of you who have “cilantro tastes like soap” reaction — a friendly reminder. ;)
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

ummm ...., I can imagine eating grubs (if I were starving and they were fried crisp?). I cannot imagine eating stink bugs under any circumstances.
On a lighter note: we have a volunteer sunflower that has bloomed and bloomed. Now all those flowers are setting seed and the goldfinches love them. You have to look closely, because they are exactly the same color. Bright yellow bird with dark cap, sitting on a bright yellow flower with dark center.

IMG_2918.JPG
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

Love goldfinches! Males are striking in their breeding colors and intriguing that they turn into the olive drab non-breeding colors. Funny to watch in flight, the way they bob up and down because they don’t keep flapping to maintain level altitude.... :D
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

Common Buckeye Butterfly. But this one has a stunted right hindwing. DD immediately said — it’s a “NEMO” Butterfly — so we call it NEMO. :wink:

Image

Image


:arrow: Common Buckeye Junonia coenia Hübner, [1822] | Butterflies and Moths of North America
https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/spe ... nia-coenia
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

I was out watching my backyard yesterday late afternoon. Chickens were out walking around. Hummingbirds were active at the feeders and also the cypress vine and other flowers that are blooming now. Goldfinches were coming to the sunflowers and also the black eyed susans that are starting to go to seed now (and if you look up close at those, they are swarming with lots of tiny flying things). Sulphur butterflies and yellow swallowtails and black swallowtails drift through as well as skippers and dragonflies. Carolina wrens nest in the brush pile, mockingbirds are frequent visitors and other birds come to the seed feeders. Hawks come by occasionally to scare the chickens. Squirrels run around as soon as the dogs go inside -- they always know!

When we bought this place four years ago, the backyard was nothing but a grass monoculture and nothing living came there. Now it is so full of life. Even though none of it would be considered exciting, in the sense of a rare thing to spot, it makes me happy. :)
Last edited by rainbowgardener on Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

What can I say *I* find them fascinating :>

... Question Mark butterfly caterpillars*, Braconid wasps, Potter wasp, Cicada...
Image



* found the post from 2012 when we tried raising some of these ugly caterpillars to see what they grow up to be
...you can see why I switched to making collages...
:arrow: Subject: 2012 butterfly project commentary
applestar wrote:I finally took some photos of the Question Marks :D

-- alarming-looking, like I said... :shock:
Image

They have been transforming into chrysalises (7 so far)
ImageImage

Look at the fancy schmancy silvery spots:
(They actually look like liquid silver)
Image
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

I’ve mentioned this before, but, yesterday, I watched a Monarch male flying territorial sweep patterns over my garden again.

They are strong flyers, so unlike the cabbage whites that flutter and flit, Monarch soars and glides. Usually there is a definite flight pattern and I imagine if I could take a time lapse from directly overhead, the I could obtain an Orange/Black tracing of same route with minor variations. It’s hard to watch continuously since the “territory” he is tracing covers both my side yard/NE garden, back yard/S garden, and SW garden — all three sides of the house — and I have to go from window to window to see.

Sometimes, they also fly across the front of the house and are essentially maintaining territory over my enter garden which delights me since I have my garden registered as a Monarch Butterfly Waystation as well as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat, and try to plant the entire space as a butterfly garden every year.

Yesterday, this one was flying over the fence to my neighbor’s side yard or over the fence to the front yard, and then come back... and I realized he was claiming the entire front and back of our Rose of Sharon privacy hedge and also the stand of Blue Mistflower that have taken over the Front Yard Fencerow bed.

While flying the pattern, he would veer off and (try to) chase away other flyers — other Monarch males, Tiger Swallowtails which are bigger than Monarchs, carpenter bees, even hummingbirds! :roll: Most of these attempts are only temporarily effective, if at all. :lol:
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
TomatoNut95
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1391
Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 3:11 pm
Location: Texas Zone 8

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

I will see a monarch on rare occasion. Mostly I have the gulf fritillary, Tiger Swallowtail and the black/black one... either a pipevine or a spicebush. Or is it a limenitis artemis blue???
I know tomato hornworms turn into large, gorgeous moths, however, I have not given a single worm I find a chance to become a moth.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

Not exactly “backyard” but ... I went to a garden center today, and after loading the purchases in the back of my suv, noticed a TINY tree frog or a peeper tucked in the depression next to the hatch door rubber seal. I had already opened AND closed the hatch once, so I considered going ahead and closing it, but just then, the frog must have sensed my gaze and shifted position enough that I wasn’t sure if wouldn’t get hurt any more.

