Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Plants, bugs, birds and squirrels....

This plant is a real mystery....it is in full flower......it is around a metre high with these little flowers all the way down the stem. They dance around in the breeze, I love them. I have sent photographs to many people over the last three years and as yet nobody has been able to identify it. It appeared around four years ago and is quite hardy......I hope it stays....
I am really getting quite fond of hoverflies......I think it is something to do with their movements. Also I love they way they gently balance on flowers.....they make such good subjects.
See what I mean......
quite exquisite.
A squirrel appeared on the patio this afternoon.........
and I just love this juvenile Great Tit.

This young starling was trying to work out how to get to the feeder. He must have watched the adults for around five minutes.....
Suddenly he flew up and found himself.....
sitting on top of the feeder.
He did eventually work it out and attacked every other starling that came near the feeder. I know they are noisy, messy and without doubt bullies......but they are so entertaining......


21 comments:

Leanne said...

i love your photos cheryl, they are gorgeous!

Leanne x

Cheryl said...

Thank you Leanne.....

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Starling are intelligent birds. The only reason I don't like them is because there are so many of them around here. They take over the nesting holes for our native birds.

Your mystery flower looks similar to an annual in my area that I used in a pot a couple of years ago its name is Peek-A-Boo Spilanthes. It may not be the same thing but you could look it up to see.

naturewitch said...

Hi Cheryl

Never seen anything like that flower - how extraordinary! It would have to be a member of the daisy family, I'm guessing, looking at its structure.

OK, I love a good mystery, so I've just gone through my "What Flower is That?" book by Stirling Macoboy (another book inherited from my Dad). It looks somewhat similar to a Helenium, which is in the Compositae/Asteraceae family.

The description reads: brownish pom-pom centres set helenium apart from other daisy-flowers, and they enjoy hot summers... Heleniums are useful for the holiday or weekend garden where they suffer neglect happily.

The only difference between your photo and the one in my book is that the petals are spread out a little more in the picture in my book. Anyway, maybe an avenue for you to explore, if you haven't already.

Ooooh, couldn't resist - have just googled "helenium" - have a look at this picture (http://www.djroger.com/autumn_lollipop.jpg) - just like yours!

Also have a look at this site: http://www.helenium.net/ they've got stacks of photos (under "complete list") of heleniums.

Hope you get a positive ID.

xx

Cheryl said...

Hi Naturewitch.....tks for all that info...will get onto that right away......have been down the helenium route before but not the autumn lollipops.....

Cheryl said...

Hi Lisa....yes I understand what you say about native birds, and I totally agree with you on that point....Tks for info re mystery plant will go down that route....

Cheryl said...

Hi Lisa....yes I understand what you say about native birds, and I totally agree with you on that point....Tks for info re mystery plant will go down that route....

Goosey said...

I love the picture of the rabbit on your header...great one! The Starling storyboard is good too, they are pretty but like a mob of bandits when they come in to the feeders! BW Goosey

Rose said...

Cheryl, That is an interesting flower; looks like you have some experts already helping to identify it:)
We've had some starlings here,too, this year, but only a small group at a time, and they've stayed near the fields where there's plenty to eat for everyone. As Lisa says, we they come in huge flocks they can be messy and annoying.

Cheryl said...

Hi Goosey....I have rabbits everywhere at the moment, it seems they are having a good year. This is the second litter of kittens we have had in the warren in the garden. They are cute....
Starlings are a nuisance but I do love their antics I have to say....

Cheryl said...

Hi Rose....yes I really do know how messy starlings can be. One year during the winter we had around 700 of them roosting in our hawthorn hedge. It was very smelly and noisy to say the least!!

Dawny P said...

Oh these are all just gorgeous Cheryl - and such wonderful colour. Stunning xxxx

Mimi said...

I think I agree with naturewitch. This definitely looks like an Autumn Lollipop.

Cheryl said...

Tku Dawny.....I love the reds of the crocrosmia.....

Cheryl said...

Hi Mimi....yes I understand what you are saying...but it would appear that autumn lollipops are on straight stems with one bloom. My plant has many stems on one plant and the blooms hang loosely form the stems......

Aisling said...

I just linked over from Tall Grass Worship. I just love your blog. I am a nature lover and a gardener, and it looks as though we share those interest. Glad to have found you; I'll be back!

Cheryl said...

HiAisling and welcome....Thank you for your positive feedback.....

Q said...

Dear cheryl,
I forgot to tell you how darling the Blue Tit is! I love seeing your birds.
Sherry

Wendy said...

Cute starling. So, you have gray squirrels. We have mostly black squirrels, but some gray too.
Have no idea what your mystery plant is. It looks like you have some good leads to help identify it.

Cheryl said...

Hi Wendy...we do have grey squirrels, but they are not native. Our native squirrels are red and stunningly beautiful. Unfortunately their are only a few pockets of them left. The greys are dominant and our squirrels are starving.....I feel so sad when we lose our native animals.
Someone told me recently that now blacks have arrived here, how I don't know. I can see a time when we will lose out native squirrel and that will be a very sad day.......

Cheryl said...

Dear Sherry.....these juvenile birds are so beautiful aren't they....