Birds And Butterflies Update

I apologize for not providing any pictures or updates as of late.  I’ll try and take and post new pictures tomorrow.

Despite the lack of pictures, I can give everyone a verbal update.

The Purple Martin babies (the original 5) all seemed to have fledged now.  There are probably 20 Martins flying around every night.  I think there may even be more babies, but when I contemplate checking the Martin house, the Martins start rioting.  I do need to check the house to make sure the original 5 are doing okay, and check the other nest boxes to make sure all is well.

I don’t see any Pipevine Caterpillars, but I do see a few Chrysalises along the edge of the house between the roof and brick.

The single Monarch that I saw a couple of weeks ago laying eggs has not returned, nor have I seen any Caterpillars from her egg laying.  Leecy and I have been collecting the Milkweed seeds like crazy.  She actually created this cute little seed packet and information card and was giving some seeds to our friends and colleagues.  If we end up having more seeds then we know what to do with, I may offer a first come, first serve type thing for whoever needs some.  There’s no way we could plant all of them and I have a pretty big back yard.  If you’re really desperate for some Milkweed seeds (Mexican Milkweed) then let me know.

MJ, the big female Bullfrog hasn’t been seen in weeks.  I can’t remember if she goes off somewhere in the Summer or if she might be just laying low somewhere in the ground trying to stay cool and moist.  We’ve had very little rain so far this year and I wonder if that makes an impact?

Speaking of Frogs, they are creating quite a chorus at night.  There’s normally a little green Tree Frog on the kitchen window every night.  If we could actually get some decent rain I bet many of them would head over to the Pond to do some mating.

The cute little Red Eared Slider that I found in the Pond a few weeks back hasn’t been seen recently.  The Koi are too small to eat the Turtle and I don’t have any predatory birds around the Pond, so I’m not sure what happened to the little thing.

The Box Turtle that the neighbors brought to my house was released back into the wild behind my house.  There’s lots of vegetation and protective cover back there.

We seen quite a few Giant Swallowtail Butterflies flying around and occasionally laying eggs on the Orange tree, but damn if we ever see the Caterpillars.  I don’t know if some insect is getting to them, or the birds, or what.

Once again, we have some Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillars.  We did have 1 Caterpillar a few weeks ago, but like many things, it also disappeared before it got very big.  It was on the Spicebush plant.  Today we counted 7 Spicebush Caterpillars and some of them are on the Sassafras plant, some on the Spicebush.  They are really tiny.

We have lots of Songbirds (Cardinals, Doves, Blue Jays, Woodpeckers, Mockingbirds) right now and they are eating lots of bird seed.  They also are starting to eat some Tomatoes, Grapes, and Blueberries.  Just once I would actually like to be able to taste one of the Grapes we have each year.  I’m too afraid to put a net on the plants as I don’t want one of the birds to get entangled in the net.  There is also a single Male Ruby Throated Hummingbird hanging around.  It’s been typically avoiding any feeders and going directly to the plants for nectar.

Plant-wise it’s just a jungle in the backyard.  The vegetable garden is being taken over by the Cherry Tomatoes. We pick close to a dozen of them every night.  Oh, we also have a Turnip in the garden.  The problem is we didn’t plant any Turnips.  I’m going to guess this is like last year when we had all these Cantaloupes we didn’t plant.  It’s my guess that those lovely bird poops turn into a plant occasionally.

The rescued Kitten we adopted (Delilah) is growing like a weed (to me).  Leecy asks me every night if I can tell how much bigger she has become.  I just offer the “head bob” and the “of course, Honey” when she asks.  The kitten really likes to play with Chloe (the other cat) and to nap near the dogs.  The only interaction I’m not quite comfortable with is Delilah and Coco (African Grey Parrot). I can’t tell if Delilah wants to play with her or eat her so I need to work with both of them on that.

Last but not least, the reason for my delay in posting is because we got a new TV and entertainment system. On just the 2nd day I had the TV the high definition channels wouldn’t work so I immediately called Comcast to tell them where was a problem as I was looking forward to seeing the Three Stooges in high definition.  The person at Comcast thought I was crazy for calling at 6 am to report that kind of outage:-)

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