Friday, August 21, 2009

Attack Of The Killer Fungus

Its growing! Growing!! GROWING!!!














The puffball is larger every day. Bigger than your head already and still growing.

It's the attack of the killer mushroom!

Close the windows! Lock the doors! Get the shotgun!

Run! Run! Run!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

She Brought Him For Breakfast!


















The female Pileated Woodpecker brought the young male to the suet feeder this morning - the second time, but this time I got a pretty good picture.

He's already figured out how to get food from the feeder, but he'd rather mom do it.

They are impressive birds, for sure.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Autumn's Coming














YIKES!

The first puffball mushroom of the season is up in the back yard!

That means the end of summer is in sight. And today (August 13) is only the SECOND day of our summer. 32C and sunny.

What a dreadful July it was - and almost half of August.

The Times They Are A_Changin

I'm surprised how early the "summer birds" leave for the south. All the summer Grosbeaks left over the weeked. Not a sign of any left.

The "winter birds" have started to return. The Chicadees pulled out early in May - obviously to move into the depths of the Grove to nest. This morning there are at least two of them back at the feeders. No Purple Finches or Goldfinches yet.

ALSO - a Black-And-White Warbler is hanging around. I doubt he'll go to a feeder, even the suet feeder, but he does seem to like company.

We're learning lots of new things by keeping that suet feeder filled all summer.

And, BTWay, the female Pileated Woodpecker also showed up yesterday. There's been no sign of either of them for a good many weeks - obviously off into the Grove for nesting. There was a report in the local papers a while back about an adult Pileated coming to a feeder with a young offspring. No such luck here. But hope springs eternal.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Holes and Skunks and Many Wasps

Yesterday our English Setter was very interested in a patch of bare ground in the centre of the lawn. Looked like the fresh den of some animal - about 6" in diameter.











It turned out to be a hole a foor or so deep that had obviously been dug by a skunk. It was full of wasps (as yet unidentified, but likely yellowjackets). The excavated soil still had a few wasp larvae laying around and the wasp colony seemed intent on protecting the few larvae that were left.













We've always had skunks digging up the lawn in summer and I've been reluctant to trap them. Wheeew!!

But rabies is always a concern, of course - as well as the dog. She loves to chase rabbits. And skunks don't chase very well.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

How Quickly They Grow!

The young Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks are already in a moult and showing adult colours.

I think they first came to our feeders about three weeks ago. If they were, say, two weeks in the nest, that'd make them now not more than five or six weeks of age. But today there was a young male at the suet feeder that was easily 50% moulted to adult colours.

White underbelly, half the red bib in, most of the brown dorsal feathers now in sharp black-and-white. Hard to believe they mature that quickly.

I'll be too busy to shoot until next week, but I'll try to get some new photos then.