Flowers, Pollinators, Fungus and Breakfast With the Chickens

Flowers and Pollinators

The hibiscus bushes are blossoming.

There are three bushes in a row. The two on the ends have the deep red blossoms. The one is the middle has light pink/white blossoms.

This year we have an interesting phenomenon. One of the end bushes has both the red blossoms and the pink blossoms. This has never happened before.

The only explanation I can come up with is that these bushes drop seeds every year and small plants sprout each summer. I end up pulling them so I don’t know how long it would take for one to mature. Perhaps a seed from the pink bush grew up amongst the red bush and has become mature enough to produce flowers. So this is actually two bushes that have commingled.

Many of the plants are suffering from too much rain. The oregano leaves are turning yellow and orange. I have been tempted to cut them way down.

But the bees are enjoying the flowers

as are the butterflies, so I will leave them until they are done blossoming.

Dragonflies are not really pollinators but I do love having them around, especially since they eat things like gnats and MOSQUITOS. (Bring on the dragonflies!!!) This one was resting on an Agastache Kudos Mandarin plant, AKA Hummingbird Mint, that we planted this year.

The honey bees were foraging in the anise hyssop.

This patch of wild flowers attracts a lot of pollinators.

Look closely – how many bees do you see on the Mountain Mint in this photo? I see at least 3.

How about this one? (two?)

Honey bees aren’t the only pollinators enjoying these plants. The blue mud dauber wasps like them as well. This is the first year I have seen this type of wasp.

Honey bees like the cone flowers,

and I even spotted some foraging the purple loosestrife. That is something that we haven’t seen in the past.

It took a while but this beauty finally posed for a picture on a marshmallow plant.

Telling it to “hold still” did absolutely no good so I just had to be patient. I think this butterfly is called a Red Spotted Purple.

Fungus

When I did my mushroom post I had forgot about these puff ball mushrooms that grow every year on the hill where we someday hope to build a root cellar. They are well hidden beneath other weeds that grow up around them so we usually don’t even know they are there until late fall or winter when all the foliage dies. By that time they are just large dust balls.

When I first noticed these, a week or so ago, they were bright white. I didn’t have my camera with me at that time and as you can see they have since turned various shades of brown.

Each of these fungi is between 12 and 20 inches across.

Breakfast With the Chickens

Sunday morning I went to open up the chicken coop. When I do this my routine is to first fill their water dish. I then spread some chicken scratch on the ground in piles around the chicken yard, then I fill their feed dish before I open the coop to let them out. I do this because I know that the first thing they want to do when they come out is eat (except the rooster but we won’t talk about what he wants). If I were to let them out first I would likely have the whole flock following me to the feed can, then I would be tripping over them as I tried to the scatter scratch.

As I was filling their feed dish I noticed a deer approaching the chicken yard. She noticed me as well and we stopped for a minute and stared at each other. I then finished what I was doing while she moseyed over to the pile of chicken scratch that was about twenty feet from the coop and began eating. I opened up the coop and the chickens scattered around the area some of them joining her.

I decided to get my camera to see if I could get a picture of this breakfast club. It was still pretty dark in the chicken yard as it is in a grove of large hickory trees so i wasn’t sure how the picture would turn out.

It wasn’t until I got home and viewed the photo on my computer that I realized

that I had experienced an alien encounter. (Where’s Will Smith when you need him???)

Even when she got out in the light her eyes glowed.

Meanwhile the chickens went on their way,

cluelessly searching for worms or grasshoppers and enjoying their worry-free life.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a great week!

15 thoughts on “Flowers, Pollinators, Fungus and Breakfast With the Chickens

  1. If everyone could get along “breaking bread” together, the world would be a better place wouldn’t it Ruth? You were the one who answered my question about what kind of flowers I had posted that I saw in the neighborhood – I think they were the dark red variety … your comingled flowers are gorgeous. I have a petite mud dauber’s nest on my garage door inside the garage. I noticed it on Christmas Day. Mentioned it to my neighbor when it was still cold and he was outside and my car was in the driveway. He thumped it with a broom and declared they had moved on … not so, there are about six holes in the nest which is not even the size of my balled-up fist. I have not seen any wasps … yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen to that Linda! My pink bush in the center has since started to blossom and I love haw the look. I think it’s best to remove those nests in the winter. They likely returned since it was still there.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your hibiscus bushes are lovely. My dinner plate hibiscus are tall and usually doesn’t flower until early Sept. I didn’t know they came in bush from too. And that alien photo is priceless!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought that these bushes would get taller but each year they die back then come up again in the spring and only get so tall. I don’t mind. It’s a nice size for their location. I was a bit shocked when I fist saw the photo – then I laughed and said “it’s an alien!” LOL!

      Like

  3. How funny to see the deer and chickens eating together. Your pictures are beautiful. It’s odd that your hibiscus is blooming and mine is lagging behind. It is full of blossoms, but not ready to open. I’ll send you pics when it does.

    Liked by 1 person

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