Archive for the ‘Critters’ Category

Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here again. Last week I showed you some of the smaller creatures that enjoy our sedum. Today I’ll show you some butterflies that also enjoy the nectar from the sedum.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

This eastern tiger swallowtail is looking quite beat up at this point in the summer.

Giant Swallowtail Butterfly

It’s difficult to photograph the giant swallowtail as they are in constant motion. You will see what I mean in the video below.

Monarch Butterfly

This monarch butterfly had to share this sedum with some other insects.

If you can’t see the video you can go here to view it.

The butterflies have also been enjoying the Joe Pye weed, which isn’t a weed in our garden but a perennial that we planted (there is a native variety that does grow as a weed in our area too).

Monarch Butterfly enjoying the Joe Pye Weed

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the butterflies hanging around our yard.


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Hi everyone it’s Cindy here. Okay so maybe there will be a few words. There are a few plants in our yard right now that are virtual magnets for all sorts of insects. One of the favored plants right now is the sedum. Here are a few of the smaller visitors.

White Belted Black Wasp

Zabulon Skipper

Silver Spotted Skipper

For those of you wondering how I know the names of so many different insects I just do a simple internet search using key words that also indicate the region I’m in such as “black wasp western ny”. I can usually find what I’m looking for with all the images out there.

We’re joining Comedy Plus for their Wordless Wednesday blog hop.

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. A couple of days ago Charlie and I headed up to North Ponds Park in Webster, NY. It’s only a few minutes drive from our house and offers a nice paved walking path around the two ponds. We left Millie & Walter at home and took our cameras instead (don’t worry we made it up to them later).

The first loop around the ponds I had my 50 – 230mm lens on my FujiFilm X-T3 camera but my longer lens was in the car too. In the west pond we saw a Great Blue Heron wading just off shore. (Remember you can click on the images to see a larger view…I highly recommend it)

Great Blue Heron

After we completed a loop we stopped at the car so I could put my 100 – 400mm + 1.4x TC lens combination on. I had my fingers crossed that the heron would still be fishing when we got back around to him.

Great Blue Heron wading in the water

Thankfully the heron didn’t disappoint and treated us to a nice show.

A little grooming interlude between fishing

Back to fishing

Wading further into the water getting ready to…


He hooked a beautiful sunfish

The heron fought to regain his balance as the fish wiggled on his bill.

Determined not to loose his catch…

…the heron flew off to find a secluded place where he could eat in peace.

We lost sight of him but are sure he enjoyed a nice lunch. That was just the series I was hoping to capture. I can’t believe how lucky I was that the heron stayed in place while I changed lenses. From the first picture I took, (at the top of this post) with my shorter lens on, to the time the heron flew off with lunch it was about an hours time. I’m not sure I would have had the patience to sit for an hour waiting for some action but I happened to time it just right.

I hope you enjoyed this Great Blue Heron fishing adventure. 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 Cindy here. Summer is near the end and so is the growing season for the flowers in our yard. We still have a few daylilies blooming.

Rose colored daylily

Yellow daylily

Some of the hosta still have flowers too.

Hosta flowers

Another late bloomer in our yard is our non-vining clematis.

Clematis “Mrs. Robert Brydon”

The various bees around our yard seem to be working overtime collecting pollen.

Bumble bee on Joe Pye Weed

Bumble Bee on Blue Fortune Agastache

This little guy was so loaded down with pollen he could barely take off.

Now those are full saddle bags

Next I want to show you some dragonflies.

Orange Meadowhawk dragonfly

Orange Meadowhawk dragonfly on hypericum berry

Lastly I want to show you one of the many leopard frogs we have in our yard.

Leopard frog

There are so many of these frogs in the lawn that when I mow the lawn I have to go very slow around the edge of the grass (where they seem to be the most plentiful) to try not to squash or mow over them. We seem to be having a banner year for leopard frogs in our yard this year. It usually takes me about 2 hours to mow our lawn but since the frogs have appeared it’s taken me about 1/2 hour longer because I’ve had to go much slower. I want to get a bumper sticker for my tractor that says, “I Brake for Frogs”!

I hope you enjoyed this stroll around the garden today.

Join the Nature Friday Blog Hop

We are joining our Sorrell the Feline Boss of the Texas Branch of the LLB Gang 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 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 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 Cindy here. There is always something new blooming in our yard so here are a few of the flowers we are enjoying right now. This first one I showed you when it was just starting to open but now it is more open and looks so pretty.

pink veronica - lr

Pink Veronica


Amsonia and Ladies Mantle

Purple clematis
(if you enlarge the image you can see a tiny visitor above the center of the flower)

I’ve been having fun with my new camera and tried out the panorama feature on it. I didn’t have a wide angle lens on but was still happy with how the panorama turned out and was amazed at how there are no distortions in it. Here is a view of the east side of the perennial garden.

Perennial garden from the east side
(You can click on the picture to see a bigger image)

We have also started to see many butterflies moving around the garden. They are a bit difficult to catch with the camera since they move so fast and are never predictable in their movements. Here are a couple we found this week.

White Admiral Butterfly

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

I hope you enjoyed this stroll around our yard.

Join the Nature Friday Blog Hop

Today 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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