Rainy Sunday Morning

This morning, the rain was very welcome. The garden needed it. And it felt good, having a break from the low to mid 90s (32º-35ºC) weather. During the rain, the temperatures reached only the upper mid to upper 60s (18º-20ºC). Now, we get a little bit of sunshine. It feels more muggy in the mid 70s (24º-25ºC).

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Beautiful rain droplets on a corn leaf, I’ve photographed in 2013.

A Visit From The Swainson’s Hawk

Four years ago on a Sunday morning in May, I heard a lot of commotion going on in my backyard. A flock of Blue Jays were screaming as loud as they could in the neighbor’s tree. And when these birds begin to be that noisy, there is usually danger close by. It was nesting season for them. When I looked out my patio door, I immediately saw what the issue was in the backyard: We had a Swainson’s Hawk sitting on the fence. It watched the songbirds on the feeders for a little bit, before these birds noticed the big guy and flew off. The Blue Jays, on the other hand, where really nervous and wanted the hawk gone out of their territory. Some jays came over, and began to attack the Swainson’s Hawk by pecking it on the head. The hawk had enough and flew off to nearby field. I can imagine, when half a dozen of little blue “bullies” would pick on me, I’m out of there too. Well, no baby jays for this hawk in our neighborhood that morning. But it looked very majestic sitting on our fence for a few minutes. It also gave me the chance to capture the moment.

The Cabbage White Butterfly & The Northern Cardinal

For several weeks, a few Cabbage White butterflies show up in my garden. And I know, exactly what their plan is from day one. I have cabbages, cauliflower and kohlrabi growing in my raised beds. This vegetables are the perfect nursery for Cabbage White caterpillars. Once the female laid her eggs, it is only a matter of days until these little boogers hatch and eat their way through my cabbage garden. I have to pick countless amounts of caterpillars off my cabbage leaves almost every day.

But I also get some help from Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal. Every afternoon, I see them picking caterpillars to feed their offspring. It’s great, having natural helpers in our garden. The downside: When Mr. Cardinal finds some juicy Black Swallowtail caterpillars in my parsley and dill, they end up between his beak and later in the baby cardinal tummies as well. UGH! I guess, we have to take the good with the bad.

Ramadan 2018

This morning, I’ve noticed I had quite a few clicks for two very particular photos from several Middle Eastern and North African countries. After I put some thought into it, it finally dawned on me. Yes, I’m a day late. I will re-post the two pictures of the waxing crescent Moon, which I captured last August. And I captured photos from tonight’s waxing crescent Moon and Venus.

I wish you a very peaceful and blessed Ramadan!

More Mammatus Clouds

This is the third time this Spring, I witnessed the clouds turning into Mammatus (utter) clouds. While I was waiting on the front porch for Kevin to come home from work, I’ve noticed the wind blew slightly cooler. A Canada Goose flew over the neighbor’s house. And that’s when I saw, that we had Mammatus clouds over head of us. They are usually not dangerous and fun to watch. Sometimes, I can see some animals-shaped clouds as well.

Eight Legs of Cuteness

At this time of the year, when it is nice and warm, lots of little insects love to hang out in my garden. This is a good time for this little jumping spider, to catch itself a meal. While it was climbing up my butterfly weed, I could get a hold of it in front of my lens. I always love, when a jumping spider “poses” for me. So did this one a few years back. ❤

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“Hello! How are you? You must be the human, who planted this wonderful garden for all of us?”

I’m not a big fan of spiders. But I also know, they are very beneficial for our garden environment. Therefore they begin to fascinate me more and more. Katelynn and Sara usually give these garden friends a name, when they stick around longer than a few days.