African Garden + wildlife in the garden

Whaddaya Think This Is, A Wildlife Sanctuary?

In addition to the squirrels which have given the garden its name, Squirrelhaven has offered a home or dining spot for myriad creatures this year, including a chipmunk, 5 raccoons, a fox, a hawk, and a nest full of robins. (I've managed to photograph only the hawk.) I was already blaming the squirrels for digging up some of my potted chartreuse-foliaged Aquilegia seedlings when I discovered the true culprit.

Comfy are ya?

Mr. Toad might not be pretty, but he does eat bugs and slugs, so he's welcome to stay, as are spiders.

I tried to get a photo of one of those "Amy Winehouse" spiders (Argiope aurantia) (I wish I could remember who came up with that description), but it was too small.
I noticed while reviewing the video I made of the Coneflowers that it sounds like I garden in a jungle, with all the bird calls going on (or on a construction site with all the construction noise). There are the year-round resident cardinals, and the robins who have moved in for the season, along with Mourning Doves, Goldfinches, and these oddly perched little birds.

I don't know what they are, but they're always hanging around.Among several small bluish butterflies that visit, I managed to find this Eastern Tailed-Blue at rest on a camouflaging stepping stone.

I don't know if this one's a Monarch or a Viceroy, they all look alike to me.

The Coneflowers also lure a swallowtail, which floats in every afternoon for a long visit.

I think this is an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, but there is no blue or orange on the wings.


Silver-spotted Skipper

The Coneflowers are also popular with bees of all sorts. I think this is a honeybee,

but I've also observed bumblebees,

carpenter bees and things that just look like bees,

which could be wasps or hornets.

I didn't know hornets engaged in this behaviour until I saw photos of them from Texas drinking from birdbaths. Then I noticed that the hornets were frequent visitors to the new fountain, which is also used as a bathing facility by certain birds.
This special visitor is a female Green Darner Dragonfly (Anax junius). These large dragonflies catch their insect prey in flight, feeding on mosquitoes among others. She is very welcome to patrol the skies of Squirrelhaven.

Seeing such a large dragonfly was a real treat, as the dragonflies* that hang out in the Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) are so small.

Did you notice there are two dragonflies in the photo? (Click to enlarge.) I didn't when I took that shot. It's a nice bit of camouflage.
Phlox 'Nicky' is very popular with the hummingbird moth.

I used to think this was as close to a hummingbird as my garden gets, but yesterday, for the first time, a hummingbird visited. (Rose, of Ramble on Rose, is my witness that I am not making this up.) I've never seen one outside of Arizona, so this is doubly exciting for me. But don't expect to see any photos of them here, as my camera isn't up to the task of capturing something that exists as only a brief glimpse. Especially when I scare it off with my excited gasps.Have you seen any interesting wildlife in your garden this summer?
*Actually, these are damselflies, not dragonflies. Damselflies rest with their wings folded up.

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Whaddaya Think This Is, A Wildlife Sanctuary? + wildlife in the garden