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Exciting backyard visitors

It was extra special last week to see a bright splash of blue in the backyard and to realize it was a male Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea). It’s a new member of our backyard bird list that we’ve kept since replanting the backyard with native plants in 2006. We’re now up to 66 different species.

Blue Grosbeak Continue reading “Exciting backyard visitors”

Spring butterfly surprise

I had a few butterfly chrysalises from last fall and kept them in the garage all winter. This week I decided it was time to put them outdoors. The next morning, about 10 a.m, I noticed a black swallowtail butterfly had just emerged! The yellow dots indicate it’s a male.

Black Swallowtail 3-27-16Springtime includes many surprises, and a newly emerged butterfly is certainly one of them. I look forward to seeing what other discoveries this season holds.

A cute spider?

Yes, I think it’s ‘cute’. I first saw it about a week ago on the back of a dining room chair and again today on our kitchen cabinet. It’s a zebra spider (Salticus scenicus) and is quite small (about ½ inch). According to Wikipedia, they are common throughout the Northern hemisphere and are often found near humans – in dwellings or gardens.

Cute fuzzy zebra spider

Continue reading “A cute spider?”

Gold in the Garden

When I saw these crocuses blooming on the 3rd day of February, I felt like I had discovered nuggets of gold. I’ve never before had garden flowers this early.

Yellow crocuses
I’m amazed that something that appears so delicate can survive our below-freezing temperatures, but they seem to take the cold in stride. The blossoms close tightly at night, but open and seem to glow on sunny afternoons. Thanks be for nature’s February gold!