A Week for Wildlife

Last winter our garden was declared a Certified Wildlife Habitat, and this week’s interesting activities certainly added strong evidence for that declaration.

This morning, while strolling through the garden with my morning cup of coffee, I chanced upon a Carolina wren fledgling, standing precariously on the edge of the pot in which it had been born and nurtured, nervously trying to get up its courage to take its first flight. Several adult wrens, presumably proud parents, were flitting about, making what I want to believe were encouraging calls for their youngster to get on with it. I watched the fledgling for a good ten minutes…puffing its feathers, peering about carefully, making small peeps, fluttering its wings, and then settling down to think about it one more time. At last…success. It flapped and flew about five yards to a nearby Cleyera japonica. I am excited to think that soon I will be hearing this little one add to the beautiful oratorio that comes from our neighborhood wrens.

Also this morning I watched a spider devour what may at one time have been a wasp. There was a fly caught in the web, lined up to be the next meal.

I filled the bird feeders yet again, and put a new cake in the suet cage. A pair of bluebirds has enjoyed the suet when they are not driven off by some inhospitable mockingbirds. An occasional Downy woodpecker and Thrush have also been visiting this week. A Ruby throated hummingbird makes its presence known regularly now at its dedicated feeder, and the cardinals and finches seem to be everywhere.

A deer is visiting every night to reduce the size of the Knock Out rose.

The highlight of our wildlife week was the discovery by my wife of a snake, relaxing on the back of my favorite chair on our screened porch. Keeping her emotions in remarkable control, she called me to “do something about it.” I recognized the snake as a young but no less deadly copperhead. One has to be brave in such situations, at least give the impression that one is brave. I moved the snake, chair and all, very, very carefully out of the porch and “did something about it.” I don’t know how the snake made its way into the screened porch, but I have since investigated every nook and cranny. No holes. It must have been someone (ahem) carelessly leaving the door ajar. I’ll be much more careful from now on.

About johnvic8

John Viccellio retired after 24 years in the U. S. Navy and began to dig into gardening when he could finally land in one place. He completed the Master Gardener course in 1992 and has since designed and constructed two of his own gardens. He wrote a monthly garden column for ten years and was a regular contributor to Carolina Gardener magazine. John published his first book, Guess What's in My Garden!, in 2014. He lives in a retirement community in Matthews, NC.
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1 Response to A Week for Wildlife

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Now I’m going to be very cautious on the porch!


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