Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Some Garden Friends

Yesterday was Spray Day ... it's the day that I set aside to load up my trusty Mantis Spraymate and spray as many of the roses as I can with fungicide to prevent blackspot.  I have only done this twice so far this season (and I should be doing it every two weeks), so many of the roses have very few leaves.  Surprisingly, many more of them look pretty terrific.

As I was going through the yard, with my trusty Canon point-and-shoot camera in my pocket as always, I came across some critters that I think are worth sharing.

This little toad was hanging out beside my pile of flagstone.  I tried to catch him, but he was way too wary and quick.

The birds that are nesting over the side door of the garage are tending babies.  I don't know what type of birds they are, but they get REALLY upset when you stand on a step-stool and point a camera at their young 'uns ... not to the point of 'immediate violent death' like the Mockingbirds, but they're still pretty menacing.

Do you know what type of bird this is?

These are the parents.

and here are the babies.

Another mystery visitor was this turtle (tortoise?) that I found loping across the driveway near the house.

He was about five inches long.  When he saw me, he sucked his legs inside his shell, but he never pulled his head in completely ... though it looked like he could if he had wanted to. 

He was a bit more elongated than the Box Turtles I am used to seeing in the yard, and his shell was very smooth.

I should have probably taken a photo of his underside, but I didn't.

Does anyone recognize this little guy?  I checked the Virginia Wildlife web site to see if any of the turtles listed there were a match, and I didn't find anything.

I love finding critters in the garden!


  1. Although we don't have a true garden, but rather just a few flowers and bushes up around the front walkway... we still seem to find lots of critters. I like your turtle but have no idea what kind he is... sorry I can't be of more help. Enjoy your day today!


  2. I have no clue about the birds, but your turtle looks similar to a snapping turtle, though the ones by us are huge (3 feet from head to tail).

    I think that's the best thing about country living, all of the critters you find!

    Kat :)

  3. You got some really good photos of your visiting critters! The turtle is way cool!!

  4. Connie, I'm not positive, but I checked my Stoke's field guide to birds book and it looks like an Easter Wood-Pewee. They are common in much of the east in the summer.

  5. Don't know what kind of turtle you found, but I did laugh when you said it was loping across the driveway. Our turtles out here on the prairies in Colorado are much slower...;D. I, too, love to find critters in the yard. ♥♫

  6. I think you are right. He does look different than a typical box turtle. He looks flatter too. I do not see many here, but at the farm, there are red ears and snapping. In PA. they were everywhere. I had many a pet until they 'ran' away. How they escaped my confines, I will never know. Guesses on my mom freeing them.

  7. I don't recognize your turtle, toad, or birds... i think its time to do some investigating!

  8. Don't know about the birds but I think that might possibly be a snapping turtle. Maybe he left his head out so he could SNAP YOU if you decided to tip him over to SNAP a shot of his underside?;>) Love all your "wildlife"...xo Diana

  9. I'm an idiot on birds, turtles and wildlife in general, other than the more obvious ones we grew up with. Therefore, a turtle is a turtle, a bird is a bird. See how much help I am! Sad, huh?

  10. I don't know types, but I loved seeing your toad, birds and turtle! I think gardens are so much better with living things in them.

  11. Your turtle doesn't look like snapping turtles I have seen. They are really ugly--lumpy gray shell and menacing snapper. Maybe it's just really old. ??? We labeled a box turtle today with #25. We sometimes find an early one with our nail polish number still visible on it's back. :)

  12. I love toads. I wonder if the landlord would let me have one?

  13. I'm finding I need to spray less this year. We went through a hot/dry May and I skipped 2 spray weekends. I should have sprayed today, but again, no rain in sight and everything looks good. Of course I'm pushing it, but I don't care :)


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