Friday, July 25, 2014

Good Ol' Summertime

This summer has been particularly busy, it seems. All my normal activities - volunteering at Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve, volunteering at Raptor Rehab of KY (my regular Monday shift and programs)- have been squashed between traveling on vacation, 2 out of state weddings, and Mothapalooza in Ohio. We enjoyed all of them, but it's hard to catch your breath with so much going on.
Of course, Nana Days with our almost-3-year-old grandson are always fun. He's a very good helper around the house and yard. We filled the feeders, went to get more seed, then he wanted to look through little binoculars and watch the birds. Are we starting him right or what! Dick has his share of all this too, plus traveling to Missouri to visit an elderly aunt. We heard last night that she has passed on, so Dick was so glad he went when he had the chance. All this, plus working in the garden to keep it beautiful, have made it difficult to just sit back and relax, enjoying said garden. Sigh.
But today everyone has gone somewhere else, and I am alone, sitting on our porch, trying to quietly read and watch the birds and flowers at the same time. Mostly, I see little brown sparrows and finches. Once in a while, every thing takes flight, and I wonder if the Cooper's Hawk is nearby to spook them.
 If some of my pictures look a little fuzzy, it's because I end up taking them through the dirty windows. You know how it soon as you step outside, the bird flies away.
Dick has worked to hard to turn our back yard into a mini-nature preserve in the last few years, and very successfully I might add. We have habitat for many kinds of critters....
...even if we only see evidence of their presence. Looks like a raccoon may have dined on poke berries that gave him diarrhea.
We started planting Kentucky native plants to make a butterfly garden, and for several years we saw many different kinds all summer long. But this year, the numbers for all species are way down. I've seen one monarch so far, and this is the first spicebush swallowtail for the summer.
 We still have lots of native bees, both large and small.
While deadheading the day lilies yesterday, one of the leaves moved as I neared it. Whoops! This isn't a leaf, but a praying mantis - Dick's favorite insect! I've researched them, and find that they can catch at eat Hummingbirds!