Thursday, 25 August 2016

Lawn Service

We finally received some much needed rain, bringing an end to months of oppressive heat and severe drought. Our brittle lawns no longer crackle under foot and the air has a wonderful, freshly laundered fragrance. 

Starlings, grackles and red-winged blackbirds have vacated these summer breeding grounds and are now further south. Among our remaining birds is a colourful woodpecker, the Northern Flicker. Over the past few weeks, a female of the yellow-shafted variety has been providing me with a complimentary lawn service of pest control and soil aeration.

Bill deep in my patchy lawn, she probes for edibles.

You can see why this flicker is the yellow-shafted version.

She pulls out an item that might be a spider.

A quick check for danger before resuming her treasure hunt.

Jackpot! A plump and juicy grub. Sweet!

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Summer Sweets

A few days ago I pulled some honey from my hives. This early harvest was quite mild, in fact wine tasters would likely pronounce it "lacking in character". Still, an early sweet treat that when drizzled over a small dish of salted peanuts makes a very satisfying snack. 

A jar of early honey becomes an amber jewel.

Two little fliers zoom in on a freshly filled nectar feeder.

Sugar water drips do not go to waste.

I like to train my binoculars on the edge of the hay field at the back of our property.

This coyote was focused on something to the south and ignored me completely.

Among the many joys of summer are fresh and cheerful bouquets.