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Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Midsummer Happenings

         It has been miserably hot of late, with the daily temperature routinely getting up into the thirties, not conducive to long walks, unfortunately. As a consequence this post will be a bit of a mixed bag of sightings around the backyard, in the house, and a few items from farther afield.
     Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus), the arch invader of the garden, is both a delight and a menace, and is extremely common. These creatures, whose life span seldom exceeds six to eight months, rarely one year, are susceptible to all manner of diseases, and harbour a full suite of endo and ecto parasites, and in addition face a formidable array of predators, both terrestrial and aerial.
     Cottontails contract a range of occular surface diseases, and this individual, a regular visitor, appears to have a cataract in one eye.


     It does not seem to have affected its ability to forage and even with one operative eye it unerringly finds the plants Miriam would least like it to chew upon.


     Woe betide it, however, when a cunning fox comes up on its blind side!
     For several years now we have raised butterflies inside the house, with an undiminished fascination for observing the transformation from egg to caterpillar, to chrysalis, and finally a beautiful butterfly.
     Here are two companions, both feeding on Rue (Ruta graveolens), safe from the elements, and more significantly from winged predators of many types. Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) is at the left, nose-to-nose, so to speak, with Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes) at the right.


     Miriam and I were outside looking at another half dozen caterpillars or so on the Rue, debating whether we should bring them into the safety of the house, all the while recognizing that these larvae are an important food source for birds and other insects. Our minds were made up for us, in short order, as several European Paper Wasps (Polistes dominula) swarmed the plant, and immobilized the caterpillars with their sting, and feasted on them.


     Most caterpillars do not survive, of course, and songbirds would be unable to raise their young without this spring flush of protein.



     Less desirable are Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar) caterpillars, which have appeared in profusion this year, and are capable of inflicting serious damage to a range of native deciduous trees.


     Foolishly, this species was deliberately introduced into North America in 1868-69 and threatens our forests. Many have found their way into our yard, where we destroy them.


     Their spiny body makes them unappealing to most birds and other potential enemies.
     A male Cabbage White (Pieris rapae) nectaring on Salvia is not threatening at all.




     There was a bumper crop of Paeonies (Paeoniceae) this year and Miriam brought the final few into the house. 


     Several juvenile American Robins (Turdus migratorius) have appeared in the backyard as they leave the nest, sometimes accompanied by an adult but more frequently alone as they embark on an independent life.
     It was apparent that one young bird was in trouble. It panted frequently, its wings drooped and it had a noticeable tremor. I do not know whether some form of pathogen affected this bird or whether it was carrying a lethal load of parasites, but it succumbed overnight and was found dead the next morning.


     It is always sad to see a young bird not live to fulfill its potential, but life in the wild is neither easy nor predictable.



     The Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) below seemed to be engaged in some kind of feather maintenance activity, either anting or soaking up UV rays.


     Our Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) has done exceptionally well this year, and provides a burst of colour at the front of the house.


      Despite its name, we have never seen a butterfly on it, although it does not lack for other pollinators.


     It is by any measure a beautiful plant and has fortunately escaped the attention of the rabbits.
     At SpruceHaven this year we have not been able to do any serious monitoring of the Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) as the Coronavirus put an end to team work and cooperative effort, but the colony appears to be prospering.



     Fairly early in their development the nestlings learn to orient their rear ends to excrete over the lip of the nest, so an easy way to know which nests have active young is to follow the piles of poop building up beneath them.


     Many species of butterfly are active now; witness this Tawny-edged Skipper (Polites themistocles) on Bird's Foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculata).


     Several Pearl Crescents (Phyciodes tharos) were flitting around; finally one came to rest and we were able to get a picture.


     This period has also been marked by upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 on a brand new computer. Nothing has the capacity to make me nervous more than computer issues and we owe a great debt of gratitude to Jeremy Faulkner of Nerds on Site for making the transition seamless and worry-free.
     We had always used Picasa for our photo editing and were very familiar with its ease of operation. It was at the apex of user-friendliness. However, it was discontinued some years ago and is no longer available for download, so on Jeremy's advice we switched to digiKam. After some initial consternation, and a great deal of perseverance from Miriam, we (insert "she") navigated our way through it, and are becoming more comfortable with repeated use.
     Adding a watermark to a photograph seems inordinately complicated, however, and we will eschew this feature for now. I am not quite sure why amateurs like us need a watermark anyway.

