Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Second Look--May 20, 2015

We have been having very summer-like weather this past week with hot days cooled off by evening thunderstorms. Last night's was supposed to bring a cold front so we should have more spring like weather. I hope so. I also hope that last night's storm cleaned the air of pollen. Yard work has very difficult to impossible to do when with the pollen laden air and the sneezing and coughing it produces.

On the bird nest front, there continues to be action. I have seen a wren going in and out of two boxes continuing to work on nests. As far as I can tell, there are no eggs yet, but I can't see very well into the back on one of the boxes where they are building the cup for them. However, I can definitely see that all of the bluebird eggs have hatched. We have four newborns. I've been able to peek at them twice without the mother dive bombing me. However, if it's like other years, that will start soon as she protects her babies.

But I'm not the only one she has to protect her babies from. Saturday we saw a 4' long black snake in the backyard. Last year, a snake cleaned out three babies from a sparrows nest in a tree by our garage. That is definitely the way things work in nature, but hopefully the snake-proof design of our bird boxes will work and protect the newly hatched birds.

On the plant front, it has been the week of the iris. They started blooming and there are new ones every day. I love irises, not only because of their beautiful blooms, but also because the deer don't like them. :)

Here are a few things I saw this week 
during a Second Look.


Male Goldfinch, I have seen several pairs around but they usually don't nest until summer.

Asparagus. The story about my asparagus is this. I had wild asparagus growing in various places in the yard that I dug up and put it in one spot hoping for some to eat. So far, I only get one or two edible stalks per year, but I do get several plants of the beautiful airy foliage that asparagus has.

The rhododendron is in full bloom now.

The black snake as it is slithering its way to our wood pile.


Newly hatched bluebirds. Notice the one with it's mouth open. The gray bulges around the top of its mouth are its eyes, and its wings are stretched out to both sides under them.

Old leaves and new blossoms that have dropped from the holly tree.