Bees, Birds, Butterfly and a Toad

I have been watching for migrating birds in the yard.  The trouble is, it is hard to get good pictures of them.  Still I am entertained and enjoy observing and learning.  After a busy day of gardening it is fun to get out the camera and take a closer look at what is visiting the flowers.  So here are a few creatures I saw this week.

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Bombylius major – bee-fly.  This little brown bee-fly with a long proboscis is enjoying nectar from the strawberry flower.  It is a fly that is a bee mimic.  No stinging involved here.  The wings were flying very rapidly so it could hover above this flower.

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I have some pink strawberry flowers, too.  It looks like a lot of strawberries are coming soon!

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I can never remember the exact name of these blue bulbs, here visited by what looks like a mini-bumble bee.  It was hard to focus on both the flower and the bee, so I took a lot of shots.

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Here the same blue flowers are below the birdbath where a male goldfinch is coming for a quick drink.  There have been quite a few goldfinches in the neighborhood.

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I think this is a white-crowned sparrow.  If I have this wrong let me know.  They are not in my book of birds of Chicago, so I think this guy is just migrating through.

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Often from the kitchen window it is hard to know what I am seeing across the yard.  Is this still the white-crowned sparrow, a palm warbler or something else?

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Or this slightly blurry bird snacking in the chinquapin oak tree.  Is this a palm warbler migrating through, or something else?  My camera was focusing on the beautiful oak leaves and catkins hanging down.

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A red admiral butterfly has a great camouflage with closed wings.

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Red admiral butterfly

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Back in a weedy part of the garden a toad hopped to get out of my way and try to blend into the surroundings.  I am so happy to have toads in the yard.

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We enjoy our chinquapin oak tree so much, as do the birds.  Our laundry poles keep me from getting a very good shot of it, but once warm weather comes the laundry can dry so quickly outside.

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I planted garlic for the first time and it seems to be doing well.

Seeds Sprouted:  All the bush cucumber seeds sprouted so maybe I will try making pickles this year.  The wax beans are sprouting and I saw two zinnias emerge.  The lettuce needs to be thinned and nibbled on.

Sightings:  We saw quite a few large bull frogs at Lake Katherine today, and could hear them, too.

4 thoughts on “Bees, Birds, Butterfly and a Toad

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