Friday, June 28, 2013

Through my lens today !

What a great addition to our farm!!  This wild rabbit is only a couple of weeks old.... What a cutie !!

The Iris is a perennial that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.  It comes in many colors, shapes and sizes and is named after a Greek goddess.  The purple iris is symbolic of wisdom and compliments.

Dandelions look like a nasty old weed but they are full of Vitamins A, B, C and D.  The leaves are used to make tea and can add flavor to sandwiches and salads.  Did you ever hear of dandelion wine?  The dandelion flowers are used to make wine.

The Canadian Tiger Swallowtail -  This species of butterfly is the only member of the worldwide swallowtail family to live this far north.

This little fox was curled up, sleeping on the side of the road.  As we drove closer, our headlights startled her and she quickly stood up....It was almost dark, so I cranked up my camera ISO and managed to get this cute ''posed'' image of her!!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Great Blue Heron

This Great Blue Heron gracefully landed by our pond with great anticipation of catching a goldfish or two for supper.  They are here often and compete with the bald eagles and fish hawks for a meal.  Herons, like most of our birds, are legally protected by the Migratory Birds Convention Act and Regulations.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tree Swallows

The male and female look a lot alike except the female may be a little more greenish

We have been observing this pair of Tree Swallows since they arrived!! They are using the  birdhouse right beside our bedroom window !!  They didn't have too far to go to get their materials.  We watched them go back and forth to the chicken/duck houses gathering hay and feathers.  They also found time to play. They were dropping the feathers and re-catching them in flight!  The nest is complete now and courting begins!!

Mating Tree Swallows

We are going to have babies !!!!!!!!

Incubation: lasts 14 - 15 days.  It starts the day next to the last egg that is laid.  The female often sticks her head out of the hole and looks like a little orca.
(Like in this photo of her below)
She is so adorable.. I think she saw her reflection in my lens !! (click photos to enlarge <3)
I have learned that: adult Tree Swallows consume 2000 insects and feed 6000 insects to their young over a 45 day nesting period. That means that each nestbox family consumes more than 300,000 insects.  WOW!! That's a lot of flies and here in the back country,  I say ''welcome little feathered friends"

We expect the babies to hatch the week of the 24th.. Hopefully, we can capture some mealtime photos and share them with you!!

 Quote:::: It is almost as if they live to fly, rather than, as most birds, fly to live.
- Robert R. Cohen, Sialia, 1984

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Hummingbird Rescue

Female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

WOW, our first sleep-over with a hummingbird!! It all started with our neighbor calling us to say she had a hummer on the ground and it needed to be gently nurtured back to health.  When I arrived a few moments later, a little gift box was handed over to me.... When I slowly lifted the lid, I saw this feathered sweetie, eyes closed on a pink and white cloth struggling to breathe....Her life was now in our hands!!
Eyes are closed and she is weak
We came home and I quickly made up a little sugar and water and got the syringe out.  I introduced it to her and a few moments later, she started to respond.. I held the dropper right on the edge of her beak and fed her every 10 min for about 2 hours.... (that was amazing!!!!)
She is starting to respond
We decided, since it was getting dark and she was not ready to be released, she would spend the night.... In between feedings, we rigged up a vacant 10 gal aquarium with some soft bedding and some dried branches.... We also took in the window bird feeder and placed it inside her house, hoping that she would be self-feeding by morning!!

Hummers house for the night
She is resting better and snuggled down for the night
  These next set of pictures are taken through the glass
of the aquarium and will look a bit cloudy ~~

She is thankful for the soft bed!!
Nestled down for the night!!
The next morning...............
5:30 a.m. she is practicing her flying skills
Soft landing <3
Looking strong and having lots of movement
Filling her belly and getting ready for the outdoors!!
We decided that this little feathered friend was ready to explore her life once more!!  Once outside, she glanced at us for a second as if to simply say ''thank you'', then flew to the nearby birch tree to get her bearings.... Then, in the blink of an eye, she was gone!!  It was a magical moment to have the opportunity to care for such a tiny little being.... Maybe someday she will return to say hi.... She will always be welcome here <3

Friday, June 7, 2013

Hermit Crab

While beach-combing, we found this little Hermit Crab who was in the process of abandoning his shell to make home for himself in a larger one or going back into safe hiding when he made eye contact with us!  Either way, he was interesting to watch!!

Hermit Crabs are crustaceans and very social animals that can live 10 years or more.  Some have lived up to 30-70 years!!  They molt several times throughout their lives and grow up to six inches in length. They are a lot of fun to watch as they climb and explore with their habitat mates.  They can make great pets for a classroom as they are low maintenance, non-aggressive and hypoallergenic.  They are also known to make wonderful family pets!