May 05, 2015 – Hummingbirds Are Here! First Official 80° Day

ROI Blog Day 125 – May 05, 2015 – Tuesday

Hummingbirds Are Here! First Official 80 Degree Day

Weather
• Another warm summery day. Sunny most of the time, but it was cloudy at times. Early this morning, a few minutes after midnight, there was a thunderstorm with some brief, but heavy, rain.

Temperature – from my weather station, in degrees Fahrenheit (F) and/or Celsius (C)
• High: 84.5 F (4:15 pm)
• Low : 63.3 F (7:22 am)

Temperature – official from TV or Weather Underground, in degrees Fahrenheit
• High: 82 – first time this year that we officially got to 80 degrees
• Low : 62

Precipitation
• about 0.5 inches of rain (0.375 when I measured but some will have evaporated)

Ground Conditions
• varies, as usual, from damp to very wet

Gardening and Yard Work
• B. came over to mow the lawn and help with yard work, he did the whole lawn this time, even the wet areas
• I filled the upside-down goldfinch feeder with fresh thistle seed
• I pruned the smaller branches off the broken cherry tree branch that hangs down to the ground so that B. could mow around it
• I pulled the weeds with the little white flowers from the corner garden
• a few other little odds and ends and supervising B.

Butterflies
• cabbage white
• red admiral – the first identified butterfly that isn’t a cabbage white

Birds
• hummingbirds – sighted the first one of the year at 12:02 pm, it was at the feeder in the patio garden, saw another one (or the same one) later at the other feeder – this one was a female and I didn’t notice with the first one, one or two more sightings after that
• cardinals – female, male
• wren

Other Animals
• rabbit – a little baby one
• squirrel

April 27, 2014 – First Tiger Swallowtail

Day 117 – April 27, 2014 – Sunday

Conditions
• Sunny until late afternoon when it got cloudy. Windy.

Ground Conditions
• moist to wet, but some of the flower beds are getting a bit dry

Temperature – from my weather station, in degrees Fahrenheit (F) and/or Celsius (C)
• High: 69.8 F (5:20 pm)
• Low : 46.2 F (7:10 am)

Temperature – official from TV, in degrees Fahrenheit
• High: 69
• Low : 40

Humidity
• High: 63 % RH
• Low : 40 % RH

Gardening and Yard Work
• put out two hummingbird feeders – hung one on the short thin hook (which I moved from under the dogwood tree to replace the straight pipe which I had taken out a while back) in the patio garden where it has always been, and the other one I put on the straight pipe in the Hummingbird Garden (where it was last year)
• mowed the lawn

Observations
• the redbud and cherry trees are not flowering as well this year – they definitely have fewer flowers this year
• I’ve only seen two dandelions in the yard this year; one just inside my butterfly garden and one on the hill just past the grass, and I dug both of them out today

Butterflies
• cabbage white
• Tiger Swallowtail – first one I’ve seen this year
• sulphur

Birds
• robins
• european starling
• black-capped chickadees – 2
• woodpecker – downy
• cardinal – male, female
• ducks – the usual pair – and then another male showed up and there was a fight
• smalls
• dove

Other Animals
• squirrel

April 18, 2014 – First Bumble Bee

Day 108 – April 18, 2014 – Friday

Conditions
• A little warmer, kind of overcast but with sunshine much of the time even if it wasn’t the brightest.

