From all of us at The Squirrel Nutwork, enjoy your walks and have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Folks, it’s been dry this fall. But this old squirrel, with his comfortable suburban life knowing which houses have a birdbath or backyard pond the humans keep filled, had no idea the local natural waterways were faring this poorly.
Yikes, that is low for our local pond.
We haven’t had a freeze–ha, far from it!–so the place was still abuzz with insects, like this male Autumn Meadowhawk.
Despite finding the pond in less than its best state, I’m happy I took the outing while our weather is balmy.
A reader found an Eastern Box Turtle in an unusual spot.
Nope, he’s not dead–look carefully to find his head poking out of the water. We think this fellow just needed to cool off. When you’re in the middle of a woodland, you use any puddle you can find!
Our thanks to Bill for sending us this unusual sighting.
Sometimes having water isn’t about a puddle, a stream, or a pond.
This here American Toad is an amphibian, and yes, they need that spring pool to lay eggs. But like plenty of other wildlife, toads can get the moisture they need if they can find the right shady spot, maybe tucked away in a shady corner where the leaves have gathered under your bushes.
Well, folks, it’s been a few years since this old squirrel has seen a good stand of Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinals. But I did this week.
Is that a pretty sight, or what? This of course, was down by the pond. Cardinal Flower is one of those plants that likes its feet–well, its roots–wet.
You humans like it for the red flowers, and so do the insects and hummingbirds. Makes it easy to spot. However, pretty much only the hummingbirds are successful at getting the nectar from a Cardinal flower–or any of the Lobelia family for that matter.
Might be hard for you to tell, but this type of flower is one Miz Flora calls ‘tubular.’ Among all those fancy bits of petal, is a backend that is so long that it takes a hummingbird tongue to reach the nectar. Some of the buds there at the top are a sample of that distance.
This is a mighty beautiful plant, so much so that it has been picked to the point of disappearing. Please, if not for your friend Ol’ Wally here but also for the hummingbirds, admire it with photos.
Were you out in the heat yesterday? We squirrels laid low here in our Virginia suburbs, and you should do the same…unless you are filling those bird baths!
Ol’ Wally here did leap over to the pond earlier this week and I am pleased to report a stand of Joe-pye weed has sprouted along the shore.
Now this isn’t a plant that needs to have its feet wet, but I’m sure it likes the moisture all the same. The flower heads stand about six feet tall and are about to bloom.
We’ll be checking them for butterflies soon!