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.