Dog Days Of Summer Are Upon Us



Probably thought I disappeared, didn’t ya?

Nope, haven’t disappeared, just taking a small break. I’ve also been getting home later than normal during the week, and working hard on maintaining the yard on the weekends.

Here’s what new or changed as of July 27, 2010.

The Purple Martins have all fled the nest. They come by and sing in the mornings, but they no longer stay over night.
Lots of the young Cardinals and starting to get in their colored feathers, so they look a little ratty right now.
The Aphids and Milkweed bugs are really making their presence known on all the Milkweed. I’m spraying them off all the time.
We occasionally see a Giant Swallowtail laying eggs by the fruit trees.
We also have just barely seen any Gulf Fritilliaries.
A few Skipper Butterflies stop briefly on the nectar flowers from time to time.
Doves, Cardinals, and Bluejay’s spend the most time at the feeders.
Starting to see a few Frogs, but not as much as I would expect with all this rain. No sign of Michael Jane, the big Bullfrog in many months.
Lots of Dragonflies, all day and evening. Some are getting huge.
Hummingbirds. We have 3, two female and 1 male
Last, but not least Mosquitoes. They are all over the place with these rains and moist ground we’ve been having

I really need to get out somewhere and go shoot for a day. Everything seems to be non-stop lately. Perhaps I’ll revisit Houston Arboretum, or the park in Kingwood, or some place entirely new. Just need to get out somewhere with the camera and some time.

How about some of you reading the blog. Seeing lots of butterflies where you are?

Cesar - Hey Lawrence, I notice the same thing you are about the Cardinals. I’m getting quite a few now, with even more house finches. I bought that 20 pound bag of Safflower from Birds Unlimited, I know you said it was expensive over there but at Home Depot the 5 lb bag is 11 bucks, I got this 20 lb bag for 20 bucks and I get a free one after the 10th bag I buy, so that’s a good deal. I haven’t found anything cheaper that’s close by so far.

I also set one part of the garden for just butterflies. I bought more milkweed and some cone flower. Right after I planted the plants in, I noticed my first Queen Butterfly and also another butterfly who was basically all orange, but I don’t know what that butterfly is.

Hopefully I’ll start to get some Hummingbirds early this season. Last season I go them about late August, I have my feeder up and hoping for the best :DJuly 29, 2010 – 6:20 am

texdr - That’s good news Cesar! The fact that you are getting Queen butterflies is really cool! I’ve hardly seen any butterflies around my yard lately, but I haven’t been getting home until almost after dark.July 29, 2010 – 9:03 pm

Cesar - That sucks. Actually did some research on that all orange butterfly I saw, it was actually a gulf fritillary butterfly. I just never saw the underside of it. All in on, I’ve seen the black swallowtail, Thaos Butterfly, Monarchs, Queens, I think this garden has been a success.July 29, 2010 – 11:16 pm

texdr - I’ll be posting a Gulf Fritillary picture from today.

What’s a Thaos Butterfly? Never heard of that oneJuly 30, 2010 – 11:58 pm

Valerie Evanson - We are in the thick of butterfly season. We’re seeing tiger, black and spicebush swallowtails. Monarchs and some fritillarie too. Absolutely every day since the beginning of spring we’ve seen cabbage whites. Sulphurs visit too. Just collected eggs from spicebush (we’ve been calling them Spiceys), black swallowtails (aka parsley worms) and monarchs this week. I’ve spent so much time cleaning our larvae collection that I haven’t had time to look at all of the photos I took with the new macro lens (yes, I broke down and bought my dream lens). . . the other day I planted the milkweed seedlings from the seeds Leecy sent.July 31, 2010 – 11:47 am

texdr - I’m jealous. I see maybe 1-2 Butterflies per day right now. I haven’t seen a Monarch for months it seems. Leecy told me you planted those Milkweed seeds we sent. Hopefully they’ll really take off while it’s still warm. Look forward to seeing some pictures with your new macro lens. My dream lens is still the EF 500 f/4. I think it may remain a dream for a while:-)August 1, 2010 – 8:37 pm

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