93 comments:

  1. Prachtige boeiende serie David, Dank je wel, ik hoor heel veel nieuws van je blog, erg leuk.
    Groet kees.

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  2. Butterflies in the house? Oh that would be awesome!

    Foreign diseases and species are invading everywhere. Bark beetles here in California have destroyed over 60 million pine/fir trees.

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  3. Nice tour if the backyard, David, although the wasps attacking the caterpillars was a bit sad because there will be fewer butterflies now. Hopefully you will show the progression of the ones you rescued. Also, sad about the rabbit and more so the baby robin. I did not feel any sorrow about the eradication of the gypsy moths which bring nothing good to the table. I too liked the simplicity of Picasa and kept using it way after it was no longer supported. It was already on my desktop, but when the latest Mac software update would only support 64 bit apps, it was no longer useable. I downloaded the free version of Photoscape X and really enjoy it. As for the watermark issue, you and Miriam are quite accomplished amateurs and it might protect having unscrupulous people from wanting to “borrow” an image.

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  4. It made me sad to read about the bird in trouble you found dead the next morning.

    Enjoy your new computer! I envy you for having made the decision. I work on a 12 year old desk computer . I'v got a laptop too, but I prefer the desktop.

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    1. I use my laptop only for power point presentations and use my PC for everything else.

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  5. Hello David!
    Great post and stunning pictures!
    Love all your yard visitors and especially the adorable rabbit!
    Miriam’s Paeonies are so preety! Thank you for sharing!
    Have a lovely week!
    Dimi...

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  6. I was on a Zoom conference with a group of Alzheimer Spouses and one of them who lives up your way mentioned the gypsy moth caterpillars and the destruction they are wreaking on the trees. Horrid things. But as you would tell me, all part of nature. The Butterfly Milkweed is absolutely gorgeous as are those last few peonies, one of my favourite flowers.

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    1. It is part of nature, Jo, except that here is a case where humans have introduced an organism that is alien to the environment here, not subject to the normal checks on its populations when found where it occurs naturally, and it causes untold damage.

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  7. Forgot, didn't know cottontails had such a short life span. Nor that they suffered from all the things you mentioned. Poor things.

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    1. The average litter is around six, and the average female will have three litters, and members of those litters reach sexual maturity at two to three months, and they too start to breed. If there was not appreciable mortality we would be overrun with rabbits and they would rapidly deplete their food resources (and that of others). You are no doubt familiar with what happened in Australia when an artificial introduction occurred free from normal restraints on population growth - and it continues to be a problem in some parts of that country.

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  8. Yes, the peonies are very beautiful. First we had the drought, and now it rains all time.
    Very cute rabbit, David. I guess it soon eats all of Miriams plants. I bought a new Salvia today, and they are very pretty plants. Many bees and butterflies loves them.

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  9. Hari OM
    I am working on my 10 year old laptop and Win7... and I dread, DREAD, I say, the day I may have to let it go...

    your yard provided us with much to digest - ta! YAM xx

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  10. This is a delightful post.
    Of course you have caterpillas safe and watch their metamorphisis with fascination. And a big sigh at introduced species. It rarely goes well.
    I am still resisting Windows 10, and dread the day I have to bite that particular bullet.
    Peonies are a bloom I cannot grow. My compliments to Miriam.

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  11. Interesting to see what is going on in your back yard. Miriam's peony arrangement is so beautiful in its simplicity. I like the touch of rue with it.

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    1. Miriam thanks you and awards you full marks for recognizing the Rue.