It was above my head but within reach, so I coaxed it out of the door seal channel and tried to get it onto my hand.... so OF COURSE it jumped onto my shirt collar, nearly under my chin. :shock: Ha. Good thing I’m not type to freak out.

But I ended up losing the frog onto the parking lot asphalt, and had to coax it to climb onto my hand. Then realized I had put down my bag on the open tailgate — couldn't walk to the back of the garden center where they have a landscaped area and a pond. Because I was trying to keep contact to minimum, the frog escaped my cupped hands and jumped down twice more, forcing me to crouch and patiently coax it back onto my hand until I was able to walk it to the front of the car where there was a table of potted butterfly bushes swarming with insects.

...Relieved to have found a decent place for the treefrog, I looked up and realized the store employee that had helped me choose mulch earlier was standing a few feet away, watching... who knows for how long? :roll: :>


...Later, on the way home from picking up DD at her piano lesson, she told me a black butterfly (Swallowtail? Red-spotted Purple?) had flown in via an open back window while we were stopped at a traffic light, then flew out again. :D
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
TomatoNut95
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1391
Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 3:11 pm
Location: Texas Zone 8

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

Awwwwwww, frogs are so cute!! I found two little grey tree frogs on my pepper plants the other day! So cute! Frogs and toads always bring a smile to my face!

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

I have a tiny area that I have designated “Native Wildflower Meadow” — it really isn’t that big — the label is a carry over from when “Native Wildflower Meadow” referred to all of the “Spiral Garden” area. Where I re-located it is approximately Left 1/3 of this picture.

In the spring, it is covered in yellow Golden Alexanders, followed by a couple of Purple Veronica’s and some Garden/Summer Phlox, Monarda, Common and Swamp milkweed, Blue mist flower, and then New England Aster. I’m in the process of encouraging Cardinal flower and Blue Flag Iris to grow here as well.

There are also some native grasses that I let go to seed, and I sometimes toss in non-native annuals like cosmos and zinnia, balsam, etc. But they never manage to re-seed very well with all the competition going on.

In addition, I normally let maybe half dozen or so jewelweed and a dozen or so blue mist flowers grow here, but no more because they are crazy vigorous, and I normally systematically pull and/or mow down all of the extras.

Image

BUT…this year, I lost control of the blue mist and jewelweed, and they jumped the low wire border fence and spread across the entire visible area in the photo, bridging the gap to the stand of milkweed by the pond. I’m currently in the process of smothering a path to the compost tumbler, one section at a time with the yellow plastic sandbox cover that you can sort of see in the photo.

HOWEVER, the unprecedented large mass blooming of the jewelweed and blue mist flowers have been extremely well received by the hummingbirds and the butterflies. :D

Can you see a hummingbird in the above photo?

How about now? :()

Image

— I watched these two zipping back and forth for quite a while yesterday and today ... I took some live-photos but the slow frame speed couldn’t keep up with them. This is a low quality gif but you get the idea :lol:
23D50159-AB85-4EB5-A221-18A63C10FFBB.gif
23D50159-AB85-4EB5-A221-18A63C10FFBB.gif (5.55 MiB) Viewed 6889 times
0B7374D8-BB58-4142-8D57-CAA7A66EEA1E.gif
0B7374D8-BB58-4142-8D57-CAA7A66EEA1E.gif (6.89 MiB) Viewed 6881 times
Hummingbirds dive to dazzle females in a highly synchronized display
https://www.princeton.edu/news/2018/12/ ... ed-display
Image
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
TomatoNut95
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1391
Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 3:11 pm
Location: Texas Zone 8

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

My miniature prince....should I kiss him? :D
Attachments
IMG_20190902_092653.jpg

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

:lol:
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

Day before yesterday, I was looking out of my favorite window from the umpteenth time, and was chuckling at myself, saying, everything looks just the same, why would I expect to see anything else/new... but I did see a male cardinal feeding his black-beaked crest-less brown chick, Common Buckeye Butterfly, a Red Admiral Butterfly, a Black Swallowtail, and a yellow bird that looked a bit like Goldfinch, except it was more like a winter drab male goldfinch color — I think it was some kind of a warbler. Oh, and a large dragonfly, sweeping along the swale/paths along the HaybaleRow and the Spiral Garden, flying between the trellises and plants in the rows and the spiral arc beds (I told it that I expect to see less mosquitoes next time I’m out there ;) )

Then, yesterday, I started with the SW side garden beds (VG beds, etc., figs....) then back yard (Kitchen Garden, pond, etc.) then went around the corner of the house to the NE side (headed for the Spiral Garden, SunflowerHouse, HaybaleRow...) and startled a very large bird in the Arrowwood Vibernum/Alternate Leaf Dogwood shrubbery under my favorite window.

