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.


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