I don’t know much about dragonflies but I think they are very interesting, colorful and fun to watch. We have a small stream that they seem to patrol around looking for food. Dragonflies typically eat mosquitoes and other small insects. Thank goodness, with all the rain we have had lately we need them to eat all our mosquitoes!
Monthly Archives: July 2013
Caught On Camera
Walked out front this morning and heard a bird chirp nearby but wasn’t sure what it was. I saw a flash of yellow under the rose bush so I quickly ran to get my camera. As I slowly walked closer I spotted a Yellow-rumped Warbler. Warblers can be hard to spot, they tend to be happy on the lower branches and leaves out of sight. The Yellow-rumped Warbler is one of the most common warblers in the United States and has a huge breeding area. This one was stunning with beautiful bright yellow.
Here is South Carolina they are found all along the Appalachian mountains. They are noted for catching insect in flight.
As you can see in my picture the Yellow-rumped Warbler is blue-gray streaked with some black, white rings around the eye and a yellow spot on their head. They have a yellow rump, hence their name, with yellow spots on the sides of their breast and tucked under their wings. Their yellow color is very bright. I guess I startled her, I only got the one picture before he was gone in a flash.
Our bluebirds are still here and continue to eat the live mealworms. I’ve purchased a New mealworm feeder and will post more on this soon.
Wild Mountain Turkey
It rained heavy nearly all night and morning. The local weather channel said we got another 3/4 inch of rain. I wanted to go pull the SanDisk card out of my trail cam but it was raining to heavy. We’ve had over 14 inches of rain now in July. It finally stopped raining around 11:00 AM.
When I pulled the card I found a total of 199 pictures since the last time I pulled the SanDisk card. Alot of wild mountain turkey activity again, raccoons, possum and one black possum. This turkey picture was take by my Reconyx HC600 Hyperfire Trail Cam on July 24, 2013 at 4:08:06 PM, it was 77 degrees at the time of the picture.
Double Click Picture to Enlarge
Out of all the turkey pictures, this one is really good because it’s a close up. There were four close up pictures but this one was the closest.
I don’t hunt, I just like to see pictures of all the wildlife around us. This Reconys HC600 Hyperfire trail camera is great. It takes pictures when is senses motion, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Having a trail cam is alot of fun!
Another wild turkey picture post.
Eastern Box Turtles
We have a good many Eastern Box Turtles in our area. It seems like I have run across more this year with all the rain we have been having. It’s surprising that we have so many up on our mountain but they are there. I always thought they lived in just the bottom lands. We have several Springs and streams they seems to hang around since there are minnows and other food for them there. There are also alot of blackberry bushes around too.
Headed to the grocery store and I had not driven very far down our private drive where there was a pond turtle. I stopped and moved him out of the road. Since we have a pond near by I figured that was where he came from or was headed back too! He or she is the black turtle in the last picture.
Like watching birds? Need a bluebird house for a gift or for your garden, take a look at the bluebird houses I handmake and sell.
Black Cap Chickadees Eggs
While hiking around the mountain yesterday evening I found this Black Cap Chickadees nest with three eggs!
Check out my garden birdhouses!
My Japanese Iris
Two years ago I planted several Japanese iris that I had gotten locally from a guy in Saluda, North Carolina. The plants I had gotten were small but I was determined to give them the care they needed to grow and flower. Once you have seen Japanese iris flowers, you will remember them because they are beautiful!
The first picture upper left is Rosea, all the other pictures are Ocean Mist. My favorite is the Ocean Mist, it has grown more this year than the first year and seems to like it’s location. I will be diividing it this year so that I have more plants.
If you want to grow Japanese iris, I will tell you that they have special soil requirements. They like a slightly acid soil between 5.5 and 6.5. Rich, loose soil with organic matter, I add aged cow manure and compost. You can give them 12-12-12 fertilizer the second year. They are heavy feeders and require a lot of water.
They are worth all the extra effort, once they bloom you will know what I am talking about!
Wouldn’t you like to have a bluebird house for your garden!
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Bluebirds Eating Mealworms
Late yesterday afternoon the bluebirds finally found the mealworm feeder. There was alot of activity going on, they would fly to the feeder, get a few mealworms and then fly out to the woods or the male would fly into the birdhouse to feed his mate.
