Friday, March 27, 2009

Okay, Nan! A Word About Wildlife!

In response to Nan Ondra's Meme of Critters in the Garden at Gardening Gone Wild, I have to say that my husband and I live in a prime area for wildlife as well. We're located in a hardwood woodland area in SE Iowa. The deer run rampant and the fox below was one of my first visitors after I began blogging. This photo was taken in the roadway ditch, but he (or she) has been in my backyard and the ravine A Lot! I hear the crazy sounds early every Spring. We've also seen a litter of babies almost every year. One day last Winter, I spied her in our backyard. Her fur was the most beautiful shade of red!

I found this tiny frog in the grass
and this little one sitting on the handrail by a deck post.
I'm almost positive this toad is the one I have to carry out of the garage almost every other day during the summer!
A Monarch Caterpillar on the asclepsia Butterfly Milkweed.
A Giant Swallowtail on the nepata catmint.Anglewing, Question Mark? in the leaves.
Anglewings, (opened-wing) Comma on an Oak tree.
Alongside ladybugs and green bottle flies.

Red Admiral butterfly wants in on the action, too!

I think this is a Spicebush Swallowtail.
It's found something tasty here, even if it IS
on a disgusting looking hummingbird feeder!

Now you can see the Question Mark's identification.
Notice the silvery mark on its bottom wing. :-)
Of course, hummingbird feeders should be used for hummingbirds!
We see only the Ruby-throated variety.
I hate to make you look at a Winter photo,
but this is the best I can do for photos of birds!
(One aggressive flicker on the saucer/tray.)
How could a garden fare without spiders?
or snakes?
This is just a little guy. Compare him to the size
of my rake tines. (There's a leaf stuck to his side.)
He was small, but he was feisty.

We see many, many birds! It is so much fun.
I put out several types of food at birdfeeders.

The photo below is not mine. I took it from a site entitled However, if you click on the photo you will be able to hear the sounds I've been hearing these past few nights!
It's wild!
But it's also wonderful. :-)
The Barred Owl's normal query is
"Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?"

Providing a home and/or food for the variety of animals in this world is as important as it is interesting. I've so enjoyed reading the posts of other gardeners that take delight in all aspects of their outdoor environment! We are truly blessed if and when we find ourselves being caretakers of even the smallest piece of this world. For it is cumulative. And it is good.

And definitely not "shady!" ;-)


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Wow SG you have lots of wildlife in your garden. I love the fact that you have to take the toad out of your garage daily. There must be a way he can get inside. There also must be bugs in there that he finds irresistable to risk being caught daily. Or maybe he just likes to hang out with you. I would like to. :) A fun post.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I love how you write about hummers that you see "only the ruby-throated ones. I'd love to see a single one. How lucky you are to have frequent visits from a fox. They are so cute and such a help to the gardener. Your photo of the owl is awesome!

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Froggies!!! Love all the other critters, too, and especially the spiderweb photo!

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Lisa, Come on over! :-)

MMD, We are very fortunate! The hummers are a lot of fun, and believe it or not, the deer usually head down the ravine to the neighbors'! lol ;-)

Monica, Yep, froggies! ;-) Glad you stopped in!

Northern Shade said...

It's very satisfying when wildlife enlivens the garden. Plus, you know that your garden is providing a good habitat for nature. What a lovely assortment of butterflies (and corresponding caterpillars) there are enjoying your plants. The toads and snakes will be great help in getting rid of some pests too, although the snake doesn't appear to like the competition in patrolling the grass.

Shady Gardener said...

Northern Shade, Thanks for stopping. I need to start a folder of "animals" so they're available when I need them! ;-) How are your weather conditions up there? We just received 2-3" of snow. I'm sure it won't last long. Hope "everyone" is alright out there under that new cover!

Phoenix C. said...

How lucky you are to have all this wildlife. What fun to have a toad in your garage!

We have hedgehogs during the warmer weather, and I love to watch them out of the window at night, scurrying around.

Shady Gardener said...

Phoenix C., And I would Really enjoy watching hedgehogs!! Thanks for your visit today!

Sue said...

I enjoyed reading about the wildlife that share their home with you.

Bob said...

I love all the critters in my yard too. We even have owls who perch in the large fir trees in the back portion of my garden. Fortunately no deer, yet.

great pictures, thanks for sharing them.

Frances said...

Hi Shady, what a place you have! It is a veritable wildlife refuge. I adore hearing the sound of owls, even if we cannot see them. I think we have barn owls across the street in my city neighborhood. City being a relative term as we are still sparsely populated with plenty of woodlands. The Question Mark on the hummer feeder is a wonderful shot, as they all are.

Nan Ondra said...

Hey, thanks for the post, Shady! I'm glad you could join us again this month. I really appreciate that you and other well-informed bloggers are labeling your butterfly photos. I know a few basic ones, but I've been learning to recognize many more this month.

Gail said...

Shady, Wonderful wildlife...You've started your post with a favorite animal. Foxes make me think of a cross of clever cat and good looking dog! I wish they could visit here. ..and ended it with a favorite bird...we have owls in our tallest trees...we here them who, whoo, whooing late at night! Love the butterflies, caterpillars, toads and hummers, too! Just a marvelous post!


Shady Gardener said...

Hi Sue, Thanks for stopping to read my Wildlife Post. ;-)

Bob, The critters are an integral part of the whole scheme of things. I love the owls, although sometimes they wake me up at night! ha.

Thanks Frances, Nan and Gail for the nice comments and compliments.
Sometimes it's as much to see who visits as to create a post! :-)

Kathleen said...

Wow Shady Gardener ~ lots and lots of creatures find your garden attractive. That's a very good thing, isn't it? I see some of those same thing but not nearly all. Great post. I have a big toad that makes the rounds on my property too. It's kind of fun to see where he'll pop up next. The garage, not so much tho!

Shady Gardener said...

Kathleen, Perhaps we share the same toad??? ha! I have to laugh about him. I really did find him scampering into and around the garage quite often. However, perhaps I have more than one? I carried "him" out to the back yard a few times, and placed him under a broken flowerpot. Who knows? ha!

catmint said...

yes shady - I feel so delighted when I have the opportunity to co-exist with wildlife, unfortunately there's not so much here. There may be more than meets my eye because I am very short sighted. But I absolutely love looking at yours.Cheers, catmint.

Anonymous said...

You have a nice variety of wildlife. Spring is so great, there is almost an explosion of life in the yard. I don't think I have ever seen a butterfly at the hummingbird feeder before. Great shot.

Shady Gardener said...

catmint, Sometimes the wildlife hides. :-) Do you post what might wander into your yard??

Chad and Brandy, Isn't it wonderful? A compliment from you is highly prized!! :-)