Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A Wild And Wonderful Morning In the Garden

 After several days of rain and thunderstorms, Ed and I had plans to get an early start and spend the  predicted  cool and sunny day in the garden.  I was drinking my morning coffee and looking at the garden out the living room window  in anticipation when I saw movement.  It was at the far end of the garden so I checked it out with my binoculars.  I saw a young male wild turkey and five baby turkeys.  The babies formed a line and the adult followed behind looking for food in the short grass while drying off in the sunshine.  One of the things we love about the house and garden is that we have a chance to watch the wildlife.  I thought to myself, "Wow this is already a very special day!"

A short time later we were just finishing our breakfast when a female deer stepped out of the tall grass between the two bird houses that can be seen out my kitchen window.  She was followed by a single fawn.  As we watched the mother deer began to lick the fawn just below his little white tail.  That immediately caused the fawn to nurse.  Mom continued to lick her baby and the baby continued to drink for some time. It was fascinating to watch such intimate family behavior.  The deer seemed to feel right at home  there just outside my kitchen window.  I don't know how long this might have gone on, but the adult tree swallows, whose family occupied one of the bird houses, felt the deer's presence was an intrusion into their space.  The brave little birds flew high swooping down barely missing the animal's head.  At first the deer ignored the birds, but then one actually hit an ear.  On the next pass the mother deer ducked.  The tree swallowed were buoyed by that and increased the onslaught.  Mother deer and fawn headed elsewhere as fast as the fawn's legs could carry him.   Now I thought, "This is why I love it here!"

Next we made a trip to the bedroom to get dressed to go outside.  This time it was an indigo bunting that caught my attention.  He was sitting in the smoke bush seen at the right of the picture.  If you have ever seen the iridescent blue of one of these little birds you can understand my interest.  I called Ed to take a look and to my surprise and delight the beautiful blue bird flew to the Rose of Sharon that grows right outside the bedroom window.  We both stood  admiring the unbelievably beautiful bird.  If not for the glass he would have been close enough to touch.  When he flew away, we finally got ready to head out to the garden.  I thought, "It can't get any better than this!"

The first project on our agenda was to pick snow peas and strawberries.  Ed was picking the snow peas and I was sitting on my garden cart picking strawberries  working are directly under the little pink and green birdhouse in Helen's garden.  A pair of wrens had moved in as soon as the house was installed.  As I worked I could hear the birds singing or perhaps scolding from a short distance away.   One of the little birds got tired of waiting and flew to the house right in front of me.  It was a wonderful surprise!  I really think the wrens may look on us as the hired help!

A little later when I was weeding, a beautiful comma butterfly landed next to me on the stone path.  If I had the camera I could have taken the most amazing picture.  On an ordinary day in the garden this would have been a really special event, but today it seemed to be just part of another extraordinary day!

When I headed inside to make lunch I noticed this tiny caterpillar on my parsley plant in the kitchen garden.  I had never seen one like it before.  I returned with the camera and took its picture.  It is an early instar of a swallowtail butterfly.  All of these things actually happened in one morning and that is the truth.  I can hardly believe it myself!

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