Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Takeaway Food

A new slant on ready meals.
I'll explain later.


This lily has just come into full bloom. Looked in the pot for the label, and guess what?  It was missing. The blackbirds are the main culprits. I don't know what they've got against labels in plant pots, but they seem to prefer to see them scattered on the ground. So I'm afraid I can't give you any information on this lily, other than to mention that it is in its second year.


A lot of youngsters are appearing in the garden lately. I think I've already mentioned the goldfinch family, well one of them posed for this photo a few days ago, just as the lily was coming into bloom. And there has been a family of house sparrows, only just out of the nest, which brings me to the title of this post. The sparrows arrived in the garden at the same time as flying ants were leaving their nest. Now in case you didn't know, there is one thing that flying ants are not very good at; flying. Really.

Once a year, flying ants leave the nest and fly up into the air in search of a mate. They only get one attempt at it, as they are not strong enough to keep flying around like other insects. After mating, or at the end of the day, whichever comes first, the male ants die, and the young queens go in search of a new home.

So the young sparrows, also not very good at flying, but still learning, really enjoyed themselves, catching the ants mid air. They were soon joined by a family of blue tits who also enjoyed the feast. In previous years, I've seen blackbirds taking the ants on the ground, but I've never seen them caught in the air before.

25 comments:

  1. Wonderful flower!
    Greetings!

    xoxo, Juliana
    [pjhappies.blogspot.com]

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  2. A to ci ptaki, zjadają nalepki z doniczek i mrówki w locie :). Pozdrawiam.
    And that those birds, they eat pot stickers and ants in flight :). Yours.

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    1. Yes, they are very entertaining.

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  3. Beautiful lilies! They are growing so well in your climate.

    Silly birds pulling the tags out to make it hard to track your plants. Well they are beautiful whatever their name.

    Pretty finch too.

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    1. I'm sure they pull the labels out on purpose.

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  4. That lily is simply ravishing! Probably fragrant, too. Garden envy!

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    1. I believe it is supposed to be fragrant, but I have no sense of smell, so I don't know.

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  5. Your tiger lilies are so gorgeous. No wonder the feathered ones are attracted to it.

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    1. I think it might be a tree lily, which is a cross between oriental lilies and tiger lilies.

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  6. Really pretty photos and the one with the young Goldfinch is absolutely charming!

    I haven't noticed the flying ants this year but some years it is quite a spectacular sight. I remember walking home from a friend's house once and they were absolutely everywhere!

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    1. We had far more last year. Problem is, their nests are just under the kitchen window.

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  7. Its annoying when you lose plant labels. Beautiful healthy looking Lilies you have there, I am not sure which one it is, but I really don't think it is a tiger Lily, in spite of the spots. Great shot of the goldfinch.

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    1. I agree Alistair, it's not a true tiger lily. It's either an oriental lily or a tree lily.

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  8. How interesting about the flying ants. Note to self...do not come back as a male ant.x

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    1. Or a female ant who picks the wrong day for that 'once in a lifetime' flight.

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  9. Hello again, Crystal :-) Having a look through your August posts I can see that your garden must be a picture now. I also spotted the grey squirrel. We’ve had odd visits here too. These visits are fun to catch on camera although a red visitor would be absolutely fantastic (not completely impossible either) – just what would top a blog post after that!

    Sadly no sightings of frogs in my tiny pond in a while – here’s hoping the new wildlife pond will attract them (it will be finished this year – the pond liner will need to move from the worktop space come October anyway to make room for the indoor guinea pig cage). I read somewhere that September is a good time to build a new pond as wildlife will be looking for somewhere to over winter – lol I planned it all along then ;-)

    Fantastic you are seeing young goldfinches in your garden. Love that image of one on your Lily. We are being entertained by young great and blue tits just now. Wishing you a great weekend of garden watching :-D

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    1. Hi Shirley, nice to hear from you. Good luck with the pond. I've only got a small water feature, but we get plenty of frogs. I think it's all the slugs and snails that attract them.

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  10. That is a beautifully coloured lily - mine are all over now.

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    1. I've got quite a few still to flower. I bought some bulbs quite late in the season, so they are still to bloom.

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