Chipmunk and Snapping Turtle

I had a post a few days ago about mallows: the chipmunks must have read it because I pointed out that hollyhocks and hibiscus were both mallows.  Well, I caught a chipmunk eating the hibiscus flowers for the first time although I put them out in the same place each year.

So I brought in one hibiscus to a safe place.  So the chipmunk went after the hollyhocks instead.

Chipmunk on Hollyhock
Chipmunk on Hollyhock
Chipmunk on Hollyhock
Chipmunk on Hollyhock

We also had a visit from a snapping turtle.  It’s too big to be a hatchling from this year, even though it’s almost the right time, but nowhere near adult size.  It is about 8 cm as you can see, barely able to peer over grass that was cut a couple of days ago.  Adults are up to 50 cm.  So it must have overwintered in one of my garden ponds.  It was heading towards my biggest pond with lots of lilies and fish, and I don’t want an adult living there as then it would have no lilies or fish, so I gave it a ride in a pail to a large pond nearby, which is probably where its parents came from.  That led to a serendipitous find.  I dropped it in a spot I hadn’t looked at for a while and found a large ladyslipper orchid plant.  It’s long past flowering season, so I’ll have to wait until next year to find out what colour it is.  I know orchids well enough to identify a ladyslipper just from leaves, but not to guess the colour.

Snapping Turtle 2

Juvenile Snapping Turtle
Juvenile Snapping Turtle

Bougainvillea flowers

When Laurie and I were last on holiday in the Los Angeles area, the hillsides were covered with Bougainvillea in flower.  All we can manage at home is one little potted plant, in my tropical plant case in the winter and the greenhouse in summer.

If you look more closely, the crimson “flowers” are, in fact, coloured leaves (bracts) and the flowers are small creamy or white things at the very tip.

Bougainvillea flowers and bracts
Bougainvillea flowers and bracts
More Bougainvillea flowers and bracts
More Bougainvillea flowers and bracts

Bees and Wasps and Hoverflies

Just when you think you’ve figure out the difference between bees and wasps, along comes a hoverfly to confuse you.

Just when you thought you had figured out the difference between bees…

Bee on goldenrod
Bee on goldenrod

and wasps…

Wasp on goldenrod
Wasp on goldenrod
Wasp on Globe Thistle
Wasp on Globe Thistle

… along comes this hoverfly to confuse you by pretending to be a wasp

Hoverfly on Black-eyed Susan
Hoverfly on Black-eyed Susan