Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Eco System That Is My Backyard


That jumble of gray fuzz is a nest of birds in one of my planters. The parents have had a nest in the planter all summer. Since it is the end of the summer, I thought there would be no birds in the planter, so I took all of them down and started watering them under my sprinkler. The adult birds went nuts. Actually, the mama bird was sitting in the nest at the time and scurried out when she started to get sprinkled on.

After the planters sat under the sprinkler, I let them sit on the ground the rest of the day to get some sun. When I got home that night. The adult birds were still going nuts. So I peered into the planter/nest.

My heart just stopped. There was one little yellow head shaking in the middle of the nest and it looked up and opened its mouth. Oh, crap! I didn't think there would be eggs in the next this late in the summer. And they were in the process of hatching. I put the planter back up on its hook. The adult birds were much happier about this situation.

Sunday, I looked in on the nest and to take a few pictures. I counted at least 4 little mouths. When they realized I wasn't their mom, they shut up and snuggled in, still and soundless. I think there are at least four maybe 5. Prolific little birds.

Its been a week and I looked in today and the fuzz has turned to something that looks more feather like and it looks like their eyes have opened. I don't want to 'flash' them with the camera again as I'm afraid I might blind them.

I've been sitting here all day doing laundry, weeding my gardent, paying bills and I hear the mama and papa birds when they return with food for their babies. As soon as an adult enters the planter, the babies all start up. They are SOOOOO loud. Holy cow, it sounds like I have a dog squeaker toy outside.

Its been interesting to watch the adults - - it has been constant back and forth tag team feeding. They don't make a bee line for the nest. They do this evasive manuver that goes from top of the fence to hydreanga to top of the fence to top of another planter to top of their planter and then into their planter. Its been non-stop since 8 this morning - - and I'm sure they started feeding them earlier than that. They are very good parents.

The nest is very well constructed. Its dug down into the plant and it has a dome over the top so that the birds fly into a side opening. The dome is made out of twigs, grass, moss and down and is quite water proof. The water from the sprinkler beaded on top and ran right off.

I am so glad I didn't drown the hatchlings.


When I pulled out my trash for yard waste, this unhappy toad was displaced. He just hopped under the other trash can. He is SOOOO lucky that Ranger didn't notice him.


The other morning when I left for work, I opened up my front door and found this big yellow moth sitting there. It was huge! I put a coin next to it to give you all an idea of how big it was. I've never seen a moth like this and will have to research to find out what it is.

Then I turned to go out to my car and there was this moth. It was so beautiful sitting on my petunias!


You know, it really is amazing how much beauty God has placed in this world but we are often in too much of a hurry to notice it. I'm so glad, in all of my recent busy-ness that I actually noticed these things.

1 comment:

Samantha West said...

Your last photo, moth in petunias, simply splendid! You could not have composed a better picture!