Here he is awaiting the woodpeckers departure from the suet cake on the other side of the tree. He's eyeing up what they've dropped on the ground and will gladly clean up after their bad table manners.
Almost as soon as the first clutch of baby blues fledged, mom and dad were building another nest right on top of the old one. That, however, is dangerous for them as it brings the nest higher up in the box and easier for a predator to reach in and find them. We do have the box on a fence post that's not connected to the fence and it also has a predator guard on it so hopefully raccoons or feral cats or even snakes can not climb up the post. But to be on the safe side, HWNSNBP removed the old nest the next day. Then there was a little bit of a squatter's war with the noisy wren.
The bluebirds would put some grass in the box and then the wren would come along and take it out and put in it's twigs. Then the bluebirds would move around what was in the box but weren't adding to it anymore. So we tried what we had tried last year and put a resin goldfinch in the box to hopefully fool the wren into thinking the box was occupied. It had worked the first time last summer and the second time the wren just built over the resin bird, and this one didn't seem to mind the resin bird in the box which leads me to think it might have been the same wren.
But with diligence and good timing, HWNSNBP was persistant in cleaning out the twigs and the blues built their second nest of the season. As of today, there are two eggs in there.
I don't have a good segue into the next pictures only to say that this past weekend we did a little local adventure to a Lavendar Farm that just opened up the weekend before. It was on my bucket list to visit a lavendar farm last summer, but we missed the window of blooming opportunity. It was only by chance that we saw this new farm was opening and it is so much closer to where we live.
There are rows and rows of sweet scented lavender of many varieties. You see in the picture below (taken on our way out) the plants that are blooming now. They are the early bloomers. There will be others in the next weeks.
When you pull all the way into the property there is this lovely red barn that houses the Lavender Shop. Oh, what a delicious smell when you enter. Not overpowering at all. And they have all kinds of lavender products - soap, tea, sprays, eye masks, etc. Earlier in the day I had picked up some little sock coin purses at the Dollar Tree for the cafeteria ladies at work and I was hoping to fill them with some lavender potpourri but they were all out and wouldn't have anymore until next weekend. So I opted to pick up a package of lavender tea bags and wrapped two in clear plastic wrap and added them to each of the coin purses. I left them in the cafeteria kitchen on Monday (the last day of school) with a little note that they should relax this summer and the fragrant tea bags would get them off to a good start.
Oh, and on the way there, we took a route we hadn't taken before by using directions from my phone. We were out doing errands and it seemed at first that we were going way out of the way, but I think it would have taken us just as long or even longer to go back to our neck of the woods and then head out to the farm. It was a much more peaceful drive and as we were coming up a small hill on one of the back roads a mink ran across the road in front of us. At first we thought it was a really skinny squirrel that looked like it was crawling, but as we got a little closer we both realized that it was an animal we had never seen before around here. It was moving way too fast to even think about snapping a picture.
So it turned out to be a good adventure on the first weekend of summer.