Friday’s Farm Fotos

September 17, 2010

I can NOT believe September is half over already.  Time flies?  No, I think it’s traveling at warp speed, at least warp 10 or something!

Anyway, here we are at another Friday, and here we have some pictures from around the farm this week.

The hummingbirds are still hanging around.  Here’s one high up in a tree. . .

photo of hummingbird in tree

Keeping an eye on things.

This little hummer seems to be watching his bigger wild bird cousins having a wild party in the local watering hole. . .

photo of birds in bath

Splish, splash, I was takin' a bath!

But the little hummingbird isn’t the only fowl creature  keeping watch. . .

photo of chicken bird

I need to keep an eye on things.

She’s not so interested in what the wild birds are doing, but checking out what her guy is doing at the local bird pub. . .

photo of rooster & bird

"Do you come here often?"

But she needn’t worry he’s going to make friends with some wild chick.  Instead he just gets his drink, then leaves.

photo of rooster flying

"Must fly!"

While the birds are refreshing themselves, the farm collie is just taking it easy and napping in the shade.

photo of farm collie

Forget the bird fiesta, it's time for a dog siesta!

Of course, all I have to do is whisper “mailbox” and he’s up and ready to run out the driveway.  Unfortunately, that often means the neighbor’s dog, Gracie, has to rush over and get all hysterical.

photo of dogs

Gracie having hissy fits.

Generally speaking, Toby ignores her.  He acts like she doesn’t even exist, except when she starts bugging him, he always does this one thing. . .

I’m sure he’s just marking his territory and not telling her to… uh, yeah.

And for another week whizzed by, that’s the way it is on the farm.

It may be September, but it’s not fall yet!

September 8, 2010

The calendar tells me it’s already September 8th, and we are rushing towards not only fall, but winter.  The time is going by TOO FAST!

However, it still looks like summer around here.  The butterflies are still drinking nectar from the butterfly bushes and other flowering plants.

black butterfly

Enjoying nectar from a bi-color butterfly bush.

And I still see bees gathering pollen, like this big old bumblebee. . .

bumblebee on flower

Still foraging for food.

And the hummingbirds are still hanging around the feeder.

male hummingbird

Sitting near the pole where the feeder is hanging. . .

However, I relocated their nemesis, the praying mantis, after discovering that they could indeed catch and kill a hummingbird.  I never thought about them using their foreleg as spear!  I figure there are plenty of bugs and stuff the praying mantis could eat without having to dine on the hummers.

So all these summer creatures are still busy flitting around and gathering food.  Plus the grass is still green, and I know we’ve still got some hot days ahead of us.

But fall is coming, and it’s my second favorite season of the year!

Hummingbird vs. Praying Mantis, Take 2

September 3, 2010

This praying mantis is one persistent bug.  It just keeps hanging around.

praying mantis bug

"I'm hanging in there!"

Yesterday it got back on top of the feeder and creeping closer to the hummingbirds whenever it could.

Ruby throated hummingbird and praying mantis

Closer.... closer....

The hummingbirds are certainly aware of the praying mantis, and buzz bomb it from time to time.  It no longer sits passive, but tries to fight back. . .

I don’t think this praying mantis is big enough to actually hold onto a hummingbird if it caught it. But I may have to think about relocating it if this continues.

. . . and if that isn’t enough predators on the farm, there was a hawk hiding behind a post a few feet away from the feeder.

hawk half hidden behind fence post

"You might not see me, but I'm waiting for a meal!"

Gee whiz, you’d think we were in the jungle with all this predator drama!

Hummingbird vs. Praying Mantis

September 1, 2010

We have a continuing drama at the hummingbird feeder these days.  It’s old hat for the hummingbirds to fuss at one another. . .

2 hummingbirds

"This is MY feeder!"

But things have gotten a little more interesting.  In one corner, we still have a hummingbird contender. . .

hummingbird at feeder

Fueling up in the evening.

But there is an interesting opponent fighting for dominance at the feeder.  This critter crawls up the climbing rose bush that leans against the wrought iron post that the hummingbird feeder is hanging from.

upside down praying mantis

"I'm big and I'm bad!"

Of course, the praying mantis doesn’t drink from the hummingbird feeder.  At least I’ve never seen it do so.  I think the praying mantis likes to hang around the area because other bugs are attracted to the nectar in the feeder, essentially providing the praying mantis with a bug buffet.

This is one combative bug.

combative praying mantis!

Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting!

The hummer hovers around the praying mantis when it’s on the rosebush, and kind of buzz bombs it. He’s not happy about this big bug hanging around. However, at dusk yesterday when the hummingbird discovered the cheeky praying mantis actually ON the feeder, things really got interesting!

Hummingbird vs. Praying Mantis!

The hummingbird finally gave up and presumably went to rest for the night, leaving the praying mantis in possession of the feeder.

praying mantis at dusk

"Bwwaaaa haaaa haaaa! I'm still here! It's MINE I say, MINE!"

The praying mantis may have won the battle, but I doubt it has won the war.
There’s always tomorrow.

Humming Right Along

August 17, 2010

I was watching hummingbirds this morning while eating breakfast. They are such territorial little critters! It doesn’t matter how much food is in the feeder, they don’t want to share.

There was one young male that was being especially aggressive this morning. He sat on a little tree branch where he could see the feeder.

young male hummingbird

Standing Guard

The red patch on his throat is barely starting to show, but evidently those male hormones are in full swing!  He’d swoop down on any other hummingbird that came close, then hover for a while until he was sure they’d gone.

hummingbird flying

Making it clear it is HIS feeder.

The cardinals are much more sedate, and pay little attention to the hummers.

red bird

Cardinal on Honeysuckle

But me?  I like watching their antics!