July has been full of birds. We think our yard has never been as full of birds as this past month. A cake of suet lasts about a day and a half and we’re filling large feeders every 4 days. Catbirds are everywhere, and we are getting up at sunrise to beat them and the robins to our ripening figs.
Birds are still fledging, and some bird houses up and down the street and on the Nature Trail are hosting their third brood of this season. Two of the photos below, shot through our window, are of a baby catbird who wasn’t quite quite ready to fly and wound up in boxwood for a few hours. His parents continued to feed him and eventually he got his wings and left.
Gray Catbird in the blueberries
American Goldfinch on Agastache
Carolina Wrens – nature trail
Cooper’s Hawk right outside the door
Gray Catbird juvenile stranded in the boxwood
Gray Catbird feeding the stranded juvenile
Eastern Bluebird juvenile begging
House Finch gathering
American Goldfinch on Coneflower
What’s missing are butterflies and dragonflies. They were everywhere this time last year and this year we are seeing very few. Maybe the birds are eating the larvae. We are hoping that mosquito spraying is not involved in their disappearance.
… said the Spider to the Fly. This opening line of Mary Howitt’s poem written in 1829 is one of the most quoted first lines in all of English verse. The poem is really about using flattery to achieve your objective. We think you should invite spiders to set up their parlor in your yard and garden.
Friends on the north end of the neighborhood called to tell us about three beautiful Garden Orb-weaver Spiders in their garden. They were most pleased to have them, and for good reason. Each one was busy trapping insects its beautiful Orb-weaver style web. Thanks to the birds and spiders, the vegetables in this insecticide-free garden were beautiful, and almost completely free of pests.
We realized how little we know about spiders and as a result pulled together a Spiders page. It has descriptions and pictures for Georgia spiders along with information on the difference between a spider and an insect, spider webs and silk, and the benefits of spiders. Check it out.