Wildlife Wednesday

I know it’s not Wednesday.

But I don’t believe there’s a specific blogging day dedicated to the celebration of wildlife in the garden and I want to change that.  I’m inviting enthusiastic garden bloggers everywhere to snap photos of the wild visitors in your gardens and then to join me on Wednesday, July 2, 2014 and every first Wednesday of the month after that, to share posts about those wild ones you encounter.  Photograph and write about any kind of wildlife that interests you.

From the ordinary,

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to the extraordinary.

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Post about the beneficial ones,

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or the not so beneficial ones.

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All garden bloggers dedicate some writing and photography to the furry, feathery, or scaly in their gardens.  Attracting wildlife to our gardens is partially why we garden isn’t it?  A garden is never so alive and vibrant than when it is graced by wildlife.  Otherwise, it’s not much of a garden.

I admire the many bloggers who have more patience (and probably a better camera) than I.  I’m frequently awed by the juxtaposition of the artful and the scientific displayed in gardening blogs.  Garden bloggers love sharing the beauty of wildlife in their gardens. We teach what we’ve learned and experienced because of our passion for gardening and the critters intrinsic to cycle of our gardens.

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In this dedicated wildlife meme, my own personal goal is to become a more patient  photographer and to improve my study of the wide variety of wildlife who inhabit, visit and share my garden space.

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This past spring, I wasn’t able to post about my Eastern Screech owlets because they were high up in the tree before I spotted them and shy before that–I only saw one at the nest box, one time.   Mom and Dad owl raised four owlets this spring and seemingly ushered them into the outside world successfully.

Last year (2013) we enjoyed quite the drama when our owlets fledged, though I don’t think the owls were quite as pleased with their initial excursion from their nest box.

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This little one was glaring down at my curious and circling cats and needed my intervention. Check out those talons: woe to the rats, mice and toads when they come into contact with those.

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I love being needed.

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I don’t think Little Owl appreciated my help.

Don’t worry Little Owl, you’ll be back in the tree in asap!  I deposited Little Owl in the tree as both parents watched and within a few days, they were off!

A day or two before The Great Rescue, I was eyeballing Dad Owl in the Mt. Laurel and discovered this magnificent Cecropia silkmothHyalophora cecropia .

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I’ve never seen one before or since.

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Wildlife in my garden–owls and their off-spring because I’ve welcomed them with a nest box (and plenty of toads from the pond to hunt) and a moth who found refuge in a lush, native tree.

Let’s do it!

Wildlife Wednesday.  July 2, 2014.

Beginning July 2, 2014 and every first Wednesday of the month thereafter.

 

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10 thoughts on “Wildlife Wednesday

  1. Oooohhhh- that photo of your gloved hands cradling the owlet is a “takes the cake” shot. And the icing? That moth you spotted – once – because you were out looking – and appreciating your Poppa Owl.

    I’m a hug fan of the Share Your Wildlife concept, especially if it will be coaxing more writing along the lines of “A garden is never so alive and vibrant than when it is graced by wildlife. Otherwise, it’s not much of a garden.” out of you. Count me in! See you all back here 7/2/14.

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    • Thanks, Deb– knew you’d be in! It might just be the two of us, but that’s okay with me! This is the first year I haven’t had to scoop up a baby and re-deposit in the tree. I felt a bit left out this year. The story I didn’t tell was that on one of the nights after the owlets fledged last year, I was out looking for signs of the owl family and silently, except for clicking beak, one parent flew just beside me and immediately, the other parent, with clicking beak, flew on the other side of me. As I was thinking, “Oh that is the coolest thing ever!”, someone hit me on the head. Hard. Hard enough that I saw stars and developed a knot on my noggin. I realized later that Mom and Dad were warning me and stupid human that I am, I didn’t heed their warnings. There must have been an owlet on the ground and I didn’t realize it. I held my hands over my head every time I went out to look for owls after that. And the moth? So beautiful–I hope to see another some time.

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  2. That moth is amazing, thought it was a snake when I first saw the pic. I like the wildlife idea too, it’s one of the reasons many of us garden, so why not showcase it? I’m in!

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    • Great, Laura-I”m so glad you want to participate. The moth really was something to behold. She/he was gone the next day, but such a treat to see. Hope your bees are settling in. We checked our hives yesterday and had to cut out some cross comb they’d built in the second box. There was lots of brood in that comb too, so I felt really bad about that. But apparently, if you have burr or cross comb, it’s better to deal with it early on before it becomes a problem. Good luck and see you on Wildlife Wednesday!

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  3. All these photographs are spectacular. I would love to join in. The creatures who visit aren’t always exotic but they are loved.

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    • Hi Debra! Garden critters don’t have to be exotic, just interesting because of their place in the ecosystem. And they all have a place. So glad you want to participate! See you July 2!

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  4. Great pics of the owlet being carried back to the tree. Was it not able to fly out of harm’s way? I was pretty impressed by our owlets as they left the box recently. They seemed competent, if not expert, although we kept Cosmo inside just in case. Maybe I’ve been missing the real flying lessons. And I read your comment about being strafed with interest. I always am guarded when I walk beneath a nesting mama owl, just in case she feels threatened enough to dive-bomb, but the mamas have always been calm. But you’re right — catch one when a baby is trying to fly, and it may be a different story. I’m glad it didn’t break the skin, but I marvel to think of that little ball of feathers (and talons!) leaving a lump.

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    • Hi Pam! Little Owl was flapping away on top of the trellis which is just next to my bedroom window. She just wasn’t moving away from her perch and I didn’t feel comfortable leaving her there–the cats can climb. It might have been interesting to see what the parents would have done with a cat, but I wasn’t willing to take that chance–either with the owlet or with the cats. Mom and Dad owls have always been tolerant of me and mine, so that was the first and only time I’ve ever been attacked. I deserved it though, I wasn’t paying attention. Good lesson! I did see the family throughout the first part of last summer if I was out at the right time. Unfortunately, one of the babies was in my back garden about a month after they fledged, lying on the ground in early June. She was alive, but barely. I took her to Austin Wildlife Rescue–they have a raptor specialist who rehabilitates That little owl was apparently not hunting well because the intake person thought she seemed very thin. Hopefully, she survived.

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