Wildlife Wednesday, August 2015

As a general rule I’m not a conspiracy theorist.  However, this past month I’ve begun to think that they’re all out to get me.  Or rather, they’re conspiring against me, so that I don’t get them–in photograph form, that is.  The them I refer to is all the wild critters that inhabit and visit my gardens.  This past month, whenever I spied an interesting garden visitor nectaring, breeding, or otherwise creeping, crawling, or flitting,  I struggled to fetch or focus my camera quickly enough to snag a photo.  I’ve come to believe, cross-species, that there’s an understanding among the wildlife in my gardens:  Hey! Tina’s got her camera–let’s vamoose!!  And vamoose they did.  Even when strolling into the gardens, camera in hand and ready for a wild photo shoot, those in the garden, right there, busily slurping on a bloom or nipping at a seed suddenly, weren’t.

Is it my breath?

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I do have lots happening–bees a’buzzing, butterflies a’flying, birds a’twittering, but they don’t seem to want to mug for the camera.

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Maybe it’s just too darn hot.

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It is hot.  The dog days of summer have settled in Austin, but it’s also the first Wednesday of the month and time to celebrate wildlife in wildlife gardens.

There were a few things that didn’t scamper away from me like this nest that I discovered while pruning the blackberry bramble.

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I have no idea who this belonged to and I don’t know when it was built.  I didn’t see it during blackberry season (May), so I assume it was built afterwards.  I wonder what happened to the builders and/or the residents?

On the other side of the blackberry vine this beauty has built a lovely summer home.

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A deadly home though for anyone who bumbles into her webbing, but I welcome these common garden spiders, the Black and Yellow ArgiopeArgiope aurantia.  I saw that she caught some of the insects that were chewing on some of my veggies and milkweed plants which are nearby.   I definitely have mixed feelings about her hunting as I know she also caught at least two of my beloved Horsefly-like Carpenter Bees, Xylocopa tabaniformis,  like this one.

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Another Black and Yellow Garden spider set up shop in the back garden, as well.  If you’re a regular reader, maybe you’ll recognize the wooden structure in the background?

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Yup, she hunting honeybees and I know that she caught at least one.  No doubt, there were others ensnared in her web.

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It’s been a couple of years since I had these spiders in my gardens; some years they’re common, some years not.  I take a hands-off approach to spiders, insects and most critters in the garden.  Even with a very compromised local environment (lots of sterile lawns and few pollinator gardens), my garden space is healthier and relatively balanced if I let everyone do their thing, even if it means eating some of my favorite insects.

Sniff.

The male spider is much smaller and cruises around gardens,

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….looking for a female to mate with.  I guess these two are enjoying their summer fling.

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More spiders in my garden’s future….

Other beneficial garden inhabitants are wasps, like this social Paper Wasp, Polistes exclamans.

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This insect is widespread in Texas and much of the South. I’ve seen a number of them this past month–resting on leaves, feeding at blooms, and sipping at bird baths.

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Paper Wasps are  nectaring insects and categorized as social because they live in groups with a breeding queen and workers, though many wasps are solitary and are also common in Texas gardens.  These particular Paper wasps build nests that are made of cellulose, either out of wood or paper, with cells similar in design to honeybee combs; nests hang from a single stem attached to some object. I know I’ve seen the nests around my property, but of course couldn’t find one to photograph for this post. However, you can see one here.

The squirrels are not happy with me. I don’t always fill the bird feeders, but I am this summer. By default and population, I’m also feeding the squirrels.   Several of these enterprising rodents began climbing up and then hanging onto the solar screen while nibbling seeds at the ceramic feeder in front of the kitchen window. They were emptying this feeder in front of the kitchen window in less than a day.  NOT cool. I finally removed the screen, to their great frustration.  Since then, the screen-vanquished squirrels have tried, in vain, to figure out how to get to the feeder.

Glass is not so easy to hang onto.

