The 2008 Journal
Mainly it is about the wildlife whose existence around our home follows a somewhat predictable pattern from year to year but still manages to be full of surprises with no outcome guaranteed. Since the first sighting of Flying squirrels in 1993, we have been fascinated by the variety of the wildlife to be observed and studied right here on our half acre. I have chronicled some of that activity for the last few years in a number of different formats. This year the schema will be simply a page or multiple pages per month. Follow the adventure by selecting each month from the menu.
The August cast of backyard wildlife characters has changed little from the cast of July. Subtle changes are to be noted however as the eighth month gets underway.
The Ruby Throated Hummers are exhibiting their "This Land is Mine" mentality and chasing any intruder, to the ample supply of sugar water , with a vengeance. The Flying Squirrel numbers are remaining constant and the bird feeders are sometimes like Grand Central Station with the activity on and below.
The Cast pictured below
August 10- And now we are having perhaps the most pleasant weather of any August I can remember. A stretch of mid 80's for highs and lasting at least two weeks in a month that is usually like a hot steam bath in the Ohio Valley. In years past at this time of the year, it has seemed as if the flying squirrel numbers had begun to dwindle down to a precious few. Not so this year as last evening I was surprised at the highest number of FS visitors on the tree at the same time for this year. There were at least 10 there and I managed to catch a shot of at least 8 on the dark side of the tree.
And of course the hummers are still at it
August 14 and the wonderful weather continues and today a few much needed showers to compliment the awesome temperatures around here. For the last 15 years the same nightly routine continues at the Flying Squirrel feeder with no changes. Today in addition to the still shots I have included a video of some of the nightly activity.
Click here to see the video
Mid August and the summer live is abundant.
Here a Butterfly sitting vertically on the office window. Now today I learned something about these marvels. My first thought is that this specimen is a moth and then found several articles that present a very easy way to tell the difference. It seems that with butterflies the feelers or antenna all have rounded clubs at the end and the body has cleaner lines, where the moth body is more fuzzy and the antenna do no have the rounded ends.
This wasp had actually captivated all four hummingbird feeders and would drive off every hummer that came to feed. This went on a couple of days until I took some decisive action on behalf of the hummers.
And then almost all the players were happy.
Which brought a smile to this observant Flying Squirrel
August 24 - The unusually great August weather we have been blessed with here in the Ohio Valley has given way to normalcy. Hot dry days have returned and with that a most unusual occurrence for me at this location for the last 26 years. As previously reported on these 2008 pages, this was the first year in the last several that we had no successful nesting experiences to report on. And further from the Robin point of view , I had not even seen evidence of successful nesting -- Fledglings hopping around being seen after by a parent. And now in the heat of late August, I spotted a lone fledgling that could not have been out of the nest by more the a week or 10 days, sitting on a chair back on the patio. I saw no parent around and this little fellow seemed quite content to sit quietly as I snapped a few shots within only a couple of feet . It sat there for a while after I left, and checking a little later saw no sign of it. Now this is special to me because I had never seen here a Fledgling Robin so late in the year. Now as a visitor from Cincinnati last year reported a July nest underway, I am sure that this may be more widespread than I realized. Still I think how the menu must change from the early spring nest when there are ample supplies of earthworms just under the moist soil, and how that supply tends to dry up with the heat and semi draught of late summer. Lots of flying bugs though, and perhaps this diet change may explain why I snapped a picture of an adult Robin on the suet feeder earlier this month. That also is a very unusual occurrence.
And Finally to close out The August 2008 Page, a short video of the nightly Flying squirrel saga including the fly in by the first visitor for the night, and a few summer insects doing their thing.
Click on the picture below for the Flying Squirrel Video
See you in September
See you in September
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