I got out early this morning to beat the heat. It was a delightful 64 degrees F. when I woke up and I opened the windows for a short period of time while performing the birds’ breakfast service, but the predicted high for today is 91 although we may fall a couple degrees short of it. In any event I wanted to avoid the heat.
It was a very slow walk on my part. I predicted I would be “paying” for my walk and swim yesterday as my right knee is not very happy lately. Back to the drawing board. I will manage.
I took that photograph of all the Milkweed Beetles at the head of the post because I began to realize I was missing them in my yard after I removed all the seed pods early from the Common Milkweed. There’s some kind of symbiotic relationship going here, I suspect. So next year if I want to see these guys I will have to leave the seed pods on the plants until they are gone. I do remember seeing hundreds of little bright orange eggs on the leaves of the plants so I would have had the beetles had I not removed the seed pods. The beetles are harmless to the plant and apparently to monarch eggs or caterpillars, if I had them. as they are only herbivores. They have few natural predators as their consumption of the common milkweed plants makes them toxic except to deer or rabbits. I don’t think I screwed up the ecosystem too much by removing the seed pods early but maybe I will leave them be a while longer next year and just be pulling out as many if not more common milkweed shoots.
I managed to find a few birds this morning. A Nashville Warbler was foraging in the plants by the break in the fence.
I somehow managed a slight photo of a Black-throated Green Warbler.
A distant Blackpoll Warbler was perched out in the wide open.
Maybe my most surprising bird was a juvenile male Indigo Bunting. I had been thinking I somehow missed all the juveniles this year that must have fledged at the Chicago Portage. This one could be a migrant from somewhere else.
One of several busy, noisy American Goldfinches.
Also in those plants by the break in the fence were a few young House Wrens. This one was fine with having its picture taken.
I didn’t realize this butterfly was upside down until I processed the photos…
I zoomed in on a distant Hairy Woodpecker.
And that is it for this morning. Well. If I’m going to be off my feet for a while – just long enough to give my knee the idea that I might let it try to heal a bit if it’s so inclined – I may as well go back to those earlier photos I promised. It’s just been kind of fun and easy to write in real time over the last few days. Sort of a feeling of trying to preserve the moment – in the moment.
P.S. I’ll never make it with AI. I love how when I like what I’ve written, the plugin tells me my content “needs improvement.”
Oh, I almost forgot what seems like the obligatory Gray-cheeked Thrush!