The Hummingbirds are back!

Not the greatest picture, but you get the idea. Handsome fellow.

Not the greatest picture, but you get the idea. Handsome fellow.

A Ruby-Throated Hummingbird surprised me in my garden this morning by whizzing over my left shoulder and stopping mid-air in front of my face. He gave me a good looking over – maybe to see if I’m the same human from last year, but I like to think he was saying “hello, I’m back!”.

He flew over to the fountain beside my door and had a long drink and good bath. It was an epic trip for the little guy. Welcome back!

Happy World Naked Gardening Day

No, seriously, it’s World Naked Gardening Day. I just love what HuffPo has to say about it:

If there ever was a day to plant your seed, it’s May 2.

Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 9.41.04 AMMother Nature must have a good sense of humour, because she decided to play along with some temperatures today that won’t cause damage to extremities. The blackflies haven’t started gnawing on flesh yet, and mosquito are still pupating – which sounds nastier than it is.

Props to Mother Nature. But I’m keeping my clothes on.

The bees are awake and they’re hungry

crocus-bees Today was the first really warm day we’ve had since October. It’s been a long winter, and my garden is as eager to reach for the sun as I am.

The crocus’ popped open today (sorry it’s such a lousy picture). I planted them all over the garden in the fall of 2013, hoping that they’d provide an early meal for pollinators. I was delighted to see that it worked – the purple crocus’ especially were crawling with excited wild honeybees and native bees and even flies. No bumblebees though. Not yet. The white crocus’ had a few visitors and the yellow ones were pretty much ignored. Interesting. I know that the colour purple attracts more pollinators – the ultraviolet in the petals stands out, making them easier to see. I wonder if there’s a flavour factor though. Maybe yellow crocus’ just don’t taste as good.

Spring is here. Hallelujah!

“Eat or be eaten”: Bird-eating deer

Deer by Craig Lewis via Wikimedia Commons

By Craig Lewis via Wikimedia Commons

Seriously. Bird-eating deer.

Apparently, deer will snack on nestlings and even on adult birds whenever they get the chance. What’s more, deer aren’t the only herbivores that occasionally supplement their diet with meat and poultry. Cows have been caught doing it too. The usual suspects such as weasel, fox, and other carnivores don’t seem to do half as much nest looting as the creatures we like to think of as either strictly prey or “steak-on-a-plate”.

It’s time to revisit that conversation between Bambi and Thumper:

Young Thumper: Those are birds.
Young Bambi: Bur… Bur!
Young Thumper: Look! He’s trying to talk with his mouth full.
Young Bambi: Bur!
Girl Bunny: He’s trying to say “bird”.
Young Thumper: Say “bird”.
[wiggles his nose]
Young Bambi: Bur.
[wiggles his nose]
Young Thumper: Bird.
Young Bambi: Bur!
Young Thumper: Spit out the feathers, Bambi, it’ll be easier to talk.
Other rabbits: Come on, say “bird”. Say “bird”!
Young Bambi: Bird! Delicious!

As one commenter wrote on this rather delightfully written article,

“the end is deer”.

Read: Field Cameras Catch Deer Eating Birds—Wait, Why Do Deer Eat Birds?