“One should pay attention to even the smallest crawling creature for these too may have a valuable lesson to teach us.”
As spring warms up, the birds come flocking to our garden. Many have visited before, and return to find feeders, nesting areas or boxes, and a habitat in which to raise their young. Chemical free with lots of plant debris. And water….a nice pond to drink from or bathe in. More on the pond in another Wildlife post in the months ahead.
And each critter who wakes or visits, teaches us lessons in how they live, cohabitate and survive. So here are some of the mid to late spring visitors to our garden.
Squirrels naturally assume that wherever they are, is the place to be. We have found many black walnuts in and around the garden; some eaten, some forgotten. The squirrels love to play around and explore every nook and cranny of the garden, high and low. I can tell you this favorite perch on the wren house had to be vacated once the wrens were back.
And what a surprise to see this baby bunny just out of the nest. In March, we saw a pregnant female near the big ash trees in the center of the garden. I could not find the nest, but eventually, once they left, I saw the small opening. It is not uncommon to have a nest in our garden each year, but this year they nested early because of the very warm March weather.
This little babe was hiding in the middle of a bunch of daffs absolutely still (see last photo at end of post). I almost didn’t see it. It eventually moved more to the edge of the daffs the next day, and then it was gone. We see a small bunny around our neighbor’s shed so perhaps we will see her in our garden eating the clover that is flowering.
Pollinators were cautious of the warm March weather, and were slow to emerge in April. But once they did, they were busy making nests in the bee house we have. I am not good at identifying bees, but these are small solitary bees.
The pond also awoke cautiously in later April. Frogs…..
and toads. This is a female toad laying eggs for the first time in the pond. I’ll have their story for you this summer. And I’ll show you the pond project that has been a roaring success for the critters.
Pileated woodpeckers live here year round, or so it seems. They have been busy in the garden since February, digging holes and getting the insects that have been living in trees and stumps.. This female visits often. I plan to have a post about these majestic creatures this fall.
Finches live here all year round too. They eat the dandelion seeds, in spring, that are all over the back lawn…which is mostly dandelions and clover. The Goldfinch looks very happy, and the House Finch looks like he got caught in the act.
Red-wing blackbirds came early with the robins this year. They returned to their territory and nesting areas, and many visited the suet feeders, especially this March and April as the cool weather kept their insect diet at bay.
Other familiar year round faces are the Cardinals, here, and the Song Sparrow in the picture at the top of the post. Cardinals sing all year round too. It is a beautiful song.
But as May dawns, I look for two migratory birds to return to the garden….the Baltimore Oriole….
….and the Ruby-throated hummingbirds. We put up feeders, for both birds, but more birds prefer the Oriole feeder, even the hummer above. Both birds arrived a day apart in the evening, and were exhausted taking long drinks and resting on the feeder.
Our oriole feeder holds sweetened water, and cups for grape jelly. And as we were refilling the jelly, the Orioles couldn’t wait to partake…..you can see we didn’t even have to hang the feeder.
And Orioles (left and top right) are not the only ones who love the sweetened water and jelly. Downy Woodpeckers (center right) visit frequently, along with Catbirds (lower right), Sparrows and a newcomer to the garden…..
…Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. A stunning bird isn’t it.
I wasn’t sure the Wrens would return. I heard their jolly, bright song for weeks and finally they were ready to nest. It is fascinating to watch them carefully make a nest of small sticks….turning the sticks in their beaks and handing them off to their partner in the box.
And last but not least, the Cedar Waxwings returned in late May right around my birthday. Always the best present!
I am struck by the spring lessons of caution and focus as I observed, looking back at our visiting and year round critters. Pollinators and pond critters took their time not being lured out of hibernation too soon. And I was cautious too as I observed an early spring that turned back to winter. And those critters that came too early, weathered the storm and showed me such resilience.
Once the critters arrived for spring, they were focused on their chores of finding food, and procreating. I too was very focused with garden chores this spring. And we will see the fruit of their labors soon enough with baby frogs and baby birds being added to the garden habitat. I hope to see the fruits of my labors as well as the garden season progresses.
I am sharing these lessons with Beth@PlantPostings for her wonderful Garden Lessons Learned meme. I hope you will join her.
So there you have some of our mid to late spring visitors. I have at least two more spring stories coming in the next two months….both about the pond. What critters are showing up in your garden this spring?
With this wildlife story, I am joining in the meme Wildlife Wednesday hosted by Tina@My Gardener Says that happens the first Wednesday of every month, and with Saturday’s Critters hosted by Eileen@Viewing nature with Eileen that happens every Saturday. I am also linking in with Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday, and Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme. It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every week. Please check out all these great blogs.
I leave you with another thought about the lessons to learn from looking deep into nature. Feel free to download the photo and share.
All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-16. Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.