Posts Tagged ‘garden’

Blue-banded Bee, 210517

May 22, 2017

Are those enough B’s in the subject title?

As I was walking to my daughter’s home, I noticed the

Blue-banded Bee

(an Australian native that occurs in many other places, too) in my apartment garden,and the beautiful insect cause a delay of half an hour when I decided I’d try and get an image of it in flight.

IMG_3683

I’ve got the bee sitting, earlier:

IMG_2221

I tried all kinds of aperture settings and shutter speeds…but a bridge camera (Canon SX50, see the exif info) has limitations, and I ultimately gave up on the experimentation, being satisfied with what I got!

Advertisements

Suburban Gardening…and God

December 10, 2014

GOD AND ST. FRANCIS DISCUSSING LAWNS
GOD: Francis, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there? What happened to the dandelions, violets, thistle and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect, no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But all I see are these green rectangles.
ST. FRANCIS: It’s the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers “weeds” and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.
GOD: Grass? But it’s so boring. It’s not colorful. It doesn’t attract butterflies, birds and bees, only grubs and sod worms. It’s temperamental with temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?
ST. FRANCIS: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.
GOD: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.
ST. FRANCIS: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it-sometimes twice a week.
GOD: They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?
ST. FRANCIS: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.
GOD: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?
ST. FRANCIS: No Sir. Just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.
GOD: Now let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?
ST. FRANCIS: Yes, Sir.
GOD: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.
ST. FRANCIS: You aren’t going to believe this Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.
GOD: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus, as they rot, the leaves form compost to enhance the soil. It’s a natural circle of life.
ST. FRANCIS: You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.
GOD: No. What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter and to keep the soil moist and loose?
ST. FRANCIS: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.
GOD: And where do they get this mulch?
ST. FRANCIS: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.
GOD: Enough. I don’t want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you’re in charge of the arts. What movie have they scheduled for us tonight?”
ST. CATHERINE: “Dumb and Dumber”, Lord. It’s a really stupid movie about…..
GOD: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.

Sumana and Deepak’s garden, Goteborg, Sweden, 120614

June 13, 2014

I’m just going to say it with flowers…!

IMG_0006

IMG_0008

IMG_0010

This one, I know, is Azalea:

IMG_0011

IMG_0013

IMG_0014

Daisies are supposed to be weeds, but they are SO pretty!

IMG_0015

IMG_0019

I think this is a variety of Dogwood, eaten by caterpillars!

IMG_0020

Wild raspberry?

IMG_0018

Who decides what are the weeds? This is some kind of dock, and yet so beautiful!

IMG_0024

IMG_0026

IMG_0030

Here’s where to sit and soak in all this beauty:

IMG_0028

IMG_0036

Here’s one being who enjoys all these through taste, not sight or smell:

IMG_0034

Visit of the Least Flycatcher, 120913

September 12, 2013

I went out to the backyard, it was cloudy, today.
I thought I’d send the usual Starlings flying away.
Perhaps a Robin, and a Sparrow or two….
But the birds that I saw…were something new.

DSC07378

Smaller than a Sparrow in size,
With white rings around their eyes.

DSC07379

The behaviour was definitely that of a Flycatcher;
Their presence delighted this surprised bird watcher.

DSC07380

They then turned their backs, and one of the things
I could do was, see the markings upon their wings.

DSC07381

Though they were new in the backyard, they were not rare;
Yet I clicked them so that this experience I could share.

In a matter of minutes, away they flew;
I too turned indoors, I had the day’s work to do.

DSC07383

Throughout the day, the joy stayed with me…
But..it wasn’t the Eastern Wood Peewee!

The bird id was probably Flycatcher, Least ..
Come to enjoy our garden’s feast.
Definitely an Empidonax…
Which one, I don’t know… so please, donax!

I’ve documented and shared it, and done my duty;
Click on the bird’s name for more about the little beauty!!

Hummingbird, again, 040813

August 5, 2013

We all went to Rockwoods Reservation, and Marilynn Motchan, who was baby-sitting her daughter’s German Shepherd pup, Benny, took us on a short trail and showed me a lot of plants. I also saw some wild mammals, but that’s for another post.

At the feeder was this

DOWNY WOODPECKER:

DSC05241

DSC05201

very soon, he was joined by a female

RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD:

DSC05206

DSC05207

Of course, Murphy’s Law mandated that a male Hummingbird never camer near me, though the buzzed around the feeder…

I wanted to get the Hummer on the flowers and a natural perch, and I was successful. Here are some of the photos:

DSC05222

DSC05223

The Sweet Gum tree was a great perch for the birds:

DSC05240

Here’s the Hummer on the flowers:

DSC05234

DSC05235

DSC05236

DSC05237

DSC05238

DSC05239

Hummingbirds are tiny morsels of utter delight….!