Ground Conditions
• wet

Temperature – from my weather station, in degrees Fahrenheit (F) and/or Celsius (C)
• High: 71.7 F (3:17 pm)
• Low : 44.9 F (5:50 am)

Temperature – official from TV or Weather Underground, in degrees Fahrenheit
• High: 70
• Low : 43

Gardening and Yard Work
• worked on the lawn mower – found the air filter and took it apart and cleaned it then turned it upside down and put it back together (that way the air will be mostly going through the cleaner part, also cleared the vents into the air cleaner, looked at the blade and it looks like it has some big dents in it so I think it needs to be replaced instead of sharpened (I tried a little to get it off but will need something to stop the blade from turning)

Observations
• grass needs mowing
• all the day lilies in the back were trampled flat by the tree trimmers yesterday – they didn’t need to do that and it is upsetting
• the tree trimmers trimmed the pear tree in the back so that it is not bothering the wires – we expected and wanted them to do that

Butterflies
• cabbage white

Birds
• robins
• goldfinches
• woodpeckers – downy
• smalls
• black-capped chickadee
• ducks – the usual 2 plus I saw others flying several times
• cardinal – male

Other Animals
• squirrels
• chipmunk
• bumble bee (first I’ve seen this year)

April 09, 2014 – First Butterfly of the Year!

Day 099 – April 09, 2014 – Wednesday

Conditions
– Sunny with clear blue skies this morning. a lot of clouds during the afternoon, but still some sun.

Ground Conditions
– wet and still some standing water

Temperature – from my weather station, in degrees Fahrenheit (F) and/or Celsius (C)

– High: 63.5 F (2:33 pm)
– Low : 41.7 F (7:29 am)

Temperature – official from TV or Weather Underground, in degrees Fahrenheit

– High: 60
– Low : 38

Butterflies
– cabbage white – the 1st butterfly I’ve seen this year (I usually see at least one in March, so this is unusually late)

Birds
– robins
– juncos
– goldfinches
– woodpeckers – downy
– cardinal – male

Other Animals
– squirrels
– chipmunk

March 19, 2012

Low: 60.8 (7:53 am)   High: 81.8 (3:39 pm)   Precipitation: None

Humidity: 64% at 12:15 pm, 52% at 4:30 pm (80 F), upper 40s in the evening around 7 and 8 pm with the temp around 77 F

The last day of winter, but it feels like summer. Mostly cloudy with some blue sky and quite a bit of sun, then becoming mostly clear and sunny later in the afternoon. Everything seems to be growing – getting buds, leafing out, coming up. There is a noticeable difference everyday when I look out into the yard.

I refilled the Upside Down Thistle Feeder, which was empty.

Butterflies

  • Cabbage Whites

Birds:

  • Cardinal – male, female
  • Robins
  • Smalls
  • Juncos
  • Black-capped Chickadee

Insects

  • Bumble Bee
  • Wasp

Mammals:

  • Groundhog
  • Squirrel

More Beautiful Fall Weather, Butterfly

October 20, 2010

Weather:

  • High: 65.8 F (3:30 PM)
  • Low: 42.0 F (8:13 AM)
  • Humidity: 39%
  • More beautiful Fall weather; sunny, clear blue skies, and breezy.

Note: I’ve not been doing as much observing lately. Partly because I’ve had other things to do, but also because there isn’t as much to observe. The Hummingbirds are long gone, and the butterflies may be gone too (with a rare exception like today).

Birds:

  • Black-capped Chickadees (at least 3)
  • Cardinals (the adult male and female)

Butterflies:

  • Unidentified (1) – As I drove into the driveway, late this afternoon, I saw what looked like a medium sized black, or dark, colored butterfly flying ahead of me up towards the house.

Cooler, Sunny, Cloudy, Rain

October 13, 2010

Photo of a praying mantis insect

Praying Mantis

Weather:

  • High: 75.0 F (4:18 PM)
  • Low: 54.1 F (8:20 AM)
  • Humidity: upper 40s% I think
  • Rain: probably between a 0.25 and 0.5 an inch
  • Sunny in the early afternoon and then becoming cloudy. Just before dark there was some wind and some thunder and lightning and then some rain.

