Saturday, June 6, 2015

May Wildlife

Life was pretty hectic in May between work and visits from family, which is why my post for Tina's Wildlife Wednesday is a few days late.  With the busy month, I also felt like I didn't get much quality time in the garden, and even less time to photograph my May garden visitors.  But looking back on my photographs tells a much different story.  Even with limited time in garden, I got pictures of so many different types of wildlife.  It makes me wonder how many more critters visited my garden this month that I didn't get a chance to notice.  Here are the ones that I did spot:

Bees, Butterflies, & Other Insects

One of my favorite visitors this month were the Black Swallowtail butterflies.  I need to give photo credit to my hubby for the cool pics of the swallowtails.

This female is laying her eggs on some of the flowering dill in my container herb garden on my back patio.  My fennel, dill, and parsley are constant hosts for the swallowtail caterpillars, which can be found in various instar stages at any time on my plants.

And while clipping some lemon balm for a floral arrangement, I found this empty swallowtail chrysalis.  Maybe it even belonged to the momma swallowtail who is now laying her eggs on my plants for the next generation of swallowtails.

 Next in the insects are the the skippers that visited my garden last month.

Perfect camouflage to blend in with the sunflowers.  I have to say, these are my favorite pictures of wildlife this month, and while my husband is pretty good at catching some cool pictures, I get to take credit for these.

Another skipper sun bathing on a zinnia leaf.

The bees were also loving the sunflowers this month.

And when they weren't feasting on the sunflowers, they could be found on the shasta daisies.

Or even on the Graham Thomas roses (yellow must be their favorite color).

This katydid nymph was hanging out on a gladiola of one of my garden bouquets last month.


There have been plenty of green anoles scurrying around the yard lately.  I found this one sun bathing on the oleander leaves.

The Texas Spiney Lizards have been more numerous than ever.  I see several of them every day out in the courtyard or scampering across the garden.  Today my dogs were going crazy over one that kept playing hide-and-seek with them.

There have been so many spiney lizards, that I was even able to get two in one shot when they were playing around in the courtyard - one is on the rocker cushion, and one is on the bottom rung of the table.  Do you see them?


We always have white-tailed deer around the neighborhood, but I usually see them only at dawn and dusk, and they scurry away too fast, so I usually can't catch them on camera.

However, after some strong storms in the area last month which knocked down a lot of branches in the neighborhood, the deer came out of hiding in the morning and feasted on the fallen branches and stuck around long enough for some photos.

They didn't like too many pictures being taken, so were quickly off to find their next fallen branch for breakfast.


I've spotted plenty of mockingbirds this month, including this guy, who looks to be an adolescent.

The black-chinned hummingbirds (female and male below) continue to feast at the feeder at dawn and dusk daily.  When I'm outside, I generally hear them before I see them - the buzzing they make with their incredibly fast wings is an unmistakable sound.

And while I can spot blue-jays year-round in my garden, I find them to be one of the trickiest backyard birds to capture on camera.  They don't stay at any one place very long, but can be viewed flying from limb to limb or fence post to fence post throughout the day.


Last but not least is a toad that I found on the back porch one evening in May after some heavy rains. My dogs LOVE chasing toads and frogs, and while I tried to deter my dogs from "playing" with this little guy, I eventually had to let them outside and they eventually caught the little fella.  Such is life I s'pose.

Thanks for visiting my blog and reading about the May wildlife in my garden!


  1. Lots to share for show and tell!! Love the butterfly photos, especially of the skipper so well blended in with the sunflower--I had to look twice before I saw it! Nice shot!

    I'm jealous of your spiny lizard. I adore the anoles, but those spiny lizards are darned cute too! I used to see them in the Green Garden at ZBG and just loved having them as colleagues in the garden.

    Too right about the hummers: I also hear them before seeing them usually and haven't gotten a single shot this year so far. There are more though, than in the last couple of years. I'm glad for that.

    Thanks for participating in WW--yours are always a treat!

    1. The spiny lizards seem to be in abundance this year - I see them almost every time I'm out in the garden. Getting pictures of them is a different story, since they are fast little guys. I'm glad I caught them while sun bathing.

  2. You have so much wildlife even with all the storm....I have never seen black-chinned hummingbirds and they are similar to the ruby-throated. We have loads of toads this year in our pond and around us in other their nighttime song. I wish we had lizards but there is only one that lives around here and we never see them. Enjoying this post and your blog so I am following along! This time I am responding from my newer blog where my wildlife post is as I linked in with Tina!

    1. I have a ton of black-chinned and Anna hummingbirds. I haven't seen a single ruby-throated one, at least not a male. My husband did spot one and caught a picture, but I haven't been fortunate enough to see them. I have a feeling my little territorial black-chinned hummers scared them away.

  3. I love seeing the critters other bloggers have visiting, they always make an interesting post. Both you and your OH have captured some great shots, particularly the humming birds. Gorgeous wee creatures that they are.

    1. Hummingbirds are such a treat. I feel so lucky that I get to see them every morning and every evening.

  4. You had quite an assortment of wildlife friends in your garden this month! The Black Swallowtail is really lovely. And the Skippers are great, too. Great shots of the hummingbird. I wish we had lizards around here, but I haven't seen any in years. Maybe I'm not looking in the right places. :) Wonderful post -- thanks for sharing!

    1. I did have quite a bit of wildlife. I'm glad to see my number and variety of wildlife increase every season. It is confirmation that I'm making my garden a hospitable place to host so much wildlife...and they are so much fun to watch!

  5. So much happening in your beds. I'm seeing spiny lizards in numbers as well for the first time this year. I'd always seen anoles but the spiny lizards must have had a population explosion with all the rain. So much fun to have them as company. We have a resident toad by the HVAC unit outside but he is super shy - I'm impressed you got a photo of yours. But my favorite has to be the skipper on the sunflower - that is just a great shot all around. Wonderful WW post!