Wildlife Surprises and Joys This Season

“The poetry of the Earth is never dead.”  ~John Keats


I find nature to be my greatest muse, and am so inspired daily. Each year I am surprised by the wildlife that visits our garden.  They are part of our home and we welcome them as such.

And each year, we see new and different critters and their antics. They show me so much about myself and my life.  And this year, I was fascinated by their resilience given our harsh weather.

In March, with lots of snow and cold weather, and a record cold April, many of the critters who came to nest or visit were having a hard time of it.  The pregnant rabbit above did not start her first nest until later April.  We caught her digging in veg beds, even recently, to make yet another nest.  They are prolific breeders.



Now we see a few young rabbits visiting and partaking of the weeds, clover and overgrown grasses in the back beds.



The frogs were late as well with their mating, as peepers we usually hear in late March/early April, stayed silent until late April.  And joining them were the Northern Leopard frogs, toads and now green frogs pictured above. 



And finally in late May and June, the tree frogs made a big showing.  This one hung around the back windowsill for days.  Sleeping in the day time.  


 Then climbing down at night to mate.  They are fascinating to watch as their whole body shakes when they call to each other at dusk.


 And the snakes were late in coming out of hibernation.  We would see them from time to time in May, but there are more of late and they are finally mating quite late.  This is a rat snake.  Quite harmless especially if you leave it alone.



One of my favorite things about spring is the return of the song birds, and their chorus as it mixes with the frogs.  And we saw many coming back quite late.  Those that did return did not build nests until late May and early June, like this busy female Robin.  They usually have the first nests build in April and early May.

Another reason they were unable to build nests was because of the dry May.  Many need mud to hold the nest together, and waited for the first rains and warm weather of later May to get started.



There have been lots of cherished birds visitors at the Oriole feeder…especially the Baltimore Orioles.



This female was one of many who have visited right along with several males still fighting over the feeder.



I rarely see a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, so I was delighted when this one stopped by for refreshment in late May.  They love the sugar water and jelly this feeder provides.



And of course Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are at the feeder, and throughout the garden loving many flowers.


And the pond not only attracted amphibians and reptiles….



but birds too (like this Red-winged Blackbird), as it is a constant bathing spot since we are so dry.



I have seen an increase in Yellow Warblers in the garden this year…..bathing and feeding throughout.



And Cedar Waxwings will stick around for the fruiting bushes to ripen.



We adore Pileated Woodpeckers in the garden, but they rarely stay long as it seems our trees are still healthy.



And I think our most surprising visitor was the osprey who decided to sit in our tree to eat his lunch…..a fish he caught in a nearby pond.



Of course the butterflies are always a welcome sight.  We saw this Mourning Cloak in early May.



 And our first Monarch finally showed up in June, but a bit too early for the late-blooming Milkweed.



Most native pollinators did not show up until almost May…..and once they awoke, they were busy at the flowers and the bee house.



The bees were also awaiting the Milkweed, along with me, as the smell is so intoxicating.


What surprise visitors have visited your garden this year?  Who is your favorite visitor you enjoy seeing each year?


A Pollinator’s Dream Vase


Summer heat is bringing on many flowers….others are fading quickly….and the pollinators are everywhere.  So I gathered a few that pollinators adore as much as I do.



Echinacea is just blooming, as are some sweet peas late this year…..and lavender is fading quickly in the hottest, sunniest locations.  Especially as we have had little rain.  So I gathered these and put them in a simple milk bottle.



I think I adore this bouquet especially because of its incredible scent.  Echinacea has a lovely scent I was not aware of until I was making this vase.  Of course lavender is a strong scent in my garden currently.  But they are both overpowered by sweet peas. 

I am joining Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful In A Vase on Monday meme. The pictures shared here were created with my iPod Touch camera and two free apps, Pixlr and Prisma.

I am posting poetry, almost weekly on Sundays, on my other blog, Living From Happiness.  You can read my latest poem here.

I will have another blogger interview next week…..I hope you will join me!

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2018.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

38 Replies to “Wildlife Surprises and Joys This Season”

  1. Isn’t it a privilege to be visited by wildlife.
    It is the birds which most stirr my heart. We often have six or seven native species visiting at the one time and some of them now trust us enough to eat from our hands.

    1. A great privilege I agree…and how precious they trust you so much that they eat out of your hand….so special Soosie.

  2. You have so many wonderful creatures living in your garden. Great diversity! I am always fascinated by the relationship the soil, weather, critters have and how they time their lifecycles. Glad that summer is finally underway for you.

    1. Thanks Karin….yes summer swept in with 90s, heat indexes over 100 and no rain….oh and high humidity. My body is not used to it nor does it like it, and our pond is a haven for the birds right now.