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  12. I have really enjoyed this post. Thanks to COVID, we have seen so much more of your house, garden and insects and plants 😊 I wish it would go away but it has had some advantages as well! Love that Pearl Crescent, very attractive butterfly. I have never heard of digiKam interesting.
    Take care and stay safe, Diane

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  13. A pleasure to read another one of your publications, so well related, with interesting anecdotes, stories, information and photos, from rabbits, insects, sick birds, pigeons sunbathing (I have seen many birds do that even on hot days) and swallow nests that remind me so much of the summer, so far away now with these cold weather that we are going through, at these moments from time to time I go to the stove, haha. Days will come with sun even if it was freezing, now it is very covered, I will have time to go out and enjoy nature

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  14. Butterflies in the house must be incredible to observe. Sad about the little bird passing away. The photos are beautiful and I enjoyed seeing those close ups. Nice post, David and thanks for sharing.

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  15. Lots going on in your garden, today you have shown the good, the bad and the ugly - nature has all sorts. Glad you have your computer sorted now and hope that all run smoothly for you. Short comment today, need to get to bed as I have a very early start tomorrow. Hugs to you both, Valerie

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  16. Preciosos acontecimientos de verano, me ha encantado el reportaje. Enhorabuena David, te deseo un feliz y fructífero verano. Un fuerte abrazo desde España.

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  17. A wonderful series of photos!
    Hope you are having a great week!

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  18. Such beauty n your back yard. Great post!

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  19. Whether due to the heat or the need for social distancing, you find outdoor wonders without going far. I am happy observing nearby nature too, but don’t get the good pictures you do! I appreciate as always your information sharing on the natural world and, in today’s post, the info on the non-natural namely Picasa. I still use it and every time I start to work on a post, I wonder if it will have disappeared. When I heard about it being discontinued I looked at some other options, but am still procrastinating...and it is still there. I’ll add your suggestion to my list of what to do if (make that when) I need a new computer.

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  20. Poor bunny. Nature is beautiful but designed with harsh realities of one creature surviving by vanquishing another. I like these close up shots of creatures … seems you have a great capacity to write and produce a pictorial about raising butterflies. I could see this being a children’s book especially.

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  21. digiKam, eh? I will look into it at once. Beautiful orange flowers!

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  22. I still have Windows 7 and Picassa. I'll go nuts when I have to switch to 10 and another program. Meanwhile, these photos, like always, are wonderful and I love the world you share. Sweet bunny -- I hope the fox doesn't get him. And I love those caterpillars. Terrific shots, all.

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    1. With Jeremy's help, the conversion from Windows 7 to Windows 10 went quite smoothly, but the photo editing is more likely to lead to hair pulling! Good luck with it when the moment comes!

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  23. Good evening David & Miriam! i enter with some fear here today... i come on tiptoe standing by the previous snake... Today everything is wonderful in that Miriam garden! I love peonies, butterflies and birds that are like fairies and angels to me but, you see, have no idea of their names and that bird of the Scottish painter, i don't know either, she did it like that... lol. Maybe she added a touch of fantasy.
    What a shame the eye of the rabbit and the other little bird, nature doesn´t forgive. Or maybe, yes, thinking better.
    Wishing you a pleasant summer night and you will get used to the new computer. Poco a poco, lo lograras! Buenas noches desde Argentina

    ___(\ /)...*•*•*....(\ /)
    ___( . .).•**•**•..(. . )...
    __o(")(")̴̡ *(¯`´¯)*(")(")O.._

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  24. Nature is beautiful in all it's forms.......
    Merle...........

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  25. That butterfly milkweed is gorgeous - new to me.

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  26. Butterflies so delicate.
    The orange blooms are a treat to see, always a brilliant colour in a flower/s.
    Paeonies are great, we haven't any here but they do grow well I believe.
    Watermarks I use as you know as so many times I've seen my photos from the past on some tourist site/brochures but these days I'm sent an email and gladly give them to tourism.

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    1. People are welcome to use my pictures if they wish, and I have had people ask in the past. If one is really concerned what does one do if the picture is used without permission? I know a woman who saw one of her pictures in an Australian travel brochure; she contacted the people involved but they declined to respond. Her only option was to sue them in Australia, expensive and impractical when two countries at opposite ends of the world are involved, so she just let it go. What else is she to do?

