Friday, September 3, 2010

Dude Dines With Friends

Looking through the window, early this morning, I saw some fawns in the field opposite the house. The white-tailed deer are very prolific this year. Several sets of twins regularly visit my garden. The adorable babies above are the offspring of a three-legged doe that, for several years, has often resided in our woodland walk. The two below are the ones I saw through the window, today. Their mother was nearby, but I didn't get a good photo of her. But I thought this would be a good day to take a 'critter walk'.

I set out with my camera to snap some pics of animals in my garden for tomorrow's Camera Critters meme hosted by Misty Dawn.

H.H. tied Dude, my miniature horse, to a walnut tree on one of the lawns (free mowing ... crafty!) I was delighted to see that Dude was not dining alone. I have to say I would rather the deer ate the grass than my flowers.

 A red squirrel did not stay still long enough for me to get a really good picture (sorry this photo is a little fuzzy). Red squirrels are cuter than gray ones, but tend to be much more destructive.

I find it is easier to photograph butterflies. There have been many more butterflies in my garden this year, especially swallowtails. I have heard similar reports from around the country.

American Swallowtail on Purple Coneflower

American Swallowtail on Gooseneck Loosestrife
Black Swallowtail on Zinnia

I did not see as many monarchs this year as I would have liked, but I am very proud of the following photograph:

Monarch on Shasta Daisy
There are always plenty of fritillaries ...

                                                                    ... and several skippers.

I was very excited to find this caterpillar on some dill in my herb garden.
Caterpillar of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly

The hummingbirds are still finding nectar in the Bee Balm. The little hummer seems to be standing on one seed head to reach into a remaining flower on another.

Female Ruby Throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

This hummers wings were flapping so fast she was making the traditional humming noise that gave her her name

H.H. has placed numerous bird houses around the property. This wren house on the pasture fence is occupied by a wren family with a very late brood.

There was a flock of goldfinches enjoying the seeds of the purple cone flower. For that very reason, I don't cut them back after the flowers die. They flew off before I could get a picture. I notice many of the goldfinches are starting to get their drab, green, winter feathers. One goldfinch, still with its golden hue, preferred sunflower seeds from the bird feeder.

Passing the pond, I was delighted to see quite a large frog ...

... but he hopped into the pond with barely a splash before I could get a sharper picture. Since we installed the pond last month all types of new wild life are inhabiting my garden. I have to tell you about the pond next time.

I hope you enjoyed taking this 'critter walk' with me. Why not join in the fun and click on the link to 'Camera Critters' in my side bar to see more fun animal pictures. 

Pam x
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  1. Dear Pamela, This has been a most enjoyable posting with so much to look at. The deer are, of course, lovely but, I understand, can be very destructive when it comes to one's garden plants. Red squirrels are, as I am sure that you are aware, so very scarce now in Britain. A few are to be found in Scotland and the north of England and, strangely, also on the Isle of Wight. I loved seeing yours!

  2. What fantastic wildlife you have around your property. I have noticed lots more around my own garden since I installed my small pond and native flower bed last year. There are three frogs which live in the pond now. Your butterfly photos are great, I especially like the first one.

  3. What a delightful critter walk. The twin fawns were so sweet and the butterflies elegant. How exciting to have a swallowtail caterpillar on your dill. I was hoping to attract more butterflies with fennel and dill this year.

    Wonderful post!

  4. Dear Pam - how you must be enjoying being back with all that abundant, native wildlife. So many beautiful pics but the butterflies just steal the show. Gorgeious.

    Laura x

  5. Hello Pam, thank you for sharing your 'critter walk', it was an absolute delight!
    The fawns are just adorable and I always love seeing pictures of hummingbirds and butterflies. That American Swallowtail is just magnificent! I can't wait to show my daughter this post tomorrow, she will love all of your critters too!

  6. Pam I really enjoyed the walk around your place. The twins are so adorable but I know they eat everything in the gardens. Love all of the beautiful butterflies you have. I didn't see many this year and what I did see were too fast for pictures. How great you got a pond. I'll bet you're enjoying that - can't wait to see pics of it.

