Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Nature Notes: Hot and drippy

The porcelain vine (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata) below represents how I feel, hot and dripping from the humidity.
It's actually cooler than it was. But going from highs in the 100s F to highs in the 90s F, along with continuing humidity, doesn't help me much.
Ordinarily my hydrangea blooms don't turn brown until winter but this year the heat burned most of the blooms. Below is one little blossom that retains its color. You can also see it at the bottom of the shot above.
My pecan tree is loaded with pecans.
I wonder how many I'll get and how many the squirrels will get.
Most of the echinaceas (coneflowers) have gone to seed but a few blooms are adding color to my yard.
In spite of the heat, my perennial grasses are doing well because there has been so much rain.
A bee is burrowing deep into the rose of sharon (hibiscus) bloom.
My crepe myrtle tree is reaching full bloom.
I've let so many volunteer trees grow in my back yard that they partially block the crepe myrtle but the blossoms peek through.
I could heard dozens of birds in the crepe myrtle so I shot blindly towards where I heard them. If you look closely in the shot below you should be able to spot part of several birds although they are partially hidden.
Next is a female cardinal that still has a touch of the darker color on its beak so you can tell it's one of this year's birds, nearly grown.
Next is an adult female cardinal enjoying a bath.
The American Robin below is fluffed out after a bath.
The next shot shows an American Robin on my deck swing.
They are light enough that the swing doesn't move much when they land.
The next female cardinal has shaken some water off but is still pretty wet.
The male rufous-sided towhee has taken a bath.
Wait a minute, he went back in for a longer bath.
The catbird looks thoroughly drenched.
Another catbird is debating a bath.
Another male rufous-sided towhee beats him to that bath.
By the time the catbird makes it into the bath most of the water is gone.
Next is another female cardinal whose beak hasn't quite changed to the adult color.
In contrast the female cardinal below has the adult beak color.


DeniseinVA said...

A wonderful post and so many pretty bird shots. I love all of your photos, and now I know what a pecan tree looks like now. I love pecans. One of Gregg's aunts has a pecan orchard and occasionally she sends us a big bag of them.

EG CameraGirl said...

I continue to be amazed at how many great photos you get right out your bedroom window!

A Colorful World said...

Oh, I have never seen anything quite like that porcelain vine! How lovely! The photos are wonderful! Love the hibiscus particularly...and your cute "bathing beauties!"

Rambling Woods said...

I have thought of you on our hot and humid days which are only in the upper 80's or low 90's..this is awful and I can't help but wonder how many birds you save with your bird baths..send the rain our way..we really really need it...Michelle

Dianne said...

birds bathing is one of the most joyful sights there is
thanks for giving them a place to cool off and have fun :)

Reader Wil said...

Beautiful series of photos!
Thanks for your comment! I am back after a delay of 26 hours due to a typhoon in Hong Kong. We spent one night sleeping on the floor of the waiting area of the airport and one day talking to fellow passengers. Now I am going to have my mail sorted out.

Libby said...

Hi Carver! That first shot is just AMAZING! The pink and blue berries together on the same plant look so unusual.

And, as always, I get SUCH a kick out of the bird bath birds :)

Laura said...

beautiful berries at the top of the page, so colorful!

SandyCarlson said...

Coolness will come! That porcelain vine is new to me and very lovely.

Thanks for this great sequence of images.

NatureFootstep said...

love the fist shot with the colorful berries. And the birdshots of course :)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

There is so much I love about this post...your bathing birds as always. And I love that shot of the volunteer tree with the birds hiding -- it's like one of those hidden object puzzles. I have never heard of a porcelain vine and even if it is dripping, it is absolutely beautiful.

I think I've told you before how much I loved crepe myrtle when we were in your area (doesn't grow where we live. The stage your hydrangea is in compared to here really points out the regional differences in our big country...they just recently reached full bloom here.