looking back at summer

15 Sep

This has been a pretty good summer all in all here in southwestern Ontario.  We have not had excessive, day after day heat.  Some hot days into the 90’s, yes.  But not to the point of wondering when it would let up.  Temperatures in the 80’s was more the norm.  And it was not an overly wet or dry summer.  Rain came as needed, with no flooding.  It was a good summer for trees, bushes, shrubs and flowers.  Lots of blooms.

Insects were plentiful.  Bees, beetles and butterflies were all evident.  I have heard and read comments that this was not a particularly good year for butterflies, but I have had lots of Monarchs, Viceroys, Milbert’s Tortoiseshells, swallowtails and Silver-spotted Skippers at my flowers.  I saw numerous Monarch caterpillars around the yard.  And other caterpillars as well. I am hoping to improve the situation even more next year, as I will add Boneset and Ironweed to my gardens.

This year, we had more birds in the yard and surrounding area than we have seen since living here (3 years now).  We seemed to be over-run with Robins.  It was not unusual to have half a dozen at the water feature at the same time.  Baltimore Orioles were very active here.  I had to keep re-filling my nectar feeders.  And I am not the only one in the immediate vicinity with nectar feeders.  There are at least 3 other yards along our fence row with oriole feeders.  American Goldfinches were in the yard daily.  They would visit the water feature.  But they especially liked drinking from the water cup that I have above my nectar feeders to keep out ants.  If the cups went dry, the goldfinches would perch there and cry for me to re-fill it.  Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were also feeding regularly in the yard.  They feed mostly at the oriole feeder, but they also liked the Cardinal Flowers and the Butterfly Bush.  They were so much fun to watch as they made the rounds repeatedly throughout the day.  One memorable moment was when two hummingbirds, side by side, came to the patio door and just hovered there for what seemed like quite a long time.  It was like they were staring inside the kitchen.  Inquisitive.

The forecast here for fall is for warmer than normal temperatures.  The El Nino effect.  This week, the temperatures are supposed to be in the mid-80’s F (27-29 C).

A good summer and a good fall.  What could be better than that?  Winter in Texas, I guess.

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