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  27. C'est vrai que les lapins ne vivent pas longtemps dans la nature mais c'est pour cela qu'ils se reproduisent vite.
    Dommage pour le petit oiseau, mais c'est comme ça...
    Les fleurs oranges sont très belles, je ne connaissais pas.
    Je vois que vous avez aussi de très beaux papillons.
    Les petites hirondelles sont jolies, je n'ai pas pu voir les bébés de celles sous mes fenêtres.
    Je ne mets jamais de filtre ou autres sur mes photos.
    Bonne journée

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  28. Hi David.

    I enjoyed watching your series.
    Beautiful caterpillars and butterflies.
    Pathetic the bird that can't make it.
    And hope the rabbit can keep it up for a long time.
    I recognize the change in the PC as long as everything remains the same, it goes reasonably well, but if something changes, oh my, I am really completely lost.
    As now with the conversion of the blog, I am still searching how everything should go.

    Greetings from Patricia.

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  29. Hi David … cottontails are ‘sweet’ aren’t they – but sadly a nuisance for many reasons. That cataract shows very clearly. Wonderful you’re ‘raising’ butterflies in safety … learning and watching their transformation. Other species depend on them too … as you’ve shown us … the gypsy moth gives us an allergic reaction I think.

    Those peonies are just wonderful … beautiful – love them … so gorgeous to have them in the garden. The milkweed must be delightful to have at the front of the house … a welcome greeting.

    Love the other photos of birds and beasties – pretty ones too … but well done on getting your computer upgraded etc … I fear I shall be doing something similar soon. The watermarks presumably are a device so that your/Miriam photos aren’t ‘pinched’ …

    Lovely update – thankyou … stay safe and here’s to more walking soon … Hilary

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  30. Hello David,
    Love the cute bunny, it is sad about the blind eye. Sweet Robin, Mourning Dove and adorable Barn Swallows. I still use Picasa, I did add it to my Windows 10. I would love to have some of the Butterfly Milkweed. The Gypsy Moths hit this area years ago and did a number on the trees in the near by watershed. Great series of photos! Have a great day!

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  31. I saw a fight between two wild rabbits. They raised their hind legs and hit their front legs. They looked like two boxers. This may be an explanation for the rabbit's eye.

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  32. Como siempre querido David, un precioso reportaje. Las flores de Miriam son muy bonitas. No pongo marcas de agua, pero sí que se han llevado muchas de mis fotografías... sientes un poco de rabia. Un abrazo y os espero por España para probar mis mermeladas y demás.

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  33. Un bello reportaje amigo David y como se suele decir casi sin salir de casa. Yo también acabo de estrenar Windows10 y ordenador nuevo, antes utilizaba un portátil ahora, es uno de torre con una gran pantalla, francamente la informática avanza a pasos de gigante, aún recuerdo los primeros ordenadores de cinta de casete y de diskette flexibles de 3/4 y trabajamos de forma rudimentaria en comparación a lo que existe hoy día, lo explicas a la gente joven y no lo llega a entender.
    Lo dicho querido amigo bello reportaje incluido las plantas, el Lotus corniculata es precioso.
    Un fuerte abrazo amigo y compadre David.

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    1. I remember those days too, Juan, not so long ago really. What seemed very sophisticated then is primitive by today's standards.

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  34. Hi David i found your post very interesting and loved that you and Miriam have butterflies in your home,i learnt quit alot reading your post about nature,thankyou for sharing your information with us and i love the flowers that Miriam put into a vase,stay safe and take care.

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  35. Your blog is such a joy to read, I may not have clear vision to see but your words bring the images to my imagination with our clarity, I thank you for that.

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  36. Where to start? Such a fascinating post. Of mammals, birds, insects and flowers. The Lymantria dispar may well become a serious problem in Finland too.
    About computers etc. I still use Picasa because I just didn't find anything I would like as much. I have downloaded it also to my latest computer... with the help of my son. :)
    As to watermarks, of course we amateurs need to use them as well. I could easily imagine people stealing your photos but the fact that you upload them small, surely protects them.
    Have you tried the Paint of Windows 10 for adding text to your photos?