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One morning, this little guy sat on the window ledge, looking quite despondent at his inability to reach the feeder.  I swear that he had his arms folded and was tapping his foot in annoyance.

It’s a good day when I can out-smart the squirrels.

These female Black-chinned Hummingbirds, Archilochus alexandri (or maybe it’s the same one) have visited on a regular basis.  In the first set of photos, the flower-of-choice is the Big Red SageSalvia penstemonoides,

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…and in this second set, the meal source are blooms of Turk’s Cap, Malvaviscus arboreus.

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I’ve seen one or more Black-chinned males and male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds-alas, no photos other than those above though.    They’re hard to catch, these winged jewels, but I’m enjoying their visits, however fleetingly, as they feed at the plants they favor in my garden.

For several days in mid-July, I was  hearing an unfamiliar bird call.  I couldn’t find the singers for the first day or so, then finally spotted the jazz-like crooners.

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The Logger-head ShrikeLanius ludovicianus, is a year-round resident of much of the United States, though I’ve never seen one–ever.  I was surprised to see several of them, though all I could photograph was their lower halves, due to their perching high in neighbors’ trees around my gardens.  They have a varied diet, but also eat insects.  Were they after my honeybees?  Hmmm.  I heard them, finally saw a few, then I left town for a bit.  I’ve heard none since.  Too bad.

I loved watching this parent  Black-crested TitmouseBaeolophus atricristatus, feeding a young’n.

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Actually, I guess it was the young’n that I really watched, as he/she looked this way and that for this parent to show up with the seed.  Adorable, and gratifying that there’s enough to feed the next generation.

This lovely little Bordered Patch butterfly, Chlosyne lacinia, flitted in the garden for days before I could catch this mediocre shot.

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The host plant for this pretty are sunflowers, which are plentiful in my gardens this summer.

Feeding on the going-to-seed sunflowers are the Lesser GoldfinchSpinus psaltria, gang–boys and girls alike.

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Lessers love the seeds of Asteraceae plants, like sunflowers.  I chuckle as they hang upside-down for their food; it’s a neat trick, though I’ll take my meals at the table, thank you very much.

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These guys-n-gals will soon finish up with the tall spring-germinating, summer-towering sunflowers.  I’ve already pruned a couple of stalks because there was little left on them, either in bloom or seed form.  But several sunflowers still have viable blooms, which the honeybees and butterflies are feeding on and seeds which the Lessers and also House Finches and Sparrows, are enjoying.

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To the “pretty plant” gardener–one who wants the sterile, pristine lawn or perfect, non-insect attracting bloom-n-foliage plants, I’m sure my sunflowers look hideous.  But to myriad wildlife–bees, butterflies, moths, syrphid flies, and a variety of birds, the stalks are beautiful for their life-giving  bounty.  And that is what wildlife gardening is all about.

I lamented that I didn’t have much to show and tell for this month, but I guess there was enough. Thank you critters–for your presence and for enlivening and completing my garden.

Kudos to all of you who garden for wildlife, no matter how much or little:  you’re part of the solution.  I hope your gardens received wildlife visitors this month and that you will join in posting for August Wildlife Wednesday. Share the rare or mundane, funny or fascinating, beneficial or harmful critters you encounter. When you comment on my post, please remember to leave a link to your Wildlife Wednesday post so readers can enjoy a variety of garden wildlife observations.

Happy wildlife gardening!

**Just a quick and timely addendum. This article is from the Washington Post via. Cornell Lab of Ornithology. A must read for anyone who understands the wastefulness and pointlessness of the American lawn.

Also, the original, beautifully written essay from Ohioan Sarah Baker about her experience in allowing her property to become a wildlife habitat.

 

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57 thoughts on “Wildlife Wednesday, August 2015

  1. You do have an abundance of wildlife in your garden. I was surprised to see Goldfinches, as here on the Gulf Coast, we only see them in winter and in their dull colors. I have been able to catch a few more wildlife photos with my cell phone that I almost always have in my pocket. Glad I found your blog…looking for some more Texans.

