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Archive for July, 2019

Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. We’re entering into daylily season in our yard so that is what I’m going to show you today. There isn’t much to say about them so enjoy the show.

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This next daylily is a hybrid that sprouted from the one above.

Hybrid from the previous daylily.

This is the largest daylily flower in our yard.

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This is my favorite of all our daylilies. I just love the burgundy ruffles on it.

I hope you enjoyed this stroll around the garden today.

Join the Nature Friday Blog Hop

We are joining our friends Arty, Jakey and Rosy (a day late, but better than never) for their Nature Friday Blog Hop. You should pop over to their blog to see all the other posts.

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. Our yard offers birds lots of trees to perch on. Some of the favorites are the evergreens where they are often watching over their young or on the hunt for food.

American Robin on Alaskan cedar

Female Eastern Bluebird on spruce tree

One of our favorite backyard birds is the Eastern Phoebe.

Eastern Phoebe on Alaskan cedar

After a quick bath the phoebe perched on the cedar to dry off.

The phoebe keeps watch for its preferred food

Is that a fly down there that I can catch?

According to the “All About Birds” website phoebes “typically place their mud-and-grass nests in protected nooks on bridges, barns, and houses.” We’ve looked around our house and there isn’t a nest on it that we’ve found so we aren’t sure where these little birds are nesting but they must be close by as they are frequently hunting all around our yard.

Female or Juvenile Baltimore Oriole with bug in beak

Sometimes even when the birds are eating berries they can find a tasty bug right under their beaks. You may have to click on the above image to see the what the oriole found.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the birds we see around our yard. I’m joining the Wild Bird Wednesday blog hop. You should stop by and see some more birds.

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Hi everyone. It’s me Thami. Oh yeah you don’t really know who I am so let me show you.

Just so you all know we garter snakes are quite harmless unless you are a toad, frog, slug, or worm.

I’m quite long aren’t I
(about 2 1/2 feet or 76 cm)

Many mornings I can be found sunning myself along the bottom step of the patio.

I like to hide in the patio step.

I’ve met Millie and Walter a few times but if I see them I like to hide. Those two can be quite curious but have very good manners and leave me alone if their pawrents tell them to. There is another garter snake that hangs out around here too but I’m the one that is seen the most. I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know me a little.

We’re joining The Cat on My Head for their Selfie Sunday blog hop. We would like to congratulate them on their Seventh Blogoversary that they are celebrating today! They are also hosting a comment – a – thon and will be donating $1 for every comment they receive.

You should check out the hop to see some of the other selfies.

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. There is always something new blooming in our yard now. I like to call this our white and purple/blue phase. Let’s start with the trees and shrubs that are blooming now. (Don’t forget to click on the images to see a bigger version.)

Stewartia tree flower

Hydrangea Paniculata

Hydrangea Arborescens

Lil’ KimĀ® Violet Althea

The althea (or rose of sharon) looks more pink than violet so it is the only exception to the color theme. Moving on to the perennials. I know I’ve shown you our clematis already but here are some more shots.

Etiole Violette clematis

I just love how the flowers cover the top of the trellis in deep purple blooms. Here are a couple of close ups of the flowers.

Etiole Violette clematis

Etiole Violette clematis

Blue Agastache

The agastache is a favorite of the hummingbirds. Next up are a couple of the hosta that are blooming. We have so many different varieties that we have forgotten what they are.

White Hosta

These hosta flowers have a bit more purple than the others.

Last but not least is one of the new additions to our perennial garden.

Purple Rooster Monarda

We chose this variety of monarda for its mildew resistance and so far it is holding up well. We’ve seen lots of bees, and some butterflies using them and even the hummingbirds go to them.

I hope you enjoyed this stroll around the garden today.

Join the Nature Friday Blog Hop

We are joining our friends Arty, Jakey and Rosy for their Nature Friday Blog Hop. You should pop over to their blog to see all the other posts.

