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Hi everyone! It’s Walter here. Last time I posted for Nature Friday I showed you some of our butterflies. Today it’s all about the bees!

7357 - Walter - as a Bee - lr

Let’s see what’s buzzing around the yard.

Our dad was taking pictures of the bees for us.

7335 - Millie Walter - Charlie photographing flowers - lr

Are you sure you have the right f-stop dad?
Millie, you have to be wearing bee camouflage to get this close!

That sister of mine almost scared away the bees!

Bumblebee on sedum 9-2-21 - lr

Bumblebee on Sedum

7338 - Walter - Charlie photographing flowers - lr

The bees feel safer now that Millie is gone.

Bumblebee on sedum2 9-2-21 - lr

Another Bumblebee on the Sedum

There still is quite a few flowers in bloom in our yard and the pollinators just love it.

Bumblebee on turtle head flower 9-2-21 - lr

Bumblebee on Turtle Head

Carpenter bee on caryopteris 9-2-21 - lr

Carpenter bee on Caryopteris

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

7373 - Walter - as a Bee - lr

Thanks for buzzing around the yard with me today.

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the bees we have visiting our yard right now.

Join the Nature Friday Blog Hop

We are joining 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 Millie here. Today I want to introduce you to some of our slithering friends around our yard.

Millie on the patio 7-19-21 - lr

My best imitation of a snake

It’s been too hot to spend much time outside lately but we enjoy watching our garter snake friends when we can. I like to try to sniff them but mom always calls me off before they can strike at my nose. Don’t worry they are basically harmless and probably wouldn’t even connect if they tried to strike me.

6686 - 2 Snakes on ground - lr

A couple of different colored garter snakes.

We’re lucky to live in an area where there are no poisonous snakes.

6691 - Colorful Snake on ground - lr

This snake has beautiful markings

Our snakes spend the night under the upper (raised) portion of our patio. In the morning they make there way out. Sometimes we can see them just sticking their heads out of a crack under the steps.

6743 - Snake coming out at down spout - lr

This snake always comes out near the down spout.

The same snake that you see above always comes out near the down spout and makes its way across the lower patio to some vegetation to hang out for the day. Here is a video that shows the snake making its way.

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

6752 - Snake moving under door - lr

Always watch your step going in our out of the garage.

Here is a wide view of the snake’s path.

7271 - Patio where snake moves from drain - annotated

(Click on the image to make it bigger)

Occasionally the snake will hang out under the bench in the above picture.

Backyard garter snake 7-16-21 - lr

All curled up under the bench

Backyard garter snake 7-19-21 - lr

Maybe I should save this picture for Selfie Sunday.

These snakes do a great job of keeping small pests away from the house. They like to eat slugs which is great for the hosta on the patio. I hope you enjoyed seeing some of our snakes today.

Join the Nature Friday Blog Hop

We are joining 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 Millie & Walter here. We’re joining a special Nature Friday and helping Marg celebrate her birthday. Marg is a special Blogville friend who helps lots of kitties. We are going to show you some of our early spring flowers.

6260 - Millie - portrait on stump - lr

Let’s see what’s blooming in our yard.

We have two different color of witch hazel bushes in our yard. Since this is the first thing that blooms in our yard the insects flock to it for nutrition.

6157 - Honeybee on witch hazel - lr

A honey bee works on the yellow witch hazel.

 

6249 - Fly on Witch Hazel - lr

Even the flies were working the witch hazel.

Here is a little video of the bees and flies enjoying the witch hazel.

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

There is also an orange version of witch hazel.

6208 - Orange witch hazel - lr

Orange witch hazel

The only other flower we have blooming right now are our Chionodoxa bulbs.

Blue Chionodoxa 4-6-21a - lr

Blue Chionodoxa

 

White Chionodoxa 4-6-21 - lr

White Chionodoxa

These little flowers are all around a little mound at the back of the yard where we had to cut down an ash tree.

Walter 3-21-21 - lr

The ash tree stump is where we did our modeling for these pictures.