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    • Thanks for reading!! It seems a bit stark this summer on the wildlife front, but there is a variety of insect and bird life, so I guess my gardens are in sustainability mode. I seem to have Lesser Goldfinches much of the year, though they’ll be around, then they disappear, and then return and it doesn’t seem to be related to food sources. Where are you on the Gulf? I grew up in Corpus with actively gardening parents, so I appreciate the wind and humidity. 🙂 There are lots of Texas bloggers–we Texans like to talk.

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      • I’m in the Houston area, so not really close to the coast, but we deal with the heat and humidity mixed in with freezes. The gardening course I took taught us Gulf Coast Gardening. Most of us were from elsewhere and had to relearn gardening. Pansies in the winter was a new concept!

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      • I think a lot of gardening in Texas is tricky if you’re from elsewhere. One has to think quite oppositely from a more northern climate. The heat and humidity is hard–tropical-ish, but then there are those cold, cold days in the winter.

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  2. OK lady – really? You are complaining about a dearth of photos and you’ve posted with nearly 30 great shots here. I think that one of the bee heading in towards what looks like a coral yucca bloom may be your best bee photo ever. It might be THE best bee photo, frankly. It is just stunning. And don’t get me started on your photos of wasps captured in a shaft of sunlight…

    It is funny how we live in the same area and yet bloom times can be so different for us. I have two tropical milkweeds that came back from last fall but they aren’t nearly ready to bloom yet. Yours are blooming up a storm it looks like. And our coneflowers are staggered as well, though now I’m wondering if that is because I didn’t really cut mine back last year for a second go-round. I was wanting to let the seeds dry on the plant thinking that might up the germination rate when I popped the seed heads around in various areas as “seed bombs”.

    I’ve been happy hearing a hawk calling several times recently, including a couple of times when it was jays yelling at it that caught my ear to start with. I’ve never caught more than a glimpse and have no idea what type it is but I hope to address that between now and the next Wildlife Wednesday. Speaking of which – here’s a link to this month’s effort:

    http://austinagrodolce.blogspot.com/2015/08/wildlife-wednesday-mad-dogs-and-garden.html

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    • Gosh, did I really use that many photos? 🙂 The bee pic is a good one, I agree. I don’t know, it just seems quiet here. I don’t have the numbers of native bees that I was seeing (May floods? Darned spiders?) and while there’s been a wide variety of butterflies and moths, not many of any one of them. Except for the Gulf Fritillary–got tons of those this year. Oh yeah, and the Texas Crescent.

      It’s fascinating that you’re just a few miles from me and yet with such different bloom times. That’s okay, I was tickled to see your lush coneflowers. I like the crispy ones, but oh that pink. Or purple, or whatever.

      Nice that you’re hearing hawk(s)–so great. Hope you can get some pics. Happy wildlife picture hunting!

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      • The jays keep chasing the hawk off. I think it must be an adolescent to be take their antics so seriously.

        Our varying bloom times could be a good thing. Pollinators ought to be protected a bit more when a certain something they like isn’t all in bloom and then all done at one time. Staggered blooms give them longevity advantage? Something like that.

        Honestly I never see anything in numbers except the occasional pest invasion and then that one spell with admirals and question marks when ripe loquats are all over the ground. I try to console myself that we have a few connoisseur creatures as regulars and leave it there.

        I was reading your/Debra’s side conversation about the lawn article with interest. We have a rectangle of lawn that is great for kids and dogs. It takes way more than its fair share of water, no question. I’ve put rock toppings on areas where I’m encouraging native plants to reseed because it seems to work really well on our slopes. I’ve got spiky plants dotted in out front because they were passalongs, they don’t require much and some create microzones under their spiny protection that goes browse free from deer. The pollinators love their blooms and they are native. So. We are scattered along a continuum of a sort. Really interesting and fun too (I think). Keeping within our philosophical overlaps, I say Vive la difference!

