Inky Cap Fungi – Fairy parasols

Pleated Inkcap A small group of these tiny fungi appeared on the lawn this morning. I am suggesting Parasola plicatilis, the Pleated Inkcap, as the species because (a) it appears to have the necessary field features and (b) this is the commonest species of the Coprinoid (Inky Cap) group of fungi in this area. Having [...]

2018-09-19T10:22:36+00:00Wednesday, September 19, 2018|

Woodpecker eviction 

Nest-hole Renovations In the front garden there is a large, old and rather magnificent paper birch tree. In fact so magnificent it was a reason we chose to buy this house 20 years ago. The tree has three trunks, one of which has shown signs of rot for a while now and the top [...]

2018-09-16T11:52:50+00:00Friday, September 14, 2018|

Teenage Blue Jay has a bath

Teenagers are infamous for their aversion to bathing but tis was a particularly hot and humid early September day and this fellow and his sibling felt they really needed to cool off whatever ... Teenager?  Yes, he/she has most of the adult feathers but the neck and chest are still somewhat "fluffy". Also, at [...]

2018-09-03T15:53:03+00:00Monday, September 3, 2018|

Supping with Susie Spider

A couple of weeks ago we posted some detailed pictures here of Susie Spider. Susie is a huge black and yellow garden spider (Argiope aurantia) who spun a very fine web in one of the front garden borders and has been living and dining there ever since. To be honest, we expected some "eeeuhh, [...]

2018-09-02T11:07:26+00:00Wednesday, August 29, 2018|

Unusual Garden Birds #1

Passer terracottensis Impaled on metal spikes in the tomato patch, perhaps by larder stocking Shrikes, is a small flockette of Terracotta Sparrows protecting the eyes of unwary gardeners. EXIF data Copyright © All images are made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada (CC BY-NC-ND 2.5 CA) [...]

2018-08-26T11:15:07+00:00Sunday, August 26, 2018|

The Town’s Elephants

Elephants and a Redstart Mooching around the town one day this week we realised we were in the presence of a troop of well-trained and silent elephants watching us from over a garden fence. Hard to know if this was a deliberate effect created by the owner of the property, but it was striking [...]

2018-08-26T11:16:10+00:00Friday, August 24, 2018|

Morning light – autumn approaches

Summer is closing down from today ... Every year about this date in early August something happens to the morning light in the garden and the air is filled with the sound of Cicadas with their clockwork running down and of young Blue Jays being rude to each other. Summer is starting to put [...]

2018-08-10T16:29:49+00:00Friday, August 10, 2018|

“Stabilimentum” Weaver

Argiope aurantia - the Yellow Garden Spider Despite being the "common" garden spider in this part of the world Argiope aurantia is not necessarily the commonest spider in our gardens ... but when it does appear, what a beauty. This one of the orb web spider, which is to say the group of spiders that [...]

2018-08-09T14:44:21+00:00Monday, August 6, 2018|

Eastern Comma Butterfly

Polygonia comma - Eastern Comma Butterfly Appeared in the wildlife garden late afternoon and spent some time flying around the pool, settling here and there as it took the fancy. Several times alighted on the bark of a maple tree - see comment below about sap feeeding. Generally uncommon, the Eastern Comma is rarely [...]

2018-07-28T17:15:38+00:00Saturday, July 28, 2018|

Garden Splendours

Time for a short update to the wildlife garden notes … some recent observations: Firstly, after 20 years in the garden we have finally recorded the visit of a chipmunk that was, what else, investigating the ground under the bird feeders. Interestingly, a recent discussion on a town residents' Facebook group was about recent [...]

2018-08-09T14:46:59+00:00Friday, July 27, 2018|