Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Out and About: A Birding Hot Spot

November's weather was uneventful with just a dusting of snow on the twentieth and some roller coaster temperatures through the second half of the month. I got out on the twenty-ninth to take a nature walk and got no farther than the access road to Griffin's Ridge. This is a great little birding hot spot. The stream is on either side of the road. Pat's old farm field has a good number of trees with nesting cavities and winter roosts, for birds, squirrels and raccoons, as well as, being surrounded by mature white pines. The pines are a great cover for wildlife and a food source. An apple tree in the field still had apples and is a place deer can be seen from time to time. This day, House Finches were in the tree. A Northern Flicker was looking for insects in tree cavities and under bark right along the road. Thanks to Florence Cruz and her bluebird box, which hosts two broods a summer, I saw four Bluebirds flitting around in the trees. A Dark-eyed Junco struck a pose in the field. A couple of White-breasted Nuthatches, Goldfinches, Black-capped Chickadees, and a Red-bellied Woodpecker were all spotted down there. I have also seen a Red-tailed Hawk in this area flying and perched. The Great Horned Owl, which many of us are hearing at night, seems to be both on Mount Morris and closer to this field and Griffin's Ridge this season. Let me know what you see and hear when you're out and about!
Access Road to Griffin's Ridge

Pat's Old Farm Field

White Pines in Background

Great Nesting/Roosting Holes

In Use?!

Male Northern Flicker Looking for Insects. Note the Black Moustache

Northern Flicker Back View

Two Male Eastern Bluebirds

Male Eastern Bluebird

Male Dark-eyed Junco

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Out and About: The Party's Over!

I had a great run with my pepper and tomato plants up until a couple of days ago when they finally got zapped by frost and a twenty-six degree morning. On November ninth the whole village was covered in frost and the lake was totally fogged over. I had picked peppers and green tomatoes the night before and didn't bother to cover the beds with sheets this time. I brought pots of herbs into the kitchen and discovered my dog likes parsley as I found him nibbling on it. Flowers in neighbors' gardens were doing well too but the party is over for us gardeners. Time to think of what pies we'll have at Thanksgiving and when the first snow will fall.
November Peppers and New Flowers

Even Turning Red and It's November

Found This Zuke Hiding Under Leaf Litter

Cullinan's Roses Going Strong

Dee's Morning Glories

Beautiful Colors

A Pink Boar Tomato in November Sunshine

Grass Tassles

Norma's Rose

Foggy Morning at Round Lake


Frosted Montauk Daisy on November Ninth

Even Spider Webs Got Frosted

Friday, October 13, 2017

Out and About: Frost Free So Far

We had a frost warning for our area this morning but luckily, dodged it. I still have tomatoes and peppers on the vine ripening and basil to pick. I covered the beds with sheets and was happy to see that nothing was zapped. Late season flowers have been magnets for bees and butterflies. The last sighting of a hummingbird was on October fifth. We may see eighty degrees on Sunday. I'll take it and hope my tomatoes and peppers keep cranking!
Pink Boar Heirloom Tomato Has a Nose!

Colorful Zinnias on Peck Avenue

Dried Mullein: Was used as torches by Native Americans

Mullein: Fuzzy leaves and yellow flowers

Gray Hairstreak Butterfly on Goldenrod

Monarch and Bee on Asters

Still Producing

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Out and About: Summer is Back for September

The past week has just been lovely weather. Female hummingbirds are still here and zipping through the garden. Monarch butterflies are floating around looking for nectar sources. Vegetable gardens continue to crank out tomatoes and fall flowers like asters, goldenrod, and sedums are now blooming. Enjoy!
Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars

Golden Garden Spider: Amazing Web Design


Joe-Pye Weed

Rudbeckia Herbstonne

Heads Up!!!




Mum's the Word

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Out and About in my Garden: Visitors and Inhabitants

Monarch Butterfly on Common Milkweed

Toad Living Under a Raised Bed

Bee on Wild Bergamot

Clear-wing Hummingbird Moth at Phlox

Blue-winged Wasp on Mountain Mint- it parasitizes Japanese Beetle Larvae, which is a good thing

Painted Lady Butterfly Visiting Zinnias

Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Carolina Wren just finished its " Tea Kettle" Song

Male Cardinal is Either Molting, has Head Mites, or its a Bad Feather Day!

Black-capped Chickadee finds an Insect to eat in the Apple Tree

Caught a Red-bellied Woodpecker Eating an Apple

Ruby-throated Hummingbird- Love those Little Feet!