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      • I don’t hate grass!! Okay, not a fan, maybe, but I totally understand the need for some turf. Really, I do!! You’ve also instituted natives and regionally appropriate plants as a big part of your landscape palette. And, you’ve seen the benefit of that change. All good!!

        Funny about the hawk. You might be right about its being a juvenile, but those blue jays and also, mockingbirds–wow, can they be aggressive with the raptors. I rather admire their spunk, as I’m not sure I’d want to take on something with talons like that. 🙂

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      • Still trying to identify mine. Supposedly my area has Italian Wall Lizards (Podarcis sicula) but the one I saw was a plain solid color and not patterned at all. Perhaps it was a juvenile. It was about 2 1/2″ long, I’d say.

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  3. Um. Yeah. So, this is what no wildlife looks like? hahaha. Sorry for teasing but I couldn’t help myself. It is weird how small differences influences bloom times. My esperanza hasn’t even begun but just a few blocks away it has been blooming like mad for ages. I love those garden spiders. I saw one for the first time (was it last year?) and thought it was absolutely amazing. Gorgeous. I can totally see the squirrel tapping his toe. You are a diabolical/clever squirrel stopper. And loggerhead shrikes! Thanks for helping remember to look outside.

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    • Okay, I’m duly chastened. As I responded to TexasDeb, it seems quiet to me. Maybe the heat has fried my brain.

      Microclimates–they are a thing, aren’t they? The spiders are gorgeous and part of the web of life, but I don’t want them catching my native bees. Stop, you!!

      The jury is out about whether I’ve stopped the squirrels. They’re so smart and determined, we’ll see what they come up with to get to that one feeder. There was a National Geographic article a number of years ago about squirrels and their intelligence and resourcefulness. Some set of scientists devised a tremendously complicated set of tests/mazes for the squirrels to figure out in order to get the treat. Bottom line? No matter how complicated and convoluted the test was, eventually, the squirrel were successful.

      I don’t stand a chance against them!

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      • Thanks for taking the teasing so graciously! (A little sour grapes over here haha) I have spiders catching the odd bee here and there too. Kind of bittersweet. I like the spiders. I like the bees. It helps me to think of the bees as one collective thing rather than as separate individuals. So just as we slough off old skin and hair I think of those bees as cells that have completed their cycle. Meanwhile the whole body remains healthy and consistently rejuvenated. It’s a reach maybe but it helps give me some perspective.

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      • Haha–sour grapes. Bittersweet, so true. It is part of the fabric and I don’t think it’s silly rationalization or that you’re “reaching” at all. I wouldn’t mind the spiders hunting (well, I’d still mind a little bit), except there are so many obstacles for wildlife, insects/pollinators in particular, and so much against their survival.

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    • Thanks! I get excited when something like a hummer comes through and have to be very slow and deliberate to catch a shot. Usually, I’m not so slow and deliberate. This next 6 weeks should see an increase in their activity, before they migrate to Mexico and South America. Fingers crossed that I can get more nice photos. BTW, I think hummingbird moths are fabulous and have only seen one this year.

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  4. Wonderful post! I’d like to see what ran off or got away while you were hunting for your camera, because you have a fantastic assortment of wildlife this month. The squirrel sitting on the window sill made me laugh out loud. We’ve got several varmints just like that who manage to get into the bird feeders no matter what. Love the hummers and titmouse and goldfinches. I yearn for the day the goldfinches return here. And the spiders, oh my! Great photos.

    Here’s my link: https://transmutationalgarden.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/wildlife-wednesday-august-2015/

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    • Awe, thanks. The squirrel was really funny. You can’t really see his face, but he (she?) was glaring at me. Really. Glaring.

      Judging from the comments today, I suppose I’d better stop my whining about how little there is in the garden right now, and simply appreciate what there is!

