Starting on a (not unexpected) down note, the beginning of this week was marked by the appearance – and ceremonial execution – of the first lily beetle of the season. Several more turned up during the week and all have been despatched without ceremony. J has a large collection of assorted lilies that just draw these guys in from who knows where.

Tuesday was not a garden day consisting, as it did, of the 24+ hours of continuous and heavy rain. Originally forecast to be around 3cm it ended up close to six. As it ended hungry birds descended on our feeders (yes, the rain had been that heavy) but none so abjectly soggy as a Hairy Woodpecker that seemed to have been swimming – he looked, as the picture shows, not just wet but discoloured as if he had been bathing in tea from which we deduced that although he may have had a nice hole to shelter in it was flooded and wood tannins did their worst. We saw him the next day and he was dried out and seemingly OK though his tail and primary feathers were quite worn and brown, though the wear had nothing to do with the rain..

We still have regular Purple Finches – they must be nesting nearby to still be in the area. Similarly, a Red-breasted Nuthatch is being seen more so perhaps he, too, has a nearby nest. Thursday saw a visit by an Eastern Wood-Pewee that sat on the main feeder looking about it for quite some time.

Elsewhere, flowers are popping up all over. The viburnum bushes are covered in huge blossoms, as is the pagoda dogwood. There are still some flowers on the regular dogwoods and the elder tree now has unripe fruits all over. Peonies are in bud and will soon burst forth while there is a bright red rose by the front door.

It must be said that while we manage this small garden for wildlife, not all wildlife is equally welcome. R was drawn to an old cotoneaster bush  a couple of days ago as there was a large “something” working the tiny flowers – close inspection revealed it as a large, thumb-sized bald-faced hornet. Actually a handsome insect and it wasn’t bothered by the approaching camera but they are highly territorial around their nests so we are hoping that wherever that might be located, it is not within our boundaries. By the way, although commonly called hornets, these insects are actually wasps. A bit of a misnomer.

So all in all, early June is here and boskiness abounds. Things are looking good.

Not all wildlife gardening is done in our own garden. This summer we are at work in the not too distant Morgan Arboretum working on the creation of a new walking trail and, especially, creating a Garden in the Forest.

The Garden in the Forest is still a work in progress, but is intended as a newly planted copse in a clearing in the arboretum that has been planted with eight different native species of fruit-bearing trees and bushes that will provide a variety of  berries from early summer through into winter.

If this interests you, have a look at the status update in a parallel journal we keep on the web –

Maybe those of you will larger plots of land might find some ideas there for your own wildlife gardens?

Now, the weekly photographs.

Quite a few this time. Sit back and watch the rolling slideshow or  click any one of the thumbnails to see a picture in a gallery at full size.

Featured Images

Hairy Woodpecker in the rain

Eastern Wood Pewee