This is what we end up with
Still have a few more to go....
We put out a mineral block about 15’ to the left of our hives…Honey Bees can get salt if they want but we were hoping to get a few deer coming into the yard.
This little guy thinks it is a stool. One of the “teenagers”.
The others have already been in and cleaned up the old cat food. Guess he slept late…so I took some of the cat food out of the “feral cat feeder” and tossed it in the weeds for him.
It’s not fancy..but it keeps the Raccoons out. The skirt prevents them from reaching up to climb inside. I read that they cannot jump and this is how they put out feeders for a colony of stray or feral cats.
Jim built this when a stray mother cat came in. It will hold 3 weeks of food…they jump from the deck into it.
The cats now have “kitty” doors onto the screened porch…Jim put one on each side so they could not get trapped if something did get in.
Here they are…..sharing a bed.
The mother is the one on the right….she had 3 kittens but one was badly injured and had to be put down…the other just disappeared….so now we only have 2.
The cat feeder makes it possible for us to leave for a day or two. They’ve been eating there for a couple years so it’s not new. I don’t dare leave food on the porch…raccoons and opossums could get it and I don’t want to give them a reason to try and get in.
When there is lots of stuff blooming I don’t see many bees on the plants in the yard…but when pickings get lean…here they come.
This is one of our Bottlebrush trees. There are two in the front yard and this one and two small ones in the backyard. The bush next to it is a Jathropa. The hives are behind them.
The Bottlebrush is humming with bees.
The Jathropa attracts bees all summer …for pollen.
It’s also a Butterfly favorite.
This is my Pagoda Bush….I have never seen bees on this till now…Swallowtail Butterflies love it.
It might be tricky with the long stamens but they’ve figured it out.
The Wild Asters are just starting to bloom back here…blooming along the canal down the road for a few weeks. My main stand still isn’t blooming so they will have something for later.
Whenever I find a plant the bees like I dig up a few and get them started back here. I forget the name of this blue fluffy plant but the bees seem to like it.
I only have a little of this but it grows wild through the tree farms.
Powder Puff bush….looks like raspberries then they fluff out.
This is another one I hardly ever see bees on…
The Pepperbush is done and the bushes down the road have passed also…the wild Asters grow throughout the tree farm and those that are not in full sun will still be blooming….after that…guess we wait till Dec and the Red Maple trees start blooming.
I have a cement frog pond that sits on the end of the deck. The rain water and condensation keep it full. It was intended for the cats and the Honey Bees but since it has been dry the Raccoons are using it.
There is lattice around the deck and they climb up it…here comes the first one.
I am sitting in the screen room with the door open for pictures…I think he just noticed me.
Normally there is standing water all around us…but I checked when I saw they were using this and it is dry out there now.
There are 3 young Raccoons that come up for water…
https://youtu.be/Iz90o6Pqkws short video
I have a birdbath with a continual drip so it stays full….the Honey Bees, Birds, Squirrels and Cats use it. There is a birdbath on the ground that catches the overflow and some of the Raccoons drink there.
Here is the squirrel.
I have Giant Milkweed and Tropical Milkweed in pots around it on the ground. I pull the algae over the side and it drips into the plants.
My first Painted Bunting of the year….been coming in for about 2 weeks.
Always interesting when I have my morning coffee on the porch….the cats and I sit and watch the Raccoons, Birds, Squirrels and Doves.