Thursday, January 13, 2011

Life in the Garden

There is only a little plant life left around the Path but the bird population has been as active as ever.  Keeping the feeders clean and filled is keeping me active outside and gives me a focus for the camera.

For some reason the cardinal pair are camera shy.  As soon as I step outside of the screened porch, camera in hand, they will fly away.  If I am working with the shovel or clippers, they ignore me.

They are so faithful to come by the garden many times throughout the day.  Shooting through the screen is challenging but  it is the only way to capture them in a photograph.

The titmice are much less concerned with my presence and my camera.  I just love when four or five of these will flutter through the sprinkler on a warm day.  Those days will be coming again soon.

In past years I have put out thistle socks with nyger seed to attract the goldfinches but have never had a one visit while I was looking.  This year, several have visited the regular feeders.  I have decided my new visitors must be winter visiting goldfinches because of their song.  I used this website to try to ID them.

Tiny carolina wrens love all the brown in the garden now.  They are finding lots of cover these days.  These small birds have the biggest voices.  I love hearing them sing their loud songs. 

I've cleaned and restocked the hummingbird feeders every three days but I haven't seen my little female ruby-throat that frequented the garden all summer and fall.  After the December freezes I've read reports of hummingbirds visiting feeders in other yards in my area so maybe she has moved.  I'm keeping the feeders clean and filled with sugar water in a 4:1 mixture just in case she or another  hummer should zoom by.

The plant life here at My Garden Path is challenged right now, but the wildlife I love to attract is still finding shelter, food and water and rewarding me with their presence. 


  1. Wonderful birds, NanaK! Reading this was a reminder to me that I need to take a morning off to try out bird photography with the new camera and tripod. We always have so many more birds in winter and spring than in summer. Your yellow bird doesn't seem to have the distinctive finch beak. My guess would be a pine warbler or a yellow warbler. I don't know, maybe it's the angle. We have both warblers and finches in our winter garden here at PITV. Thistle is definitely the best way to attract finches, but they usually feed in large groups at my mixed-seed feeders, in winter and spring only. I have never seen them any other time.

  2. I'm feeling a little sheepish now for forgetting to buy a new bird feeder! Oh well, the squirrels always tackle it to the ground anyways, and last time i tried it we got maggots and rotting seeds in a couple weeks of wet weather. Maybe I'll make it a winter thing. Anyhow, it seems like you have the same birds that frequent my backyard! Are you near pine woods by any chance? I especially love those fluffy little titmice. :)

  3. We've had the finches too.And we have had to keep the hummingbird feeder stocked.Yep-we've had them.I,too,love the song of the wrens.

  4. What a lovely display of fine feathered friends. They must know how much you care for them so they keep coming back. What a blessing!

  5. I enjoyed your bird pictures. I agree PITV that the yellow bird doesn't look like a finch. I need to put my feeders back up. I took them down because the raccoons kept getting into them.

  6. Love your bird photos! And I love your scripture! We have some cardinals that have claimed our yard as their own. One day there were four or five in the canes of my huge Climbing Maman Cochet. The neat thing is that it's right outside my kitchen window. I'll have to remember that they're skittish.

  7. Floridagirl - Oh yeah, you need to get some bird shots with that new camera! I concede the ID to your expertise as I certainly don't know birds. I do love watching them more now than I ever have so gradually I hope to become better at IDing them.

    RFG - I'm close to a river with lots of pines and oaks so we have quite a variety of birdlife in the area. Feeders, once the birds have gotten used to them being available, have become great entertainment here at the Path.

    ChrisC - Having birds (as well as butterflies, bees, lizards etc.) is one of the many joys of having a garden isn't it?

    Daisy - This time of year especially I appreciate these feathered friends. They keep some life going in the garden.

    Char - Thanks for your take on the ID of the yellow bird, I have been vacillating for days over what it really is. Someday I hope to get better at IDing those birds I rarely see and that have the annoying habit of changing plumage according to season:) Strategic placement and steel squirrel baffles have helped (some) in keeping other critters out of the birdseed but sometimes it is a losing battle.

    Sherry - Thanks for your kind comments on my blog. Having both a beautiful rose AND beautiful birds right outside your kitchen window must be wonderful. I have thick azaleas on the west side of the house where the cardinals have a nest. I can observe them through the window in what is now my "computer" room.

  8. Kay,
    Great photos and sweet flying friends here. I do love the bird feeders this time of year. Flurries of activity in and around all of them. The same ones you've listed here... simple and easy entertainment as I am at my kitchen sink or on the back porch. I've been thinking they are easier to 'see' flitting about these days with the garden being less lush.

    I wish I had the patience to just sit outside and wait for them to get used to seeing me with the camera like they are used to seeing me with my shovel or pruners in hand. If only I could carry both at the same time I'd get some good pictures of them.

    P.S. What is the vine on your arbor?

  9. The birds have really been busy at our feeders too and quite fiesty! I do believe it would be worth your effort to pick up those Paperwhites and plant them in your gardens abd see what happens.

  10. It is wonderful you have so many birds visiting your garden. That reminds me I really need to introduce some bird feeder into my garden, but lacking of trees in the backyard is a problem. hmmm...

  11. You have a nice variety of birds visiting your garden. We are not as lucky here in the city

  12. The wild birds totally add to the gestalt of your garden. You get a good selection of birds there that We don't see this far South.

  13. Hi NanaK...You did a great job getting photos of your birds. I have the same problem as you. I can see them from inside the house and the screen enclosure, but once I get outside they take off. :-( If I go outside now and sit quietly somewhere to wait for them...I dare say that I will find there is too much work to be done and I'll end up missing them. Enjoy your birds.

  14. Meems - I've tried sitting outside of the porch to catch the birds at the feeders, especially the hummingbird, but I would keep getting up to pull a weed or trim something and then.... It just never worked.

    That vine is a japanese honeysuckle.

    Darla - Just because of you I went back to Lowes and got a pot of paperwhites with spent blooms. Can't wait until next year!

    Ami - I love my feeders. They add so much life to the garden. Maybe the birds would feel more secure with a feeder in one of your flower beds with lots of plants around it for them to go to for safety. The trees just provide a place for the squirrels to jump from and scatter the seed everywhere!

    Rusty - Maybe it's Rosie that scares the birds away. Your garden looks so inviting I can't imagine you don't get lots of birds checking things out.

    sanddune - We've been getting more birds and different types since the garden has grown. I didn't even think that South Fl would have different birds than here in Central Fl. This state has so many different climates. Keeps things interesting.

    Susan - I know what you mean about not being able to sit quietly to wait for the birds ....

  15. Hi, Kay! I love your photos! Beautiful! I hope your hummingbirds return soon!

  16. aloha,

    beautiful captures on your visitors, there's alot of variety in your area.


Thank you for travelling down My Garden Path with me. I love hearing from you. Please leave a comment and share what is going on in your gardens.