This is the post I would have done yesterday if we hadn't gotten that severe thunderstorm with lots of lightning last night!
There was lot of monarch butterfly activity in my wildflower garden late in the afternoon, so I decided to try and catch some for tagging since I have quite a few unused tags left yet from the monarch ranch. I managed to catch and tag only 2, but spent some enjoyable time around the wildflower garden (despite the heat and those really tiny black bugs with a painful bite).
I have so many asters blooming in beautiful colors in this garden and that's what the monarchs were there for (the bumble and honey bees love these flowers too).
The asters are mostly in shades of pink and purple. (I'm glad I took these photos yesterday because the wind and rain last night really battered some of the blossoms.)
They grow profusely throughout the garden and it's nice to have all this color late in the season when most of the other flowers are done blooming.
There are still some other flowers blooming too: Brown-Eyed Susan
One Purple Coneflower (amongst the already dead ones where finches have begun eating the seeds)
There's lots of bird activity in the wildflower garden--mostly goldfinches, but I believe I also saw the Eastern subspecies of the Orange-Crowned Warbler (according to what I read in my Stokes Field Guide to Warblers). This little bird is very similar in size and appearance to the goldfinches right now in their drab olive-colored plumage. I spotted this little warbler in amongst the stems of the purple coneflowers. According to the Stokes Field Guide, they "feed mostly low in underbrush, weedy fields, and understory." I also noticed this little bird had a split whitish eye-ring. There were no other wingbars or distinguishing features. Of course, I didn't have the camera with me and when I ran into the house to get it, by the time I got back the bird had disappeared. (I spotted it again this afternoon, but still no camera for a photograph.)
Our apple trees are so weighted down with apples that some of the branches are dragging on the ground. The apples on the south and west side of the trees are much redder from getting the sun all the time. (you can see here how red they are with branches hanging right down into the asters)
These apples are huge and quite delicious. We've been sharing one for lunch each day and I picked a bunch for one of my co-workers.this is not a trick photograph--some of the apples are actually this big!
I still saw a couple of hummingbirds at the nectar feeders yesterday, but since the storms blew through the weather has cooled down considerably and no hummingbirds have been seen yet today. According to the nature diary I have kept since 2002, the next 10 days or so are when the last hummingbirds are seen and by the 29th, I may begin seeing juncos coming back for the winter.
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This is a picture of a deer "Bed & Breakfast" we discovered near our deer hunting area. It's between the cornfield and the woods and all the grass is flattened because this is where the deer bed down after eating in the cornfield. There are lots of does and fawns in this area and it's an nice sheltered spot for them--away from the road and no people living nearby.