Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Holiday Weekend

Looks like summer has definitely arrived in time for Memorial Day weekend here in Minnesota.  It doesn't seem very long ago that we were wondering what happened to winter and now summer is here.  We had storms on Saturday that dumped quite a lot of rain (which we needed) then a nearly record-breaking warm day yesterday (high of 89 degrees). 
Today has turned out to be a perfect day and I'm taking a break from getting my gardens in shape to do this blog post.

It's really nice to hear all the birds singing in the backyard again and I have some birdies taking advantage of the houses and nesting material I put out for them.  Here's the cozy little nest the chickadees made with moss, grass and some of the alpaca fiber I provided for their use.  There are 6 little eggs tucked into this fuzzy nest!

I took a look yesterday and here are 3 little baby chickadees almost ready to fledge.  They are just the cutest little things!  I'm not sure why the other 3 eggs didn't hatch, but 3 babies will be more than enough for the parents to take care of.

Mr. & Mrs. Eastern Bluebird also moved into one of my Peterson nestboxes.  They built a nice multi-layered nest with alpaca fiber on the bottom, then some grass and lastly a good layer of white pine needles.  This is the first time I can ever remember the bluebirds using white pine needles, but it definitely makes a nice, substantial nesting material for them.

There are 3 pretty blue eggs in here.  They should hatch sometime in the next week.

I've been working on getting some more native flowering plants added to my butterfly and hummingbird garden.  I bought this Golden Alexander plant at the garden center a couple weeks ago.  On the plant info card, it said Golden Alexander is a host plant for swallowtail butterflies.  I was happy to find this little swallowtail caterpillar on the plant stem.  Now I'll have to be really careful when I plant it so I don't dislodge the little bugger! 
I'm starting to see lots more butterflies in my yard already this season and I'm hoping that all the new flowers I'm planting will encourage them to stick around for the summer.  I had a nice Question Mark on the hummingbird feeder yesterday and also saw a couple of Mourning Cloaks earlier this spring.  Quite a few Monarchs are already flying around and the milkweed is coming in nicely, so there will be plenty of food sources for the monarch caterpillars.  I bought 2 new milkweed plants for my butterfly garden too -- one has orange flowers and the other has yellow flowers.  Probably won't be long and I'll have to think about getting the monarch ranch up and running again too......


Gaelyn said...

Nice that you got some rain. I'm sure hoping we get a good monsoon season this summer as it is terribly dry here after the light snow pack.

I'd make a nest at your place to if I could use alpaca. So fun to watch the little ones in the nest.

dAwN said...

I love being able to peek into the nest boxes. Hope you get to see the Chickys fledge.