Little Visitors

The green season—our happy time—has begun. Yesterday was sunny and warm enough for us to wear t-shirts as we worked in the yard. We had tea on the patio, and we will do this every nice day until it gets too cold, probably until the end of September.

We have lots of little visitors in the backyard, and I always bring out my wee camera when we have our tea.

There are the will-o’-the- wisp hummingbirds. (I’ll keep trying for a clearer picture. Unfortunately, the light is always low during tea time.)

Since we live on the edge of the woods, we have lots of woodpeckers. I believe this one is a hairy, but birding friends, please correct me if I’m wrong. After all, how else will I learn? (My other challenge is distinguishing the house finch from the purple finch. Oh, the challenges I face.)

The flash of red of the male cardinal still delights me, and his melodious song is just as enchanting. As I have mentioned in previous posts, cardinals are a relative newcomer to Maine. My mother died eleven years ago, and she never saw one in our backyard. How thrilled Mom would have been to see them here, and I wish she had live long enough to enjoy their beauty.

Because we feed the birds, rodents abound, and as long they stay outside, I don’t have a problem with them. I must admit that I have a soft spot for chipmunks, who stuff their cheeks with seeds and other good things to eat—hence the term chipmunk cheeks for anyone who has puffy cheeks. Chipmunks are a sweet, little rodent, and they never try to come inside.

The same cannot be said for red squirrels. A kindly person might call them saucy. A more critical person might mutter about their noisy, fractious ways. I seen these little animals drive away the larger gray squirrels from the feeder. Ditto for crows and blue jays. Red squirrels don’t hold back. When Clif and I are on the patio, they frequently scold us for being in their territory.

But it’s not all fun and games on the patio. Here is another visitor that’s not quite as welcome as the others I’ve featured.

After the cool, wet spring we’ve had, these biters are out in force. However, thanks to Facebook friends, we have recently discovered All Terrain Herbal Armor Natural Insect Repellent. Readers, not only is DEET-free, but it actually works. All right, you will smell like a citronella candle, but that sure beats the chemical smell of DEET. After I sprayed Herbal Armor on my arm, I watched the mosquitoes fly toward my bare arm then veer away. (The above picture was taken before I used Herbal Armor.)

So take that mosquitoes, and welcome, beautiful June. With its low humidity and warm but not hot days, June is the perfect month.

if I had superpowers, I would trade in miserable March for an extra June.

But, I don’t. This means I’ll have to squeeze every bit of pleasure out of this wonderful month.

 

 

49 thoughts on “Little Visitors”

  1. Yup, looks like a hairy, if it’s robin-sized. 🙂 We have them too, plus the smaller downies (sparrow-sized). They love the suet feeder.

  2. That’s weird that the red squirrels are bullies and chase everything away because, in the U.K. at least, the grey squirrels have ousted the reds.
    I love a natural product that works and I also love to smell like a citronella candle so I’ve ordered a bottle of Herbal Armor even though they’ve spelt ‘armour’ wrong 🤣

  3. Michael and I have already been to the town beach three times. This is the first day there have been other families! Enjoy your lovely yard and all your visitors, great and small.

  4. I have cardinals galore, and from the comings and goings to my balcony to fetch peanuts, I’d say someone is feeding babies. As for mosquitos, our salt marsh mosquitoes are just the worst. They bite day and night, and will rise in great clouds out of the grasses to send even the toughest outdoorsmen running for cover.

    I’ve taken to using Sawyer’s permethrin. It comes in a lotion, a spray, and a solution you can use to spray down shirts, jeans, socks, and such. After I’ve sprayed my clothes, I let them dry for a day, and then don my protection. The sprayed clothes are good for a few washings, and it really works — not only against mosquitoes, but also against ticks and chiggers.

    1. I will be checking out Sawyer’s permethrin. Thanks for the recommendation. We live inland and therefore aren’t bothered with salt march mosquitoes. However, those biters are out in force by the coast, and I have encountered them. Intense! Even worse than our woodland mosquitoes.

  5. Great post Laurie, I smiled at the thought of chipmunks with cheeks full of goodies, and the red squirrels telling you off. I’d love to see and hear the Red Cardinals ..one day maybe. Summer is a wonderful time…enjoy!

    1. Sad that your red squirrels were wiped out. Here, the two exist side by side. While the red squirrels are bullies, the gray squirrels hold their own. As far as I know, there hasn’t been a gray squirrel population decline.

  6. I see you are enjoying the garden. We are into “weeding season” before the more aggressive plants take over. We have not verified by sighting, but we believe the Baltimore Orioles are up the tree-tops singing for mates. The whipowills have been serinading each other each evening recently too. We had not heard them for years, but a few years ago we cleared some trees from along the driveway, for firewood. This open area is now becoming more of a field, creating a nesting space for them.

    You will be glad to know that I am up to the epilogue of the book on Russian politics. Whew! I wll be glad to move on to something more enjoyable to read (also, if Trump has a second term, sorry to suggest such a torture, he and Putin would be out of office both in 2024…. unless, ahhhhhhh!)

    -Oscar

  7. No one appreciates this time of year like those of us who have endured a crazy winter! What a snug spot you have outside, with the woods and birds all around. The photos of the chippy and the red squirrel are great–I hope they don’t get in your attic!

  8. Enjoyed the photos and wonderful descriptions of your little visitors!🙂 We’ve had more rain and mosquitoes than normal and I have added the Herbal Armor to the shopping list.🙂

  9. How have I only just discovered your lovely blog, Laurie! I’m amazed by the reversal of fortunes in our squirrel friends. Reds are being reintroduced here in Cornwall and I would be cock-a-hoop to discover one in our garden. Although I fear its days would be numbered against the quantities of greys we already have. And such stunning birds. How I wish we had cardinals here. After careful reflection though – I’ll leave you with all the mosquitoes! 😀

    1. So glad you discovered my blog, and I am delighted to now be following yours. In Maine, the reds and the greys manage to co-exist, if not get along. Different species, I’m sure. from the ones you have. The mosquitoes are fierce this year, and this is true for the whole Northeast. The wet, cool spring has been kind to those biters.

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