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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Butterflies and the Bird Buffet

I've been trying all week to catch a photo of one of the Monarchs that have been floating and flitting around the garden all week. I was finally able to snap a photo when one of them alit on the tropical milkweed in the island bed and was still for a moment.

One appeared to be laying eggs last weekend, but I can't see any eggs and haven't spotted any caterpillars, so my assumption may have been wrong.  I suppose time will tell.

It was marginally cooler today (only 88 degrees), so I put on a headband and went out to pull weeds.  Then, on a trip to the store to pick up bird seed, I was lured into the garden center and came out with a small flat of purple Angelonias, to help offset all the orange I have going on in the back yard.
But after sweating up a storm for half an hour or so, I retreated to the shade of the patio to sip ice tea and read a gardening magazine.  

That's when the show really started.  

First, along came this red-winged blackbird.  This is the first one I have seen this year.  He didn't stick around long, probably because I hadn't put any birdseed along the wall like I usually do.

Then I got quite excited when I saw this guy.  It's a young red-bellied woodpecker, too young to have a red cap on his head like his dad, although one of the photos below you can see it's getting a little rosy.

I had seen him during the week actually being fed by the male that visits our garden.  I watched closely to see if there would be a repeat performance.

Sure enough, after a few minutes, "dad" showed up. 

 Finally, I couldn't believe it when I realized the whole family was there on the wall - mum, dad and youngster!  I was thrilled to be able to capture this photo for the family album.  A first for me :-)

Then I realized I was being a bad hostess and that I really should put some seed out along the wall and fill the feeders.

Once I had done that, the white-winged doves that had been eyeing the scene from the power lines across the road came swooping down.

This mockingbird was quite happy enough to share as well.  He even tried some acrobatics to get to the suet, but the male woodpecker was the most skilled at that, happily hanging almost upside down to get to the suet/peanut mixture.

All in all, a lovely day in the garden.  I wish they could all be like this :-)

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