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Archive for the ‘shrubs’ Category

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 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

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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It is a busy time of year for all the birds around our yard. Many of our feathered friends have babies that they are feeding and the parents are working hard to keep up with those voracious appetites. In addition to the fruit on many of the shrubs we have planted in our yard we offer two feeding stations.

Tufted Titmouse at mealworm feeder

Our mealworm feeder is always a popular stop for all our birds but our other feeding station is just as busy.

Tufted Titmouse at suet feeder

Tufted Titmouse grabs a beak full of suet

What you can’t see in these pictures of the tufted titmouse are the young ones that are screeching from the bushes behind the feeder. This titmouse made numerous trips to try to quiet her brood.

Blue Jay on suet feeder

One of the biggest users of the suet feeder are the blue jays. They are a bit sloppy too.

Blue Jay grabbing some suet

Blue Jay flies away after taking some suet
(notice how much is falling to the ground – you may have to click on the image to see)

The blue jays are some of the messiest eaters. There is quite a large area of crumbs under this feeder. A few birds are smart enough to feed on that too.

White-breasted Nuthatch picks some suet from the cake

We use C & S Hot Pepper Delight in our suet feeder. This works the best for us as it is a no melt variety and the hot pepper keeps the squirrels and chipmunks away. We’ve tried other brands of hot pepper but found the rodents weren’t deterred by them. In case you are wondering birds will happily eat the hot suet because they don’t have well-developed taste buds.

C & S Hot Pepper Delight

Don’t forget you can click on the images to see a larger version.

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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Our serviceberry tree and shrubs (Amelanchier) are full of fruit right now and the birds are enjoying the feast.

Gray Catbird

Cedar Waxwing

Eastern Bluebirds are normally insect eaters and are regulars at our mealworm feeder but I also caught our female bluebird snacking on a serviceberry. She is looking in the direction of their nest box where their young are still growing. I wonder if she is trying to decide whether to eat it or share it with her babies.

Female Eastern Bluebird

This last couple of shots I didn’t even see happen when I took the pictures. It wasn’t until after I downloaded them to my computer that I saw what really took place. I was focused on the Cedar Waxwing on the left and didn’t see that another one was approaching on the right with a serviceberry in its beak.

Incoming!!!

Thank you!

My guess is that the “giver” is a male and the “recipient” is a female. It’s too early in the season for this to be a parent/child pair and many bird couples court by the male feeding the female.

Don’t forget you can click on the images to see a larger version.

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

Read Full Post »

Hi everyone! It’s Millie & Walter here. We want to celebrate the first day of summer by showing some of the beautiful flowers in our yard. Remember you can click on any of the images to see a bigger view.

Campanula – Clustered Bellflower

Burgundy Daylily

Campanula Blue Waterfall

Climbing Hydrangea flower

Rugosa Rose and a couple of friends

Goatsbeard

Pink Veronica

Agastache

Pink perennial geranium

We hope you enjoyed this stroll through 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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Hi everyone! It’s Millie & Walter here. Spring is a beautiful time in our yard so we wanted to show you a few of the things that are blooming.

Columbine – Aquilegia

Miss Kim Lilac

North east corner – Deutzia, Azalea, Rhododendron

Deutzia

Red Azalea

Pink Rhododendron

Double File Viburnum

Deciduous Azalea

We hope you enjoyed this stroll through 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.

Read Full Post »

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