Finally

Each fall we leave the coneflowers alone in the garden hoping that finches will come by and get a nice meal. Until last week we had not had a finch visit. Well that all changed as a lone American Goldfinch wandered by and quickly took a liking to dried, but full of seeds, Coneflowers.

Everybody loves Rabbit Brush

Just a few weeks ago the Rabbit Brush was in full bloom and hosting quite a party where everyone was invited. Rabbit Brush is a native plant found over much of the western United States that blooms in late fall providing one final burst of color before winter arrives. According to the USDA, Rabbit Brush:Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus, provides both nesting habitat and forage for a wide variety of birds, insects and small mammals. One of the more frequent visitors to the party were White Crowned Sparrows.

In this case an immature White-Crowned Sparrow seemed to be foraging for insects.

Another visitor we noticed on more than one occasion was the Monarch Butterly stopping by for a sip of nectar as they migrate south for the winter.

Last but not least the Ruby-crowned Kinglets found the party too good to ignore and we frequently saw them foraging through the bushes in each of a meal.

A beautiful plant and a welcome splash of color as snow is forecast for the weekend.

And speaking of weekends, have a great one.

A job well done

The other day I saw a yellow flash land in a nice cedar tree. Thinking it was an unusual insect I quickly went over to get a look. Alas, it was not a new insect but a Honey Bee and to say this one was covered in pollen might be an understatement. This little bee could hard fly with the load they had acquired. After a few minutes of rest they slowly lifted off and headed back to the hive. A job well done.

Mantid Sunday

We typically see only a few Preying Mantis each summer either while out hiking or in our garden. Last week, while out on a hike, we saw numerous Mantids and each one matched the specific grasses they resided in. The Mantid above was in grasses that were a mix of green and brown and the Mantid was green and brown.

While the Mantid above resided in fresh green grass.

This Mantids above were right at home in a field of brown.

We even got a look at one Mantid hanging upside down.

Photographed in Denver, CO