Sunday, 25 April 2010

Sunday safari.....

I planted Clematis armandii two years ago. I placed it in a south facing position and had high hopes for this plant. Sadly it has never done well here. The cold easterly winds that sweep the garden and the harsh frost of winter leave much damage. Each year I cut the dead wood away, and enjoy the few blooms that open. You live and learn.
Lords and ladies flower spikes are just beginning to open. The garden is full of these native wildflowers.

Rabbits hide in the shadows. They are nibbling some plants, new plantings have been dug out and the holes in the lawn are too numerous to count. I met the local farmer in the week, apparently numbers are very much out of control in this area. Am I surprised.....no. In my opinion, the farmers are partly to blame, because they shoot the foxes that come onto their land.
Maurice Mallard arrived last week......
He brought Mildred with him.......
They take a morning and evening stroll in the garden. They make a lovely couple don't you think? Nella is kept inside until they take flight.......
Blue butterflies are so hard to capture......I am pretty sure this is a holly blue. They are frequent visitors to the garden......I have many holly bushes here.
I watched a bumble take a stroll. Nella does not touch bees.......it has been hard teaching her to leave them. She now sits and watches with me.
Euphorbias are attracting lots of insects.....obviously you can see the ladybird but can you see the other bug?
Whilst weeding, a bee fly came to join me. I was pleased with this capture as they move so quickly it is often difficult to get a photograph......
The blue bottle on plum blossom fits in so perfectly with the blue sky........I love blue skies.
Happy Sunday safari.......have a lovely week.



25 comments:

marigold jam said...

Lovely Cheryl - I feel as if I have been for a stroll round your garden with you!

Jane

marigold jam said...

Me again Cheryl - thanks for your wise and supportive comment over on mine. Yes you truly cannot beat our wonderful countryside can you?

JAne x

Cheryl said...

Dear Jane

I have been fortunate to travel far and wide.....the english countryside still holds some of the best scenery in the world. I suspose to be truthful though, we all love our homeland.......

eileeninmd said...

Cherl, you have a lovely garden. The flowers and wildlife photos are all wonderful.

Cheryl said...

Eileen....tku for dropping by and for leaving a comment.....

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Maurice and Mildred make a very handsome couple. Does Nella growl and bark at them from inside?

Your Clematis and Plum Blossoms are lovely--I am so attracted to white blooms. All my gardenias were hit by the cold winter we had. I will miss their blooms and fragrance greatly.

Yes, I imagine you are right about the over-population of rabbits in your area. So sad that such a beautiful animal as the foxes are being killed. When will people wake up to realize what an imbalance we have caused? The same thing has happened here with coyotes and wolves.

Cheryl said...

Hi Morning Glories......Nella sits and watches their every move through the conservatory glass.
She is motionless....

How sad to lose your gardenias. Blooms are so fleeting, it is sad when we miss a season with them.

I could not agree with you more. Man has caused so many problems with this wonderful planet of ours....I have a feeling we are all going to learn too late.

I love wolves.....have you ever seen one??

Q said...

Dear Cheryl,
I just love seeing all your lovely bugs! It has been so wet here I have seen very few. The bee fly is a fantastic photograph!
The Mallards ARE a charming couple.
Each safari with you is so fun.
I am sad the farmers kill the foxes. It is why everything is out of balance. We must stop killing and start living in cooperation.
I loved being in your garden with you this evening. It was so nice to relax after a day in the wetlands.
Thank you.
Sherry

Cheryl said...

DEar Sherry....thank you. It was fun bug hunting today....with warmer days there are lots of insects in the garden.

It always saddens me that the human race and the animal kingdom cannot live alongside each other in harmony. Of course there are some circumstances where things have to be controlled, and we all try to understand that.
I am passive by nature, so I expect it is easier for me...

Have a wonderful week.....we need rain.

Liz said...

Hi Cheryl,

So sad to hear about the clematis… Perhaps if you grew another climber alongside it to offer some protection it may perk up? I’ve had similar trouble with a passionflower that I am now giving up on and will get rid of it this year.

Your farmers are ridiculous, such an old fashioned mentality, I bet they even use poison to try to kill the Rabbits when there’s a much easier method – allowing the Foxes to keep the numbers in check. But that’s a whole other debate.

I love your Mallards! Lol, fantastic names :)

I hope the weather stays nice for you, and perhaps you get some rain – at night, obviously!

Cheryl said...

Hi Liz...thank you for that suggesion.....hadn't thought of that....an ivy may be a good idea.....hmmm, you have me thinking now.
I gave up on passion flowers several years ago.....I now grow the clematis florida var. sieboldiana which has very similar flowers and does very well here.