    Thank you for your wonderful comment today!

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    1. I will take a look at Paint, Sara. There is probably a You Tube tutorial for it.

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  37. Gosh David, such a fabulous series of photos. It is a learning experience when I come here. Thank you so much!

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    1. Thanks so much, Denise. It is great to know that people learn from my blog.

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  38. Lots happening in your yard! I had no idea a rabbit's lifespan was so short! I am still clunking along with windows 7, I am afraid to go to 10!

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    1. We were too, Karen, but it has turned out to be not nearly as daunting as we thought it might be.

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  39. Hello David, that poor Florida cottontail. It seems just as Rabbits in our region are
    susceptible to diseases. I know of a colony of Rabbits not far from here where you can see sick rabbits and also that they are blind. So sad. Love the site with the House Martins! Nice to see you and Miriam are housing the caterpillars of a spectacular butterfly and can watch the whole proces of development. But also good you do not keep all species at home and leave most of it to develop outside or serve as a meal for birds and their ofspring. All in all an interesting blog of what is going on right at your doorstep.
    Regards,
    Roos

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  40. Replies
    1. I will look forward to your return visit, Judy.

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  41. Hello friend David,
    first of all, my escape for the late responses.
    It was also very windy in the Netherlands for a while and because of the corona I had to work a lot extra. Because of this I really didn't have the energy to sit behind the computer a lot.

    Also a lot of heat with you and that is different from ours. Your photos are great fun and you even captured the rabbit with its blind eye. beautiful caterpillars and butterflies. You actually had young red breasts in the garden. So nice say. Also swallows, lots of flowers and butterflies.
    A big kiss from the Netherlands xx

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  42. Delighted to hear that the switch from 7 to 10 was not too traumatic!

    An extremely impressive array of wildlife, once more, from your backyard, David. Sorry to hear about the demise of the young American Robin, however.

    It is also great to see that you are raising butterflies in the house. It's something that I used to do many years ago. As well as being something that's very interesting to observe, it's also a good conservation initiative too as the success rate is usually many times higher than it would be in the wild, where many of the caterpillars would get predated.

    That Butterfly Milkweed is very special and looks fabulous in a good-sized stand like that.
    tThat pile of Barn Swallow poop is also rather impressive! A pity thay you are not able to monitor them as closely as you would like to, but at least you have the assurance that all seems to be going well.

    On a final note - can we have some of your warm weather, please. I can't remember ever having had a July as cold as this, with the house central heating coming on almost on a daily basis for the past fortnight!

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    1. Today it is 33 degrees here, Richard. Let's assume that you have a cool 12 degrees. If we add the two together and divide by two we will have 22.5 degrees each - very pleasant for both of us!

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  43. Another refreshing post, David!

    A potpourri of photographic delight! Each of our explorations lately has been filled with butterfly and odonata activity. It certainly adds color to our adventures. Your milkweed certainly looks healthy! We are always excited to find it growing in the wild.

    Many of our resident birds are keeping a low profile as they raise new families and don't want to reveal nest locations. Water birds and raptors, having finished with nesting, are quite active so there are plenty of sights to behold beyond the front door.

    Stay well and best of luck with new computer programs and such. I would rather have a tooth extracted.

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    1. Root canal work is definitely preferable, but this time it has been remarkably trouble free. Fingers crossed!

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  44. David - unfortunately, I am familiar with rabbit diseases - they are quite common in the UK, and it is distressing to be walking through the countryside and come across a clearly ill rabbit.

    I am constantly waging war with non-natives, but in my case it is usually plants. The story is always the same: introduced from "somewhere" to be a groundcover.

    Love your milkweed!!!

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  45. It's hard to believe that the butterflies don't flock to the brilliantly coloured milkweed. How very special to watch the cycle of the butterfly in your home.

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  46. Hi David, poor rabbit, the the Barn Swallows photos are very beautiful. You have beautiful insects in your yard. Here it is 21 degrees at the moment, not very hot.

