Monday, May 24, 2010

New Faces At Weedy Acres

"Mama" and one of her babies. Groundhog, woodchuck, marmot are some of the names used to identify the largest member of the squirrel family. They dig burrows up to forty six feet in length and will have up to five entrance/exit holes. Grasses, plants and fruits make up most of their diet. Climbing trees and swimming are activities to be enjoyed or for escape if needed. If provoked they make a whistling noise and this has earned them the nickname whistle-pig in some areas. Not usually welcomed by humans as they can undermine the foundations of buildings and ponds with their burrowing.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Wild Sweet Pea

I find it amazing that after sixteen years of living here at Weedy Acres new items are constantly appearing. In early spring I noticed these purple flowers in the fence row and at the edge of the mowed area of the field. They are exquisite and small reaching only a few inches in height. They are also called everlasting pea and perennial pea. The most interesting fact about the wild sweet pea is that the structure of the flower allows only one type of insect to pollinate it, the bee.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Meet the Finches

What a delight to look out the kitchen window and see an Indigo Bunting at the thistle socks.  I think of them as the bluebird of happiness. They are normally a private bird and not seen often in this area but this is migration season and I am hoping they will nest near by and not move on. They are members of the finch family and are sharing this meal with a gold finch in it's beautiful summer yellow feathers and tucked down into the lower right hand corner is a house finch with it's dabbing of red. I didn't see the female finch until I down loaded from the camera. I believe she is a female Indigo Bunting. It does put some happiness in your heart to see all these beautiful creatures feeding together.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Feed Me

As you can see from this photo taken on May 5th, the little ones are getting pretty well feathered and space in the nest is disappearing. An open mouth assures survival, as the strongest and fittest will have the best chances. Any slight movement around the nest will make all the little mouths open wide for the steady diet of bugs and worms that mom and dad bring. Flying lessons will be coming up soon.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Robin Babies

The little ones have not opened their eyes in this photo taken on May 2. They have the beginnings of feathers but will the keep the 'fluff' on the head for a while. There are four babies in this nest and it is already crowded and will become more so as they grow.  The photo that I have placed in the header is of one of the parents. It is perched on a bird house but robins do not nest in bird houses but build their nest of mud and grasses and are known to place them in precarious places such as low in a Nandina bush or on the top of an automobile tire while the car is parked.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Eight Spotted Forester Moth

This lovely creature joined me on the porch a few days ago and getting a picture was a real challenge as the flying dance it was executing just kept me pressing camera buttons until for a nano second she/he stopped. This is an eight spotted Forester moth and usually mistaken for a butterfly as they fly during the day instead of at night. They have two yellow spots on the fore wing and two white spots on the hind wing, the body looks like it is made of velvet and take a look at the orange leg wear. During the caterpillar stage it will feed on virginia creeper and I will be looking for them.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Birth Announcement

First picture of the new 'babies' born to the Robins family that constructed their home in the Nandina bush. This photo was taken on April 28th and the babies are so new, just pink skin and a fluff of hair. I was so afraid that they would not make it through all the rain that we have had, bird babies can drown in the nest you know. Mama bird must have been setting pretty tight for a couple of days as the young ones are doing fine and updated photos will be posted.