We had a visitor today but I didn’t get too good a photo of him or her. When I went outside to bring the dogs up, a rather large hawk fluttered up to the top of low arbor. Having not brought my phone with me I scooted up the stairs for it and, fearing it might fly off if I tried to go back down to get the shot, I took it from the upstairs deck at a distance of about 50 feet. I knew to rest it on the railing but it is still pretty fuzzed up from enlarging. I’d thought it might have caught a rat or squirrel but when looked later I didn’t see any leftovers. My wife managed to get out there to see it too. It took off after a little hummingbird got in its face. Anyone have any idea what kind of hawk it might be?
On a walk earlier in the week my wife got this photo of a Monarch on a Buddleia I’m growing in the hell strip between the strip and the sidewalk.
I took this short video about a week ago on a tall Mexican Sunflower relative, Tithonia boliviensis. This sunflower grows about as big as a small tree. I have it growing on a small ledge down the bank of the creek in order to get the flowers closer to eye level. The trunks beyond its yellow sunflowers belong to blue elderberry, Sambucus caeruleum. The sunflowers are bee and butterfly attractors par excellent. The elderberry are used by many birds. I don’t know what the smaller butterfly might be at the start of the video. It doesn’t sit like most skippers thought it is about that big. The butterfly at the end is a Monarch of course.