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Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Magical Month of May


Earlier this week I noticed a mockingbird that seemed to be coming and going a lot. At one point I saw it on the fence with a beak full of nesting materials.  As I sat on the patio, I began to realize that it was probably nesting in the false cypress we have against the fence on the west side of our garden.

 As you can see from the photo, this was where we had put up the nesting shelf for the cardinals.  As of yet, the cardinals have ignored it, but if you look closer, you'll see that Mrs. Mockingbird was kind enough to build her nest right where I can get good photos without having to teeter on top of a step ladder!


When I took a peek this morning, I was thrilled to discover a beautiful speckled blue egg. Hopefully there will be more to follow.


The nest is very sturdily constructed, having been started last year, but never actually used.  I'm so thrilled that someone is nesting in it this year.  With the loss of habitat either side of us, I'm particularly happy to see that we still get birds in our garden and that they choose to nest in the habitat we are building.

I was going back through my iPhoto library because somewhere I have a photo of this particular nest when it was just a few sticks.  I couldn't find it, but I did find some other photos that reminded how magical May can be.

For example -- it was one year ago today that we had some unusual visitors to our garden.  I don't think I showed this video before, but we had a visit from a family of these little guys, drawn to our garden by the soggy ground under our hose reel.

video

They stayed with us for two days and I was fascinated, but a little relieved when they moved on -- my flowerbeds were starting to show signs of wear!



More magical moments in the garden last May when a Carolina wren nested on our patio.  I just happened to have a day off from work and be sitting on the patio on the day the young ones left the nest.



In last week's post, I celebrated the fact that we were finally hosting some Monarch caterpillars on the milkweed in the front garden.  More recently, I spotted a couple of tiny caterpillars no more than half an inch long on the milkweed in the back garden.


As I was heading out the garden gate to turn on the water so I could refresh the bird bath, I saw something I have never seen before in my life -- a Monarch chrysalis!!


As we head further in to May, I'm looking forward to more magical wonders in the garden.  I'll keep you updated on Mrs. Mockingbird and her family and let you know how things develop.


Happy gardening everyone!

 


Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.

7 comments:

Bernie H said...

I remember when the Armadillo visited but I'm pretty sure you didn't share this fabulous little video clip. There were quite a few magical moments last year for you, and now you've found a Mockingbird egg. How wonderful! Great rewards for the hard work you've put into creating your garden.

Jayne said...

Thanks Bernie. May seems to be a magical month each year in our garden. I hope it continues :-)

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Jayne,
How exciting to see all that wildlife activity! Seeing that armadillo video made me appreciate the rabbits a little. At least they don't dig. The squirrels do, though.

Congratulations on the monarch chrysalis!

Jayne said...

Thanks Sue. I keep going round there every couple of hours and making sure its still there!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

The wrens are so cute! I was hoping that they would nest here again this year, but so far the wrens and chickadees haven't used our birdhouses.

I have only seen a few caterpillars on my milkweed since I planted it three or four years ago.

Birdwoman said...

Magical moments indeed! They happen every day in the garden, don't they?

Lancashire rose said...

So much wildlife going on in your garden. We have mockingbirds here all the time and I have never yet seen one of their nests. Amazing that he built so low to the ground. He had better be watching out for cats. Also your chrysalis. They hide them so well that I have only ever found one. Great job. As to armadillos. They can stay out there in the wilds!