Category Archives: Pets and Pests

I equate good bugs and bad bugs to Pets and Pests

Heatwave …

“We’re having a heatwave
A tropical heatwave
The temperature’s rising,
It isn’t surprising,
She certainly can can-can…”  ~  Irving Berlin

Yes, even the birds are feeling the heat. Right below the bird feeder laid Mrs Blue Jay, catching the very mild breeze, spreading her feathers and trying to cool down.

Sometimes I do wonder how Mother Nature designs her birds, their size, their beaks, their colors and their feathers’ patterns.

She is just so pretty! I’m 90% sure it’s a female (male ones usually have more blue under their chins) and she’s probably squawking a request for Ma Nature to give us some rain because we need it … badly.


He Woke Me Up …

“Rat taa taa taat!”
Me:  *yawn* Wat wassat?!
I looked at my alarm clock ~ not due yet ~ OK, false alarm (pun intended).
Head went back down to my comfortable pillow, eyelids slowly came down.
Then again “Rat taa taa taat!”
Now I’m wide awake!!

By the back door, what I saw made me quickly run back in to grab my camera and then slowly, very stealthily, creep back out again to try my luck to get a few shots.

Pileated Woodpecker

There was Mr P Woodpecker (different from the the Ladder-Backed Woodpeckers, who love our front yard oak tree). He was pecking away at (of all things) my bathouse! The bathouse, being hollow, of course made an extra loud “Rat taa taa taat!” compared to a tree trunk, no wonder it woke me up.

He’s a big one ~ about 20″ tall, while standing vertical on the bathouse, that is.

That’s 1 handsome bird!

Look at those eyes!

Want to see his head rattle and hear his wake-up call?
Continue reading

Orchid Bees ~ my pollinating assistants

Buzzz … came an Orchid Bee

She came with a passion to a Passiflora…

The Orchid Bee then landed

Then came another

Both shared a bloom and enjoyed nectar uninterruped.

The circle of a Food Chain

From seeds to seeds … and more seeds …
It all usually begins with buying seeds to feed the birds. If you are not a keen lawn mowing activist and allow some so-called weeds to grow along planting borders, you will be surprised what appears.

Nature’s bird food ~ millet

Fresh bird seeds, grown from seeds sown by the birds after consuming from human-made bird feeder(s). Yes, volunteer Millet plants! They are actually quite pretty, adding color to the garden.

Garden assistants helping to pollinate.

Aphids join in the food ring for their plant-sap needs

The ants will pollinate and help the aphids; the aphids will multiply …


and soon the Ladybugs will come to devour the aphids, while the Millet will ripen to once again feed the birds.

Nature’s well-planned food chain circle.


Extreme Makeover

No, not mine. 😀
Each time I “follow” a Ladybug/Ladybird who has comfortably made herself at home, close to the backyard patio, I watch in fascination a real live extreme makeover.

Out of an egg comes an odd looking being …

I don’t mind it looking kind of ugly as it eats aphids non-stop, but it soon changes shape. From a longish, spiky, caterpillar looking being to an ovalish humpback-like beetle.

Then it morphs and changes form again. When ready, it simply cracks open and emerges from its exoskeleton! Mother Nature makes over beings of her choice. Oh, what beauty!

Madam Butterfly … sequel

This Black Swallowtail left her birth place but did not leave the scene ~ no, it’s not from Opera 101. It’s a real life happening. “Madam Butterfly” has been fluttering around since she morphed from caterpillar to pupa (in her cocoon) and then to a winged creature, but she must like the Dillweed in the backyard to hang around.

She has been coming back each morning for breakfast so today I decided to slip my idiot proof camera into a pocket (just in case)… and there she was… munching on her favorite green.

The Butterfly has Landed.

The Dillweed buds must taste good.

In this pic – facing her but slightly lower down, is her cocoon. See the beige-brown casing?

This is like a return to one’s birthplace for native food.  :mrgreen:

In case you’re curious as to how I know it’s a She and not a He, see my earlier post again  (pic where she is drying her wings) then see Wikipedia pics.

Butterflies Are Free

Many years ago, I saw a movie titled Butterflies Are Free starring Edward Albert and Goldie Hawn. I’ve never forgotten that title or the song in the movie.
“Open up my spirits wide and let them go
I will take tomorrow’s wings and fly
Nothing’s gonna keep me off that glory road
And when that wild wind blows I’m gonna ride…”

Each time I now see the formation of a beautiful butterfly ~ that song just comes to mind. I’ve grown patient. Yes, I will wait, observe each day, but patiently wait.

Right outside my back door, in permaculture zone 1, on my Dillweed …

Very young caterpillar I spotted at night (while out to cut some chives).

It enjoyed munching on my Dillweed and I enjoyed watching it grow.

A few days later.

Oh what Beauty!

Then, when it felt just right, with Mother Nature’s guidance (no parent needed), it just built its own privacy cocoon.

Look at the 2 support/suspension strands.

How did it know that 2 suspension strands were needed? At what angle was its hibernation abode supposed to be? Did it have a design blueprint for its temporary apartment? Continue reading

Woody Woodpecker Jr.

Ever seen a Woodpecker chick?

The Young One…

I can’t tell if it’s male or female (yet) but adult Woodpeckers in the area stand out with their red head feathers.

Early morning backyard activity ~ Woody jr. getting his breakfast while I walk around with my cuppa coffee in hand.