Sunday, June 21, 2009


House Finch

We have recently put out a Thistle Feeder and have been enjoying seeing a variety of finches.

Rose Breasted Grosbeak

BREEDING: Deciduous forest, woodland, second growth. 1 or 2 broods. Mating system is monogamous.

DISPLAYS: Courtship: male sings in flight pursuit of female; male crouches, spreads and droops wings with tail spread and slightly elevated, retracts head with nape against back; male sings and waves head and body in erratic dance.

NEST: Loosely built of twigs, coarse plant material, lined with fine twigs, rootlets, hair. Cup shaped nest, 5-15 feet above the ground. Male may select site. Female builds nest with help from male.EGGS: 3-5 pale green, blue, or bluish-green, marked with browns, purples; usually wreathed or capped. 1.0" (25 mm).

CHICK DEVELOPMENT: Both sexes incubate. Incubation takes 13-14 days. Development is altricial (immobile, downless, eyes closed, fed). Young leave the nest after 9-12 days. Both sexes tend young.

DIET: Insects, seeds, fruit, buds. Including some flowers. Occasionally gleans from ground.

Eastern American Toad

They are common in gardens and agricultural fields. During daylight hours they seek cover beneath porches, under boardwalks, flat stones, boards, logs, wood piles, or other cover. They are easy to find and their gentle nature makes them good pets. When cold weather comes, these toads dig backwards and bury themselves in the dirt of their summer homes, or they may choose another site in which to hibernate

Black Rat Snake

The black rat snake can reach a length of eight feet, but is usually much smaller. Mating generally takes place in the spring, with 10-14 eggs laid in June or July. Eggs deposited beneath rocks or in manure piles, rotting vegetation, stumps or logs generally hatch in August and September.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cider in the Garden

Our resident deer, Cider, having a rest in the garden.


Enjoying a sunflower snack on a nice June day.

Spotted Turtle

June 14th: Today we were very excited to find a spotted turtle in the yard. Every June they come to our backyard to nest. Whenever we find a spotted turtle we take a picture of the plastron (underneath shell) for identification. This little lady was first observed nesting on our property in 2005. In 2006 I was lucky to actually observe her laying 3 eggs. They all hatched in late September. Spotted Turtles reach sexual maturity between 7 to 10 years, and they can live to reach 30 years!


June 14th - Chipmuck getting ready to eat some birdseed which had fallen into a planter.

Wet Raccoon

It seems like it's been raining everyday for weeks!! Here is one wet raccoon who came out for some corn one evening.