Friday, August 6, 2021 |

New Yard Birds and Changing Colors


Monday August 2, 2021 -

Is there anything cuter than an immature Red-Headed Woodpecker? They don't even have the red on their head yet!

The view of the lake <3

Mama Bluebird with a bug for the babies!

My favorite Stargazer Lilies

Up until this year, I've only had Red Canna Lilies. This is my first orange one!

A Papa American Goldfinch feeding his baby.

A Papa American Goldfinch feeding his baby.

A Great Blue Heron on the lake. He always flies off when I come down to the dock to sit.

I was so excited on Monday to see this bird. I saw two birds flying around the tree on the peninsula on the lake. Through my binoculars I saw an Eastern Kingbird, which are very territorial, and the other bird was a… wait, what?! An Eastern Meadowlark?! Eastern Meadowlarks like grasses and fields, so why was he in a tree on the lake? I have no idea but, boy, was I excited to see him! He is a new yard bird for me (yay!!) so I was so excited to have had him visit!! 

After watching these two for awhile and the Eastern Meadowlark flew off, I watched the Eastern Kingbird literally hover over the water, wings fluttering but it not moving, suspended in the air, looking for bugs. 

The Eastern Meadowlark

The Gorgeous Eastern Meadowlark

It's the beginning of August but I feel like a lot of the trees are starting to change already. It's so strange.

Trees starting to change.

The tree that the Meadowlark was in on the peninsula on the lake.

Changing colors

More changing trees.

Monday, August 2, 2021 |

Flowers and Nest Rescue

I'm pretty sure everyone has a favorite flower. What is yours? Mine originally was the Stargazer Lily, which I still hold close to my heart. The Dahlia has taken its place because it's like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. There are so many different shapes and colors that I can't wait to see what blooms. Michigan gets pretty cold in the winter so I need to pull these each fall and store them in the basement but every spring they get huge and bloom. I have some that are 6 feet tall! 

This year I didn't really have a plan. I just stuck a bunch of flowers in the ground and prayed that they would all come up and look gorgeous. Well, they do look gorgeous but they also look like I just stuck them in the ground! It looks like a jungle in my front yard this year. I already have plans for my Cannas and Dahlias next year so we will see how it goes! In the meantime, I'm absolutely loving the pop of color around the house. 


Canna Lilies



Petunias my mom grew from seed!

Another gorgeous Dahlia

I think this is by far my favorite Dahlia

One of my new Canna Lilies!

Another favorite Dahlia

This is the same Dahlia as above but a different angle. Notice the one petal on the bottom that is part burgundy. I found that so unique!

Stargazer Lily



Stargazer Lily


The Sunflowers!

Korean 'Green' Hyssop - The finches LOVE this in the fall when it goes to seed! It comes back every single year. 

Coneflowers - Another one that the birds go crazy for in the fall when it goes to seed. The butterflies love coneflowers!!

The bees love coneflowers, too!

Another Dahlia. The petals curl. It's so cool.


Swamp Milkweed - I planed this to help the Monarchs.

See - it looks like a jungle in the front yard. I need to have a plan next year for the tall ones in the back and smaller in the front. I tried! :)

I have a garter snake that lives under the tree in the front yard. I have to be careful because I always almost step on it! 

My gardens. See how tall the Dahlias and Canna Lilies are?

Yard notes: 8/1/2021 - A short rain fell today and we got .07 inches. It was partly sunny and cool. 64 degrees at 8:38pm. 

For the past few days, I've seen excessive moving and preening in the Eastern Bluebird birdbox at night. I have a blink camera in the box so I've been watching them all day. I haven't been checking the nesting box as often as I should be because I have the camera but I woke up that morning thinking about them and knew I needed to check the box. 

I took a few things with me and started Operation Nest Rescue. I opened it up and something was in it. I remember saying, 'What the heck this is gross!' They ended up being blowflies! Blowflies crawl down into the nest during the day and crawl back up at night, often between the toes of the birds and suck their blood, often causing anemia and can cause death in bluebirds. Why did I wake up thinking about it? Was it to help save these 11-day old bluebirds? 

You can see the bluebirds look like something is bothering them.

Another one of all the birds moving around at night.

I had to get a towel and a bucket and I had to put the bluebirds in the bucket on the towel. I then got a ziplock gallon plastic bag and while using gloves I pulled the nest into the bag and sealed it. I then had to gather a bunch of soft pine needs and create a new nest. I then found a blowfly crawling on one of the babies that I pulled off. Those poor birds! They seemed so much happier in the new nest. The parents took two hours to finally come to the box and start feeding them again as they were very unsure of what I had done. Had I not done it then they could have died. There is so much to being a bluebird landlord. You need to provide them housing that prevents predators and you need to do nest checks to ensure that everything is going well. That was my first experience with blowflies! I hope it is my last! 

I read that blowflies are more prevalent when it's hot and wet. It has been so wet in Michigan this summer, probably one of the wettest on record. The Spring is usually very wet but instead, it was very dry.

Sunday, August 1, 2021 |

The beginning of it all...

 Thanks for following me here. I know you have a lot of ways available to spend your time, and I appreciate you taking the time to get to know me better.

My name is Briana and I live in Linden, Michigan, which is between Flint, Ann Arbor, Lansing, and Detroit. We live on a small private lake which blesses me with so many different types of birds that visit my yard. 

After I moved from Texas to here full-time in 2018 I've been spending a lot of time outside studying birds. I find their unique behaviors endlessly fascinating. 

My goal for this blog is to not only talk about the birds I see and hear but also show you around my place, my gardens, and the wildlife in my yard. 

Welcome and again, thank you for visiting! 

I have the most gorgeous gladiolus flowers this year in bloom.