Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Wildlife in the Garden

I've been stalking the backyard with my macro lens again.

Caught this butterfly over the weekend. It was frantically fluttering from flower to flower, so I set my shutter speed as fast as it would go and hoped for the best. Not too terribly bad!
I spent some more time with the bees too. It's a little surreal, you can sit right in the flowers and all you hear is a low, steady hum. They completely ignore me. I was always a little scared of the idea of having bee hives, but after watching how these act for the last few weeks and realizing how non-aggressive they are when they're busy, I'm more intrigued about small scale bee keeping
We have had TONS of birds around too. I'm very happy about this. I know it's going to be a rough year with garden pests and birds are one of the best ways to keep the bugs, particularly the grasshoppers, under control. Our chickens will help out with that when they're older, but for now, I'll welcome the birds. Last week, we had at least 50 robins hanging out in the backyard picking at the ground. I caught this one on the fence in the middle of fluffing up its feathers

To round out the post, I caught this guy on our plum tree. I wasn't sure what it was when I took the picture, but a few days later I checked out a book from the library about pest control and came across a picture of these. I'm pretty sure it's a hover fly and they eat aphids. The same book specifically named broccoli as a good plant to let go to flower to attract beneficial insects to your garden, so the TONS of broccoli flowers we've left in the garden will hopefully be helpful for us. Yay for good bugs!
I'm loving the weather we're having and the chance to get out and pay attention to the small things that are so easy to miss!

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