Friday, August 19, 2011

Summertime Wildlife Roundup

This summer, with the majority of days being rainy or darkly cloudy, we had a different mix of wildlife in the backyard than we have had previous years. Bees, as I have mentioned several times, were non-existent the first half of the summer, and even now, I have not seen more than two bees in the lawn at any given time (the lack of bees and the bad weather is why I believe our backlawn has a mass of thistles and not clover as it has in previous years. Not that the thistles aren't lovely and purple too, but you really miss the lovely scent of the clover on the wind).

Our dragonfly population came out very early this year (in June), in time to take care of the blackflies and the early beginnings of the mosquito population, but were missing for much of the latter half of July, when mosquitoes were at their peak. Fortunately, they have returned now in the latter half of August, so I'm getting much needed relief out there. They are amazing bug predators - I love to see them flitting about the yard on 'guard duty', occasionally getting into aerial battles over bugs with fellow 'sentries'.

Its been said that a healthy frog population is a sign the local environment is healthy, and if that is the case (check out why under morphology on Wiki), then our local area is doing REALLY well! From about the end of June till last week, we had a minimum of one frog a day outside in our back lawn. We saw maybe 3 the whole year last year, but this year was crazy! At one point I had a frog in each hand, trying to move them to the cool of the forest (and in the direction of a lake), and out of the path of my dogs playing. All different sizes, too, it was quite extraordinary!

We had one little green grass snake this year, and that was the first one I've seen since we moved here three years ago.

So, aside from the lack of bees, we've been doing quite well in the backyard wildlife department! Its been fun observing them!

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