Thursday, May 9, 2013

Spring has Arrived!

After a very busy month of March, where I hosted two sets of company and April, where I was off trekking the Pennine Way in the most horrible conditions, I finally arrived back home this week to no least for a month. I was so worn out from the Pennine Way that the last few days here at home I've done nothing but piddle around the house, sipping iced tea on the patio and watching/listening to all the birds in their mating season glory. I've not really been motivated to do much else than relax and enjoy the warm weather, which was missing in action in Northern England and Scotland. I did however, make it out to my garden to snap pics of all the Springtime loveliness that is happening. I even saw two new species in my garden: a Blackpoll Warbler (#255 on my life list!) and a pair of Brown Thrashers. That makes 42 species of birds in my yard this year. That's a pretty good local patch if I do say so myself! So, enjoy these images from yesterday and I hope you are watching your own local patch for all the Springy goodness that is around you!

 I shot this through the window. It's a Brown Thrasher. A pair of them were calling back and forth to each other for an hour the night before. Found this one when I went to close the blinds of the bedroom window, perched in a rose bush. She could see me and after I took her pic, she promptly flew away. I did hear her calling once again this morning so I am hopeful she is making my garden her permanent home. ;-)

 Some birdy deposited a whole bunch of downy feathers and left them in a pile in the yard. I've moved them to one of the birds favorite potted plants so they can take what they need for nesting material.

 This male squirrel was none to happy with me. The cascading water fountain he drinks from was empty and one of the bowls knocked over. I still haven't gone out to clean and fill it up...on my way to do that shortly! Hang in there buddy!

 Four Mottled Ducks have been hanging out on the lake the last few days. The one below spent over two hours standing on the fake wooden goose that marks our sprinkler system and calling for her chicks (she did have three very tiny babies) who have either been taken by predators or who she misplaced. (this happens a lot with ducks, who aren't the best at parenting skills). She eventually joined in with the other three and they all went on their way to the other side of the lake.

 Apparently it must have rained quite a bit during the month I was gone because the Coreopsis wildflowers have run amok and have taken over the stony pathway. There are three colors this year, yellow, orange and pink and there are a few sunflowers sprouting up as well in the mix!

 This dragonfly paid me no mind. He just sat on this stem for a really long time, staring out over the lake. I wonder what he was thinking about? They look like tiny little fighter pilots. Perhaps he was contemplating his last or future flight mission?

 I love in the spider's world that the female is always the bigger, more bad-ass of the sexes. Here are a pair of Shiny Orbweavers. The male is waiting to mate and then I'm pretty sure she'll eat him.

 When I left, the only critters in the garden were birds, lizards and toads. Now there are tons of caterpillars, butterflies, dragon and damselflies! And of course the birds, lizards and toads are all still around. No more Painting Buntings though. They seem to have moved on and I'll have to wait until next winter to see them again.

"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” 
― Margaret AtwoodBluebeard's Egg

Off to do just that!