American Redstarts Leave Nest

I did not realize their nest was less than 10 feet from the backdoor! until yesterday. Although I knew their nest was nearby I did not attempt to locate it. The inside of the nest was hardly big enough to hold the three chicks. Their flight feathers were developing nicely. It would not be long until their first flight. It is happening now. On of the three nestlings has left, one is sitting on a branch just upwards and left of the nest (see picture, and the third was seen just awhile ago in the nest, but could be out in the greater world by now; if not, it is hunkered down out of sight. The female has yellow feathers distinguishing it from the orange of the male. -Jeff

Feeding Time

Summer of the Monarchs — Butterfly

Monarch Butterflies has been a theme for us this summer!

These creatures are only one creature in a sea of creatures on this amazing planet.  Spending their Summers eating, growing, cocooning (is that an actual word?), then flying as winged insects resembling something that could not possibly be worthy of flight.  At the end of the Summer their instincts prod them to fly to Mexico and hangout for the winter; to return in the spring and start the process over again!

Yahoo!!!

The details of the close ups reveal some amazing qualities!  Look at the proboscis, hairs on the body behind the head, the silk-like threads on the top of the cocoon.  Cocoon shots are of the same cocoon.

 

For years, I have intentionally let grow some of the Milkweed poking through the Spring grass in the yard, mowing around it because Monarch Butterflies lay their eggs, and the minuscule young caterpillars — they need an immediate, nearby food source — greedily begin eating and growing.  Monarchs are having a difficulties in today’s world and any help contributes to their well-being.  They spend the Summers: hatching, growing, reproducing; repeat.

The 4-stages of growth: egg,  caterpillar (larva), chrysalis (pupa), adult (emerge from chrysalis).

By the way, these great people were at our great county fair with butterflies, plants, butterfly house, and some great information.

http://thebutterflyexperience.net/lifecycle-of-the-butterfly.html

Appreciate a creature God wants us to enjoy. Help out a Monarch Butterfly if you can!

 -Jeff

Some Sights of Spring 2017

Some Pictures from the yard mostly taken this spring.  Winter dragged on some and the weather has been cooler, rainier, and overcast.  But never-the-less: Spring has come to the western edge of the Adirondacks!  The bird is a female Eastern Phoebe.  She and her mate used a lot of moss to bring last year’s nest– situated on top of an outdoor light underneath the soffit, a very, very safe place away from cats, rain, hail, or wind — back to life.  It will not be long until the eggs will hatch.

It is like our God to bring life where, for a while, there was none.

The first Eastern Phoebe picture, in the top row, shows the Mother-to-be incubating the eggs.  And she is in the larger photo, on the left, at the bottom.  To her right, the Male is at the nest.  This was witnessed only two times and both were to feed the fledglings by stuffing a bug into a mouth — one bug, one chick, one feeding.  Then go find another bug.

Note the differences between the adults.  The male’s chest and belly are more rounded than the female.  This was more distinct after all the eggs were laid.  Also, the markings on her underside are more subtle and fewer in number.

Everyone “flew the coop” either late on Sunday evening (Father’s Day) or before 7:30 Monday morning — it is hard to say just when.  After a thunderstorm Sunday evening, as the sun was beyond the horizon (in was fairly dark out and it is shaded where the nest is), I could not tell if anyone was in the nest.  We have not seen or heard their calls since.

And, presently, Summer is here!

Jeff