Other hummingbird posts:

here

here

here (Hummingbird banding)

Bees and flowers….

May 21, 2013

I went to the U City Library, and was waiting..it was 8.45am and the library opens at 9am. I looked at the flowers along the wall of the building..and found the bees active…

10 Bee STL 180513 photo DSC06971.jpg

11 Bee STL 180513 photo DSC06973.jpg

9 Bee STL 180513 photo DSC06970.jpg

8 Bee STL 180513 photo DSC06969.jpg

7 Bee STL 180513 photo DSC06968.jpg

Here’s another bee on a Columbine:

6 Bee STL 180513 photo DSC06966.jpg

5 Bee STL 180513 photo DSC06962.jpg

3 Bee STL 180513 photo DSC06960.jpg

2 Bee STL 180513 photo DSC06958.jpg

1 Bee STL 180513 photo DSC06956.jpg

I had to finally (er, after half an hour!) leave the bees and the flowers, and go off…

4 Bee STL 180513 photo DSC06961.jpg

Home birding

May 15, 2013

When housebound, taking care of a little baby, one can still enjoy a fair amount of bird-watching!

This morning, a family of

KILDEER

delighted me. Here’s the mother:

12 kldr stl 140513 photo DSC06844.jpg

Try as I could, I could never get her and her three children in one frame. Here’s one of the babies:

14 kldr stl 140513 photo DSC06847-1.jpg

I’d seen this family earlier in the conservancy lane that runs parallel to our road; but today, they were foraging for food in the grassy, empty lot opposite. I managed to get this shot of the mother and two of the chicks:

16 kldr stl 140513 photo DSC06850-1.jpg

Here’s one of the chicks, running to Mommy after exploring a bit…

17 kldr stl 140513 photo DSC06853-1.jpg

You can see the mother looking out for the little one to the right:

15 kldr stl 140513 photo DSC06849.jpg

Here’s another of the chicks:

13 kldr stl 140513 photo DSC06845.jpg

He was too adventurous, and seemed to be getting further11 kldr stl 140513 photo DSC06843-1.jpg and further away down the road from the others; his mother kept calling to him!

Here are the two obedient ones, a study in horizontal lines:

4 kldr stl 140513 photo DSC06835-1.jpg

It was great fun watching them.

Kildeer

are named that, apparently, after their call; but the calls I heard the mother and the babies making today didn’t sound anything like it!

While this was going on, some

NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRDS

flew around, and one settled on the Japanese Maple and started trying her various calls. Two

COMMON GRACKLES

flew in, green-blue feathers shining, and pecked at the worms in the grass. Two

AMERICAN ROBINS

had a massive, roll-over-each-other fight in our driveway, over some nesting material; they had separated before I could get my camera. And four

HOUSEFINCHES

came in to try and see if they could nest in the Arbor vitae bushes next to the front porch, and the

NORTHERN CARDINAL

couple also came visiting. So..quite a variety of visitors, I decided I’d photograph only the Kildeer…but photographing these fast-scuttling birds across the road wasn’t easy!

Beauty everywhere…

July 2, 2012

To most gardeners, insects on their plants means bad news, and something that must be dealth with drastically.

But when I went to snip off the infected parts of the Clematis climber in the back yard, the little insects looked SO beautiful….

infection enright clematis  fp 300612

I could not help photographing them before snipping off parts of the creeper.

However, I don’t know whether I should be sad, or glad, that these little creatures seem to be back in force! Oh well, off I go with the garden scissors now…

Weed…or not…

May 31, 2012

nettle  290512 stacey park

What’s called a weed
Can often be so beautiful.
Who decides what a weed is?
If it thrives,
And survives
In spite of what a human’s need is…
It exists, and is not dutiful…
Springs up in spite of every poison feed:
Pay heed;
It is not “just” a weed.

Some common butterflies…

October 19, 2011

Here are some of the common butterflies that one can see around us, right now. One of the good places I look for them is the Reserve Forest in the MICO Arikere Layout; but quite often, I find these beauties in the gardens nearby, too!

SNOW FLAT

snow flat ptnhli lake 081011

LEMON PANSY

lmnpnsy 081011 ptnhlilke

COMMON ROSE

cmn rse ptnhli lk 081011

BARONET

baronet  ptnhli lk 081011

BARONET closed wing

brnt cld wings  ptnhli lk 081011

COMMON CASTOR
cmn cstr  ptnhli lk 081011

TAWNY COSTER

twny cstr frst 081011

PALMFLY

palmfly frst 061011

COMMON PIERROT

emigrnt 081011 frst

PLUM JUDY:

plum judy?

CRIMSON ROSE mating:

And, just to wind up, a beautiful beetle, too.

JEWEL BUG

jwl bg  ptnhli lk 081011

I keep looking around me as I walk in the residential lanes of our city….these lovely creatures provide spots of colour and beauty to my day.