Saturday, September 29, 2012

Keep Your Eyes Peeled in the Garden

This has been a busy week, sorry for no tree post.  One of the trees I had photos of turned out to be another tree....another one I wasn't sure of which tree it might be.





I have been planting a lot of new plants in the garden.  One of the wholesale nurseries in our area had their yearly end of season sale...

As you can see, I had a couple wagon loads of new goodies to plant.  Some azaleas, heucheras, coneflowers, penstemons, and a Rodgersia- a new plant to me.  The azaleas were planted in spots where I had hydrangeas.  These poor struggling shrubs needed to be moved to get more light.

This is more of a post about CREATURES IN THE GARDEN....
because I was digging and exploring in the garden, I found many little creatures.  Some of these photos were posted on Facebook, but I know many of you are not on FB, so for those who have seen two of these pictures, I am sorry for the repeat.





Digging a hole for the hydrangea's new spot, along the side of the house, where there is a lot of activity....I found this little cutie--

I was worried the shovel might have injured him or another, so gently digging around I found his brothers...

Best guess from online info these are Eastern Box Turtles

After a quick photo-shoot they were returned to the spot in the garden where I found them.  I checked a couple times to see if they were still there or moving about.  After a few hours they were no where to be found, they blended into the garden quite well.  While looking for them there was a lot of leaf-rustling in that area....this is who I found.   A little Fence Lizard, he was probably about two inches from nose to tail.

Planting new plants, one needs water.  After one is done with the water, the hose needs to be put away.....carefully.

According to FB friend Christopher, this snake is all kinked because it is getting ready to shed its skin.  Believe it to be a Black Rat Snake.

Black Racers are fast movers, this one wasn't moving quickly, so my guess is Black Rat Snake.

But wait, there's more.  This is a Virgin Tiger Moth.  Very interesting markings.



A posting on the wildlife in my garden isn't complete without an Egret on the dock photo.  These birds migrate in the late fall and return to the lake in the spring. Our dock is a good fishing spot...for the birds, not so much for us.


We have all sorts of frogs and toads in our area, some are so small.   This little guy waited for a few pictures to be taken before he hopped into the garden.

Here is a close up of this nubby toad.



And finally, one of the reasons some of my plants have been eaten.  We have grasshoppers and this cleverly disguised muncher, a Katydid.


What creatures are in your garden??

©Copyright 2012 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

54 comments:

  1. You can repost those baby turtles anytime you want Janet ~ I never get tired of seeing them! So cute & you're so lucky to have discovered them (and all the other abundant wildlife in your garden) I have lots of planting to do in the garden too but haven't started it yet. Need to get going before my bulb order arrives & I feel overwhelmed.

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    1. Kathleen, thanks, I sure think these little turtles are soooo cute. Fall is certainly a busy time for planting.

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  2. OMG!!! The baby turtles are so adorable! We used to watch them when we lived in Missouri. But, Janet!!!! I'd move to the other side of Earth after seeing that snake in my garden!

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    1. Tatyana, it was a harmless snake, so I wasn't too worried. They do give you a start when you happen upon one in the garden.

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  3. Your gardens are home to many wildlife, must be prime garden estate! Adorable turtles, the snake, not so much...I haven't a clue what all I have been missing in the garden...

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    1. Darla, the wildlife seems to think it is a good spot! I know you will be getting out in your garden soon.

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  4. Omg those turtles are so cute!!! lol I saw a painted turtle next to the garden the other day. He or she was very striking.

    There's a 4' black snake hanging around here and we've surprised each a couple of times.

    Beautiful moth. I haven't seen one like that for a while.

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    1. Sweetbay, I love finding the turtles. Yes, when you come upon a snake it is a surprise! I am not sure if I have seen one like this before, very interesting.

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  5. Those little turtles are ADORABLE! Never seen a kinked snake or nubby toad. Good catch.

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    1. Tina, thanks!! Pays to have a camera in your pocket.

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  6. Those little turtles are the cutest thing! And the tiger moth is wonderfully exotic-looking. I once found a black rat snake in my yard back when we lived in Massachusetts. It was a beauty. I really rather like snakes. Thanks for posting all these great photos of your wildlife. I am terrible at photographing wildlife.

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    1. Alison, aren't they though? I can't say I LIKE snakes, but I don't mind them. Keep telling them to go after the voles and moles.

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  7. You have many friends in your garden! Great job photographing all. Egrets are so beautiful. The turtles are adorable.

    Sorry that I've been away so long. I've finished the novel and sent out my first query to one literary agent. Not holding my breath. Kathryn Stockett had 60 rejections from agents over five years until #61 took her novel 'The Help' and sold it to a publisher!

    Heading to Paris on Wednesday to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.

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    1. Freda, Happy anniversary and have a blast in Paris!! I know you are glad to have the novel done and on its way to a publisher.

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  8. Just look at all of those goodies. LOL!
    The little turtles are the sweetest things.

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  9. Those baby box turtles are adorable! I used to have one as a pet when I was a kid.

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    1. Jason, I used to have some when I was a kid too!

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  10. How excellent finding those turtles..I frequently find toads buried this time of year...right now we are still seeing some snakes, lots of frogs and pollinators...getting quiet though.

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    1. Donna@GEV, finding them was a surprise, they were on my shovel. Yes, I think the frogs and toads are starting to burrow in for the winter.

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  11. You really live in an excellent spot for native plants and wildlife, don't you?? Wow! Those are great. The turtles are unbelievably cute. Have fun planting your new batch of plant babies. I haven't done any plant buying in months...time to get on it!

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    1. Daricia, I do have an excellent spot. Got all new plants in the ground before this past few days rain...hooray!!

