After all of my chores had been done this weekend I grabbed my camera and stood outside on the Patio for a while and just watched what was happening around me. That is why I love my back garden so much, there is always so much going on that I hardly know where to begin.
To begin with the Mexican Sunflowers have begun to bloom (their very proper name is Tithonia). They are truly the best flower in the world for taking pictures of pollinators as they have an abundance of nectar and provide a perfect landing pad for a large pollinator. Now they have begun to bloom I am convinced that my chances of getting great photographs of large swallowtails will improve.
As I stood there a family of Brown Headed Nuthatches came down to the feeders, completely and utterly unafraid of my presence.
They were quickly followed by a teenage male Cardinal, still growing into his plumage, (you can tell by his still brown beak), and exhibiting all of the attitude you could expect from a teenager.
I spotted a Butterfly in the woods and I have to admit I have no idea what species it is
What I did notice was a severe shortage of butterflies, normally this time of year once the Lantana and Mexican sunflowers have begun to bloom I am awash with butterflies, my back garden looks a bit like the Butterfly House at Kew Gardens but without the glass roof. I am beginning to think that as a result of the pond I now have a surplus of Dragonflies, and their presence (and their predatory nature) has kept the butterflies from my garden.
In normal years I will have the usual Blue and Green Darners and perhaps one or two others, but today I noticed more and more dragonflies and hovering overhead was a “Dragon Killer” a Jurassic size dragonfly that is at least the size of a Mocking Bird. In addition to my normal darners I came across this most delightful purple dude who had absolutely no fear of me whatsoever and was quite happy to pose for pictures.
There was also this guy, again a new species to my yard
As I wandered around the yard the dogs followed me, and played, and then, totally exhausted by the heat flopped into a shady area under the oak trees and chilled.
I walked back to the patio and noticed a baby lizard that was playing the “if I can’t see you you can’t see me” trick, it obviously wasn’t working.
Ms. Peaches was tired of the heat, and after having spent the morning sleeping on the husband’s chest she headed out to the deck and decided to chill on the cooler.
All in one afternoon, there is never a moment that is not interesting in my back garden, there is always a thing that grabs you, always a moment that requires a camera and always a moment out of the corner of your eye that makes you grateful that you grabbed the camera to begin with.
My little acre. The best place in the world to be. I will always claim that because I know it to be true. I stand there in silence and listen to the world around me and am delighted by the sounds of birds, and frogs, and cicalas, and crickets, and even the sound of my dogs barking at the neighbors. I live deep in a forest, backing onto a swamp, which will never be built and so my entire yard is nestled into Mother Nature and surrounded by her glory. Huge old growth trees tower over the area, and shield me from the sounds of traffic or any sort of human noise and I can sit, in sheer isolation and meld myself with everything natural. It really is the best way to live and I cannot recommend it more.