Despite two mornings that started with a light air frost and white roofs we have yet to have enough nighttime cold to even put a skin of ice on the bird bath and temperatures remain well above “normal”. Some leaves are falling and there are autumnal colours starting to appear here and there but the unseasonal warmth is keeping most the garden leaves green – still.
Birds are not especially active at the feeders (apart from four Mourning Doves) – undoubtedly because there is still a good supply of wild food available to them. We have seen American Goldfinches in the birch trees along with a small number of Ruby-crowned Kinglets. The only really seasonal sign has been a small flock of Dark-eyed Juncos flitting around the dogwoods. At the end of the week there were small groups (mini-flocks; about 4 birds each) of Northern Cardinals grouped by sex and buzzing about the garden.
The second below-ground wasp nest has now been found by raccoons/skunks and dug out. Forlorn wasps buzzed about the crater that was left for a few days but have now dispersed.
Where there are still occasional flowers, there are hive and bumble bees working away.
Looking out of the office window one day we saw something red on the front garden magnolia. This tree was planted about 19 years ago during our first summer here and has thrived really well with terrific floral displays for the past several years. It screens the front door from passers-by. Something red, though. What’s that? Turns out two of the flowers had been pollinated and we have a couple of beautiful seed pods … not a common happening and certainly not common this far north.
Lastly, in trying to improve the facilities for wildlife we brought home a non-winning giant pumpkin from the town’s garden at Fritz annual pumpkin contest and having taken a slice for a pie have lefty the bulk of it under a tree for the squirrels and raccoons and mice and skunks and their friends and relations to feast on. We know from previous years that this will be appreciated. This particular pumpkin weighed about 100lbs – the winner topped the scales at 180lbs.
Didn’t know raccoon were interested in underground wasp nests. I had several of these nests about 25 years ago, and they had never been preyed upon, at least by being dug out.
Have you been to MBO recently Richard? If so, did you noticed that the hawthorns between the H1 and H2 nets are flowering. Some trees are really lost about what season it is with all this strange temperatures we had in the last weeks.
BTW, I don’t read all of your posts, but whenever I do, I always learn something knew and admire nice pictures. Great work!
Thanks Christiane … it’s a record for ourselves as much as anything but lots of people seem to like it too. You are right about late flowers … this warm spell is playing havoc with the plants normal behaviour. As for the wasps, we had two underground nest this summer – left them alone they weren’t causing us any trouble and wasps are actually quite beneficial – one was dug out around late August and the other this last week or so. I understand that raccoons and/or skunks are almost certainly the culprits; all those fat and juicy grubs.