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  47. Hello David. It is too hot there, it seems like autumn this week.
    A lot of rain, which was also necessary.
    Beautiful series of photos of all these butterflies and other animals.
    Greetings Tinie

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  48. A wonderful series of photos!
    Poor rabbit!
    I no longer have a computer and on my laptop I have Windows 10.
    I do photo editing with Adobe Photoshop.
    Have a wonderful week ahead!

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  49. Great assortment of photos. It was sad to see the rabbit had a cataract. And it was sad to read the young robin died. Something seems to be eating a lot of the leaves in my yard, so now I'm wondering if it is gypsy moths / caterpillars. Or maybe it's because it has been unusually dry and hot here so far this season. I think I've only gone out to one place so far this year, to take photos, due to being cautious about covid-19.

    I took the plunge from Windows 7 to Windows 10 back in October 2019, before Windows 7 stopped being supported by Microsoft. I use GIMP to add a copyright to my photos and artwork. It also has an invisible watermark option. Both methods are done using scripts, that either come with GIMP or can be added on easily. And if you're interested in computer privacy, there are articles about settings to change on Windows 10. (I should probably add those links to my blog.)

    Also, I'm glad that you liked my classical music link included with my fawn photos. It's nice to find someone else who likes classical music. I have a tab/page with a mix of some of the songs that I like. (There are many more that I don't have listed yet.)

    https://annescreativecornucopia.blogspot.com/p/classical-music.html

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  50. I love your butterfly photos, David. I know one of them - it's a cabbage butterfly. He lays eggs on cabbage leaves, and the cabbage plant has no fruit. Poor bird, but as you say, wildlife is dangerous. Milkweed flowers are beautiful, look like a sunny carpet.
    Thanks to Myriam, you can work with the new Windows.

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  51. Me gusta lo variado de tu entrada David Mucha naturaleza ves aún sin salir de casa.
    Me encantan las mariposas.
    Mis fotos llevan una marca, ya tuve un problema con una. La persona se apropio de ella y tuve que demostrar que esra mía, aún así muy terca no lo reconició.
    Buen jueves. Cuidaros.
    Un abrazo.

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  52. What an amazing collection of flora and fauna.
    It's been terribly hot. Our A/C is dying, too. New one Monday.

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  53. Hi Both
    Glad to see your update from 7 to 10 went without a hitch and Miriam is mastering the programs. Another varied an interesting post, wonderful to be raising butterflies in the house again, hope to see more images of the Giant Swallowtails as they develop.
    Good to see the Barn Swallows appear to be doing so well.
    You both stay safe and well.
    John

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  54. love to read your explanation about wild life and see your beautiful photos....

    Have a wonderful day

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  55. Hi David,
    When the temperatures are rising too much during the daytime it is better to rise early. The profits are clear: the temperature is pleasant, it is quiet with only a very few people around. What else do you want during these corona times? Ok, rising early maybe the problem, not everybody is able to do that. As you noticed the nature around your house is bringing distraction enough. It is not always necessary to travel far.
    Greetings, Kees

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  56. what a nice post. I would spend hours looking at nature, my garden, the birds in my neighborhood. It is the best therapy for the mind. very nice photos and story. I'm new here, and I'm staying. I invite you to my blog too, kisses

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  57. I enjoyed the ramble around your yard and gardens. We have a contingent of bunnies in our yard at the moment, too. They have particular patches of grass that they especially like and will spend hours at dawn and dusk nibbling away. The orang butterfly weed is spectacular!

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  58. Buenas noches, amigo David, i wish you and family a good and pleasant weekend! 🎼🤗🎶🎵🍕🍓🍒

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  59. Hello David,
    Wonderful post and photos. I just love the butterfly milkweed. Enjoy your day, happy weekend. Thank you for linking up your post and for the comment.

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  60. What a wonderful post, David. I read it thoroughly just to confirm if any of your critters have shown up here in my neck of Ontario woods. And they have except for the gypsy moth...have yet to spy that one. We have a number of rabbits all the time...sad to think of their pitiful lifespans. It is the deer that feed on a particular hosta of mine. But I have many and they also regrow.

