Birds and bugs and chipmunks galore!

Dazzling Giant Eastern Swallowtail

These Swallowtail butterflies are just astounding, the colours and iridescence are so beautiful! We haven’t had a huge variety of butterflies so far this year, a few Mourning Cloaks, and Little Wood Satyrs. I thought I saw a Monarch but I think it might have been a Viceroy instead. Not as many bumblebees either. I have put off mowing alongside the driveway as it is covered in hundreds of daisies! Just couldn’t bear to remove them!

With the birds nesting it has become quite quiet, the exception being the woodpeckers! We have a young Hairy that is quite the beggar! He was trying to hit the Downy Woodpecker up (who is half his size) for some seeds! Ha! She flew off in a huff, you are NOT my baby! I am trying to convince him that hanging about on the ground like a chipmunk looking for seeds under the feeder is a dangerous occupation for a young, not well versed in flight bird, especially once the mewberries head out in the morning for their supervised walk!

This morning I found him sitting on our front steps, sleeping…head tucked under his wing. My first thought was he’d hit the glass, or he’s cold, or wet or sick from the small amount of rain we had overnight, no…he was just snoozing. I nudged him gently and he yawned before looking up at me sitting beside him drinking my coffee as if to say, why’d ya do that? I carried him up to the top railing away from the mewberries who were about to go out for the morning, he seemed unperturbed, then decided perhaps it was best to fly to the tree and start screaming for a parent for breakfast! He is a shameless screamer when hungry! and very very loud! Ha!

…and do we have hummingbirds? Of course, but again, very quiet. The female only comes out occasionally, the resident male sits on top of a dead branch surveying his kingdom, once or twice we have had an interloper, we’ll see once everyone is hatched out and flying if the population rises, it’s somewhat alarming not seeing very many. Could be the wildfires or destruction of habitat, something is odd and changing.

So few sunny mornings to sit and watch them explore the flower baskets, damn smoke! Hopefully, the bulbs and perennials will start to bloom soon to give them something other than bugs and hanging flower pots to feed on here!

The Baltimore Orioles are certainly filling in the colour gap! They haven’t decided if they like the strawberry jam better than the marmalade so I leave a teaspoon of both for them every morning as well as a fresh orange cut in half. I feel they might eat more fruit than I do at this point! Waiting for the local stuff, supermarkets are depressing right now both price and fresh wise! Miss Raccoon pretty much runs off with what they don’t eat orange-wise every night so cleans up well! I haven’t figured out if the all-yellow orioles with a bit of black feathering marks on their heads are juveniles or females…must research this some more!

I did promise chipmunks, didn’t I?! I was actually trying to photograph the Rose Breasted Grosbeaks when a particularly impertinent young chipmunk decided I’d obviously put the bird feeder on the picnic table just for him (yup…boy equipment visible!) He was a hoot! They are very aware of when the cats are out and do some scouting if it’s just me there…I could be hiding one!

Watching this young gentleman trying to figure out the mechanics of getting his head into the feeder to eat the seeds was impressive, not that he thought to use his little hands to pull them out and eat them, no, had to be his WHOLE head in there!

I tried explaining to him that if perhaps his cheeks were not full of the seed he scrounged from under the feeders his endeavors would be more successful. He took it badly!

I might have suggested that fat greedy chipmunks get eaten by Blue Herons and cats more…He was alarmed at what I’d told him apparently and decided to repent, for a few moments, anyway;) I did thank him for his comical modeling skills. Everyone needs a smile like that occasionally!

The Traveling Mewberries got to welcome their local snapping turtle back, she has appeared every year so far, within a few days each time, what a great sense of timing/alarm she has. Sadly most of the rain had fallen everywhere but here and her endeavors to dig into the driveway and lawn proved unsatisfactory, she moved off into the bush, hopefully finding a spot there. She can really move when she wants to!

Naturally, the mewberries had to go check her out, like they do every year. She must sigh and go, I’ll just lay here and they’ll get bored and go away! We keep a close eye on them, that’s a sharp beak for snapping! Could be a tripod cat in a flash! They are quite respectful as well!

Always an adventure here! So far few chipmunk casualties, they must have nine lives like cats. I can envision a small group of them, scarred, missing a claw, or fur, sporting an eyepatch like a pirate, in a badass chipmunk group, telling the youngsters the pitfalls of thinking you are faster than Rocket! Thankfully he hasn’t figured out the kill thing yet, unlike Groot, so once caught they can be pried from his jaws and be set free to be caught another day…I swear it’s the same ones…not so smart some of these guys!

Anyway, work to be done now, there is always something! I’ll leave you with a shot of Miss Raccoon, she knows exactly when we leave in the truck and comes and tries to pull my bird feeder down, it is now firmly attached but she does shake it until a few seeds come out!

You’re back? Already?

Stay tuned for baby Loons! Insert big smiley face here! Ha!

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