Preying Mantis Nest

I seem to be in the mood to organize photos, old and new, and today I was organizing some of my photos from 2005. I found this photo that I shot at Longwood Gardens, PA, on April 29, 2005 of a Preying Mantis Nest:

Preying Mantis Nest

I find Preying Mantis to be a very interesting insect, not only because it is a beneficial, but after they mate, the female bites the head off the male – go figure.

Beaver Houses, Beaver Dam

I’m scanning photos my Great Grandparents’ photo albums, to first of all preserve their original order, and after they are scanned, to take them out of the acid albums and try to preserve the originals for a while longer in an alkaline album.  So, as I’m scanning, I see many nature photos, but three that especially caught my interest today, one of Beaver Houses, and two of a Beaver Dam.  These are photos that are c. 1920’s to 1930’s, but I still think they are really interesting!  Here’s the Beaver Houses:

Beaver Houses

And here’s the Beaver Dam:

Beaver Dam

Another photo of the Beaver Dam:

Beaver Dam

I’ve never seen a Beaver Dam in person.  This is really cool!

Lightning Bugs!

I just looked out into my backyard in the dark and saw some lightning bugs! I haven’t seen lightning bugs in a couple of years! I’m so exicted! I don’t what kind they are, but according to the Purdue Website, Fireflies, a/k/a Lightning Bugs are not flies nor bugs, but rather beetles.

What a day to forget my camera on my travels. I saw a female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird on the Maltese Cross for quite a while today – definitely a missed photo opportunity. That will teach me!

Panama Rocks

I love it that tree roots will do almost anything to get the nourishment they need to survive. One very fine example of a tree doing this is located at Panama Rocks:

Panama Rocks

They’ve named this “Crow’s Foot.” Isn’t this amazing!

Ostriches

Ostriches (Struthio camelus) are so interesting! They are fast-running, non-flying and the largest living bird. Mom and I visited the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch in Picacho, AZ on March 24, 2006. We fed them:

Ostrich

I love their long eyelashes and even their “bad” hairdos:

Ostrich

Their feet are so interesting with two toes on each foot!

Ostrich

And they live in a beautiful location on this ranch, with the Picacho Peaks in the background:

Ostrich

I didn’t capture a photo of the rear ends of those Ostriches that had just had their feathers plucked for Ostrich dusters. I felt bad that they had partially “bare” rear ends! Every time I dust with my Ostrich duster I think of our Arizona trip!

In Bloom: Lilies

These lilies in my garden blossomed quickly with the hot weather yesterday:

Lily

This shrub has been blossoming on the side of my yard:

Shrub

And two Mullein (Verbascum thapsis) plants are growing beneath the Norway Spruce:

Mullein

I don’t pull them out because I like Mullein!

Dark-Eyed Junco, actually an Eastern Phoebe

I’m guessing that one of the birds that stopped by several times tonight is a Dark-Eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis). It doesn’t exactly fit the description and photos I’ve been looking at. If you can provide any input I would greatly appreciate it!

Thanks to Caroline’s help, Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) is the bird I saw! (Updated June 21, 2006)

Dark-Eyed Junco

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Dark-Eyed Junco

I think this Robin looks good on the top of my clothes line!

Robin

The same Robin feeding on the ground.

Robin

The Northern Cardinal posed in several places tonight:

Cardinal

Here he is getting ready to fly to the next position:

Cardinal

Each position was held for a very short time! So again with the fuzzy photos!

Cardinal

Female Northern Cardinal

I went outside for a few minutes tonight as it is so hot in my house, and the first thing I saw was this female Northern Cardinal feeding on the cherries. Sorry the photos are blurry, something about me taking photos of Cardinals from far away. . .

Female Northern Cardinal

And an even blurrier one:

Female Northern Cardinal

Hopefully I’ll see her again so I can *try* to take a clear photo!

I also saw the Gray Catbird again tonight – still no “mew” calls though. This one is blurry, too. I need to learn to relax when trying to photograph these birds that don’t hang around very long:

Gray Catbird

Here’s a somewhat clearer photo of the resident rabbit:

Rabbit

In Bloom: Coral Bells and Roses

Mom’s Coral bells (Heuchera sp.) have been in blossom for quite a while, but they continue putting on a beautiful show:

Coral Bells

The bees and hummingbirds love them. A hummingbird stopped by as I had my back turned, but here’s one of a bee:

Coral Bells

Here’s one of Mom’s beautiful Roses:

Roses

Northern Flicker

This Northern Flicker, adult female, yellow shafted (Coaptes auratus) stopped to feed in Mom’s lawn while we were on the porch, so these photos are taken through a window:

Northern Flicker

She found a goldmine of goodies because she stayed for quite a while (they typically eat ants):

Northern Flicker

She’s so pretty! I love the spots on her lower sides. . .
Northern Flicker

and her underbelly! Sorry this isn’t a great photo, but those spots are so cool! It looks like she is wearing polka dot pajamas!

Northern Flicker

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