Gray Catbird, More Comings and Goings. . .

Here’s a Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) that was wandering through my “lawn.” I didn’t hear it “mew” while it was visiting:
Bird

Here’s one of my resident rabbits checking out the growth of the greens in my garden:

Rabbit

More rabbit / squirrel activity:

Rabbit, Squirrel

Here’s a squirrel hanging on by his toenails eating more cherries:

Squirrel

After the squirrel left, the Northern Cardinal flew in so he could have some cherries, too:

Bird

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Bird

He had me going for a while, though, because I didn’t know that Northern Cardinals flatten their crest!

Northern Cardinal – A Clear Photo!

I finally was able to capture a clear photo of a Northern Cardinal! Now to catch the entire body! He was in my Rose of Sharon:
Northern Cardinal

Song Sparrow

Tonight I watched as two Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia) hopped around in the “lawn” (my definition of “lawn” – mostly weeds and some grass to make a more naturalized area for the birds and mammals):

Song Sparrow

Given the condition of the “lawn” it was hard to catch an entire photo of the Song Sparrows, even though I took several photos. Aren’t their stripes cool!

In Bloom Now: Spiderwort

This Spiderwort (Tradescantia sp.) is in bloom in my garden:
Spiderwort

The flowers last a very long time. At night, they close up tight like they’ve never blossomed. In the morning, they open up again. Here’s a photo I took of Mom’s Spiderwort on May 24th:

Spiderwort

Wort is the old name for Herb, so Spiderwort or Spider Herb was used for someone who received a Spider bite, among other things.

There are some interesting articles about Spiderwort at Killerplants.com:

What was spiderwort?

Who was John Tradescant?

How were spiderworts used by the Aztecs?

House Sparrow

There is a pair of House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) in my backyard “fooling around”, and the female landed on one of my birdbaths long enough for me to capture her photo:

House Sparrow

Isn’t she a little sweetie!

What’s For Dinner?

The Cherry Tree in my backyard is a very busy place now that there is some mouth-watering fruit:

Cherries

The leaves are continuously wiggling with grey squirrels feeding on the cherries:

Squirrel Eating Cherries

Every once in a while a Northern Cardinal attempts to eat a cherry to two:

Cardinal Eating Cherries

I don’t know why I can’t get a clear picture of this fellow!  Must be because he’s always moving!

A Different Type of Highway

There’s the superhighway, the information highway, and here’s the wire highway – the one that squirrels tightrope on to get around from tree to tree. I only see Grey Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) on the ground around here when they’re chasing each other, eating the seeds from my Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum), or when they’re burying nuts, otherwise, they use the wire highway:

Squirrel
The following photo shows one of the reasons why I have to keep my vegetable garden covered with floating row covers:

Rabbit

This rabbit is so cute, as long as it isn’t eating *my* food!

Sorry the photo of this Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis – yup, I’m getting that this is a cardinal from that Latin name) is blurry, but I thought this was a good pose:

Cardinal

And the purple Norway Spruce cones keep growing downwards (I love the blue sky today):

Spruce Cones

In Bloom Today: Peonies

I wish I could add scent to the blog so you could smell my beautiful peonies! I staked them up this year so a rainstorm won’t make them flop all over the ground.

Peony

This is from my front garden. I hope you enjoy it!

Dragonflies, Hummingbirds

Today at Mom’s home I saw four Dragonflies like the one I saw in my garden the other day. They were enjoying her gardens as we were planting the deck pots.

In her perennial garden, we saw first a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird on her lupines and coral bells, and a few minutes later, a female came to feed on the coral bells. Very nice. . .

Sorry no pictures, I wasn’t in a photo taking mood today, but I included a link to the Cornell Ornithology website.

Aldrich Change Bridge, Palmyra

Today we went to Palmyra to see the Aldrich Change Bridge. This bridge was originally built in 1858 by John Hutchinson in Troy, NY, and spanned the Erie Canal at the Rochester Weighlock in the 1860’s. In 1878 the wooden Aldrich Change Bridge collapsed and this wrought and cast iron Whipple Bridge replaced it. This bridge was rammed by ice and timber on January 19, 1996 which removed it from its abutments, landing it in the Ganargua Creek. This bridge was rescued and rebuilt and is now located in the Palmyra / Macedon Aqueduct Park.

Aldrich Change Bridge

The abutments were rebuilt exactly as they were in their previous location near Foldpak in Newark:

Abutments

A change bridge allowed the mules to cross from one side of the canal to the other without having to untie them from the tow rope.

Aldrich Change Bridge

Here’s a photo I took of the information located near the bridge on how a change bridge works:

How a Change Bridge Works

We also saw the Mud Creek Aqueduct:

Old Erie Canal Aqueduct

We first smelled these old fashioned roses – a wonderful aroma – and then saw them along the canal banks:

Old Fashioned Roses

We also saw quite a bit of Dame’s Rocket:

Dame's Rocket

And Fleabane:

Fleabane

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