Tuesday 19 August 2014

Morning meditation walk; squirrel, snake, waxwings, cocoon

The cats were exhausted. I took a walkabout after putting out the recycling. The cats were exhausted, and I took my walk alone. Hubby was in town, doing his thrice-weekly laps at the pool.
First was a red squirrel eating one of our numerous mushrooms or fungus.

Down in the lower meadow, it looks like a young Sweatheart underwing, soaking wet in the dew, it was flapping its wings to get them dry.

While working hard on my upgraded garden, I could hear twittering in the trees. I took some time to watch them Monday, and realized they are Cedar waxwings. They would harvest some sumac berries, then fly to the tops of the trees for a bit of a chat with one another.

Eastern Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus septentrionalis)

Dorah brought me a prize. She promptly came in the house for some cat crunchies. You can tell it is a ribbonsnake from the white mark in front of its eye. It was a healthy 61cm long. I don't know what she was thinking, this cat. "Look, Mummy!" I guided it over to the hops bine, where it silently slid down the vines to the ground.

mystery caterpillar
This mystery cocoon, from a mystery caterpillar, is in the aquarium waiting for a definitive species. It is fascinating in its cocoon, with the shiny gold peering through from the cocoon.

The goldfish pond is doing well. The leopard frogs are numerous. Geraldine is quite happy resting in the water. I have yet to measure her this year. She is quite hefty!

From the dead bark on the Elm trees, ravaged by Dutch Elm disease, many critters shelter in its bark. Sow bug, millipede, garter snake and another mystery bug.

Out in the backyard, the Monarch caterpillar is growing nicely. Here is a before and an after photo, with my baby finger showing its original size. Its doubled in size, at least!
Aug. 6th

Aug. 18th
Down in the shed, I was about to get some bird seed, filling the feeders is such a pleasure. Somebody was helping itself.
I could hear some rustling



Joe Todd said...

Almost like a zoo in your backyard. Thanks for taking the time to get those great photos and posting them.

Pearl said...

what a wonderland you live in.

I've seen that cocoon type once, long ago.

silly cat. looks like the snake's unhurt tho.

Powell River Books said...

Last year was the first year I remember seeing Cedar Waxwings up at the cabin. They may have been around before, but I didn't notice them. Another new identification this year has been Nighthawks. I haven't seen one up close, but based on my Bird Song Bible recordings that's the bird flying high in the sky and calling and making a croaking noise mostly in the mornings and evenings when they eat flying insects. - Margy

Nancy J said...

You are so brave, I cannot think what I'd do if a snake was here, and the monarch, soon ready to fatten even more and curl into it's bed. I enjoy their life cycle so much. Cheers,Jean

Karen said...

The dog and I took a walk up to the back 40 last evening. I'm seeing many many monarch caterpillars on the milkweed on the path in.
They have completely defoliated the milkweed plants I saved around my front porch. I hope the little guys have gone off in search of more and not up and died on us. I'm not seeing any tucking into chrysalis yet.
I sure hope the population is going to rebound this summer.

Hootin Anni said...

Wonderful array of wildlife [except for snakes...I hate snakes of any kind!!]

The bird photo is especially a sweet treat for me of course.

Debbie said...

i wonder how long you walked?? you saw a lot of good stuff ;)

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
Oh my word... things over there continue to amaze!!! YAM xx

William Kendall said...

I wonder what the snakes think of that kind of treatment by cats.

Red said...

You have lots of activity with all the critters at your place.

eileeninmd said...

Wow, lots of cool critters there.. The snake is pretty.. And I love the waxwing.. have a great day!

TexWisGirl said...

love the ribbon snake and the cute chippy. :)