Monday, August 26, 2013

Hummer Wars and a First Timer

This week we have our share of hummingbird activity, and the pleasure of a first-time sighting of a bird near our pond. Enjoy this week's offering.

 The White-eyed Vireo is heard nearly every morning at the office, but rarely seen. So a visit from the female Vireo is just as rare!

Still hoping to see some male Painted Buntings. The ladies are still around.

This young female Painted Bunting was visiting our feeders in the yard.

 Yes, as long as the sock is full of thistle seed, the Lesser Goldfinches will be providing entertainment.

The male Lesser Goldfinches have achieved their richest coloring.

I'm always shopping for bargain feeders and baths. This one came half-price at Cracker Barrel. The Cardinals love it.

And even the furry-tailed tree rodent enjoys my bargain bird bath.

As long as the Chickadee gets his turn, all is OK.

This Blue Jay graced my blue arrangement with a visit. Bird water dish complements of Tuesday Morning.

The male Ladder-back Woodpecker is still active around the yard.

Welcome our first time visitor, or at least first sighted! This is a Louisiana Water thrush. It constantly bobs its tail up and down.

 My spare moments on the weekends are spent stalking the zinnias for butterflies and hummingbirds.

 The Giant Swallowtail was cycling around regularly, but would only light on the salmon colored zinnia for a second.

 He much-preferred the pinks and reds.

An accidental capture, taking off.

 The Gulf Fritillary was active on Saturday as well.

Caught him checking out the marigolds.

Have not had a lot of luck capturing the purple of the Black-chinned hummer this year.

 Some aerial action at the office feeder.

 An early morning accidental capture, aiming and shooting, hoping for a hit.

 The hummers provide a lot of entertainment early morning on the office deck.

 Other places they seem to share, but not around here!

 The fly was enjoying the feeder until the hummer came.

Sometimes they're just still long enough for a good close-up. Little tongue action there.

 I need an interpretation!

Always on guard.


Ruby, Ruby, Ruby baby! So active, and so hard to get a good shot!

Red hot!

 Lit up!

Ruby out at our Mexican sage, with pollen on the beak. Tough on the other hummers, but fun to watch around the yard.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Visitors and Varmints

It is always amazing that you can walk on this earth for sixty years and still see bugs and blooms you've never seen before. And then there are the birds that come every once in a while that are a surprise. Enjoy the second installment of this week's pics.

Our wild turkeys at the pond for an early morning drink! They don't look undernourished to me.

 The furry-tailed tree rat abusing the bird feeder.

 OK friends and neighbors! I thought this was a prehistoric man-eating roach. Actually, it is the Giant Water Bug. Seriously. Also called the 'Toe-Biter'! For my grands, this becomes the Giant West Texas Water Bug in the next Pecos Bill story, and I'll always show them the pic for effect.

 A sunny afternoon stalking the hummers at the zinnias.

 Hold that pose!

The Ruby-throated hummer was hanging out at the Victoria Blue Salvia.

 We have lots of 'giants' in Texas. The Giant Swallowtail butterfly.

 A ring of flowers in the flower.

 One of those accidental shots in mid flight, wings moving.

The garlic chives are the only surviving plant from our original garden, and are blooming heartily this year. Caught a Swallowtail in the mix.

 It takes a little effort, but if you look close, the butterfly is in the far right on the yellow bloom, the hummer is on the far left over the red zinnia.

In this one, butterfly in upper right on the wing, hummer in lower left. One of these days I'll get them closer together.

 Look who came to church! The male Ladderback woodpecker.

 This female Cardinal was enjoying the spray of water from the soaker hose.

I didn't know this was a 'Painted Lady', did you?

 I'll close with this Sunday morning surprise. I had been watching a bud erupt from the leaf, and hoping to see it open at some point. Now I know that this is the Epiphylum Strictum, the 'night queen', and blooms only at night.

God's glory is truly revealed in His amazing creation!