Birds:

  • Cardinals (all four I think)
  • Black-capped Chickadees (4)

Butterflies:

  • Cabbage White (1) – on Aster

Other Animals:

  • Praying Mantis (1) – on the patio screen door [Encyclopedia of Life]
  • Squirrels – (more than one, as usual) being a pest in the flower bed and at the feeder
  • Bees (lots) – on the aster flowers

Plants:

  • Aster – in full bloom and covered with lots and lots of flowers and lots of bees and one butterfly (the cabbage white)
  • Cosmos - some have started to bloom (this is the second time, at least, and I don’t know if it is the same plants that bloomed before or some new plants that have grown since)

Warm, Sunny, Patio Bed Renovation

October 11, 2010

Photo of Patio flower bed undergoing some renovation

Patio flower bed undergoing some renovation

Weather:

  • High: 82.9 F (4:23 PM)
  • Low: 60.0 F (8:03 AM)
  • Humidity: 34%
  • Comfortably warm again, sunny with a little thin cloudiness.

Birds:

  • Black-capped Chickadee (1) – I didn’t have much observing time today
  • Cardinals – at least 1, probably all 4, but I didn’t have a good look

Butterflies:

  • Cabbage White (1) – on patio side of house

Yardwork: My 88 year old Mother, who loves to garden, has been working on the patio bed the last few days and she has dug much of that bed out to remove a few trees that were starting to come up, and to try to get rid of the Gooseneck (which spreads like crazy), etc. See photo above.

Sunny, Warm, Gardening

October 10, 2010

Photo of Ash Tree showing fall colors

Ash Tree showing fall colors

Weather:

  • High: 83.3 F (4:21 PM)
  • Low: 58.1 F (8:02 AM)
  • Humidity: 39%, 38%
  • Sunny, nice, warm.

Birds:

  • Black-capped Chickadee (1)
  • Cardinals (too dark to see how many or which ones)
  • Crow(s) (didn’t see them, but heard them)

Butterflies:

  • Silver-spotted Skipper (1) – on patio side of house
  • Cabbage Whites (2 or 3) – 2 on Aster, 1 on patio side of house
  • Sulphur (1) – on Aster
  • Tinies (2) – on Aster

Other Animals:

  • Bees (lots of bees on the Aster)

Plants:

  • Ash Tree – Has turned color and has lost quite a few leaves. The colors may not be quite as bright as some years because it has been (and still is) so dry. Photo (see below).
  • Boneset - See Yardwork below

Yardwork: Spread some grass seed on parts of the lawn. Spread some organic fertilizer on parts of the lawn. Then I used the leaf blower on reverse to vacuum up and turn the leaves into mulch. And then I pulled up a bunch of Boneset plants from my photo bed – they are coming up all over the place!

Sunny, Warmer, Rufous-sided Towhee

October 6, 2010

Photo of a Bee on an Aster flower

Bee on an Aster flower

Weather:

  • High: 70.1 F (5:32 PM))
  • Low: 48.0 F (8:05 AM)
  • Sunny, warmer, breezy.

Birds:

  • Cardinals – (4) Parents and 2 young – The young female was the first one I saw; she came down to the feeder before I put any seed out.
  • Black-capped Chickadees (4)
  • Rufous-sided Towhee (1) I didn’t recognize this bird, so I looked it up and found out what it was. I don’ remember ever seeing one before. It was in and around the patio bed (including on the patio) and came to the feeder a couple of times.

Butterflies:

  • Cabbage White (1)
  • Sulphur (1)
  • Tiny (1)
  • Note: All the butterflies were on the Aster which is in full bloom and in full sun.

Other Animals:

  • Bees – (photo, see above) There were a lot of them on the Aster which is in full bloom and in full sun. Most of them were the small ones that I think are honey bees.

Plants:

  • Aster – in full bloom (photo, see above)
  • Dogwood tree – really turning color
  • Joe Pye – still blooming (it may still be in full bloom)
  • Verbena – still blooming
  • Snap-dragon – I thought it was finally finished blooming, but I think there may still be one flower left. This plant has done well and hopefully a patch of them will grow up from it’s seeds.