little discoveries: new plants, old friends and a new visitor…

i can’t believe it is june already. we’ve spent a good portion of the spring outdoors. partly because my littlest one loves to be outside.  after pleading for “cheewios,” the next request is usually “backyawd?”

and also, we’re having some repair work done in the home, so i like to stay out of the way of the workers. it’s noisy and dusty and i’m looking forward to having my home back.

we’ve had such nice weather. i think i’ve spent more time in my yard this year than any other since moving here 5 years ago. and as it’s bound to happen, i’ve noticed a few new little things recently.

there is a large pine bush in my backyard.

i decided to trim it back a bit. now remember this trillium in my yard?

i had thought it was the only one growing this year. but look…

underneath the branches of the prickly pine was another trillium. slightly past its early spring glory with its faded shade of pink, rather than the usual white…

i have a soft spot for trilliums, our provincial flower. i did a bit of research, and learned that while there is a variant of the plant that blooms with pink petals (T. grandiflorum f. roseum), this one is most likely the white variety. the same as the first trillium pictured above. they turn a shade of pink prior to wilting, not be mistaken with the rare pink variety.

happy with my find, i finished cutting back that bush and started weeding next to the rickety old swing set. near the edge where the lawn meets the garden was this…

i had to do a double take. jagged leaves in groups of three…

five delicate white petals and a yellow center…

yup. i have a strawberry plant. i don’t know where that could’ve come from. the compost maybe? i wonder if it will yield any fruit…though if it does, i’m sure the birds will get to it first.

speaking of which.  the bird feeders were filled and hung on the old pine tree

…a goldfinch came by for a visit.

i always get a little excited when i see these bright flashes of colour in my yard.

they usually don’t stay long, since they are easily startled. but they grab a beak-full of nyjer seeds and flit away…

next came a grackle. bossy little things…

they have a distinctive dark body (it looks brown in this photo, but they are more like a black crow) and black-blue head. their tail feathers also form a v-shape, rather than being flat. they’re like squirrels around here…abundant and a little pesky. and noisy. their call sounds like a door that need needs to be oiled.

but they’re welcome in my yard nonetheless. even the squirrel is welcome, who goes to a great deal of trouble and acrobatics to hang by its feet precariously from a branch, in order to reach the bird feeder. hey, i figure if you’re clever enough to find a way to get the food, you’re welcome to it. bon appetit mr.squirrel. and yes, you too chippie

there was also a cardinal.  do you spy the goldfinch in behind?

mrs.cardinal dropped by afterward too, picking seeds that were scattered beneath the feeder.

i wonder if she muttered “always cleaning up his crumbs…ever heard of a plate?” (by the way, i love the punky crest on her head)…

the next one was spotted by one of my kids. i’d never seen the bird before and i didn’t have a chance to take a photo of it before it flew away. but we did look it up, and learned that it was a “common flicker”…

species of north america, a really good reference book.

not that common here. a first time visitor, which is always kinda cool.

that book, by the way, was one of my best purchases to date. i found it at (you’ll be shocked) a thrift store, and it lists every species of flora and fauna found in north america, with full-colour illustrations, descriptions and maps. and while i know that i have access to every species in the whole wide world right here at my fingertips with the internet, i think there’s just something about looking up information in a well-designed reference book. we’ve used it so many times.

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9 Responses to little discoveries: new plants, old friends and a new visitor…

  1. smilindown says:

    Cardinals are my dad’s favorite birds! You got great shots :)

  2. Corey says:

    I love volunteers. I spent a good deal of my morning today transplanting quite a few. Lemme know if you want some hits about growing strawberries. :)

  3. Ott, A. says:

    Thanks for stopping by for a Latte’. I have been trying to attract gold finches at my house. I have a feeder and I see them in the neighboorhood but they haven’t stopped by yet. Your flower pics look lovely.

    • iMadeItSo says:

      thank you! are you using thistle or nyjer seeds? they just may not know about your feeder yet, but once they do, word gets out quickly and they’ll feed in small flocks. they also mate later in the season, so maybe you’ll see some mid-summer.

  4. ZebraBelly says:

    I bet a fairy left you the strawberry plant.

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