Still have some things to do, but nothing urgent, so I hung out at the ponds for a while. This year is the first year that it's good habitat. First year of getting a notice from the city too. You think there's a connection? When I first started the habitat here I had a reluctant husband on board but now he likes having the habitat and is willing to fight to keep it, so it's good we're on the same page about that. Having said that, I'm leaning toward it being more of a forest of shade trees and partially shaded ponds, and he's more interested in it being covered with flowers. But as long as it's natural habitat, I can enjoy it. Flowers entail weeds, grasses taller than the city ordinance allows, and pollen that bothers my allergies. I never get rare butterflies here anyway, and feel the more shade over the water, the more variety of dragonflies. But I have my oasis down south so I'm good.
As soon as we leave the obligatory July 4th barbeque tomorrow I'm heading straight for CMO. Really getting anxious. I plan to start mouse-proofing the house, but we'll see. It's a dreaded job, but if I just do a little every day, it shouldn't be too bad.
Lately I've been photographing bumblebees, sort of to document what species are here. But I accidentally photograph a lot of bumblebee-mimicking robber flies. This one tricked me again today, so I looked up how to tell them apart. Robber Flies have beards, footpads, and two wings. So that would make this a robberfly. Got it!
Here's what I think is an Orchard Oriole foraging in a Red Hot Poker. That's about as close to a firecracker photo as you're going to see on my blog.
Soon there'll be lotuses blooming. They make an awesome display some years. (Eastern Amberwing by this bud.)
And if you've always wondered what the underside of an Eastern Amberwing looks like, wonder no more. This position is called obelisking and is done to regulate their body temperatures. Unlike humans, they don't house their brains in their heads. Apparently their control centers are in spinal ganglia or something.
The deer were eating the apples off the tree until we picked all the ones within their reach. They still eat those that fall on the ground though.
PS: I thought I had cleaned all eight pans yesterday but Hugh had taken these two outside and they got overlooked until today. Fun, fun! Actually, cleaning the pans is no worse than cleaning his usual baking dishes. It's the oven that's the killer because I have to get up and down on my knees repeatedly. He's given it some thought and he thinks he made a double recipe but forgot to double the flour. I've given it some thought too, but I won't tell you what I think.