Posts Tagged ‘summer’

A Monarch Butterfly


This is only the only monarch butterfly I’ve seen this week.


It stopped to feed on the tiny white flowers of this honey vine Cynanchum lavae, before flying on to the north.


What a beautiful way to start the day!


And then …. I was weeding in the garden, around the honey vine.


And there was a monarch caterpillar feeding on one of its leaves.

That was a first for me … calls for more research.


Pair Summer Tanagers

Summer tanagers usually don’t find our yard interesting enough to stay here, until this summer. It seems like weeks now that I’ve listened to their “pik-i-tuk-tuk-i-tuk” calls.

Every time the calling would continue, I’d try to locate the bird, never with any luck  until this evening.

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 I stood and stood, hunted and hunted. First I spotted the male among the masses of leaves and branches. Please excuse the quality of the pictures. I know they’re far from being good. At least I finally found one and took it’s picture in the evening light.

If you look close you can see yellow around its neck and down its breast a little. The yellow indicates it’s a young one that isn’t the total red of an adult male.

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The low evening sun made the female’s deep yellow front look slightly more orange.

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It was considerate for both birds to be in my final picture.


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The next morning the male called from the catalpa tree above where I was working. Adult scarlet tanagers are bright red with black wings. Call notes easily differentiate the summer from the scarlet tanager. Summer tanagers give “pik-i-tuk-i-tuk” calls, and their song resembles a robin. The scarlet tanagers repeat “chip-burr” calls, and their song sounds like a robin with a sore throat.

Yard Pillows

(I am sooo glad to be back after computer and blog site problems!)

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Have you ever seen “yard pillows?” We have them.

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Better known as groundhogs. They’ve been staying under our old barn most of the summer.

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They avoid the hot part of the day and dine around the yard when the temperature’s more comfortable.

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Their usual dining habit is to munch a minute or so, pop their head up to survey their surroundings and repeat. 

They know there’s a big brown dog living here, and the big brown dog knows the groundhogs live under the barn. (Buffy’s a house dog.)

Persimmon Smorgasbord

Our volunteer persimmon tree kind of gets lost in the tangle of plants and trees that border the lower part of our yard. The hill in the background is on our neighbor’s and is the end of an old strip pit.

I always forget about the persimmon tree. Then I realized it was the reason why Buffy kept disappearing when we were out. It’s the tall spindly tree near middle of the picture.

From what I’ve heard, the persimmon trees have out-done themselves with fruit this summer. The tree grows against our side of the neighbor’s fence. He’s let the area behind us grow up like our shrub border.

I followed Buffy in the thick of things to check things out. It’s denser than it looks in the picture. Then I found an abundance of poison ivy. I even had problems finding an easy way out.

 Buffy had eaten all the persimmons that had fallen. They don’t drop until they’re ripe.

I do hope some animals come and dine on the smorgasbord of fruit. Online research listed coyote, fox, raccoon, squirrel, possum, deer, quail and wild turkey as eating persimmons.

As for dogs eating persimmons, ones under 60 pounds aren’t supposed to eat them because of the size of the seeds.

I do hope other animals help eat the fallen persimmons. Buffy doesn’t need so many. I’m supposed to get her down to 90 pounds, and the persimmons aren’t helping one bit.