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.
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.
This morning, I watched the wildlife, while sitting under a tree at the pond by the Shoreline trail. At this time of the year, lots of turtles love to rest at the shore of the waters edge and take in the warm rays of the sun. One lonely Mallard Duck waddled around in the grass. I’ve got up to walk around the pond, before I would hike at the lake for a little bit. When I crossed the bridge, I noticed two Yellow-crowned Night Herons. They just sat there and looked at the stream, which leads to the pond. I wonder, if they had a frog meal.
At the lake, I walked toward the little flower field. There is a lady, she’s sowing Spring flowers for the pollinators, every Autumn. In May these flowers begin to bloom. And I always like to take a look and capture some photos. Due to the cooler weather in early Spring, not all the flowers are in bloom yet. I might have to come back in a week or two to see what else is flourishing on her property. At least this time I’ve got her hold of her blooming poppies.
Beginning of May was like a light switch for the Texas weather. As soon as May 1st came around, the temperatures began to rise significantly. And today, will be the first day of this season when we hit over 90ºF in DFW. This time of the year, I rather hike in the mornings. It is still cooler. And I love the morning dew around my feet and ankles. At this time of the day, wildlife is more active before they’ll rest during the midday’s heat. So I chose to go to a local pond, this morning. Original I was frog hunting with my camera. But they were all hiding, as soon as I came closer to the water. In the distance, I saw some Mallard Ducks and a couple of Red-eared Slider Turtles resting close at the pond’s edge. Momma Duck and her eight ducklings took a short break in the shade, before they swam to the other ducks across the pond. I kept watching them all waddling up the hill. When it started to get much warmer, I walked back to the car and drove home. My morning hike is done for today.
Now, that it is Spring, Sandy comes over to see Mr. Squirrel more frequently. They always hang out and tumble all over our fence and yard together. Mr. Squirrel has a thing for his sweet Sandy. But she makes him shriek sometimes. Because Sandy wants to be close to him, dine with him, and play with him. Sometimes, he’s not sure how to handle her. He always keeps an eye out for her, when she eats at the dish. I wonder, if she wants to be his long-time girlfriend. And he doesn’t want to commit. He sure loves his bachelor life for most of the year. But all he can think of is his Sandy, now. I guess, animals are not so different from us humans.
This afternoon, I’ve noticed a new visitor on our bird feeder. A little White-throated Sparrow came over for a little snack, before it flew into a neighboring tree. At least, it sat at the dish long enough for me to capture photo of it. Maybe it will come back soon, so I can get a better photo of this little bird. Bring some friends with you, little guy.
After lunch, Katelynn, Sara and I took a walk at Josey Ranch Lake. Two Mallard Duck couples had ducklings. And we had the chance to observe one family a little bit closer. Mr. and Mrs. Duck decided, it was nap time for the offspring and let them rest after a swim on Josey Ranch Lake. Sara couldn’t get enough of their cuteness. See for yourself. 🦆