Mothers to be….

This little lady was a surprise. I heard the whir of hummingbird wings and looked up to see her landing on her nest! I was ecstatic! In our front yard, right under our noses in the beautiful old maple. I can hardly wait! So far she has been sitting for 12 days, I’ve read gestation is between 16-18 days so looking forward to wee ones soon! Beautiful Ruby Throated Hummingbird.

Not the only mother to visit recently, but these eggs won’t be hatching until the first week of September, so much for moving this garden, it will have to wait, figured snowplowing would wipe the rock wall and flowers out with our first big snow;)

Hatching takes approximately 60 to 90 days, but the hatch date can vary depending on temperature and other environmental conditions. Generally, hatch-lings emerge from their leathery egg in August through October by using a small egg tooth to break open the shell. According to the Ontario Turtle Conservation center, when the female turtle makes it to her nesting site and successfully deposits her eggs, her offspring only have a 1% chance of surviving to breeding age. Odds are that each turtle must nest for several years (or even decades!) before it replaces itself. Wow! We are going to help protect these little guys once they emerge! I guess Raccoons are bad at digging up the nests and eating the eggs! We have not one, but two nests close to each other in the soft soil! Must be a popular spot with all this glacial rock about! We’ll keep an eye on them, and our resident trash, er, compost panda;)

The chipmunks have been stuffing their cheeks from the bird feeders leaving room for a gaggle of Purple Finches and some Goldfinches as well. The Mrs. Downy Woodpecker is quite bold and cracks the seeds on the tree beside the feeder, we’ll wait to see if she eventually brings any offspring by to feed them. A pair, or possibly father/daughter, Pileated Woodpeckers stopped at the maples to feed and poke about in several cavities. Such beautiful birds and so distinctive and loud! The female was really chatting up a storm, or begging for food, wasn’t sure which, the male was ignoring her mostly…really? hahahahaha! Maybe she was scolding him;)

With the rain a few days ago has come an incredible crop of mushrooms. Some in the gardens, others at the base of the old maple, home to so much. They started as little cones and have progressed to what look like little dancers with their skirts twirling in the winds:) Also with the rain have come the deer and horse flies…yikes! Run Lola Run!!!

Hoping the Dragonflies can take care of some of the nasty biting bugs! There have been hundreds of them flitting about! They are most welcome here:) There are so many varieties, hope to try to document them all!

I had no idea that the males and females are completely different in many of the species! Making guessing what they are even harder! The Butterflies are descending as well. The first Monarch appeared yesterday on the Sumac blooms and an evasive Eastern Swallowtail has been teasing me as it flits by, I’ll get the shot, eventually;) In the meantime we are dodging the thunderstorms, watching them grow in front of our eyes, then pass us by and dissipate later in the day…”espectacular”, as we say:)

We are living in a natural wonderland so full of beauty, and we are so thankful…stay tuned, fingers crossed, for hummingbird babies!!!

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