      It is fascinating to watch and learn the cycles of these beautiful creatures….living here 13 yrs now, I have come to know their habits and notice when cycles are disrupted by weather and other circumstances. I am always learning from nature!

  3. Great shots of the birds. I have sweetpeas in my vase this morning too, what a wonderful scent. None of my Echinacea are open yet, but I did contemplate using some lavender in my vase this week. Maybe next week.

    1. Thanks! My lavender may be faded by next week due to heat but if we get rain, that will help…echinacea is late this year here. Enjoy it and those sweet peas….

  4. There is such a lot going on if we take time to look at it. You have some fabulous pictures. Do you collect them in an album?
    The pinks look so good in your vase and even better that they are scented. My echinacea are not quite out yet but I’ll be testing them for scent. These pictures are excellent with that background.

    1. Thanks Alison….no I don’t collect them, just store them in my digital library. I would love to know if your echinacea is scented. Glad you enjoyed the pictures.

  5. So interesting to read about your wildlife Donna and see those wonderfu photos – thank you so much for sharing them, and such a pretty vase too, enhanced by those versatile apps

  6. It is good that you provide much needed habitat for so many. Good for you and them! If only more suburban home owners would catch on, what a difference it would make.
    This heat is really bringing on the July flowers, great for veggies, too. Hope you’re staying cool!

    1. I too wish more home owners would do the same although more are putting out bird houses and/or feeders. Staying cool indoors here wishing for much needed rain to help the garden. Enjoy those July flowers Eliza!

  7. What a range of birds and other critters you have! I just noticed that birds, finches I think, are once again building a nest behind the wall-mounted light outside the kitchen – they’re also very late this year. Rabbits started paying regular visits this year. And last week a whole flock of crows (or, more accurately stated, a “murder of crows”) landed in the tree outside my home office but, fortunately, they quickly moved on.

  8. Your coneflower is lovely. So lucky to have so many interesting visitors. I love Pileated Woodpeckers and haven’t seen one in about 5 years.

    1. Thanks Susie….I do feel lucky and very thankful. With the Pileated, I think it helps that we back up to woods, and there are woods across the street..and of course keeping several big trees in our garden draws them in too.

      Wishing you a break to your hot weather.We are supposed to cool down for the weekend. I am just thankful for last nights rain even as the heat continues.

  9. You have such wonderful garden visitors. I can almost smell the heavenly fragrance of your sweet vase from here!

    1. The pond was a must have when I created the garden 13 yrs ago….lots of work but for wildlife it is worth it. And my husband likes to keep up the maintenance.

  10. So here’s what you have that I am jealous of: frogs, cedar waxwings, pileated woodpeckers. Rabbits, not so much. We have plenty, and they are a pain.

    1. I agree with you about rabbits, but when they are cute and little I can’t help but love them….well until they get into my garden again….grrrr!

  11. Donna, your wildlife visitors are a pure treat and your photography has become very artistic. My favourite wildlife visitor is my old Auntie Agnes.

    1. Thanks so much Alistair….you are too funny! I bet your Auntie was wild indeed…..as for the post, I have enjoyed creating the photos and am glad you like them.

  12. When we lived in New England we had an abundance of critters both in New Hampshire and Maine. One animal that we didn’t have was rabbits, too many predators. Here in Florida, I usually see five or six on my morning walks.

    1. That is interesting Karen…we have predators but still too many rabbits….I guess we need more predators!

  13. The New Hampshire rabbit report says that the current New England cottontail population for New Hampshire is estimated at less than 100 individual rabbits, and they are currently listed as state-endangered. Coyotes and foxes are the main cause but I doubt you would want many of these added to your neighborhood.

    1. No I would not want more coyotes to deal with….I don’t think I ever heard rabbits being endangered…..poor bunnies!

  14. I would say that my favourite visits are from the birds – they are such a joy to watch! I would love frogs too and adding a water feature to the garden is high on the wish list, primarily to get more of them into the garden. The rabbits, however, I could do without!

    1. Oh yes the birds are most visible and we can hear them all the time too…..I think that gives them a special spot in our hearts….I don’t mind bunnies as long as they know their place which is not always easy….when they step over the line, watch out! Haha!

  15. What lovely photos of your garden visitors. I never tire of watching wildlife. I consider it a treat when they visit my garden. It looks like the same is true for you.

    I’m fascinated by your artful treatment of each photo as well. They’re intriguing.

    (Sheryl send me)

    1. Thank you so much for checking out my blog. I had no idea Sheryl had shared my blog as I am on a blog break due to a back issue. What an honor to be loved and shared…..and how lovely of you to come by for a visit Alys! I use phone apps to create the artsy photos….they have become quite an addiction for me. I also stopped by your blog…..I look forward to reading more of your posts!!

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