It was clutching something large-ish, which it had accidentally bunched up with some jewelweeds and other weeds I had pulled and left under the shrubs as mulch — weighing it down — and ponderously flapped, but I could see it couldn’t gain sufficient altitude to clear the neighbor’s house across our side yard... nor directly fly over the hawthorn, plum, and mulberry trees... and the massive willow oak to the woods behind the back fence. I had a distinct feeling these thoughts were going through it’s mind.

It changed its original flight path, and as it turned away from the woods (to its right) to fly over my gardens towards the front fence (to its left), I managed to identify it as a hawk — likely red-tailed — but was unable to isolate what it had caught from the bunched up trailing weeds, past it’s tail and the slow strokes of it’s wings.

With the extra runway, it was able to fly up at the shallower angle over the elderberry and the persimmon tree, and rapidly gained altitude as smoothly turned around over our street and flew over the neighbors house, at which point, other trees blocked my view and I couldn’t see it any more nor where it went.

Later, I looked up the weight a red tailed hawk could fly with — up to about 4 Lbs.... so maybe it was a rabbit (eastern cotton tails weigh up to 2.5 Lbs according to a quick search) or it could have been a squirrel. I don’t think it was anything smaller — hopefully not the male cardinal that has been taking care of yet another young fledgling, although he has been in those shrubs often lately.

...DD suggested it might have been a groundHOG — and I had actually noted earlier in the morning that something had gotten into the VG garden and kale had been chomped in the VGD.PSRB (2 foot raised bed so no chance it was a rabbit) ... so it’s possible it had come around to the other side — the shrubbery is where they usually hide — but it would have had to be a young one? ... ah ha! ...HAD to look that up :()
Groundhog - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groundhog
‘red-tailed hawks can take groundhogs at least of up to the size of yearling juveniles’
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

Well, it wasn’t a groundHOG ... or else there is a second one. More signs of munching in the garden today. :?

...but I did see something else that made me happy — a just-eclosed male Monarch, stretching and drying his wings :D

Image
- his empty chrysalis is on lower left of the photo
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
TomatoNut95
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1391
Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 3:11 pm
Location: Texas Zone 8

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

Oh, he's gorgeous!!

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

I have been feeling like not enough of the milkweeds are being eaten. It’s possible this is because I haven’t seen mass hatchlings of Milkweed Tussock Moth caterpillars this year — maybe I managed to stomp them out in my zealous efforts to preserve the milkweed as host for the Monarchs....

Regardless, I became concerned that not enough Monarchs have returned to my garden this year... but a quick look around revealed caterpillars on almost every milkweed —

These 5th instar Monarch caterpillars should be able to join the annual southward Cape May Point congregation of Monarch Butterflies that occurs before they fly across the Delaware Bay —sometime around the beginning of October....

Image
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

No more than about 1-1/4 inches long, I’m finding (and hearing) these little First year grey treefrogs everywhere! :D
Image
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

I asked DD2 to rake the first fallen leaves which the green ash is always in a hurry to drop. I glanced out of the window a couple of times to see how she was doing, and both times she was holding her iPod towards the sky, video recording something with look of wonder on her face.

2nd time, I decided to see what she was so fascinated by, and looked out of a window in the same direction, and realized — the dragonfly squadrons are here!

...a couple of previous post about this — and I can relate — they are absolutely fascinating to watch!
(I’ll come back and add to this if DD managed to capture some good images)

Subject: 2018 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching
Oct 05, 2018
applestar wrote:I nearly missed it, but there must have been one of those hatching events that attracts dragonfly and swallowtail flyovers yesterday. [...]

After coming inside, I was looking out of the upstairs window and noticed the swallows flying over the house and garden, and then also noted the dragonflies flying mid-level.
[...]

Subject: 2015 Backyard bird and butterfly (and dragonfly too) watching
September, 2015
applestar wrote: I think I posted about one of these before – there was some kind of insect hatching event in my garden again.

The videos I took today were pretty low quality, but, [...]