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  5. You’ve found quite a nice group of wildlife to post for it being a slow time. The Logger-head shrike is very special, I’ve not seen one either. All of those are so nice to have in the garden. I cut the sunflowers and lean them against the fence. Pristine lawn and foundation shrubs–not gonna happen here either.

    July started off slowly on the wildlife front in my garden too. Thanks to a preening owl, I’ve managed to pull it off once again.

    http://rockoakdeer.blogspot.com/2015/08/wildlife-wednesday-august-2015.html

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    • I wish the shrikes hadn’t been so high up in the tree; they’re quite pretty birds. I know that your garden philosophy is not so different from mine!

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  6. I looked at the article on lawns and I have to say I don’t believe those numbers. They are based on self reports and while cutting the grass sometimes feels like it takes 70 hours, it doesn’t really. I cut our lawn about 6 times a year. Every so often I do some edging. In the fall I go out and rake a couple of times. We’ve been here since the early 2000s and our lawn remains healthy and chemical free. Even if I am going slowly that labor might add up to 20 hours for the whole year. otoh I spend countless hours with flowers, shrubs and trees. That time only feels like minutes but I know it adds up to many, many hours. He has conflated gardening and lawn care into one category. Don’t get me wrong. There are -plenty- of reasons why turf grass is not the best choice around but it also isn’t the worst choice. A lot of the comments suggest covering lawns with rocks or using astroturf. One of the few benefits of a lawn is that it reduces the heat island effect. Imagine what would happen to our summer temperatures if everyone went out and covered their lawns with rocks! I probably don’t need to explain why astroturf is an abomination. Thanks for the link. It got me thinking.

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    • Yes, but Debra, you are AWARE and concerned and don’t pour gallons of water or chemicals on your lawn. I know in my ‘hood, there are many neighbors who absolutely fit those numbers and maybe more–their lawns look like they live in Ireland, they mow (seemingly) every chance they get, and over-fertilize. One day last year, my neighbor’s mow-n-blow guy did just that for about 5 hours straight, with hardly a break. Forget the hydrocarbons, the noise was awful!

      When I still had grass, like you, I was judicious in how I treated it. I do spend lots of time on the gardens, but mostly in the winter and early spring. I would absolutely agree that the rock-everything movement is the wrong path to take and, while I’m at it, I don’t much care for the current style of a few succulents and cacti “artfully” placed, with pathways and no softness or wildlife plants. True that those landscapes are water wise, but they’re just as sterile as grass, I think.

      Grass (turf) can be a good thing, depending upon where it is and it does help alleviate heat-island effect. But it doesn’t really feed anything and there’s just so much of it in the US.

      If my best dog friend didn’t ruin one of my patches of grass, I’d probably still have some. 🙂

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      • Yep. Agree with everything you say though around here it looks like the more effort some people put into their lawns, the worse they look. There is an apartment complex that mows more than once a month (so low that dust is churned as the mower passes). Every month they spray herbicide. Why ?!?!? That grass is crispy brown right now. The only green bits are the resistant weeds! It is to laugh. My problem is mostly with Ingraham who has either misunderstood the data set or misrepresented it. His readers did not take home the message of replacing lawn with wildlife friendly plantings because he emphasized people’s hatred of doing lawn chores. That way is a dead end and won’t make things better. He could have encouraged people’s love of ‘real’ gardening to make the anti-turf case. Like I said, I can spend hours in the garden and it feels like only a moment has passed. I hope I didn’t sound argumentative. There is just something about that guy that always seems to push my buttons.

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      • Yeah, I agree that the focus of the article wasn’t what I would have chosen, although I do think that folks with “lawn” spend more time, or money if they hire–which many do, than I do on my extensive-for-an-urban lot garden. And nah, you were nicely argumentative. 🙂 I like dialogue.

