A hawk decided to visit our pond today – I wasn’t home, but a neighbor alerted The Spouse, who took some pictures.
Apparently, it wasn’t hunting, but rather looking for a bath in the pond.
Any birdwatchers out there able to ID this from these photos?
Goldfish (and water hyacinth) seen from underwater:
The front-yard rain garden is still pretty sparse, as one might expect for a first-year bed of perennials. However, the nodding onion (Allium cernuum) and sweet black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia subtomentosa) are putting on a small late summer show.
We have confirmed that both our tadpoles have turned into frogs, but it’s still unclear to me whether they are bullfrogs or green frogs. So far, their only observed activities are sitting on rocks and lily pads, and jumping into the pond when we get close. No croaking, bug eating, or other entertaining activities have yet been demonstrated.
The great blue lobelia is in bloom, and so the bees have been visiting us (they also seem to like the nodding onion, but not as much). But isn’t this picture the essence of summer?
The rain I’ve been hoping for – a nice steady rain to make up for the dryness of the past month – fell yesterday. Unfortunately, that was also our pond tour day. So, instead of spending the day in the backyard, we set up camp on our big covered front porch, escorting the occasional umbrella-laden group to the pond. Everything looked pretty good except for the Annabelle hydrangeas, which were pretty droopy from the rain (and from my inadequate pruning job in late winter – something that I will endeavor to learn from). We received a bunch of compliments, and perhaps even some excess goldfish from other ponders. It ended up being a good but exhausting day.
Besides the garden getting a good drink, the rain brought another benefit: one of our tadpoles is now a frog! The tadpoles were purported to be from leopard frogs, but it seems like this one might be a green frog instead.
We’ve been seeing something jump from our “beach” into the water when we walk by, but we never actually saw it stationary before yesterday morning.
The hydrangeas — oakleaf & Annabelle — are in full bloom now, and the bees just love the Annabelle blossoms that have reverted to the wild type. The oakleafs are the bees’ second choice, and the regular Annabelle blooms are practically ignored. Does anyone know what kind of bee this is? Gloria?
There are lots of berries in the garden now. Solomon’s plume (Smilacina racemosa – above), red baneberry (Actaea rubra), and Caroline raspberry are all ripening. Unfortunately, there aren’t many berries on the blackhaw viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium) or Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum biflorum), although the latter may be due to someone making a meal of them before they ripen.
I was so worried about the mapleleaf viburnum (Viburnum acerifolium) after it got nibbled down to nothing over the winter. It’s sprung back quite admirably.
The Blue Cushion lavender is in bloom now and it smells wonderful. I planted two other Blue Cushion plants this spring, and they’re blooming too, albeit not as prolifically.
I’m still in the dark about whether I inadvertently planted an invasive bittersweet, but that’s not the only thing going on these days.
The wild hyacinth (Camassia scilloides) that I got last fall from Prairie Moon nursery is blooming! It’s not as showy as the garden hyacinth that bloomed in early spring, but it’s still an awfully pretty native for the rain garden.
The mapleleaf viburnum is making a valiant effort to rebound from being nibbled to death over the winter. I might still keep my eyes open for another plant to put next to it since mapleleaf viburnum does tend towards suckers and shrubbiness, but I’m so glad it survived.
Thanks to a sick day, I was able to see the indigo bunting visiting the pond again and snap a photo without having a windowpane in the way. I sure hope it’s nesting in the neighborhood.
This indigo bunting stopped by to take a bath while I was using the sprinkler to refill the pond. I saw one just about this time a year ago, so perhaps this is a regular stop on its migration route. This shot was from the 2nd floor through the windowpane.