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. A few weeks ago I showed you some of the birds that were feeding on our serviceberry tree. We also have a shrub form that sets its fruit just a little later than the tree. These shrubs have been a hot bed of bird activity recently. As you will see each type of bird has their own method of feeding on the berries. Don’t forget you can click on the images to see a larger version.

Let’s start with the American Robin.

The stem is a good form of roughage.

Grasp the berry in your beak and then…

…toss your head up and pop it in your mouth.

Another bird that uses the swallow whole method is the Cedar Waxwing.

First you have to find the right berry.

Pluck the berry from the stem and…

…down the hatch it goes.

We haven’t see or heard from our Baltimore Orioles much in the past few weeks but I did see one in the serviceberry bushes enjoying some fruit.

Female or Juvenile Baltimore Oriole stabbing a serviceberry.

The last of the birds that usually snarf the berries whole is the Eastern Bluebird.

Let me see which one is the ripest.

I’ll take this one…

…but I’d prefer to take it to another tree to nibble on it.

The bluebird surprised me by flying off to another tree with the berry. He set it down on the branch and surprisingly it didn’t roll off. Then he settled in and picked away at it until it was gone.

Some of the smaller species enjoy the serviceberries too but they can’t eat them whole. Here the Tufted Titmouse demonstrates how they eat.

This berry looks tasty.

I’ll hold it in my claw so I can peck at it.

Finally one of the smallest birds in our yard, not including the hummingbirds, also enjoys eating the serviceberries. Here a Black-capped Chickadee demonstrates his method.

I like to grab the berry while it’s still attached and hold it in my claw.

It’s easy to peck at while you hold it.

Do I have some berry on my beak?

If you look closely at the last picture (click to make bigger) you can see a tiny piece of berry in the chickadee’s beak.

While I was shooting these pictures Charlie was on a photo safari of his own in the yard and captured this picture.

This is how I get pictures of such small birds.

Here I am shooting pictures with my new FujiFilm X-T3 camera. I have a 100-400 mm lens and a 1.4x multiplier. As you can see I am hand holding the camera. I could never do that with my old Nikon. This set up weighs about 4.7 pounds (2.1 kg) compared to the Nikon equivalent that weighed over 9.5 lbs (4.3 kg). I do use a monopod occasionally for extra stability and to lighten the load from hanging around my neck. I’m really enjoying getting back into bird photography. Our yard is so full of bird activity right now I’m having a difficult time keeping up with all the pictures I’m taking.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the birds we see around our yard. I’m joining the Wild Bird Wednesday blog hop. You should stop by and see some more birds.

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Hi everyone. It’s Millie & Walter here. We had a break in our hot summer weather for a couple days this week. It’s always nice to be able to spend time outside as a family. Mom was taking pictures of all the bird activity with her big lens and dad was taking pictures of the flowers around the yard. We were just hanging out and sniffing around the yard to check to see if any rabbits, squirrels or chipmunks were around. After all that exploration there was time to lay down and enjoy the weather.

I always love hanging out under the katsura tree.

Dad thinks this is the best picture he has ever taken of me. I’m keeping my eyes on the bird feeder in the perennial garden.

I’m looking forward but my ears are listening behind me.

We had a great time hanging out while mom and dad went on a photo safari in our backyard. When you have as much property as we have there are lots of things you can find to photograph. Today’s pictures were from dad and you will see some of mom’s pictures on Wild Bird Wednesday.

We’re joining The Cat on My Head for their Selfie Sunday blog hop.

You should check out the hop to see some of the other selfies.

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Hi everyone. It’s Millie & Walter here. After spending a long day outside recently this is how we spent the afternoon.

Sun puddle snoozing is the best

I love the extra cushion of mom’s pillow.

Do you mind? I’m trying to nap here.

We’re joining The Cat on My Head for their Selfie Sunday blog hop.

You should check out the hop to see some of the other selfies.

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