My garden continues to host a number of fascinating insects, arachnids, birds and mammals. The blossoming flowers attract many of the insects; Columbine, Veronica, Cleome, and Morning Glories are all in bloom, as are the petunias (right) that I bought in the spring. My bird feeder draws the birds and mammals, mostly chickadees, Chipping Sparrows, squirrels and chipmunks. One night, however, I heard noises from the back garden and when I shone my flashlight into the darkness I saw two raccoons scrambling to climb up the fence! They had knocked over my small birdbath, so I’m not sure if they were after something to drink or just mischief in general. One seemed a bit smaller than the other, perhaps one of this year’s young, and after they climbed the fence they disappeared. I didn’t get any photos, but here are some of the other critters that have visited my garden in early July.
On July 9th I visited the Burnt Lands alvar via Ramsay Concession 12 near Panmure. I hadn’t been here in a few years, and was mainly looking for butterflies. I made a few stops along the way, such as Huntmar Road where I saw a family of five Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, and Gourlay Lane where I found a Chestnut-sided Warbler and a pair of Indigo Buntings. I used to visit the ruins here in previous summers as it is a good spot to see Indigo Buntings, but at some point someone blocked off access to the field leading to ruins with “No Trespassing” signs and signs asking people to call a certain telephone number if they saw anyone trespassing. I was disappointed, and soon left. On the way to Panmure I saw a couple of Northern Harriers on March Road near Carp, and a pair of American Kestrels and Eastern Meadowlarks near the Upper Dwyer Hill Road.
I’ve been taking a lot of pictures in my garden lately; June is a great month for seeing lots of different insects! Although my butterfly garden hasn’t attracted any hummingbirds or interesting butterflies yet (i.e. any species OTHER than the common, non-native Cabbage White), it has attracted a lot of other pollinators such as hover flies, fruit flies, bees and moths. Of course, these insects attract other types of insects….the predators that feed on them, rather than the pollen or nectar of flowers. As usual, there are lots of different types of spiders in my backyard, including a couple of very small orbweavers. I hope they grow large and fearsome like the Banded Argiope that spent a couple of months in my back garden last fall. The only dragonfly I’ve seen in my yard this year is a male Common Whitetail, similar to the one that spent an afternoon here last year.