Nesting Wrens

As we approach the summer solstice the House Wrens that occupy a nest box on my garden fence are working overtime to feed their young. They flit about in shrubby thickets and weedy patches snatching up all sorts of insect life – bees, crane flies, caterpillars – anything goes for these bug-eating machines!HouseWren18June16#0468E2c8x10


When I move too close to the nest box, I get scolded with nervous chatter and a fluttering posture before the meal is delivered!




I hope everyone gets fed well because I’m looking forward to seeing  little fledglings escape into daylight!

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.



The White Admiral

I often encounter White Admiral butterflies in late spring and summer because we frequent the same habitats: woodlands and associated openings, edges and wet places. The caterpillars feed on willows and aspens, common woody plants in the region.

They’re a difficult target: adults rarely settle, fluttering and gliding every which way, in an unpredictable manner. This one fluttered from flower to flower for a minute or so, then, with no warning, just disappeared over the tree tops! Appearing black and white in flight, their brilliant coloration can’t be fully appreciated unless they pause for nourishment and the underside of a wing becomes visible.


White Admiral nectaring on Dame’s Rocket

Photo by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

Portraits of a Young Red Squirrel, 2016

Cool, dark days with occasional rain shifted my extracurricular activities from nature photography to firewood and habitat management. Every time I left the house to do something a family of 4 or 5 young red squirrels ran for cover. All but one. I think he viewed my presence as an opportunity rather than a threat: he could gobble up bird seed in the absence of sibling competition.

Needing a break, I got the camera and approached slowly, keeping a low profile. Eventually I was motionless, in a prone position, and he resumed normal activity. Shutter noise aroused his curiosity, but didn’t drive him away. I can now share an intimate, 20-minute peek into the daily life of an adolescent red squirrel!

(PS: the pinkish flowers in the background are Dame’s Rocket, a garden escapee that closely resembles Phlox).








Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

Late Spring Scenes, 2016

Becoming immersed in the continuum of spring scenes from March to June is a bit like viewing a blog post that features an endless gallery of world-class images. Each phase of spring has exceptional, defining visual qualities and it’s virtually impossible to pick favorites.

Young Red Squirrels are maturing rapidly, but still show the fearless curiosity of a juvenile.


Buttercups are in full bloom…



As are the Dame’s Rockets…..


Tiger Swallowtails, our most common, large butterfly, liven up the June landscape as they follow the sequence of bloom.


Tiger Swallowtail on hawkweed

And it’s not all about youngsters and flowers: large herbivores seize the moment, feasting on succulent new plant growth (throughout the day if undisturbed).


A young doe (yearling) foraging in a brushy meadow


Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.