04 June 2020

garden life

Birds are all over my yard now. I've found that from my deck with binoculars I can see just over the lip of the blue jay's nest. I can see the parent's tail, or if it's facing my way, its head and back- looking around, ruffling the feathers. The gray catbirds are a constant presence, also robins and the cardinal pair. I caught a photo of one poking through the garden, between newly set-out cosmos:
These of a female blackbird are a bit better:
blends in so perfectly when on the ground:
The skinks are out and about regularly now! And today I saw a dragonfly for the first time. We also have two or three little toads in residence (which makes me very happy). I managed to get a photo of one just before it hopped into shelter under the salvia (which yes has sunburn. It's grown past the shade provided by euonymus). My nine-year-old named it Dough.
Few days ago I saw a fox cross our backyard again. That always feels like something special. I've seen one swallowtail, and in the past few days lots of these orange and black butterflies.
Pretty sure they're checkerspots, from all the spiky black caterpillars I saw a month ago (echinacea are recovering). They never rest in one spot long, flitting up and down constantly, so very hard for me to get a photograph.
It seems I'm seeing fewer white cabbage moths than last year, and the aphids aren't as numerous either. Giving credit to the spiders, assassin bugs, ladybugs (seen several in the garden!) skinks and birds. No hummingbirds or monarchs yet, but the tithonia are in the ground and growing fast, and my milkweed has fat pinkish buds about to open.

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