Spring

Spring

Friday, June 12, 2015

Angel Number 600 Suggests That All Is Well In My World

This is my 600th blog post.  It is hard to believe I have written about that many topics.  When a friend encouraged me to do this and actually signed me up with Blogger, I couldn't think of one thing to write about.  I still struggle from time to time with subject matter, but then some little thing will spark an idea.  Some of the topics are of no interest to anyone and some topics spark a lot of conversation. 

I decided to look up the number 600 to see if it has any significance in the universe.  This is what I found.

Angel Number 600 suggests that all is well in your world.

And so for today, that is a true statement.  All is well in my world, or at least good enough.  My heart breaks for so many others who are struggling with tragedy and illness.  May they find peace.


Besides my family and friends being part of my wellness with the world, so are (of all things), our resident bluebirds.  Anyone who has read my stories will know about my struggle between the House Wren and the Eastern Bluebird.  Earlier this Spring I wrote about the thrill of seeing a pair of bluebirds inspecting the birdhouses.  Then later how they built a nest and the female laying five eggs.  I was so happy until I witnessed a house wren destroying three of the eggs by piercing them and throwing them to the ground.   Two of the eggs remained, but they never hatched.


I was sure that was going to be our only chance to have nesting bluebirds this summer.  I cleaned out the nest and the two unhatched eggs.  Within a few days, the pair of bluebirds were back.  Almost immediately they began making a new nest in the same house.

The bluebird collecting nesting material.

After the first egg appeared, we put on a new improved wren guard.  The old guard only partially covered the entrance hole.  I was under the assumption that the birds needed to see some of the hole.  We decided to extend the guard so none of the hole could be seen from the front, and then the house wren couldn't easily dive in and out.  With one egg in the nest, we figured the mama bluebird would figure out how to get in and out to protect the existing egg and hopefully lay more.



That was three weeks ago.  About a week ago  I checked the nest, there were five perfectly arranged eggs.  The parents have been very protective and yesterday I heard tiny tweets coming from the house.  The bluebirds have been in and out with food.  We decided it was time to take the wren guard off.  In the nest were newly hatched baby bluebirds.  As they grow the birds will have to be able to see the world outside and eventually leave the nest.  The wren guard worked this time.  Hopefully we will be successful again next summer.

2-3 day old Bluebird babies in the nest after the guard was removed.

We sat outside a while today just enjoying the day.

At one point we even had a visitor.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Cedar Waxwings

These early days of June are some of my favorite days.  The temperature is perfect in Wisconsin and there is a lot of wildlife activity to observe in our area.  I have posted some similar cedar waxwing photos on my Facebook page, but I also want to share them with my other readers.

One of my favorite times is when the Cedar Waxwings come in to eat the berries off our Serviceberry tree.  Serviceberry trees attract all kinds of birds.  Besides the cedar waxwings, the orioles and cardinals enjoy the berries. The waxwings love crab apples too, so keep an eye out.  Sometimes these beautiful birds come in large flocks to eat the dried up crab apples.

This Cedar Waxwing found a ripe serviceberry.  Notice the beautiful markings on this bird.

Serviceberries (also called June berries)  look like a blueberry.  Some say they taste a little like them too.  I have never tried them. The birds eat them before they are totally ripe.  I like the tree but it only looks nice for a short time.  The blossoms are pretty in the spring and the berries are nice, but by the middle of summer the leaves start to turn brown and they fall from the tree earlier than most of our trees.  I don't know if the tree does this in other locations.  The one in our yard seems to be very sensitive to heat and moisture, probably because of the sandy soil which doesn't hold moisture.





Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Painted Lady Butterflies

Some time in late April our daughter went to pick up our grandson from 4K.  They had a class project going on which looked like a lot of fun.  They wanted to try this project at home.  She got the information and placed an order from http://www.insectlore.com/.  In a short amount of time the package arrived.  It was a batch of small caterpillars.  These caterpillars came in a container containing food and a net called a live butterfly pavilion.  The caterpillars were quite small but grew very fast.

The caterpillars after a week or so.

It only took around ten days before the caterpillars began to form their chrysalis.

The beginning of the chrysalis process.

Here the chrysalis's are formed.  It only took 1 1/2 hours for the entire process.

After the chrysalis's are formed they are transferred to their pavilion home.  After they hatch into butterflies  they will be contained in the pavilion habitat until they are ready to be set free. 



After another ten days the hatching process began.  One by one the butterflies emerged.


When they all hatched, it was time to set them free.  They took the habitat outside and Ewan unzipped the netting.


The butterflies weren't that eager to leave.  Some spent time sitting on Ewan's finger and others sat in the trees and on the grass.




These butterflies are called Painted Lady butterflies.  The entire metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly only took about three weeks.  It was a great learning activity for the whole family.  Some of the butterflies stayed in the area for a few days, but then they were off to start their life cycle again.

A Painted Lady butterfly about to be set free.