At the beginning of the week we became aware of the first of this summer’s Cicadas, all “sawing” away in the trees. Very much the sound of summer for us.

We are being visited by juvenile Purple Finches coming to the feeder quite regularly with their parents and by themselves. We had to move one of the feeders a few days ago – an adventurous squirrel had discovered that if he very carefully approached down a thin and whippy branchlet depending from a nearby maple tree he could, with a huge leap, get on top of a feeder and have free run of the seeds. Shouting, swearing and clapping of hands only brought us disdainful and reproachful stares and an irritated whipping of the tail so, move the feeder was the answer. It’s gone about ten feet which brings it closer to some dogwoods and the birds re-found it within just a very few minutes. If anything, having those dogwoods close by for shelter is bring even more more birds to the feast we think. The next day the squirrel – we know it was the same as his colour is distinctive and rusty – was seen hanging from the branch and looking very puzzled. He won’t starve.

Despite the cool and wet conditions this year’s tally (crop?) of Japanese beetles is already in excess of of last years at the same date … where do they all come from? We literally kill thousands so someone in the neighbourhood isn’t pulling their weight.

On Saturday the young Purple Finches were joined by a juvenile House Finch. Most of the birds in the garden are looking somewhat scruffy – the juveniles still have tufts of baby-fluff while the adults simply look care-worn. The rains don’t help. We are seeing no sign of the several Finch diseases thank goodness but we are making sure to regular wash and sterilise our feeders as there are so many birds using them.

Another sign that the season is trundling along this week is that we are hearing the steady thump, thump of pine cones dropping onto the sunroom roof from overhanging trees – assisted by the sharp teeth of our squirrels.

A diversion … I think we may have mentioned this before, but when not working on our own garden and not volunteering at the Garden at Fritz (community venture to grow fresh produce for local food banks) we are busy – very busy – working on the newly developed “Canada 150 Trail” in the nearby Morgan Arboretum and particularly working on developing the associated “Garden in the Forest” which has been planted with a selection of ten native fruit-bearing trees and shrubs that will provide food for wildlife from early summer right through to the winter. This is the first year, but the plants will start growing and filling out in the years to come until we have a dense and fruit-filled wildlife copse. You can see some pictures and learn more about it on one of the other pages hosted on this website – here’s the link:

Featured Images

Click to enlarge

Silver-spotted Skimmer (at the very northernmost limit of its range – in the garden)


Here are some pictures from the week … yet another layout scheme to play with and try out on you. A couple of readers had commented that the “tiled mosaic” we had used earlier in the year didn’t always work on phones and tablets (it did on ours, but apparently not on everyones’) so we have been using a rotating slideshow for the past while. A recent upgrade to the website theme we are using may have solved the problem … what you should see below is a grid of thumbnails – click on any image to open it and all the others in a gallery/lightbox. If it doesn’t work on your devices please let us know with details of the device and web browser you are using. Thanks.