        I probably should also link to the article that prompted his, which is by the Ohio woman (who, btw, was interviewed on All Things Considered on NPR this evening), about her refusal to mow her lawn and what she’s discovered by letting it grow. While I loved her story, I wouldn’t recommend that route, because mostly, it’d be junk that grows, and not necessarily native plants. As Doug Tallamy says: people think that just throwing out a bunch of seed from prairie-in-a-can equals native-scape and that’s just not true. Everyone should read his book, “Bringing Nature Home” if they want to learn more about why gardening for wildlife and using native plants is important.

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      • I am relieved to hear I didn’t cross a line. I think Tallamy was the direct influence behind so many people turning to wildlife friendly gardens. He has left a great legacy. He was clever to focus on home-owners because it is a place where ordinary people have some control. I think the next step is to broaden the vision to include more public lands. We enjoy native plants all over the place (and the butterflies etc that come with them) here in Texas thanks to Lady Bird Johnson but native things in other states didn’t have such a powerful advocate.

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      • I think you’re right when you say that Tallamy chose to encourage the regular homeowner to wildscape and his book is so compelling and positive (once you get past the initial dire predictions of potential ecological disaster). That’s exactly why I began using native plants and planting specifically for wildlife–to heal my little plot of the Earth. I’d hoped that I might influence a change in my particular neighborhood, but there hasn’t been much of a extensive influence, due, I think, because of the residents who typically choose to buy in my ‘hood. It’s just not a collection of outdoor “aware” homeowners. Many are older and just not in tune with the no mow/water wise/ and native plants movement. But I do know that in other places, in Austin and elsewhere, folks like me who created wildlife habitats were and are successful in influencing change in their larger communities. In addition to changing public space, I think “we” also need to move to commercial landscapes, as well. How many large commercial building have guzzling, wasteful grass, but could plant more wildlife friendly landscapes, if someone just used a bit of imagination? A bunch, I’d bet–and it wouldn’t be any more expensive in the long run. You’re right that Lady Bird was a huge, really huge, advocate and most places don’t have that history. But, with ongoing and worsening extremities of weather patterns, things will have to change.

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  7. I so much enjoyed your post on the variety of wildlife in your garden. I enjoyed it the more as this summer it seems that we have a lack of wildlife, I guess it is due to the rains and high winds.
    So lovely to see your abundant wildlife photos garden. 🙂

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  8. Great post Tina, you had so much to share, even if some of your wildlife was camera shy this month. Interesting to read about your spiders, species I do not think we have here. Do you lose many of your Honey bees? Interesting to read Debra’s comments too re the lawn hours, I am going back to find your link. Apologies for not joining in, I am enjoying your contributors though.

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    • I was thinking of you today and wondering where you’ve been, post-wise. Hopefully, busy with all good things. Thanks for reading. I guess it was a pretty good month and things are humming and buzzing along nicely. Actually, there have been a few honeybees caught in the webs, but not too many. I did see one today, though not in the web by the hive.

      Hope you’ll be blogging soon–I miss your posts!

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  9. Pingback: Botanically Inclined - Seed Adventures | Wildlife Wednesday

  10. Interesting pics, as usual. I also noticed more spiders in the garden this year, or maybe I didn’t pay that much attention until now. Stimulated by your writings I made a small step forward and read a bit about the bee species (from Canada), next you know I’ll know them all 🙂
    Here’s me joining your Wildlife Wednesday and thank you for the inspiration!
    http://botanicallyinclined.org/wildlife-wednesday/

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    • It’s funny what you see when you pay attention. 🙂 Oh nice!! So glad you’re interested and willing to learn! I’ve found that the more I know, the more I realize that I don’t know–but then again, I think that probably applies to most things in life. Thank you for joining in–bopping on over now to read!!

