Filed under: birds, Farm, fish, house, pond, water garden, Wildlife | Tags: animals, barn swallow, farm, garden, goldfish, Koi, plants, pond, raccoon, raspberries, robins, wildlife
We’ve had a few animal visitors lately, some we want and some we’d rather had stayed away.
I was delighted to see this frog sitting on a lilly pad two days ago. I had lots of frogs in the pond early this spring, but very few since.
My mom had been harvesting about two quarts of raspberries until the robins found them. Now every time she approaches the garden a dozen or more fly off. They don’t even let the berries get ripe, but eat them just before they are ready.
I heard a splash in my koi pond two nights ago when I went to look at it before going to bed. In the morning a few pots had been dug in, but not much to worry about. This morning my goldfish pond looked like this.
Water lilly’s had been torn up and hyacinth and water lettuce were upside down. Worst of all, four 10 year old goldfish are missing. I suspect a raccoon, but have no evidence to prove it. With my sweet corn about ready for harvest, I hope I am wrong.
Some barn swallows built a nest on a roof bracket over the kitchen window. Although I like barn swallows since they eat insects, what they do to the side of the house has my bride upset. The word is out, they need to move soon!
I really do want animal visitors, but sometimes i wish they would not be so messy.
Filed under: birds, Farm, Ice, Minnesota, rain, snow, weather, Wildlife, wind, winter | Tags: ash tree, colorado spruce, farm, Minnesota, mouse track, rain, snow, trees, wildlife, wind, winter
Scenes such as this where snow is perched on top of ice-covered branches are really rare.
Trees such as this young birch that were flexible enough to bend but not break will weather the ice quite well.
This Colorado Spruce has lost its top and had its other branches are pushed down. It will now be at a disadvantage in its search for sunlight.
Not all branches broke off cleanly. This branch was twisted as it broke and is still hung up in the tree. Since it is well above the reach of any of my equipment, I will have to do some creative thinking to get this branch out.
Many trees are still bent over from the weight of the ice and could break yet, as the top of this ash tree already has.
It is not only trees that have been put under stress. The birds also are looking for food since most need seeds and tree buds to make it through the winter. Ice covered trees and grasses are now locked away from them in most areas and they are congregating in areas the ice did not get to as can be seen by these tracks left by a flock of Juncos.
Also in evidence in the new snow were these mouse track which were only a few feet from the Koi pond. It shows that my cats have not eliminated all mice from the area.
If the wind can stay away for a while, we are expecting some warm weather in a few days and many of these trees and grasses will be relieved of their extra weight. Some damage may not show yet and could result in breaking branches later in the year as new leaves are forming. Looks like I’ll have a bit of cleaning up to do when the weather improves.
Filed under: birds, cold, Minnesota, snow, weather, Wildlife, wind | Tags: farm, junco, juncos, Minnesota, mountain ash, trees, weather, wind
Our little mountain ash tree was festooned with juncos. It looked like they were there as decoration.
I would liked to have had a better angle on the tree so the photo’s background would have been better, but to step outside to take the picture would have meant that they all would have flown away.
Yes, we have about 2 inches of snow on the ground now. It’s the light fluffy stuff that will blow away with the first wind. It means that our little bird friends will have a harder time getting to food. I’m glad I had the bird feeders up already. The cold is not excessive yet, but when the wind blows it is really cold!
Filed under: birds, garden, Minnesota, pond, rain, water garden, Wildlife | Tags: birds, deer, farm, frogs, Minnesota, rain, screen porch, summer, weather, wildlife
Our pond is under siege by an invasion of frogs. It’s not unusual to see three or four, but this afternoon we had 11 that I could count and there had to be more hiding in the plants at ponds edge. That tells me I did something right.
Here’s some more.
There are six frogs hiding in the picture above.
The weather has been dry lately with not even a dust settler for this month. This morning we had a thunderstorm roll through and it didn’t even leave a tenth of an inch.
Our ponds also has drawn deer for a drink. I’ve not seen them at the pond, but have found them leaving when I step out in the morning. With the only open water source in some distance we are drawing quite a few birds also. It sure can make dinner in the screen porch an interesting time.
Our not so friendly Kingbird is back.
Last year we had a Kingbird decide that he did not like the windows on the south side of our house. Day after day he would attack the window. Then as weather cooled he left. We came home from our family reunion in Colorado to find him back at it. Beak first, right into the window. When will he stop.
There he is, right above the flash reflection, at it again.
Filed under: birds, Farm, frost, Minnesota, rain, snow, spring, weather, Wildlife, wind | Tags: cold, farm, geese, Minnesota, rain, snow, spring, weather, wildlife, wind
With the cold of the last few days the ducks and geese have paused their northward migration to take advantage of flooded fields in our area. Although the rivers are open, many lakes are still ice covered so going further north is not going to work too well. Gleaning spilled grain from farm fields will help them get some energy to complete their flight.
Our local geese have claimed their nesting spots, although there is still ice around them in the ponds and lakes, and rivers are at forcing the geese further away from normal riverbanks. Two days ago when the winds were so gusty out of the north some of the geese were having a tough time holding their spots on the ice as they were pushed down wind.
All rivers are well out of their banks, although the cold has allowed for a slowdown in the surge. Some were predicting historically high water levels, but the lack of frost in farm fields this year means that most water is sinking in rather than running off. A few bridges have reappeared, but that could change when the warm weather returns. Mother Nature is still in control.
Filed under: birds, Farm, Minnesota, Wildlife | Tags: birds, farm, Minnesota, wildlife
Such a terrible name for such a little bird, the Tyrant Flycatchers. The Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus Tyrannus) came to my attention this summer with its insistence that my south facing windows were the enemy. They are daily attacking the upper part of two of my windows to the point I would think the bird would knock itself out.
This is not unusual activity for a bird known to be fearless in attacking other birds near its nest. They will attack anything they see as a threat. I will see them hovering just out of the window setting up the attack. Then they will repeatedly attack, beak first into the glass.
Since the Kingbird is an eater of flying insects, I want them around. The fact that they will also pluck a few berries from my bushes as they fly by is not a problem. They can have the berries if they will just leave the windows alone. There they go again, peck, peck, peck, they are intent on getting those windows to leave.
Oh well, some neighbors are just not satisfied until you leave.