Yosemite Birds: Photos and Notebook Page

Lest you think that all I took photos of on my Yosemite trip were wildflowers, here are some bird photos. You will also note that these are not my typical “pretty” photos….birds are hard to photograph and they just don’t come close enough for my little camera.

I love to watch for birds in the early morning. The meadow near our campsite was a perfect birding site and I was up early each morning to see what I could find. The first photo is of a white-headed woodpecker and the second photo is a brown creeper.

These are both new birds to add to my life list of birds seen and identified. That is always exciting.

There is a section in the Handbook of Nature Study on different woodpeckers on pages 70-77. You might enjoy reading about the woodpecker in preparation of your next encounter.

Something else interesting is that I found a feather from a Steller’s jayand when I compared it to my Scrub jay feather that is already in my collection, I found out how different the feathers are colored. Both birds are very similar in color and shape but the patterns of color are very different. Here you can see it clearly. The Scrub Jay is on the left and the Steller’s Jay is on the right. There is a section in the Handbook of Nature Study specifically on bird feathers starting on page 29. We found it very interesting to read about the various purposes of feathers and the various kinds of feathers.

Here is a scan of one of my bird nature journal pages that I made during our trip. Nothing fancy but still a really good reminder in my nature journal of the day we saw this woodpecker. You can find the notebook page on my Freebies page.

Hope you enjoyed a little bird stuff today. I still have insects to share and a really big entry with wildflowers. I am trying to decide whether to make a slideshow of the flowers or just share a few of the over forty flowers I took photos of.

Black-Eyed Susan, Daisies, Tomatoes, Lemons, More

This week’s garden update is full of colors and surprises. My daily watering routine is always rewarded with something new or interesting to look at and think about as I spend a few minutes enjoying the growing things in my yard. This is the time of year that gardening is at its best….all those hours spend cultivating and sowing seeds, pampering the delicate plants as the summer progressed, and then feeling the surge of joy as you peek under a leaf and see something delicious to eat or something to raise your spirits with its colors and textures.

Here are your garden treats this week.

Morning glories in all their glory. This is the color that they are in real life…a sort of radiant pink and the camera just enhances that rich color.

My Black-Eyed Susans are just starting to bloom along the fence and they make me smile.

“These beautiful, showy flowers have rich contrasts in their color scheme. The ten to twenty ray flowers wave rich, orange banners around the cone of purple-brown disc flowers.”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 523 (Black-eyed Susan)

This is a hover fly inside a wildflower. He is the perfect size for this trumpet shaped flower. I have been on the lookout for insects in the garden since that is the focus of the Outdoor Hour Challenges right now. This one I recognize from our fall study of insects.

This creature is my constant companion as I spend time in our backyard. She is always curious about what I am looking at and many times I have to shoo her away in order to get a good photo of something in the garden box. In this photo she is watching my middle son fly his RC helicopter on the lawn. She isn’t afraid of it but I don’t think she exactly knows what to think of it either. Always curious….

This beauty just started to bloom today. It is in a pot on the back deck and it came up from a plant that I had last year. Gerber Daisy…what a color it is!

Now we are to the edible update for the week. My patio tomatoes growing on the back deck are really starting to produce. Can you just taste the yummy sunshiney taste of these beauties? Next year I think I will grow two of these plants so we have enough tomatoes for everyone.

Last year my hubby bought me a lemon tree for the deck. He put it in a beautiful pot and it was loaded with lemons. We harvested those and then over the winter we pampered this tree through rain, wind, snow, and ice. Come springtime it blossomed like crazy and it smelled so delicious. Then the cold weather came back and I worried that we wouldn’t get any lemons at all since the blooms fell off. Well, hiding under the bottom leaves there were some that made it through and now we have some fairly good sized lemons on the tree again. I think there are eight lemons which is better than nothing. :)

Hope you enjoyed the garden update for this week….so many things to share. I wanted to mention that I usually look up everything in the Handbook of Nature Study as we go throughout our week. Many times I am surprised to see something listed in there and then we take the time to read and discuss the information. It just seems so natural to find something we are interested in and then learn more about it when it is fresh in our mind. Even though the focus this week is on insects for the Outdoor Hour Challenge, many other subjects come up and we take that opportunity to learn about them too.

Moths of All Sorts-Outdoor Hour Challenge #23

This week’s challenge was to focus on insects and moths in particular. We were able to see lots of moths close-up this week when we were camping. Once you turn on the lantern and set it on the table, watch out! Moths come a flying!

Here are some of the many moths we observed during the week. We were able to get good photos by turning on two lanterns and using one to attract the moths and one to light the moth for the photo. I did not use the flash on the camera.

I don’t think this one is a moth but some other sort of insect that is attracted to the light.

The next set of photos is from the back porch. I turned on the porch light and a little while later, we had plenty of insects that were sitting on the wall near the light. We were able to get good photos by shining a flashlight on the insect and then turning the flash off on the camera to take each one close-up.


Edit: Roberta says this is an adult cabbage looper. I think it looks right to me. :) Thanks Roberta.

This looks more like a green lacewing than a moth but it was sure attracted to the light.

I have not taken the time to try to identify all these insects. I have a really hard time with that part of insect nature study. I spend hours and hours pouring through the field guides and rarely do I find what I am looking for. Insects are really hard to identify but we will persevere and try to update this entry as we find the names for these critters.

My son is going to help me identify the insects and make his journal entry on one of the moths we identify. He prefers to use a spiral bound sketchbook for his nature journal instead of notebooking pages.

https://handbookofnaturestudy.com/2010/06/outdoor-hour-challenge-summer-nature.html