Phriday Pheathers – Ransacked Zinnias

Adorable August Bandits have been ransacking my zinnias. Do I care…only a little, and why is that? Even without every petal the nectar-producing disk florets are alive and will be visited by hummingbirds and butterflies.

Goldfinches are the bandits. The male is bold and brash, watching me carefully, but staying in plain sight.

The female likes to forage amid the cover of the zinnia leaves.

They aren’t the only ransackers in the garden. I’m a guilty party too, stripping off petals to press between the pages of a book. They will retain their bright colors and be useful in crafts later in the year.

Each petal has a seed attached. I break these away before pressing. Aha! I’ve had a great idea.

I gather the seeds and take them to the garden. The ring of florets on the zinnia makes a perfect miniature bird feeder for the goldfinches. This post is part of August Photo A Day Challenge/Start With A – August 3rd.

Phriday Pheathers – Epic Photograph

I often see hummingbirds in my yard, usually sipping nectar from flowers, but by the time I get my camera they disappear. Yesterday, I was lucky and had camera in hand when I spotted a hummingbird land on a bare branch in the pine tree.

Being able to photograph this beautiful and very fast little bird, was, for me, epic. That brings me in a roundabout way to a new blog challenge I’m taking part in on the Pix to Words blog. Why is it the perfect day to take part? Well, the photo I took might be ordinary to you, but it is EPIC for me, and that is the challenge word for the week. A big thank you to everyone who takes time to offer challenges for bloggers to take part in. Maybe something epic is happening in your week too.

This post is part of Skywatch Friday.

Phriday Pheathers

A few weeks ago a mother robin built a nest in the boughs of our crape myrtle tree. It’s a beauty, compact and perfectly fit into the crook of the branches. Eventually, we heard peeping, and once, from my vantage point at ground level, I saw a little beak and head rise above the edge of the nest.

Time passed by, and when the nest became crowded, we could see two additional heads; the nest held three babies.

The mother robin was so diligent feeding them.

Soon they fledged and became bold, standing on the edge of the nest, one at a time, contemplating their first flight.

One by one they flew away. Now I hear them in the pines surrounding our backyard, peeping to their mother. She calls back with the distinctive chirping of a protective mother robin.

This post is part of Skywatch Friday and is cross-posted in Birdy, Birdy. Thanks for birdwatching with me.

 

 

 

Phriday Pheathers – Blue Grosbeak

I spotted this beautiful bird on my feeder this week. He is finch-sized and a little raggedy in appearance; he is probably molting. I think he might be a Blue Grosbeak, a bird we don’t see much in southern New Jersey. Can anyone positively identify him for me? Thanks!

One of my ‘Places in the World‘ is walking with eyes up, camera in hand, searching out birds in interesting poses to photograph.