My flower gardens look great, and the wildlife is flocking to my yard. Not just the squirrels. Wildlife in the garden means the camera must come out. Stalking and photographing critters in my happy place is how I relax. Most of the stalking involves me planting myself in a spot and waiting patiently.
It was a slow start for the hummingbirds, but finally they are swarming and guarding the feeders.
These are ruby-throated hummingbirds, and most are young. The throats of the males will turn red as he ages. Even now, if a young male stretches his neck the right way, I catch a glimpse of a spot of red where the process is starting. I've cropped in tightly on this next photo so you can see the spot of red on this young male's throat.
Eventually, the young male pictured above will look like this:
Perhaps you already knew all that and didn't need me to explain. I didn't know this last year. When I saw a red spot the first time, I thought I was looking at an injured bird.
This is a new feeder I just put out. Looks like it's gonna be a very popular one. I've seen photos of multiple hummingbirds sipping together at the same feeder, but my hummingbirds seem to be mortal enemies with each other. I'll be shocked if ever I get a photo of more than one bird sipping at a feeder. I think if they didn't spend so much time chasing each other, they wouldn't require so much nectar for energy. They could go back to the nest for a nap instead.
Hummingbirds just always look like they're daring you to try, don't you think? Same look Kevin gives Jamie when Jamie is hiding a pecan in his balled-up fist.
Mr. Froggie lives in one of my fountains, and I get to see him every day. Haven't tamed him yet though.
I have a pair of doves that hang out & feed in my yard. They're quite fond of the food I put out for the squirrels and other birds.
If ever you've wondered what exactly a cicada looks like, wonder no more! This is actually the exoskeleton of one I found in a basket of petunias.
We added a second water feature this year, and it's brought dragonflies. Fascinating creatures, aren't they? When I take photos of them, I try to identify and learn about them.
A male Pondhawk (I think)
A female Twelve-spotted Skimmer
Another male Pondhawk (again, I think. I'm certainly no expert.) He looks happy, don't you think?
A male Widow Skimmer
And what could be better than finding in the garden a baby Green Anole, smaller than my pinkie finger?
Finding TWO baby Green Anoles in the garden, that's what could be better!
And upon looking closer, I found a THIRD teeny tiny baby Green Anole! No, I haven't been able to hold one yet, but give me some time.
Yet to be photographed is the red-headed woodpecker that's taken up residence, the goldfinch that's shyly visiting the feeder, and the cardinals that have raised their babies here. There's also some chipmunks running around, but they seem to stay mostly hidden.