Friday, August 20, 2010

In the Backyard

Here are some photos of some random, but interesting things I've seen in the backyard in the past week or so.

My crow family
The juveniles are big enough to feed themselves now, but still try to beg from their parents every once in a while. Sometimes only 4 will show for a day or so and I get worried that one of them may have gotten shot during Minnesota's crow hunting season, but then the next day all 5 are back again and I'm relieved.

Cooper's Hawk sunbathing
I checked with Susan (the raptor expert) to see if she had any opinions about what this Coop was doing and she said she'd never seen any of her Coop's behaving this way. After the hawk flew away, I went out and checked where it had been laying and no ant hills were nearby, so we ruled out "anting." There was also no evidence of a fresh kill in the area, so I think the bird was just trying to cool off a bit on a hot August afternoon.

The backyard wildflower garden/monarch waystation is in full bloom!
Lost of purple coneflowers, but also Joe Pye weed, Canada goldenrod, Queen Anne's Lace, green-headed coneflower, and brown-eyed Susan. It's definitely a butterfly and bee haven.

Common Green Darner (female)
I found this beautiful dragonfly on the swamp white milkweed last week when I was collecting monarch caterpillars. I was really happy she allowed me to get some great photos before flying away.

Newly tagged monarch enjoying her first nectar in the wild

Great Spangled Fritillary on Joe Pye Weed

Hope you're seeing some neat things in your backyard too!


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

My back yard milkweed patche gets a little bigger every year but again this year I haven't been able to find any eggs or cats. Do you have any ideas why or suggestions for me to try?

RuthieJ said...

Hi Lynne,
I'm not sure what you could do specifically to attract them. Is your milkweed patch really out in the open? Do you ever see many monarch butterflies in your neighborhood? Do you know if any of your neighbors or the city are using any pesticides? I don't use any chemicals in my yard and I'm pretty sure my neighbors don't either (and if they are I don't think they're close enough to have any effect in my yard).
We're lucky because we're still sort of out in the country with lots of wide open spaces and I have milkweed patches in several locations around the yard. I wonder if this makes it a little easier for butterflies to spot the milkweed and lay their eggs?

Deb said...

Crows at the bird feeder-LOL! Your backyard garden looks beautiful!

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of interesting things going on in your yard. Enjoyed all the pics of flowers and critters.


Gaelyn said...

Sure is a lot of things going on in your backyard. Love you garden of flowers. I think that dragonfly was smiling at you.

Mollie said...

A crow family! How wonderful. They have crow hunting season back there? Do the hunters just kill for fun or do they, ahem, eat crow?

The dragonfly photo was incredible!!

Thanks for the nature break!

sebi_2569 said...

very nice photo;congratulations

Jayne said...

Oh, how I love your wild garden of flowers Ruthie! Wish I had room to do just that. So cool to see your tagged Monarch enjoying some nectar.

Gustav said...

This is a awesome post. I find your site by searching google. Your backyard is really very beautiful place. Crows, Hawk, beautiful flowers, flies on flower, this is really dream place. You are so lucky person. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful post.