Thursday, June 30, 2022

Birds, berries and a bear

Our Connecticut back yard bird list has grown to 64 species, of which I have photographed 50 on-site. The latest additions were two flycatchers, which appeared on consecutive days (June 24 & 25).

The first was heard before appearing briefly in the shrubs at the back (west)  end of the property. It is named for its plaintive "Pee-oh-wee" whistle:

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Next came the Eastern Kingbird. It never approached closely:

Two other flycatchers are more common here--

Eastern Phoebe...:

...and the larger, more colorful Great Crested Flycatcher:

Our granddaughter Graci snapped this expansive view of the western horizon back of the house, just after sunset (used with her permission): 

Our morning walk along Diamond Lake provided nice views:

I was intrigued by the shape and color of the small flowers of this creeping vine:

It attracted Bumblebees...

...and had green berries:

My Internet search provided its identification as Climbing Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara), a member of the family Solenidae which includes the Deadly Nightshade. This was a bit distressing until I realized that this family of plants includes tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers and eggplant. The berries will turn red and are only mildly toxic. 

(This reminded me of my Irish grandmother who, before cooking eggplant, stacked the slices overnight with a flat iron on top and cheesecloth layered between them to "absorb the poison." This unnecessary procedure produced a vile-tasting shriveled-up vegetable which I avoided until I found out that the fresh product is indeed delicious and safe).

On a lighter note, the wild blackberries will soon be sweet and edible. I have watched them progress from blooms... "greenberries..."

...but not quite black as of yesterday:

Aside from the birds and berries, we had a visitor to our front door at 1:15 AM on June 26th. Our doorbell camera captured its arrival and departure. In the interim while it was out of sight, the camera recorded scratching noises at our door (which was then and will be forever locked after dark). Watch to about the one minute mark when the bear returns to view and ascends the steps. Our daughter turned on the floodlights, but this seemed not to faze the bear:

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =
Linking to:

Skywatch Friday

Weekend Reflections

Saturday's Critters


All Seasons

Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday)


Please visit the links to all these posts to see some excellent photos on display


  1. Beautiful birds and scenery! That bear looks healthy.

  2. That photo of Diamond Lake with the boat looks like the ones from a post card. It's a perfect shot! You can visit mine here.

  3. All such lovely photos, and what a stunning sunset. (

  4. Graci took a nice sky image. The blackberries are probably why the bear is hanging around. You take excellent bird images. Happy 4th of July!

  5. Wow, a scary visitor! I love the first photo of the Eastern Wood-Pewee.

  6. Visited by a bear that was smart enough to use the steps. You seem to have an abundance of wildlife to keep you busy. Beautiful photographs.,

  7. The boat on the water is a serene scene. A place to meditate and think about bears and life. :))

  8. Your images with the purple flowers, as well as the red sunset are so beautiful. Great to see you at Der Natur Donnerstag:) A happy 4th of July to you! Emille

  9. I loved the critters, insects, and flowers, and that sunset, oh my, pass on my compliments to the artiste who captured it.

  10. The lake looks beautiful. The bear looks healthy.

  11. Hello Ken,
    Beautiful captures of the Flycatchers, they are all beautiful. Love the colorful flowers and the berries, your views are lovely. It is neat the camera caught the bear walking by, great capture. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, enjoy your July 4th weekend.

  12. But this is a very special experience. I don't want to meet the bear outdoors. Your photos are beautiful again. There is a lot of nature around you.
    Kind regards - Elke

  13. That bear was too close for comfort! And I love the photo of the sunset that Graci took. WOW! Spectacular!

  14. That is your first post since you moved that I couldn't say "We have the same birds"...I don't think we have any of those...BUT..last winter when I brought my dog in after a walk there was a bear outside my kitchen window..A bit too close for comfort..He was at my bird feeders..Happy 4th..

    1. Hi, Mollie--

      I had a bad experience with bears destroying a feeder when we lived in New Mexico. I usually brought them inside at night but I forgot and paid the price.

      He visited the platform feeder during the day:

      One night he demolished another platform and removed the hopper feeder above it:

  15. Very nice pictures! I see coyotes all the time, but I don't think I'd like seeing a bear. There was a recent mountain lion sighting near my house.

  16. Dear Kenneth,

    Stunning nature images as always. And that must have been quite an adventure with Mr Baloo, the bear. He is gorgeous I must say.
    The walk to Diamond like is scenic and gorgeous. Love how the bumble bee is having a field day.

    Bambi is adorable too.

    Here's some vignettes from the mountains:

  17. What a lovely post ! Lovely flycatchers . I loved the shot of boat in the lake which is actually looking like a painting. The berries looks drool worthy. Thanks for sharing with Garden Affair.

  18. Oh my! I bet your door WILL be locked! I'm rather surprised the bear didn't scatter when the flood lights came on.
    Thanks for sharing at

  19. Wow. The bear is def unfazed!! Thanks for joining in #Allseasons.

  20. Wow -- you definitely did not give up great birding when you moved to Connecticut. I'm so glad for you -- and for us who get to share your sightings. (Birds and four-legged wildlife also -- that bear!! -- oh my gosh.)
    Gracie inherits photo skills from her grandfather! Thanks to both of you. (Also we both could have written your eggplant story practically word-for-word. It's a wonder any of us survived all those overcooked vegetables! )


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