It's the Longest Day - Summer Solstice 6-21-17

June 21, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Since the Winter Solstice six months ago, we have gained five hours and twenty-one minutes of daylight.

Enjoy this longest day! 

 

It has been rather eventful in surprising ways since the last post.  The first water lily bloom was opening when I fed the fish last Tuesday morning.  

 

First Water Lily 6-13-17First Water Lily 6-13-17

 

It was so hot and dry the next day that I finished early in the garden and came inside to do some chores.  I looked out the window about 3:00 and the water lilies looked like they had been pushed aside.  Curious, I checked the Pond Cam and I found this. 

 

Doe 6-14-17 2:30 pm

 

I had missed seeing the doe by minutes!  Since I had put a granular deer deterrent around the perimeter of the garden, the deer had not been feeding in there so much.  I also added bars of Irish Spring soap on stakes since they don't care for strong smells.  However, one of the bars had gotten chewed up, probably by a raccoon. It lasted like this for one more day, then disappeared.  Crazy!

 

  Irish Spring soap eaten by a raccoon?  6-16-17Irish Spring soap eaten by a raccoon? 6-16-17

 

Last Friday morning, my neighbor Peggy texted me about a discovery she found in a low spot in her yard with tall grass.  I went over with my camera.  It all made perfect sense now.

 

White-tailed Fawn 6-16-17White-tailed Fawn 6-16-17

 

Who can blame a mother for caring for her young?  The spotted fawns are too darned cute at this stage.  The truth is that the deer population is no longer naturally controlled.  Too many factors have upset that balance.  There are usually twins, but sometimes a doe will have just one.  

From there, I headed over to check on the Ruby-throated Hummingbird chicks.  It was pretty hot and breezy.  I had better luck getting video than stills.  I slowed down the mid-section to 25% speed to study the feeding process.  Amazing!

 

Ruby-throat Chicks 4 days old 6-16-17 (middle slowed to 1/4 speed)

 

The female feeds the young a regurgitated slurry of tiny insects and nectar.  Open a new page about it:  Ruby-throat

 

We finally got over an inch of rain and that cool-down.  I went back on Monday to check on the chicks again and they have grown.  Here are a few images.

 

6-19-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird chicks 7 days old6-19-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird chicks 7 days old 6-19-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird chicks 7 days old6-19-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird chicks 7 days old

6-19-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird chicks 7 days old6-19-17 Ruby-throated Hummingbird chicks 7 days old

 

To view all of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird nest and chicks photos, look at this gallery:  Ruby-throated Hummingbird Nest

 

On other fronts, the female Three-toed Box Turtle has been seen on different days.  Hello!  Here she was at my feet in the woodland as i went to fill the feeder.

 

Three-toed Box Turtle, female 6-12-17Three-toed Box Turtle, female 6-12-17

 

The Indian Pinks (Spigelia marilandica) were gorgeous the first week of June, they have pretty much finished now. 

 

Gardenman Spider on Indian Pink (Spigelia marilandica) 6-2-17Gardenman Spider on Indian Pink (Spigelia marilandica) 6-2-17

 

The aquatic milkweed (Asclepias perennis) is in bloom now in the stream bed of the large pond.  It spent the winter in that same spot. 

 

Aquatic Milkweed (Asclepias perennis) 6-18-17Aquatic Milkweed (Asclepias perennis) 6-18-17

 

A very fresh looking Great Spangled Fritillary was seen nectaring at Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea).  The common blue violet (Viola sororia) is its host plant and we leave patches of violets to feed their caterpillars so we can see these beauties.  Dr. Doug Tallamy, well known scientist and author of Bringing Nature Home, has said that these butterflies have all but disappeared in the Eastern part of the country because there are no longer any violets left for them or the 28 other species of butterflies that lay eggs on them.  

 

Great Spangled Fritillary 6-15-17Great Spangled Fritillary 6-15-17

 

Wishing you all birds, bees and butterflies this summer!

 


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