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  12. PS. Had to look up Rodgersia...will interested to know how it does for you.

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    1. Daricia, it is new to me too, but have been with MGs at a large garden center and they were drooling over one. Will keep you posted.

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  13. Janet, you have wonderful visitors to your garden! The turtles are darling--how lucky that no one was injured in the digging! I'm very envious of all of your garden goodies--I saw your info about the sale, but when I looked at the location I realized it was a little too far away for me. (Shoot!) I've heard that, too, about kinked snakes--and I also had an encounter with one while I was clearing out the herb gardens a week ago. Of course, I saw it slither out after I had been working in the herbs for more than an hour...eek. Lovely, lovely photos as always!

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    1. Julie, I am pretty excited about these little visitors. Sorry the plant sale was a little too far for you...I understand. We are sure spread out here.

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  14. What a blessing to find such life in your garden. The turtles are adorable. Great post!

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  15. You got a regular zoo there! The turtles are really cute, but you can keep the snake. Even though my brain knows that venomous snakes are the exception, my heart skips a beat whenever I see one, not matter its ilk. I came across a northern water snake at Hog Island yesterday and nearly jumped out of my skin.

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    1. Les, yes, it is a bit of a zoo. Love watching the lizards and anoles running all over the place. My heart skips a beat when I see a snake, every time! I would have jumped out of my skin if it were a venomous one.

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  16. So many interesting creatures in your garden, Janet--I would certainly keep my eyes peeled if I knew there was a snake around! The turtles, though, are cute; my grandkids found one in their backyard and decided to name him "Tippy":) The moth is also gorgeous; I've never seen one like this before.

    Was the lizard what you posted on Facebook? I guess I didn't have my contacts in at the time, and at first glance I thought it might be a lobster. I'm glad to know this wasn't your lunch:)

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    1. Rose, I am always looking. When our kids were little they found a box turtle, and they named it Thursday, cuz on Friday it was being released. Hahaha.
      Yes, it was a Fence Lizard. Wish it were a lobster...yum!!

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  17. My gosh you have variety. What a great group of critters. Like you, I am so pressed for time lately. I just got back from a vacation early, yet there is so much ahead to do. I did not even look at the garden, let alone what might be in it, so I enjoyed your menagerie.

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    1. Donna, it is a great group of critters. Last week was a busy one, this week, not as bad. Funny how it changes so quickly.

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  18. Great post! Very enjoyable!
    Once when we were walking in a National Park, we saw a turtle laying her eggs. Amazing experience!
    Have a great day!
    Lea
    Lea's Menagerie

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    1. Lea, thanks so much! How fun to see her laying her eggs.

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  19. Half the fun of gardening is finding various visitors to the garden. I enjoyed your images, especially the leaf look-alike, Katydid. I think snakes are attracted by hoses, I've often seen them together; do they think they have found a mate? Christina

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    1. Christina, I certainly have been having my share of fun! Maybe those snakes are looking for a mate. hahaha

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  20. You get such a fabulous array of critters in your garden Janet! I love the turtles, obviously, but that snake is rather magnificently sinister, and the egret is so graceful. A ballerina of the bird world!

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    1. Janet, I like the ballerina of the bird world, wonderful way to describe it!

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  21. Those turtles have got to be the cutest things I've just about ever seen. I'm seriously impressed with the amount of wildlife you've got in your garden. There's a fantastic ecology going on there, lucky you.

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    1. Marguerite, I think so too. I do have a lot of wildlife in the garden....hoping it is a good ecology here, trying to be so.

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  22. Isn’t it fun finding such critters in the garden? We find the baby turtles often and I am ever amazed with their small size whenever spotted. This year we had a bumper crop of grasshopper and crickets. I was not too happy to see all the plants they nibble upon. Sigh, but I am sure my bird friends are munching down on them keeping the cycle of life going strong. We had two fence lizards hanging out at the wood shed this summer. I spotted a tiny baby in the Semi-Formal garden. Too quick of a scamper off for a photo though. They are interesting lizards with their prehistoric look. I envy you with water fowl as that is one we do not have in our gardens. But we do enjoy them at the lake…

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    1. Skeeter, it is fun. I imagine ours are very similar. I love our waterfowl, they make it extra special.

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  23. "What creatures are in your garden??"
    At an outdoor swim meet earlier this month in Baltimore, a swimmer found a baby box turtle in the pool. (Don't know what stroke he was swimming though.)

    I had a brown leaf drop into a chair on my deck this weekend. Turned out to be a brown mantis. I will blog about it.
    -Ray

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    1. Ray, Yes, all of them were in my garden, all within a couple days of each other. Praying mantis are pretty cool, but watch it, they will attack hummingbirds.

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  24. That kaydid looks just like a leaf! Those turtles are so cute! I would love to find turtles in my garden. I found one in my mailbox once. I think it was put there by my students. :o) Love all your wildlife.

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    1. Tammy, it does look like a leaf, almost missed it. In your mailbox? How funny, bet it was one of your students.

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  25. I like all your critters, the baby turtles, the kinked black snake, the black and white moth. Your garden is healthy as shown by all the residents.

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    1. Terra, thanks! Thought the kinked snake was interesting. My garden does have a lot of activity.

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  26. Gosh, the most exciting creature in my garden is a squirrel or maybe a chipmunk! If I had come across that rat snake, I would have been running to fast in the other direction to take a picture. I don't mind snakes, but that one looks scary. How cool that you found the turtles! They are adorable! Are they land turtles or will they mature and head to the lake?

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    1. Jennifer, we have squirrels too, they are usually so high up in the trees I seldom see them up close. Think these are land turtles, Box Turtles. Happy to have found them.

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