The farmers just irritate me beyond words sometimes.I have found dead badgers in certain areas and they often have bullet wounds. Illegal, of course.
Our fox has disappeared again, so I suspect he has strayed onto farming land...of course I have no proof.

I love the mallards....I was very sad when the other two were knocked down by a car several weeks ago. I do hope this couple restrict themselves to the garden and fields......


Have a good week......

Rose said...

Good to see your blue skies, Cheryl! The plum blossom looks especially beautiful against the sky. Sorry to hear that the rabbit battle continues. I've put Sophie on rabbit alert here--they're getting braver and braver in my garden, but at least she gives them a good scare when she's outside. But I do like Maurice and Mildred...do you think there might be some little M's this spring?:)

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Hi Cheryl, Did a little Googling. Are lords and ladies Arum maculatum? The red berries they get later, and the spadix, look very similar to our native Jack in the pulpits (Arisaema triphyllum). Also, mallards stay in Michigan year-round. I'm assuming they do in your area, too, they're just arriving in your garden now? And, finally, I love Clematis--it's such a broad species. I love the little white ones you show... surely there are more cold-tolerant ones available, even if they're not as cute?! (I do understand about pushing the xone, though. Something I always preach about not doing, but am guilty of at least twice myself!) LOL

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Cheryl, I find white flowers very hard to photograph. Love the snake's head fritillary--mine are past bloom now but they are one of my favorite spring bulbs. Aren't pieris great? I bought a larger more expensive one than shown in my recent post, but it's not doing half as well as the cheap one I found serendipitously at the end of the season after having already bought the more $$ one!

Cheryl said...

Hi Rose.....yes the battle continues....Nella, like Sophie, is on duty all day at the moment. They do their damage at night, so I am losing the battle and resigning myself to the fact this is just how it is....

Such is life......

Cheryl said...

Hi Monica.....yes Arum maculatum, that is Lords and Ladies.

We have mallards all year round but they only come into the garden during the breeding season. Always welcome visitors.....

I have many other clematis in the garden and they do well.
I particularly wanted this one because it is evergreen and vigorous. It would have covered some horrid mesh fencing at the bottom of the garden.
Someone has suggested planting another climber nearby to give it some protection....I think this is a very good idea. So, tomorrow, I will be off to the nursery.......

Pieris are wonderful and very underated I think.
Strangely Monica that has happened to me on more than one occasion. Very expensive plants doing ok and the cheapie from the supermarket gallops. There must be a morale somewhere there.......

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Cheryl. Apparently the coyotes here are keeping the rabbits in check. Even tho I live on a farm, we are never bothered by rabbits in the garden. Too bad your farmers are too short sighted to let the foxes keep a natural balance.
Marnie

Cheryl said...

Hi Marnie....I could not agree more......I must say I have never seen so many rabbits as I walk along the country lanes.

I am glad the rabbits leave your garden alone.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

That is a great capture of the fly in the last photo. They are difficult to get. I have seen several bumbles on the ground this spring. I wonder if they are drunk on all the yummy nectar that is available now. Sounds like fun to me. tee hee....

Rusty in Miami said...

I love the mallard ducks, they do make a great couple

marmee said...

dear cheryl,

delightful stroll around the garden with you all your creatures.
i love the mallard couple...so sweet. will they stay with you long?
i wish people understood how out of balance things can get if we take things in our own hands. are there any other natural predators of the rabbits you could attract?
that blue butterfly is exquisite. we still don't have many butterflies yet.
but lots of bumbles.
i am in love with blue skies too.
we have had days of grey skies with rain on and off. it cooled things off and my allergies have been much better.
happy april.

beckie said...

Cheryl, Maurice and Mildred make a lovely couple and I am sure enjoy the hospitality of your gardens. How wonderful they return each year-like old friends coming for their annual visit.

Delightful to see your bees and the holly blue. Such a great photo. And of course I ove the lady bugs. So sorry about the rabbits, though. We just can't ;eave Mother Nature alone can we? Everything gets out of balance when we interfer.

Looks like you are having a few days of blue skies. I hope it has warmed some for you. We are having much more seasonable temps now. Cool nights and warm days. And, we got some much neededrain this past weekend. The gardens all needed a good drink. Hugs to you!

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

Cheryl,
This sure is a lovely posting. I enjoyed so very much taking a stroll in your garden. The mallard ducks, the butterflies, the lovely flowers, it's all so peaceful.

NCmountainwoman said...

I do so love your garden. The fauna along with the flora. Something about your blog always leaves me a bit more rested. You do all the gardening work, and I get to enjoy the results!

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Cheryl, yes, I have seen wolves when I was a child. Sadly, the ranchers and farmers have just about exterminated them. Hearing them is very special too. It sends chills down your spine.