  7. You have a disney movie going on right in your yard! Those deer are so cute they don't even look real lol.

    Love the hummingbird pics!

  8. What a wonderful series of shots! And all around your property too. You've done a lovely job of documenting them all.

  9. The wildlife pictures are a joy to watch. Well done, well done!

  10. What a fabulous critter post - the best I've ever seen, I believe. You had so many beautiful pictures of different species, butterflies, birds, squirrels, all of them just delightful. I have yet to capture a butterfly - I just can't seem to get the camera up fast enough. Wonderful post.

  11. So loved this journey through your world! Loved the deer and red squirrel, but I was totally captivated with the macros of the swallowtail butterfly (including the caterpillar)!

  12. Hiya Pam,
    You may be longing for your grandma's garden, but after reading this post, I don't think you would want to swa[ any longer:-)
    Looks positively paradisical. BTW, are you very petite, or is that pony not for riding?

  13. Wow - I've tried shooting some of those birds and butterflies with not so great results - yours are stunning, and Dude looks very sweet:)

  14. What a great post! I think you are right about bountiful butterflies - it is an encouraging sign that not all is lost :) When did you find the swallowtail caterpillar? I've been checking my dill but have not seen one yet. Maybe it's too late. And - hummingbirds do take a break! Who knew?

  15. I love the critter walk.. How nice is it to have wild life inhabit a pond you built just last month, It didn't take long.. how exciting!

  16. Great post. How nice to have your woodland friends up for a visit!

  17. Can't believe the selection of butterflies you have...lucky girl.
    Babies are always adorable, even if they misbehave.

  18. Wow, look at all those wonderful critters! How cool that your horse and the deer were eating in the same area. I always love the butterfly photos, and your frog is a sweetie.

  19. I love critter pictures, especially the butterflies! I've seen so many this year, but not nearly as many frits, even though I have a huge passion flower plant as their host plant.

  20. That is an amazing array of creatures! Thanks for sharing. The bambi babies are cute...and destructive.

    Good job, Pam!

  21. a mammoth post that I totally enjoyed! Appreciate the time that went into this...

    Caterpillar is cool - I like the green/black on a very green backdrop - the black marking jump out of the photo.

  22. Pam - such GREAT photographs!!! I really enjoyed seeing all your critters! :)

  23. Nice photos. My compliments. Sorry I can't be as nonchalant about the deer in my garden. I was gone over labor Day weekend and forgot to spray Liquid Fence on the 1st and they took advantage of that to eat some of my newer hostas. I have been very diligent about spraying and consequently very successful at keeping them in the woods and out of my garden. I think I won the war for this summer and will grant them that one skirmish.
    I too have had a profusion of butterflies this year. they came earlier this summer and have stayed longer. Don't know why.

  24. Your garden walk has left me with a smile on my face :), I especially like the one of the hummer perched on the seed head feeding, you can almost picture him saying "Hey guys look, no wings"

  25. Hi Pam,

    Great blog you've got here. I have a publishing idea I'd like to run past you – do you have an email address to which I can send a proposal?


  26. I adore little red squirrels. We have a few in our locality but we call grey squirrels vermin here. Many of folk around here cull the grey squirrels so that the little red ones have a chance. I get the greys coming into my garden trying to raid the bird seed.

    You have some amazing wildlife in your garden Pam - the butterflies are so beautiful and its great that you've been able to encourage a frog into your new pond within a month. Maybe next year you'll have frog spawn aswell.

  27. This post is definitely fun! I got to see a lot of butterflies that I really do not see in my garden and some couple of birds that I rarely see. Thanks for sharing this one. You got a big garden and woodland area there. I love it when animals tend to visit my place. I tend to think that they feel secure and safe in my place.

  28. What a treat to see this post Pam. Great photos!! Your little fauns are too sweet. Wonderful critter post! ;>)

  29. The butterflies are really wonderful. I totally agree those red squirrels are more destructive than the gray one. I love the deer photos. It seems that they are loving the ambiance of your place.