Friday, September 18, 2020


Our indoor plants go outdoors for as long as the weather allows them to stay out there.  It is always so much easier to water them outside than it is inside.  And, when the farm season gets rolling, it becomes difficult to remember to water indoor plants unless they are... outdoors.  

We are fortunate to have a couple of sheltered locations to put our plants.  The Plumeria sit on the front porch, where they are protected from the harsher elements to some extent - though they tend to get knocked over a few times each year by wind.  Apparently a tree frog decided that at least one of these plants is big enough to be a tree.  (check out the top photo)

Both Tammy and I enjoy finding these little frogs and observing how they use camouflage to hide in plain site.  I have not taken the time to figure out exactly which kind of tree frog this one is.  If someone wants to tell me, I'd be happy to learn.

The Inspector is NOT a tree frog.  He typically does not mind being seen and he manages to keep his white fur nice and clean so he can be viewed in his full glory.  On the other hand, he IS a cat.  Cats have an ability to find places where you cannot see them unless they want to be seen.  That comes in handy if you are an inspector - you can sneak up on someone and observe what they are doing before announcing your presence.  

The good news?  The Inspector is always quite polite about telling us he is on his way to see us.  

We have noticed many honey bees buzzing around our driveway in recent days.  The cold and rainy days pretty much caused the bees to stay in and around their hives more than they have for most of the warm months.  Once the rain abated and the temperatures rebounded, the bees came out.  Wet, fine gravel or damp soil are perfect for bees to pick up a little moisture.  So, they are all over our drive area for just that reason.

We do try to provide some watering 'holes' for the bees throughout the months when water doesn't freeze.  But, no matter what we do, our little watering areas are never quite as popular as the impromptu spaces created by some rain.

This past year was a pretty good one for birds, frogs and bees on the farm.  Unfortunately, this has NOT been a very good year for butterflies.  The Monarch numbers are down, though we hope to see a batch as they migrate - we've got the zinnias ready for them!  

The Blue Spotted Purple shown above hatched on our farm and decided it could rest for a time on my finger - posing for a few pictures.  We typically see a couple of these around our house most years.  Not so much this year.  We also usually have a Black Swallowtail or two that float around the main part of the farm to keep an eye on things.  We have not seen them either.  We did have a brief Tiger Swallowtail sighting.  But, overall, just not a good butterfly year here.  No Mourning Cloak.  Not many Painted Lady's or Buckeyes or Red Admirals.  We're not too fussed about very few Cabbage Butterflies (for obvious reasons).  But, we are used to taking note of our fluttery friends... and there haven't been many to note.

We realize all natural populations go up and down depending on conditions.  But, we worry for many wild populations because so many of them are cycling on a downward overall trend - butterflies among them. 

And, of course, we have hens on the farm.  The current flock is already exhibiting some different behaviors than we have had for several years.  Why?  Well, this is the first time in a long time that we started an all new flock without introducing them to members of an older flock.  

The result is that this batch of birds has had a chance to develop its own habits without the persuasion some older hens might bring to bear on the younger hens and rooster.  So, far, we like this flock.  But, don't worry, they have time to develop some habits neither of us is going to appreciate!

And now you have a partial 'critter update' for the Genuine Faux Farm.  I hope everyone has a great weekend!


  1. It's a bit hard to see the frog, but from what I can see, there is an "X" shaped pattern on its back, which indicates it is very likely to be a spring peeper (the most common "default" tree frogs around here).

    1. I have another picture showing its back. I shall take a look at that. Thank you!

  2. I can't see the toe pads, but if it has large toe pads, it could be to be an eastern gray tree frog, which is visually identical to Cope's gray tree frog, distinguishable only by its call and its chromosomes (tetraploid vs. diploid). They change color quickly to camouflage and can be green, gray, patterned, or solid. I know the one that used to startle me in your basement while washing eggs was an eastern gray.

    1. We've got several types of tree frogs around our house right now. This is one thing we're happy about - some decent diversity among frogs at the Genuine Faux Farm. Because it has been dry, we haven't seen so much of the larger frogs as we have in recent years. Not much for Leopard Frogs and Green Frogs - for example.


Thank you for your input! We appreciate hearing what you have to say.