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Creatures with Wings

Category: Garden Wildlife | Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:46 pm

The butterflies have started to come and bring a little of their magic to my garden. Some are too fast to catch in a photo, the Orange Sulphur was one of these speedy butterflies with a crazy flight pattern. I don't think I'd seen one of those up close before, very pretty.

Now I REALLY love this one:

I have never noticed these before, but I was pretty sure it was a Painted Lady, that was a guess, but I looked it up and "YAY!", I was right. I actually prefer the outer wings with the soft lacy browns, a hint of violet dots and a coral blush on the upper wing. The inner wings are pretty too and remind me of calico fabric. It was really enjoying the zinnias that my 6 year old planted.

The Gulf Fritillaries really enjoy this passionvine. I don't see many large caterpillars so I think the lizards are eating them when they are small. I usually will bring them in to help them get big in safety....sometimes lizards are TOO helpful.

Still waiting on the hummers, but my hanging hummingbird garden a.k.a. hanging basket of cardinal climber, is getting closer to blooming...I really hope that brings them in.

I got inspired when a saw Bethie's gorgeous mosaic birdbath. I've always wanted to really get into mosaic, but the stained glass is hard to come by around here...I work with glass rods so that doesn't help me either. So I made a hypertufa birdbath....I used an oil pan...I pushed a plate into the center to create a nice solid nonporous bottom...the plate was $1 at the Dollar Tree. It is a very earth plate and I made a very earthy birdbath to go with it. I pushed pebbles into the edges to give the birds something to grip on when the climb out.

As it dries and cures it will look is going to go on top of the palm stump out front....the morning glories are starting to engulf it...this will look pretty peeking out through the leaves.

I saw a picture online of a birdhouse made with a flower pot so I was determined to make my own...

The hardest part was enlarging the hole...I used my Dremel tool, but I think there must be a better way, it looks like I chewed it. I decided to paint it to kind of hide the ugly hole...the painting looks cute in kind of a whimsical retro look. I glued the pot (with gorilla glue) to a board and then hung it up....I don't know if birds will really go for it, but it does look pretty in the corner.

Still inspired by the mosaic, and then I found a book about PAPER mosaic...I think this might be a good starting point for me! I decided to paint some paper to make it look like stained glass, the paper came out nice, and then I glued it to posterboard. Now I am starting to place the "tiles" on my birdhouse that I first painted black. I am very excited about this. Once it is completed I will give it many coatings of spar urethane so that it looks like tile or glass...I can't wait to finish!

Last edited: Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:47 pm

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Frank wrote on Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:31 pm:

Your birdbath is a treasure HB and I'm sure the birds will agree. The pebbles are a great idea.

And yet another use for a clay pot :) I never even noticed anything about the hole until you mentioned it. The birds won't even bat an eyelid.


hummingbird3172 wrote on Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:23 pm:

Thanks Frank, if there is one thing, the birds do seem to really appreciate what I do....they line the fence each morning waiting for me to put out the "goodies".


eileen wrote on Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:44 pm:

I agree with Frank the birdbath is really something special Anna. I think the pebbles give it a lovely finishing touch which I'm sure the birds will appreciate too.
Maybe now that all the butterflies are visiting your garden the hummingbirds will follow.
If I had a flower pot nest box like yours I'm sure our wrens would think it an ideal home - they certainly wouldn't mind a rough entrance I'm sure - not that I noticed it until you mentioned it!!


bethie wrote on Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:36 am:

We saw our first gulf fritillary yesterday. Those Firsts just never get old, do they? The painted ladies are tearing up the helichrysums we plant for them. One day your sulphurs will surprise you and pose. Your birds will love your birdbath. We put sand in one and moisten it for a butterfly "puddlin".I don't really know a better way to cut terracotta pots. I think that looks just lovely. Our Carolina wrens would just adore it.


hummingbird3172 wrote on Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:10 pm:

Thanks Eileen and Bethie!

I haven't seen a wren in so long, and they are one of my favorites...cute little roly poly things...mostly get jays, grackles, red-bellied wp, cardinals, titmice, mockingbirds, great crested flycatchers (who don't use the feeders, but like to spy on me), several species of doves and squirrels of course. That is a good idea bethie, I'll need to make one for my butterfly garden!


desertflower wrote on Sat Jun 30, 2007 12:13 am:

Lovely birdbath. I have been kicking around the idea of a hypertufa birdbath and your is great. I also looked at some of your glass beads on your sight and I have to say they are outstanding. I like a lot of things but every now and then something jumps out and grabs me. I love your beads!



cajunbelle wrote on Sat Jun 30, 2007 12:40 am:

Your birdbath is lovely. Instead of stained glass for mosaic pieces, why don't you try broken dishes. I go to the thrift stores and buy them really cheap, but I haven't had time to do a mosaic yet.


hummingbird3172 wrote on Sat Jun 30, 2007 3:26 am:

Thanks Desertflower! I used an oil drip pan for the mold, it was really very I worked on a puddlin' pool for the butterflies...using the same "mold". I went for an even more rustic look...gotta please these butterflies!

Thanks Cajunbelle!

My sister just suggested the same thing...we are going to do a table when she comes to visit! So now she's watching for bowling balls, dishes, and a chandelier....she is a hard core thrift shopper!

aloes wrote on Sun Jul 01, 2007 12:14 pm:

what a lovely birdhouse, that solves some xmas presents. just one point please. Will the birds use it without a perch in front? I hope we have that type glue over. I can stick a dowel in front for a perch, but I would like to know if it is necessary.
We are feeding birds and field mice at the moment. I would love butterflies but they just do not like the western cape. honist but why?


hummingbird3172 wrote on Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:56 pm:

Thanks Aloes!! I've seen a lot of birdhouses without perches, so I am hoping they will. It probably wouldn't hurt to add a perch, you could probably use the Gorilla Glue for that as well...probably any strong glue suitable for outdoor projects would work. This is what inspired me for this project: . I really liked the natural look but ended up painting it to hide my mistakes.


glendann wrote on Sat Jul 07, 2007 6:54 am:

Love all your ideas Anna.I like the pot bird house but the cats wont stay away.
I have bird baths but may make another one .Yours and Bethies are so cute.

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