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Saturday, July 26, 2014

On Nest Watch

In 2010 and 2011 we had Carolina Wrens nesting in one of the container plants on our patio.  I was even lucky enough to be sitting out on the patio drinking my morning coffee at the exact moment when the fledglings left the nest.  You can read my post about it, and see my photos at The Empty Nest.

That was an experience I will never forget!

However, with all the construction around us, and the loss of habitat on either side of us, it's been a long time since I heard the glorious song of a Carolina Wren.

Imagine my surprise when, a few weeks ago, I started hearing that unmistakable song.  Could there be a Carolina Wren around again?

I was thrilled to see movement out on the patio and after watching for a while, I snuck outside with the camera.

This time, they chose to nest in the decorative watering can, seen on the right of the photo.

They spent the day come and going with mouthfuls of pine needles to make their nest.

This photo was taken early in the process.  They kept going until the nest was nice and deep.

I know that wrens typically make two or more nests and then select the one they want to raise their family in and unfortunately, we haven't seen them in a couple of weeks.  

The nest, although now complete, is empty.  This could have to do with the fact that I, in my clumsy efforts to get a peek and a photo, disturbed momma twice and flushed her from the nest, or the fact that the metal watering can might get too warm when the setting sun hits it.

While they have been gone, I rearranged the shelf a little bit and moved the watering can back, so I could set a decorative (empty) bird feeder in front of it to block the sun. Hopefully that will prevent it from getting too hot.

I was woken up by the familiar song of a wren this morning, after two weeks of nothing.  I can only hope that means they are back, or perhaps another pair.  

I will resist the urge to go take a peek, and possibly disturb them again.  Wish us luck!!

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

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Happy Belated Pollinator Week

OK, so I'm a few weeks late in officially recognizing National Pollinator Week, which this year was celebrated from June 16th - 22nd.  But I saw a post of Facebook yesterday asking, "Where are the bees?"   The poster lamented the fact that they had no bees in their garden and they were worried about the consequences.

My iPhoto library helps me keep a record of when I see things in the garden and last year, I seemed to have a lot of carpenter bees and bumble bees in the garden at the end of August and into September.  Not so much in July.

So as I was taking a stroll around the garden this morning, I was pleased to see there were a few bees out there. 

The cucumber vines are covered in flowers and we've already harvested some good sized cukes. This little honey bee seems to be making sure that we get some more cucumbers later in the summer.

 This is better than last year, when we had lots of flowers and not one single cucumber.

Further along on my garden stroll, I noticed some bumble bees on the zinnia - nothing like the numbers we had last August, but it's early days yet :-)  

After a five minute stroll with my camera, the sweat was pouring off me. and that was the end of my foray into the garden for today! I'm glad I was able to find some bees, and hopefully our garden is suiting them and they stick around for the rest of the season.

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