Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Wildlife Wednesday August 2019

Nature's camouflage is fascinating and August's Wildlife Wednesday is a good time to share a few examples I've observed recently in my garden.  Wildlife Wednesday is hosted by Tina at My gardener says..." on the first Wednesday of each month.

Close observation presents many surprising opportunities to enjoy tiny wildlife.  First up is a busy bee coated with pollen cleverly disguised in yellow blooms of Twisted rib cactus.

This brown moth on a Skeleton Leaf Golden Eye seed head blends right in.

On closer look it's mostly the movement which gives it away.

Red male cardinals have a bit of a challenge trying to hide but Mrs. C is harder to spot in the fig tree.

She's out in the open now fussing at me.

Not camouflage but a strange looking bird requiring a closer look.  This one took a minute to ID but then I remembered Tina's post from a while back showing a molting Cardinal.  That's what I think is happening here.

Birds breathe through their mouth and it's more obvious when it's hot out.  Between the heat and molting this poor guy has got to be very uncomfortable.

A common garden spider (Argiope aurantia) was reeling in her prey just as I walked by and before I could focus my camera.  Her web was so close to the ground I almost missed it.

I sat down beside her and neither of us were frightened away.   She carefully rolled up her bundle which was the size of a small bee while I watched.

Nearby in the garden bees are busy.

I think both of these are solitary bees.

An almost transparent cicada I nearly missed has freshly emerged from an outgrown, discarded shell to the right.

A slightly older cicada on Pomegranate 'Wonderful' branch.  It was the bird's nest wrapped in a recycled plastic bag which first caught my eye.  We live near a busy road and commercial center so there's usually a supply of plastic bags around which we try to keep picked up.  I've walked by this tree a number of times without seeing the nest tucked in there.  Observing the nest let me see the cicada as well.

Cicadas usually stick around for about four weeks after emerging from the ground.  They are noisy!  Those transparent wings are cool.

Tiny anole keeping to the shade on cool stone near the hose bib.  It was smooth-skinned and I also saw a green one so these are not likely invasive brown anoles.

It's too hot for a GIF this month.  I stationed myself in the shade for a while but GIFs take time to set up.  So we'll move on to the deer report.  It's time to protect plants from antlering.  All this velvet will soon be rubbed off on whatever is handy including young trees, agaves and many other unsuspecting plants you might have in the garden.

After the velvet is gone, he will stick to the woods where his antlers will be disguised as twigs.  Right now he's here for the water we leave outside the gate during hot dry weather so he's not as shy.

The same for these ladies which prefer to rest in dappled shade.  Scratches on her hide are hoof marks from mating.

That's the wildlife report from my garden the past month.  You'll find more wildlife posts in the comments at Tina's blog.  Try a wildlife post of your own if you're a blogger.  It's fun and I'm often surprised by how many wildlife photos I've collected when I sit down to create my post.


  1. Great shots! Your cactus bee blends in well with he pollen. Looking at your cicadas reminds me that I haven't had any this year, though I've heard them in my neighborhood. Your poor cardinal--he doesn't look so good, but we know that's only temporary.

  2. You have a good eye for the catching the smaller wildlife forms, Shirley. The bird's nest incorporating a plastic bag is interesting. Bird recyclers - who'd have thought it?!

  3. These are amazing examples, Shirley! I never would have noticed the bee in that first one. Fascinating stuff!

  4. I enjoyed all your wonderful wildlife shots, especially the pollen covered bee bottom and the plastic bird’s nest and cicada. I wonder what about the plastic made the bird want to include it in its nest?

  5. Might the larger ones be carpenter bees?

  6. I am amazed at the bird nest made from a grocery bag! That was one very creative mother bird.


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