Category Archives: Pets and Pests

I equate good bugs and bad bugs to Pets and Pests

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 …

Aphid-ful

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.

Just One Brief Lucky Moment

At the right place & at the right time ~ with an idiot-proof camera in hand…

I’ve managed to get some pics of Mister Painted Bunting on 1 of our bird feeders and I’ve seen the Mrs. around but …

I just knew that Mrs. Painted Bunting was somewhere, probably setting up nest, then suddenly when I was where I was and she was where she was ~  *click* ~ got her on my ‘candid camera’!

Mrs. P Bunting

My next hope and aim is to get some shots (photo shots) of Painted Bunting chicks. Wish me luck, OK?

Do Birds Kiss?

Life is a learning experience and today I learned that birds do kiss.
I actually saw them in action with my own eyes … and on a camera screen. It all happened during lunch and yes, while I ate (& watched), they flirted.

Love birds (not the Agaponis species)

Love birds (not the Agapornis species) – just birds in love on our arbor.

Can't tell the male & female

I can’t tell which is male/female but …

Aren’t they A Good Match?
(How can I not join in this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge when it entails a matching subject?)

They kissed!

… and kiss they did!

Peck after peck...

Peck after peck… (pardon the pun)

Since it has been warmer than usual, they probably think Spring has sprung though officially it’s still winter until March 20th. Now, the thing to watch for is a Love Nest & hopefully hear some ‘chirpy chirpy cheep cheep’.

New Neighbors of Color

We have new neighbors! The colorful kind ~ ah yes, a new couple ~ I call them the ‘new birds on the block’ and they’re the Painted Bunting Family.  I first saw them a week ago but *sigh* had no camera in hand.

This morning, as I quietly sat by the back patio steps, Mr. P. Bunting came for his breakfast.

The Painted Bunting

The Painted Bunting

We made eye contact.

We made eye contact.

Is that an element of trust?

Is that showing a little bit of trust?

To me, he simply looks like an artist’s painting palette. In the days to come I hope Mrs. Bunting joins him for breakfast and allows her photo to be taken.