Yesterday afternoon, I wandered around the fields and ponds near our house to check in on our wildlife neighbors. And to admire the scenery, of course:
Yellow seems to be a very popular color around here. There are all those yellow hawkweed flowers that have just recently burst into bloom in the fields (I haven't looked closely enough to identify the species). An Eastern Meadowlark with his bright yellow breast was singing from the top of a tree near the field:
And a female Yellow Warbler was carrying soft nesting material to some secret location:
A couple of White-tailed Deer sauntered out of the woods at one point and took hardly any notice of me before continuing on their way:
I've guessed that Red-winged Blackbirds are nesting at the ponds in our neighborhood, because walks by these ponds in recent weeks have been accompanied by hovering/yelling blackbirds, often at close range. On this walk, I actually spotted one of the reasons why the adult blackbirds are so protective of this area: Look at the little fuzzy babies in their nest, hidden so well among the cattails!
I didn't stay long, especially since a male Red-winged Blackbird made it very clear that I wasn't welcome:
He did a lot of yelling:
But he also interspersed his yelling with grooming, stretching himself into all sorts of shapes:
Then a female showed up and added her voice, and OK, I'm going, I'm going:
When I got back to the house, another interesting creature was watching me from a daylily leaf near the front door:
A large jumping spider (probably the appropriately named Bold Jumper, Phidippus audax) had snagged an equally large fly from among the insects feeding on the chive blossoms nearby. Wow, what a catch:
Here's one more picture of this creature, so you can appreciate its fuzzy legs and beautiful iridescent mouthparts; I think jumping spiders are really cute and cool, and I'm happy to have this big creature for a neighbor:
Spring is starting to wind to a close, but much of the activity out there is just getting started!