HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!
We are officially half way through the year and into summer.
Ten years ago, on June 12, 2011, was the first time I saw a deer in our yard. I remember it well because it was the date our garden was on the St. Louis Garden Tour to benefit the Missouri Botanical Garden. We've seen deer every year since then, but their numbers have definitely gone up. This young buck already has a healthy rack of antlers, eleven points as best as I've been able to count. According to the Missouri Department of Conservation Events Calendar, deer antlers are among the fastest growing tissues found on any animal with fur. "At the peak of growth - which usually occurs from mid-June to mid-July - a buck may add an inch or more to its antlers in a single day." This is the earliest we've seen one with this large a rack!
Here are a few more videos, deer are active even during stormy weather. And, did you know Northern Cardinals will sing as early as 4:30 a.m.?
As you may imagine, the 'salad bar' has been busy 24 hours a day. The deterrent we have used in the past is not as effective this year. Oh, deer!
The inquisitive fawn is getting braver, but still staying close to the doe.
Here are a few views of the garden. The hydrangeas are in bloom, at least the ones that haven't been browsed on. The pickerel weed (Pontederia cordata) in the pond has been visited by bees, dragonflies and other tiny insects. This cliff goldenrod (Solidago drummondii) has taken a liking to the copper praying mantis.
Fruits are ripening. Blackhaw drupes (Viburnum prunifolium) won't be ready until September, but the Rough-leaf Dogwood (Cornus drummondii) should be ready in a few weeks, and the birds will be enjoying them soon. Robins have been high up in the black cherry trees, grabbing those.
Eastern Wood-Pewees have been coming in to catch insects on the fly. Their song is a perfect, lazy tune that always means summer to me.
A pair of Blue Jays took a break and visited the bubbler. Young American Robins are learning all about the joys of bathing.
This morning, a Barred Owl flew in and perched in the dogwood right near the deck. It was there at least 35 minutes before swooping down to catch prey. We had been wondering if the nesting crows have kept the owls out of the woodland. Now that the young crows are out and about with the adults, finally, the owls are coming back in. Hopefully, we'll learn if they had a successful nesting, too.
HAVE A SAFE AND ENJOYABLE WEEKEND!