Garden wildlife

Towhee and dandelions

Towhee and dandelions

4/28/2013 – Rufous Sided Towhee Amid Dandelions… sadly not in the sun. Still, what a lovely bird this is!

When I went outside this morning I heard a major thrashing sound, so I was pretty sure there was a rufous sided towhee digging. They appear to love to dig. Or, they are connoisseurs of what they dig up for dinner. This is the bird that created a big hole yesterday, but got a huge cutworm for it’s work.

 

In my arbor picture, above, you can see toward the bottom right my wasp swimming pool.Why provide wasps with a swimming pool?Well for one thing, they love it.If that isn’t convincing, consider how wasps take care of plants for us so that we don’t have to use pesticides. Pesticides are known to interfere with human brain chemistry, so wasps do us a tremendous favor when they eat aphids, etc.

8/25/08 — I was pretty surprised when I saw this in my garden. I was going to go to a mushroom forum to ask what kind of mushroom it is, but managed to find it in my mushroom book, and low and behold, it belongs, appropriately enough, to the genus Phallus.At first I hoped it was a morel and sprayed it with the hose to wash the black stuff at the bottom of the cap off. Cleaned up it did look like a morel and its odor, described as "fetid", actually smelled sort of sweetly perfume-y when I picked it. Still, all my efforts could not change it from a stinkhorn into a morel.

 

9/14/08 — I saw a fly that was so large I thought at first it was a huge grasshopper. When it flew it was the size of a hummingbird, but it was black, looked like an armoured attack machine, and was carrying a bee, clearly intent on eating it. The Google picture at left of a Robber Fly doesn’t show how menacing the insect in my garden looked, but that’s what it was. Apparently Robber Flies eat spiders, and two of my best ones are missing, as well as small snakes and lizards. I didn’t have small snakes or lizards.

 

 

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