It's a beautiful summer day here in the upper midwest, as nice as they get. With a high in the mid-80s, it's probably a bit warm for some people, but with lows in the mid-60s, the house stays very comfortable. Things are pretty well spruced up inside and out for all the visitors from near and far. One of the farthest is due to arrive in about 30 min. by train, although a distance train horn can now be heard; north bound or south bound? Can't tell. Rain is skirting our area to the south, and the gardens could use some watering. Containers had to be watered, but some beds need watering for the first time this year. August is always dry. Areas of the lawn that got flooded a few times earlier this summer are still in bad shape, and now the soil is beginning to crack. Lovely. The Phactors are not the tallest of people, so some dangling bald cypress twigs had to be trimmed so as not to mess with tall people's heads. No top hats are expected for this wedding.
Oh, yes, this was to be about birds. It was a very birdy day; lots of activity. While ruby throated hummingbirds are very common out in the countryside, they are more uncommon in our urban setting, however with lots of good butterfly and hummingbird flowers open a lot of both are around. Tiger swallowtails are pretty common, but a giant swallowtail made an appearance. And spicebush butterflies are more common this year probably because we have their food plant. A couple of hummingbirds were operating throughout our gardens. What was most interesting was to watch a hummingbird interact agressively with a house wren. Now of course they do not compete for the same food at all, so TPP really doesn't understand why the hummingbird was so intent on chasing the wren out of the area. Watched the hummer fly up and dance back & forth right in front of the perched wren until the wren bailed out with the hummer on his tail. Strange.
Camponotus: A Sugary High
22 hours ago in Catalogue of Organisms