An apple a day

Once again I prepared a bit late for the Wildlife Wednesday hosted by Tina, who very kindly gathers together and inspires all the ‘wild gardeners’ on her My gardeners says blog. But later is better than never and a short break from the seeds is also good.
Throughout November we encouraged everyone to eat at least an apple a day, since an old apple tree has provided a bit too many of them and Tamiasciurus hudsonicus obviously saw the health benefits in doing so…

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Tamiasciurus hudsonicus – American red squirrel

And off we go, more work to do for winter-proofing the nest!

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My pictures are not really good but I hope to illustrate well enough our ‘plump-up’ for the winter squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis). With the long and warmer than usual fall, there are reports from all over Canada about this ‘phenomenon’ – certainly a situation that has become of national concern :)

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The rabbit didn’t get any apples; he has tried to fool me with a good behaviour, but it didn’t lasted long…I can’t tell if it is the eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) or the White-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus townsendii). Given the size, I incline more towards the later.

6 (2)I am not doing too well, bird feeding wise; once in a while the cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) comes and sits reproachful on our only bird feeder (inherited actually from the previous owners). I don’t think he likes it, so I started a birds ‘wish list’ for Santa. Besides the chickadees and doves, a junco family (Junco hyemalis) has made its home for the winter here; they also enjoy picking up seeds from the ground rather than eating from the feeder.

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And, very important, we finally have a ‘bug hotel’! I mean a real one, since the lady bugs have taken property into possession in a corner of the shed. There is a wood pile nearby, but it seems the comfort of the shed won over their customary way of spending winter. On the account of their past and future exemplar garden service, they are allowed to stay for free until spring…(there is even an extra blanket, ie. a bag with leaves, if necessary).

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Ladybugs huddled together for the winter

To all followers of the Wild Wed., birds and butterflies, bugs and lizards, ants, squirrels, rabbits and all the others, I send my warm wishes for a happy holidays season and a new year full of nectar, pollen, seeds, worms, nuts, apples, and of course, lots of wildflowers!!!

10 replies
  1. Tina
    Tina says:

    A great post!! I guess squirrels are busy no matter where one gardens. I like the shot of the nesting material–mine just munch seeds and move in to the Eastern Screech Owl box. And your bug hotel–that’s fantastic! Hope your little ladybugs stay nice and cozy for the chilly duration. Thanks for joining in–it was a pleasure!

    • diversifolius
      diversifolius says:

      Thanks Tina. It was a chance picture taken from the house; I didn’t know at the beginning what she was trying to do…the other squirrels are gathering dry leaves for their nests.

  2. Shirley F.
    Shirley F. says:

    Those are some chubby squirrels all ready for the winter. Don’t be fooled by the rabbit, they look so cute at first. Impressive set of ladybugs, hope they return and provide the same good service next year as well.

    • diversifolius
      diversifolius says:

      Thanks.I don’t know why there were so many ladybugs in this ‘abandoned’ garden (which is new for us) but don’t mind it at all :)

  3. Julie
    Julie says:

    Love this! The photo of your American Red Squirrel munching on an apple skin is excellent, a great action shot. I wish we had as many overwintering Ladybirds as you do, I’ve read the first thing they do when waking up from hibernation is to look for a mate. I have lots of singletons around and feel I need to group them together, yours are sorted! Lovely thoughts to all our creatures too, you really made me smile with your last paragraph. Happy Holidays to you too!

    • diversifolius
      diversifolius says:

      Thanks! I didn’t know that piece of info about the ladybugs;coming spring then we should expect a ladybugs orgy in the shed! :)

    • diversifolius
      diversifolius says:

      I agree with the cardinal, ladybugs and the red squirrel; the other ones, I could live without. They are doing a lot of damage in a garden.

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