 

Blue Chionodoxa 4-6-21b - lr

Blue Chionodoxa

We hope Marg and all of our visitors enjoyed seeing some of the flowers we are lucky to have blooming so far. If you want to add your birthday wishes to Marg you can pop over to the Zoolatry blog and leave your comments there. As usual we’re way behind many of our friends in the flowers that are blooming in our yard but there are some daffodils that are springing up out of the ground and may be blooming soon.

BlogHop FlowersForMarg

We are joining 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 Cindy here. A couple of weeks ago I showed you some pictures of the birds that were feeding on common buckthorn berries in our yard. I’ve finally processed the videos I took and wanted to show you just how much action there was.

American Robins & European Starlings in Common Buckthorn

The Common Buckthorn species is naturalized and invasive in parts of North America. We didn’t realize this tree was growing in our garden for a few years because its form and leaves are very similar to the Miss Kim lilacs that it’s growing near. When it finally grew taller we could see that it was an introduced tree. Charlie did some research to figure out just what it was.

The birds gobbled up the plentiful berries.

According to Wikipedia:

The seeds and leaves are mildly poisonous for humans and most other animals, but are readily eaten by birds, who disperse the seeds in their droppings. The toxins cause stomach cramps and laxative effects that may function in seed dispersal.

We would like to remove this tree but it’s behind a few shrubs that make it difficult to get to. This tree was full of berries before this flock descended on it. Here is a video of some of the action.

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

As you could see by the end of the video there were very few berries left on the tree and ultimately there were no berries left.

There are very few berries left at this point.

It is very rare to see so many American Robins in January but some are more hardy and stick around all winter although we’ve never see a flock this large before. It was a treat to get to see all the different colorings from the very dark orange to the paler looking ones. I hope you enjoyed seeing them too.

Join the Nature Friday Blog Hop

We are joining 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 Cindy here. This past Tuesday the weather looked good to catch a nice sunset on Lake Ontario at Webster Park so Charlie and I headed up there to take a look. Since December 1st the parking lot closest to the shore has been closed but there is room at the top of the driveway for a couple of cars to park there. So far we’ve been lucky to be able to park there and this time, for the first time since we could remember, there was nobody else in this area of the park. Usually there are always a few fishermen but thanks to the high waves and cold temps (it was about 30°F with a stiff wind) they stayed away! (Don’t forget to click on the pictures to see a bigger view)

The waves were crashing against the break wall

I’ve been waiting for a day just like this to try to capture the waves as they crash into the break wall. I set my camera on a tripod with my camera about 2 feet above the ground so it would be about eye level with the waves.

A large wave crests close to the wall.

In order to freeze the water in the air I set my aperture at f6.4, and my ISO at 1600 to achieve a shutter speed between 1/800th to 1/1000th of a second. Since you can’t really anticipate the exact moment when the perfect wave crash will occur I also set my camera to take high speed burst pictures (15 frames per second). In the 20 or so minutes I was taking pictures I managed to shoot about 700 pictures!

The sunset was the perfect background for the crashing waves

Here is a little video of the wave action that day.

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

Charlie captured this picture of the pier while I was shooting the crashing waves

I hope you enjoyed a different view of Lake Ontario at Webster Park this week.

Join the Nature Friday Blog Hop

We are joining 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 Millie and Walter here. Recently we had a photo shoot in the living room with our dad.

Do you have any treats on you dad?

I sure hope he does.

Here is a video of our modeling session where you can see if our dad came through with those treats.

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

This is a great shot of me dad.

I think this is a great portrait of me too.

We hope you liked our selfies and seeing how they were taken and we hope you are enjoying your Sunday too.

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. Thanks for stopping by.

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Hi everyone! It’s Millie & Walter here. We know some of you don’t really like the snow but for us there’s no place we would rather be.

I like looking for buried treasure.

Here is a little video of some of our snow play fun.

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

I love pouncing on Millie while she has her head under the snow.

After I do a fly by I land and relaunch.

Get ready Millie…

…here I come again!

We just love playing in the snow and are happy that today we got a lot more of it. If Mother Nature brings you snow we say to embrace it and have fun playing in it.

Join the Nature Friday Blog Hop

We are joining 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 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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