Here are a couple of stills extracted from the videos (tap/click to enlarge):

Image
[...]
I mentioned about it in 2016, too —
Subject: 2016 Backyard bird and butterfly (and dragonfly too) watchin
applestar wrote:There was a swarming event of dragonflies over our front lawn again yesterday. I only noticed around 10:30 AM and I didn't see very many swallows this time. Not sure if it's because it was earlier this time or because I missed them -- I had to water yesterday and my attention was focused on the ground, so I didn't look up at all until then

[...]
Image
[...]
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
TomatoNut95
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1391
Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 3:11 pm
Location: Texas Zone 8

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

My BFF in CA who recently became a teacher texted me this afternoon and was telling me how much she enjoyed the Science classes and getting to look at some goopey water through a microscope. This got me excited enough to pull down my old microscope I used back in grade school. I hadn't use it in years, I was surprised the bulb came on. As I went down the line of objects I was curious to see through it, using my smartphone I took pics and sent them to my BFF, when she kept asking jokingly if I saw anything moving. I never saw anything strange until I examined a small leaf off my Phoniex tomato plant. The leaf itself was fascinating...the hairs, veins and pores, and a microscopic inhabitant that appeared to be a type of mite or lice. I could not see it with my naked eye, but through the scope it appeared to have eight, fast-moving legs, a translucent body w/ an off white back. When the mite finally stood still, using one of my LED flashlights I shone better light on my subject while snapping pics with my phone, and did a sketch of it's general shape. I haven't Googled for photos yet, I don't know if it's a bird lice, mite or even a larvae of something. Plant lice maybe? :lol:

And for your pleasure, I have attached a close-up of a white Crocus petal. Looks like a bunch of crystals!
Attachments
IMG_20190928_175051.jpg
IMG_20190928_184510.jpg
IMG_20190928_184559.jpg

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

Rice grain-looking ones are usually russet mites. In the attached post, if you follow the link, I mention that the “brown somethings” are likely eggs. Are your tomato plants showing any signs of distress? Unusual dusty look to the stem along the or growing tips? Brown corking on the green fruits?

Subject: 2013-14 WHO'LL BE GROWING WINTER TOMATOES INSIDE THIS YEAR?
2014
applestar wrote: :evil: RUSSET MITES :evil:

...I had my suspicions after lower leaves of some of the plants started to wither, so I finally broke out the kids' "toy" digital microscope. Very old model and lousy quality, but you can see them. :x
60X
Image

200X
Image

...now to go retrieve the license serial number from my old computer so I can use this updated software properly (the trial copy only let me use pixels as measurement unit). The 200X was actually a video clip but flickr only uploaded a photo :? --- guess I'll have to figure that out later.
Subject: identify this tomato disease >> Tomato Russet Mites
2015
applestar wrote:I'm seeing TRM on some of my Winter Indoor Tomatoes :x

But not a severe infestation (yet) -- but some of my plants are losing leaves one by one from the bottom -- only thing is they don't get totally russeted as I would expect but just dry up.

I looked under our (basically a toy) digital microscope and I only see a mite here, a mite there,... On the entire dried up leaf. Not sure what exactly is going on.

Image

If you look at the top right photo, there are brown "something" sprinkled all over. They seem to be covering the entire surface. I tried to get some close ups, but I can't seem to get any good, focused image. :?
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

The garden continues to surprise and entertain :D

I was not feeling well today, and with the persimmons finally dwindling and slowing down, I decided I can let them go one more day (one that is really close and might fall down by tomorrow, but hopefully will hang on and wait for me, and two others that probably weren’t ready even if I had tugged on them today).

But when I was looking out of the window as the light was fading near sunset, I saw a large-ish bird land on the fence — a raptor for sure, but what? It was intently peering at the base of the fence and tried hopping on various perches while listening and looking. I know that yesterday when I was out there looking for ripe persimmons, something had squeaked continuously as it made it’s way along the base of the fence — most likely a mole or a vole. They usually have a run along there.

The window was closed and blinds were gapped but down, and I couldn’t disturb the blinds which may have startled the bird, so the shots I got were pretty blurry, but I picked out and outlined in red the best three out of them to compare with reference random photos of Peregrine Falcons and one photo above them from a regional wildlife preserve (so they are in this area).

— would you agree with my identification of Peregrine Falcon? I am not confident since this is really the first time I’ve seen a wild one, not in zoo or wildlife rescue.

Image
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

I’m noticing the barred tailfeathers!

...I tried the same collage with Sharp Shinned Hawk images ...and left that one Peregrine Falcon photo on top-right:
Image
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
TomatoNut95
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1391
Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 3:11 pm
Location: Texas Zone 8

Re: 2019 Backyard Birds, etc. Wildlife Watching

My tomato seems to be quite healthy, lush and green. No dried up leaves and no webbing. I only found this mite under my microscope when looking at a leaf for pleasure. Unless, of course, my plant was only recently found by the mites and no severe infestation yet. I will keep my eye on my plant to make sure.

Return to “Wildlife - Gardening with Local Critters in Mind”