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    • Hahaha–rocks!! Funny. You’re sweet to say that, but gosh, I have so much to learn about photography. Have you seen some of these other bloggers’ photos?!! Sheesh. I’m not a Lawn Nazi. Well, I am, but I really do understand that sometimes lawns are necessary–for kids to kick a ball around and for pooches to romp on. It’s the large, useless swathes of lawn that isn’t used for anything that gets me. Besides, you have a beautiful pollinator and wildlife-friendly garden and that counts for a lot in gardening brownie points.

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  11. My Tina that is quite a post….those spiders are amazing but I agree I hate when they take my beneficial insects. I love that picture of the squirrel trying to figure out what to do now….in the old house I had to outwit the squirrels too….I swear they destroyed my garden when I kept them from the feeders.

    Joining in this month. Hope you enjoy the story….

    http://www.livingfromhappiness.com/wildlife-lessons-being-foxy/

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    • Why thank you, Donna! It’s with very mixed feelings that I watch the predators in the garden, but they’re part of a healthy ecological fabric, so, sniff, I accept that some of my beloved pollinators will be spider meat. One has to admire squirrels, and raccoons too, for their adaptability and resourcefulness. But it doesn’t mean gardeners don’t get annoyed. Thanks for joining in!!

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  12. Great pictures, especially the spiders. We’re just getting to the point when the goldfinches here are starting to feed on the Cup Plant and Tithonia. I love watching them eat, though they do an awful lot of spilling! Pat yourself on the back for outwitting that squirrel. It won’t last, of course.

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  13. Wow. I am glad I visited your post. Your pictures are so beautiful. You have so much of patience, first taking the pictures and moreover processing them and using them in a single post.
    May I ask you, which lens are you using to capture those small birds and insects?

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    • Gee, thanks! I’m only a very new and amateur photographer, though I must admit that I’ve enjoyed learning about camera use–and there’s lots to learn–very much. I shoot with a Pentax XG-1. Currently, that nice camera is in the camera hospital, but I should get it back in a few weeks. Thanks for reading!

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  14. Tina I love your photo of the parent bird feeding it’s young, and the squirrel on the windowsill made me smile, well done you out smarting it, you have so much wildlife in your garden and you did get lots of photos, sorry about your poor lilies, I only have a few photos and some from when I was away, thanks for hosting this meme, I hope I will have more to offer next month, Frances

    https://islandthreads.wordpress.com/2015/08/07/tree-following-and-wildlife-wednesday/

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    • Thanks–the little titmouses are so darling and I’m enjoying watching the various parents teach the kids a thing or two. And feed them! so glad you’re joining in, Frances!

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  15. I love your bordered patch butterfly – I haven’t seen one of those before. I also have yet to have a black and yellow garden spider in my garden, but I’m sure my day will come. Unlike your garden, the birds have been a bit sparse in my garden recently, probably because I haven’t been keeping the birdbaths full like I should. When they do come around, it is always the mockingbirds and cardinals that go after my juicy, ripe tomatoes. But, I have had my fill for the season, so I don’t mind sharing with them. Most wildlife in my garden this month are insects and other bugs and creepy critters. http://rebeccastexasgarden.blogspot.com/2015/08/wildlife-wednesday-august-2015.html

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    • I’ll bet you have a Bordered Patch if you have sunflowers–or will eventually. I’m sorry the birds have feasted upon your toms, but I’m sure they’re very appreciative of you growing them. 🙂 Insects and creepies are all good too!

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    • Please link in when you have a chance–I’d love for you to participate. As for the spiders, I love’m too, I just wish they’d leave the bees alone. 🙂

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  16. I admit to learning something today, and for adjusting my mistaken prejudice toward paper wasps. I’m not in love yet, but at least they have some good stuff going for them. Great photos, as always! (in spite of your disappearing subjects) 🙂

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    • Haha! Poor wasps, they have such a bad reputation. But they are a part of the pollinator and wildlife web and should be appreciated and protected because of that. I’m glad you have an open mind. 🙂

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  17. Pingback: Wildlife Wednesday: My First Post | Container Chronicles

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