Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bluebird "bathing beauties" and an unusual larva

There has been a family of Bluebirds visiting our yard each evening lately. It has been so entertaining to watch them bathing in the birdbath! Yesterday there were 3 in the bath at one time. I got tickled at the mother looking a bit annoyed at one of her nearly-grown fledglings waiting its turn as she bathed. She seemed much like a human mom wanting to relax in the tub while a toddler is banging on the door wanting to get in the bathroom! :) I was excited to catch one of the parents splashing away in the bath as the other parent looked on. The water was flying everywhere!
Father Bluebird is quite a handsome guy, especially when the sun shines on his brilliant blue feathers.

The fledglings (middle and right) still have a bit more molting to do before they are as striking as their parents. I'm thrilled to see the bluebirds are doing so well!

During my lunch break at school, I went out into the Secret Garden and found this odd beetle larva hunting aphids on one of the Coreopsis plants. These, along with Ladybug larvae, are good little aphid eaters. The black ants will often protect their "ant cows" (a.k.a. "aphids"), because they drink honeydew produced by the aphids.

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