This is the view from the screen room. Last winter we added a woodstove to it and heat with wood. We set our thermostat at 61 but so far, it hasn’t come on.
Cool mornings we start a fire and enjoy our coffee. When the day warms up….we just open the doors.
Cardinals, Painted Buntings, Indigo Buntings, Gold Finches and Titmice come to the feeders. Northern Parula Warblers feed on the bottlebrush and Catbirds bath in the birdbath. Carolina Wrens climb over everything looking for insects. Squirrels and Doves come to the hanging platform feeder.
We have our coffee and enjoy the action. When it starts to warm up outside..we just open the sliding doors.
The white objects in the back are beehives. The tallest one is a hollow tree we cut in pieces, glued and restacked for a hive. No bees yet. Waiting for a swarm.
I had honeybees last year but wax moths invaded them and the bees left. So I have to start over. I don’t use chemicals, and they were new hives …one from a swarm and one a package of bees. They were just getting started and hadn’t built up strong enough to protect the hive from the wax moth larva, which destroy honeycomb and sometimes feed on bee larva.
I am starting to see a few more Painted Buntings at the feeders. I’ve seen 3 males at the feeder at one time. There may be more but that is the way I have to count them for http://www.paintedbuntings.org/ They record all the sightings. This prevents you from counting the same bird several times.
Aren’t they beautiful? They show up around Nov and leave by April.
The greenie could be an adolescent male…or a female
The feeder pole is PVC pipe in concrete. There are several scratch marks where the Raccoons have tried to climb it…but they have to let go with one foot to reach the feeders….and down they go.
The birdbath’s automatic drip runs into the tray beneath the Giant Milkweed. If I just sat the pots on the ground, fire ants would make a home in them and kill off the plants. This way they get a little water when it doesn’t rain.
I have a small swarm trap hive on a stand in the front yard by the Bottlebrush bushes. I have it as close to their line of flight, as possible, without it sitting in the driveway.
The Bottlebrush are just starting to bloom. We had a little rain and that will help.
When the bushes are in full bloom they just hum with honeybees.
They are also a favorite of the butterflies.
At one time this feeder was in the back yard. I’ve moved it to this area because it provides more shelter during storms. It has a hot wire running over it to keep the raccoons out. They used to climb across the cable and empty the feeder.
The big ball is a Staghorn Fern. My sister gave it to us when she moved. It hangs on a thick chain between the two Cabbage Palms. A heavy frost did a lot of damage but it is coming back.