I walked outside the other day to discover that our dill plants had become home to several black swallowtail caterpillars. I probably should have pulled them off and fed them to the chickens, as they can be extremely destructive to an herb garden, but knowing how beautiful they’ll be when they grow up, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

A few weeks ago, our garden had another young visitor:

Our little friend didn’t think too highly of Ron.

I think this youngster is a mockingbird from the nest in the front yard. With the babies out on the nest, I can finally take out the ice-storm-damaged evergreen shrub where they’d been nesting. As soon as I get that done, we can try to rent a stump grinder and get rid of the stumps from it and the other two bushes we lost in the ice storm last winter. I’m hoping to replace the shrubs with either fruit trees or ornamentals. 


3 thoughts on “Visitors”

  1. Very cute and beautiful pictures. My mother always planted dill with her tomato plants because the caterpillars preferred dill over the tomato plants.

  2. Thanks! I think the little “bad hair day” feathers on the mockingbird fledgling are hilarious. I was a little concerned that the neighbor’s cats — who love to hang out under the bush where the birds have their nest — would kill it and its siblings, but mockingbirds are pretty aggressive, and the parents did a good job of intimidating the cats into submission.

  3. If it’s been a few weeks since the fledglings left, you’d better check carefully that there isn’t another group in there. Many birds raise several broods over the course of the summer. The wrens certainly do, though I’m not sure Papa Wren was able to sell Mama on the real estate this year. I don’t think they have anything in the birdhouse on the porch. I think they’re just trying to protect their options against squatters. Anyway, I will be removing the wren house this weekend so I can put the hummingbird feeder in its place. I miss the hummers and they miss the feeder, but both the feeder and the house can’t occupy spots on the porch simultaneously because the hummers are so aggressive they won’t allow the wrens to come back to their nest and vice versa. Very strange behavior since they don’t compete for the same food, but they could just be Grumpy Old Birds, I guess.

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