Hickory and I saw a little movement in the plants, and really doubted that it was anything but the wind. Then, there it was again.
Have you humans ever tried to get a good look at these tiny butterflies?They’re about the size of my paw and hardly sit still. That’s a zinnia leaf it’s on, to give you an idea. Luckily, Hickory spotted the bright red band running across it, and that made the identification easy–it’s a red-banded hairstreak!
Keep up with your watering! Caterpillars are still munching away on your plants, like this monarch caterpillar. He might have gotten a bit lost in an azalea–likely looking for a place to hang his chrysalis–but you can see he just came from the milkweed leaves beyond.
At the start of summer we asked if you’d planted your monarch flowers yet? Meaning milkweeds…
They have been visiting the flowers in our neighborhood, but not the ones we thought they would! We suppose that like squirrels, the butterflies need to be opportunistic!
As you humans know, we squirrels climb trees and live in them. Chipmunks, which some humans see as just a smaller version of a squirrel, also climb trees.
Many a time, Hickory and I have been inching our way along the branch of a wild cherry or a mulberry to grab some ripe fruit, only to find a small–and lighter–chipmunk already there and chowing down.
What we don’t understand, is why chipmunks don’t seem to run up a tree to safety, like we do. Have you humans ever witnessed them climbing to safety, instead of trying to outrun a predator?
Miz Flora stopped to admire the purple salvia, then called us over to see the bees working the little tube flowers.
We have no idea if this is a bumble bee, or one of those lookalikes, but he was ‘busy as a bee’!
We have long admired the flowers our neighborhood humans have chosen to plant–with decided favoritism to native wildflowers!
Today, Hickory, Miz Flora and I leaped over to a new garden bed they put in this spring. Miz Flora though it was quite resourceful–though long-overdue–that they split their coneflowers and planted the splits in a new location, adding to the beds.
The plants don’t have the fullness of the original bed, but for only being in six weeks or so, they are doing well. Except…why are some of the flowers missing petals?
“Wait!” Hickory chitters. “I want to save that for mystery day.”
We squirrel-grappled with this–which meant lots of running around tree trunks–but finally I won out…mainly because Miz Flora spoke up!
The petals are being plucked off by finches as they eat the seeds on that side of the flower.
Miz Flora asked: “I want you to pose this question to our regular readers: Have you ever observed finches eat flower seeds while they are most definitely still green?”
We are confused, maybe because squirrels don’t eat green acorns.
One of our regular readers had a rare treat one of these sunny afternoons–a red fox napping in her sunny yard! We squirrels are just thankful it was over in her neighborhood, not ours! With the danger far from us, we thought our human readers would enjoy her photos.
The life of a predator! Thank you, Nancy!
We squirrels are leaping from dry branch to dry branch that we are finally out of the rain! Time to enjoy the sun!
But watch out for those streams that are filled to the brim!
Please send kind thoughts and protection to turtles today–well, we ask that you do that for all wildlife every day…but I’m sure you get the idea!
Here are some of our local residents:
Eastern Box Turtle
Eastern Painted Turtle
Common Snapping Turtle
Sometimes known as the Yellow Woolly Bear, this fuzzy caterpillar is striking with his furry spines. He is somewhat smaller than the black and orange woolly bear, but feeds on clover and grass so likely you’ve seen him at some point. After eating his fill and changing to the adult form, he’s known as the Virginia Tiger moth, a white moth that we don’t have a photo of, so here’s a resource at Butterflies and Moths of North America.