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  61. I always used Picasa too and sure do miss it. I was able to make mosaics on it every week too. I'll look for the other program you mentioned. Love seeing the young Robin and those cute barn swallows. Beautiful flowers too. Enjoy your weekend!

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  62. What a wonderful collection of images! That milkweed is stunning; lucky you, to have such a dramatic bloom. One of the most fascinating details I learned last year is how many caterpillars are needed to successfully raise certain species of baby birds. There was an "Oh, whoops!" experience at the Texas Medical Center recently. Because of huge flocks of grackles roosting in their trees, they put nets over the trees. Sure enough, the birds went elsewhere, but they had a 7,000% (that's right!) increase in the number of toxic asp caterpillars. Researchers at Rice University discovered that was going on, and told the Medical Center to stop messing with the balance of nature!

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  63. todays post is pretty much like life. Good and bad things turning table (I think you can say). It is sad to see young birds and animals suffer from illnesses. But that is how it is.

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  64. Enjoyed reading your post and seeing all your fantastic photos along with it. Might have to look up that photo editing software as I've just been using the basic windows 10 thing and it's not that great.

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  65. Poor little Robin! I like to sign my photos because once in a great while someone "buys" one of mine. Sometimes the only payment is a credit and a free copy of a book, but still, that's something.

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    1. On three occasions that I can remember Miriam and I have received requests to use our photos, as you say with a free copy of the book as payment, but each time they have requested that we not sign them, and credit is given either below the pictures, or in a list of photographers at the end. The internet birding programme, eBird, also prefers unsigned pictures.

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  66. hello David
    I have not yet observed this rabbit disease, but I will take a closer look if it gives me a chance.
    The butterflies are a nice splash of color and the milkweed is always happy to observe, what a color, impressive
    Regards Frank

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  67. Hello. Wonderful post. Photos are fantastic.
    Take care!

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  68. What a beautiful post David and Miriam!!I was so happy to see all the photoes and the swallow in the nest is soooooo cute a dahling!Also like the Wasp but not sure which kind of wasp so i have to google it.We have alot of that Big Hornet Wasp.Otherwise not so much ordinary wasp yet.Alot og bubblebeens but they ae very small this year..Poor little Rabbit!Iam so sorry for it,,could you help it in any way?Today i loved your post.So informative and so much beautiful photoes.About going to windows 10 (The app Windows I call it)You need to do it and i think you will be satisfyed with it..Everything changes..Before i used Photogallery to manage my things but it went away many years ago and do no longer exist.I dont use anything to my photoes.Only the photo creator which goes along with Windwos 10.It is ok.Wish you great luck and happiness with your new things,It is always a struggle in the beginning but then you can not live without it..Thank you for great comment at my place.Greetings to Miriam and You!

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  69. Beautiful nature images, thanks David and Miriam.

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  70. I'm really running late today, and busy with a home project. So, I'll just say thanks for linking in today at I'd Rather B Birdin. I'll come back to read more when time allows later this week! Stay safe.

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  71. Hello David,
    I reconized your Gipsy Moth immediately as the same we saw a number of in our garden some weeks ago. We don't often have caterpillars here (very small garden), so we were happy to see some. But now I read this kind is ruining your forests. Ai. Can't find any information it is doing any harm here.
    And yesterday I saw for the first time a wasp feasting on a bee. Nature isn't allways nice and beautiful.
    Enjoyed your post though. Nice the barn swallows are doing fine.

    Best regards, Corrie

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  72. 'Nature red in tooth and claw' - great post - lots of things to see in the garden.

    We have been lucky with Gang Gangs on our local walks in the last few days - something to lift the spirits!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne.

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  73. Goodness me!
    Such a full and fascinating post, which I enjoyed reading and seeing your photographs.

    Those peonies are just such lovely blooms.

    All the best Jan

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  74. We are the opposite weather wise here at the moment! I think we can miss things that are so close to home sometimes and there's always so much going on, though not all of it good as your post proves! The photo of the rabbit is fantastic and very interesting to see the eye so close up.

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