7.21.2011

Catching Up

Lest you think I have fallen off the edge of the earth (or more likely, into the swamp), I figured I'd better blow the dust off this blog and at least post a few pictures.

It has been hazy, hot, and humid with very little rain this summer. I have touched paddle to water only once or twice and have done next to no hiking on my days off. The end result is that I have very few pictures to share. Most of my time outdoors at work has been leading groups -- not the best circumstances under which to take photos! Strolls about the yard have offered up a few things to share, however, so here you go...

Seems the hummers have finally located us here at the "new" house. We aren't getting the numbers we got at the old house, but we've seen a steady increase over the past three summers here. To date this season we have fed 65 pounds of sugar.

Given the dryness of the spring and summer, frogs have been hard to find. This Cope's Gray Treefrog put in an appearance after one of our infrequent showers. Here at the house, the gray treefrogs are the predominant species.


Male velvet ants are abundant this year but I don't think they're having much luck getting lucky. Normally we see loads of females and just a few males. This year the opposite has been true.

Pest insects have been present in large numbers. Stink bugs, leaf-footed bugs, squash borers, and Japanese beetles have all been making themselves at home in the garden. The good thing is that wheelbugs are present, too. It's nice to have allies in the war against garden pests ;)


We have several hazelnut trees on our property. We have no idea how they got here, but we are doing our best to make them happy. Of course, we have to fight the squirrels for the nuts when they get ripe. The crop looks okay this year so far...

That's about all I have to share right now. If it's summer where you are, take care and stay cool.

9 comments:

KaHolly said...

First of all, that header!! WOW!! I can't believe the number of hummers at that feeder!! My hummingbirds chase each other off and only feed one at a time!! Great post. Love those velvet ants. Keep cool. I'll try to send you some rain. ~karen

Woodswalker said...

Glad to have you back! Who else would show us such fascinating critters as that Wheel Bug and that Velvet Ant? Your dragonfly header is might impressive, too.

swamp4me said...

Karen, we will gladly take some of your rain. We'll even be willing to send you a little heat in exchange ;)

woodswalker, I have been enjoying all of your posts lately. You have some mighty nice flowers up your way!

Floridacracker said...

Wow, those hummers. I remember being amazed at your hummer numbers in the past too.
Great dragon shot!

swamp4me said...

FC,
We have 5 feeders up and are getting around 30 hummers on a regular basis. At the old house we had about twice that. We are slowly adding an assortment of native flowers to attract them and I expect as we continue to landscape our hummer numbers will increase.

biobabbler said...

Adorable froggie and fabulous bug pics. Velvet ants are SO gorgeous, and I'm fascinated by that wheel bug. I've never seen one. Man, it's a killer, eh? Is it me, or is the wheel bug holding its victim right over a hole in the leaf that said victim may have caused?

Susan Rose said...

I love the big "blue dasher" photo that's heading your blog... and the froggy is adorable.

Marie said...

I love velvet ants and miss seeing them now that I love up north.

I have to say, I love your blog and photos. They make me homesick for the south.

Where you live is a very beautiful area, as I can see from your photos, and it makes me want to visit!

Thank you!

swamp4me said...

marie,
Welcome. I'm glad you enjoy the blog. I popped over to one of your blogs and I must say, I was very impressed by your "sad" cake :)