Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Nature Notes: Hot summer days

The cardinal below trying to beat the heat with a dip in the bird bath cracked me up. Looks like she's having a bad hair day but considering what my hair looks like after a swim I'm not one to speak.I always like to see signs of the next season far in advance of its arrival. The pecans below won't be ready until fall (autumn) but they are already beginning to show up in the tree.Another signal of the next season are the green dogwood berries. I think they usually turn red around October and I never paid that much attention to them at their green stage before.
More and more blackberries are ripening and ending up both in my mouth as well as in the birds hungry beaks.I never tire of the purple cone flowers (echinacea). They are at so many stages throughout my garden.
I have taken echinacea supplements to fend off colds but I've never tried to harvest my plants.
I've read that the root extracts are the part that have the most medicinal benefit although something certainly seemed to enjoy the petals on the flower above.
Bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and even american goldfinch like to feast on the coneflower center.
I think I like the newly forming coneflowers about as much as I like the more colorful stages.
I've enjoyed photographing the grass seeds and plumes and there are often visitors like the one below.
If you look through the grass plumes there is a rose lurking in the middle of the shot below. That rose bush over time is in an increasingly shady part of the garden but the roses haven't gotten the memo that they aren't supposed to thrive in shade. So far they are doing just fine.The grass below is a weed and I guess I should pull it up before the seeds are viable but I thought it looked pretty interesting in a macro shot. Also, the birds will probably enjoy the seeds so I may let it be like everything else.I was pleased to see some cleome is coming up this year. I used to have it all over the place and it sets its seeds, returning in the spring and summer. However, one of our droughts seemed to eliminate all the cleome so I was please to see that some of the seeds must have stayed viable for a couple of years returning after all the rain we had this year. I'm pretty sure I didn't have any last year so that's the only explanation I can come up with.I don't know the name of the yellow wildflower below but I think it's pretty.
Please visit the home of Nature Notes if you have some nature notes to share and to find other participants.


Cezar and Léia said...

Magnificent series of nature pictures!Glad to see this perfect hot weather there and all colours and flowers smiling for life!Fabulous post!
God bless you
Léia :)

Leora said...

Pecans on a tree! That's wonderful.

Groundhog and/or deer have eaten up my backyard, including the echinacea. I'm thinking of buying one of these:
Smart Solar Solar Mole & Gopher Chaser
(someone recommended it to us)

Our raspberries are doing fine, no animals have devoured those.

Lori said...

Great shots...Happy WW and thanks for stopping by:)

Gemma Wiseman said...

What an interesting variety of photos! Just beautiful!

Daryl said...

Wonderful all..but that little bird and its expression is my fav

Viola said...

Wonderful Echinea and so fun to see the bird having a bath. Me as well have a bath tube for the birds,on the balcony, just previously.. therefore just a bath tube, which previously was an ice box ;) The birds need not only food, but water as well these hot days! :)

NatureFootstep said...

great images you hae here. And the bird bathing is fun. Sure looks like a bad hair day. :)

Ayie said...

lovely photos, i like seeing plants and all those things. the bird was so serious with his dip =)

amanda said...

Carver lovely post. You butterfly friend is a Buckeye and you unknown flower look to be a member of the poppy family where do you live? And your Cardinal friend had way more than a bad hair day a bad face day...... LOL!

Dawn Fine said...

Thanks for the lovely tour around your garden area...
Nice shots!

MaR said...

You cracked me up with your comments about your first shot, it's such a cute picture!!
I have never seen pecans on a tree! what a great sight and - again - what a fantastic eye to capture the wonders in your garden.

Bird said...

Gorgeous selection of flower photos - and wow, I'd LOVE to see pecans on the tree! Before I grew it long my hair wasn't that different to the cardinals :)

Rambling Woods said...

What a great Nature Notes post. I love the cardinal, she does look like she needs a good hair dryer..I also love all the plants. I will have to go look at the dogwood to see if there are green berries as I have never paid any attention. That is what I love about this meme. It makes me want to go out and see new and different things...Michelle