After getting up early this morning I cleaned out the mealworm feeder and added more mealworms. It wasn’t but about 10 minutes when the male bluebird and what looks like a few fledglings showed up hanging around and eating the mealworms. I took these pictures this morning, be sure to click the image to enlarge.
I believe these are the same bluebirds from a first cycle brood back in May. They have only been back for a few weeks now, built their nest and have been nesting for their second brood. There are three or four fledgling hanging around too.
The male was constantly flying from the mealworm feeder with mealworms to inside the birhouse to feed the female who is sitting on eggs. I want to peek inside the house to see how many eggs they have but don’t want to scare them. I did peek inside after they had been working on the nest for 3 days and know they have built a high nest.
The fledglings where going back and forth from the cast iron plant hanger and near by tree limbs to the mealworms when dad was in the birdhouse. This continued for about 15 minutes until the mealworms were gone.
If you like my bluebird house and would like one please contact me.
Copperhead Snakes are Poisonous
Snakes are fascinating to me but their beauty can fool you. There are a lot of venomous snakes all across the United States. Here is South Carolina there are more than ever. In the mountains of South Carolina we have a lot of mountain rattlers and copperhead snakes. I hardly run across the rattlers but always run across copperheads. It’s seems they are everywhere on our mountain.
On sunny days they can be found near the road or on the road sun bathing just like black snakes do. Since our private road doesn’t have much traffic they can leisurely do their thing on the road.
We also have a lot of water on the mountain, springs, creeks which are where you can also find the copperhead snakes hanging out.
This copperhead is huge, looks like he is every bit of 5 foot long going on 6 foot. They eat rodents, mice, frogs and insects. Looking at this copperhead, it looks like he has been eating well. When I spotted this snake he was crossing the road, got out of the car to take pictures. He got to the edge of the road and was soon camouflaged.
Copperhead snakes are pisonous and should not be handled. A Copperhead snake bite needs immediate medical attention, is extremely painful, can cause you extensive scarring and you can potentially loose a limb. Don’t take any chances with copperhead snakes!
It’s Bluebird Nesting Time Again!
The Bluebirds are back! We have already had our first cycle brood of bluebirds this year and our second cycle is going on right now. If you have a bluebird house or nesting box in your yard, you might have seen some action around it lately. I certainly have. The male bluebird has been busy bringing little sticks, pine needles, etc. to the nest for a day of so. He is bringing the nest material to the hole, goes in and out, sometimes waving his wings while perched on the box. The female is hanging around but is just monitoring everything. The female does all the nest building.
Typical nesting season for our Eastern Bluebirds in south Carolina can have up to 3 nesting cycles per year. Dates may vary a bit with weather conditions and their food availability.
I will generally clean out the old nest of all my boxes late fall early winter but before mid January. In February the bluebirds return and begin looking for a mate and a nesting site. The males checks out potential nesting sites and then will find a mate.
Between March and April they begin to build the nest. April to May is generally they have their first brood. June to July the second cycle begins. This is where we are now. In August there can be a third brood.
If you provide plenty of food, the bluebirds will continue to come back. The Eastern Blue Birds will eat mostly insects, wild fruit and berries. Sometimes they have been spotted capturing and eating salamanders, lizards and tree frogs. They love live mealworms but will also eat dried mealworms. If you have space for a mealworm feeder, they are sure to enjoy it. I have had a hard time getting them to my mealworm feeder. Went thru 1000 live mealworms and never saw them go to the feeder once. It’s discourging but I am determined to get them eating mealworms.
I have seen them many times on my black sunflower seed feeder with the yellow finches. Check out the Bluebirds Easting Mealworms.
Mountain Spring Water
Clean Water from our Mountain Spring – There just seems to be something magical about a mountain spring. We have a natural spring on the property producing pure water at a rate of between 50 to 60 gallons a minute during the rainy season and it can be only a trickle the dry months. The water comes from the side of the mountain from a crevice, probably from an aquifer that is over flowing. Filling up a bucket from this spring the water is pure and clean. The water is very cold.
I thought about installing a pipe from the hole when we have dry weather but decided to leave it alone. We have a creek nearby that might also come from this same aquifer.
Spring water can be the best water you can drink. Nature has the most advanced water filter in existence. Spring water usually contains a beneficial level of minerals. The spring is a gift from Mother Earth and it is free!
This mountain spring is really neat!
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