Backyard Highland Park: Spring!

tufted titmouse flying
Seems like all winter I’d be filling the bird feeder or taking the camera to walk in the snow and take photos of backyard birds. Then in the past month it’s gotten warmer and green items are pushing their way up in the ground. I probably won’t get such great shots of a tufted titmouse flying in the coming months because I’ll be more focused on my garden.

rose of sharon bud
I won’t be seeing the wintry look of the rose of sharon dried buds much longer.

brown hare
One “fellow” we have been seeing in our backyard on occasion is this cute hare. He mostly seems to nibble just a bit on grass or compost, then hurries on his way. My neighbor says he sees the hare in his backyard as well. He suspects the turkey vultures that sometimes fly overhead may be eying the hare for dinner. (Update: note – Michelle and Eileen don’t think the vulture is after the bunny. So relax, please).

hare brown

brown hare stares
Can you please go tell that turkey vulture to go eat a rat instead – our hare is just too cute!

magnolia and forsythia
It’s the time of year when you see white magnolia buds in front of yellow forsythia (the white magnolia tree is in my neighbor’s backyard). If you walk to North 8th in Highland Park, you’ll see many pink magnolias in bloom (part of the best of Highland Park spring – though I also recommend the cherry trees on North 4th).

magnolia buds against forsythia backdrop
What have you been seeing in your backyard or neighborhood?

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21 thoughts on “Backyard Highland Park: Spring!

  • I really like all of these photos. The dried Rose of Sharon buds are beautiful, even in their wintry state. The hare is much too adorable! Turkey vulture, stay away!! Your magnolia photos are lovely…they are such a beautiful bud, and in full bloom are stunning, I think.

    I saw two robin redbreasts in my yard! I was thrilled to see them! I didn’t take a photo, I was too busy watching them flit back and forth. I have also seen some sparrows and a rosefinch.

    • Are robins unusual? We see them a lot (although not too often in my backyard). I haven’t seen the hare recently, but he will probably come back.

  • Robins are not unusual, here, but have just recently showed up in my yard. They aren’t in my yard, often.

    I hope the hare returns…such a cutie.

  • You know spring has arrived when you see crocuses blooming. And I’ve seen some, even in NYC. Crocuses are usually the first sign that the long, dark (and this year, snowy) winter is behind us.

    • Jeannette, how true! I posted my first crocus sighting two or three weeks ago via Facebook. I took it quickly with my phone camera. After many years of photographing flowers, I’ve gotten a little less interested in blooms. I think I was enjoying the hare more.

  • That top photo of the birds is amazing Leora!! So lovely to see the changes at this time of year, We’re inundated – a good thing – with linnets at the moment with of course the ravens and a few blue jays. But our trees are all in leaf apart from the walnut which is always the last to lose its leaves. A time of change for all of us.

    • A.K., I had to look up linnet. Ah, house finch is what it is called in North America. Found this: “The common linnet (Carduelis cannabina) is a small passerine bird of the finch family, Fringillidae. It derives its scientific name from its fondness for hemp and its English name from its liking for seeds of flax, from which linen is made.” (Wikipedia)

  • These images make me so nostalgic about my time on the East coast. I miss the seasons, at times especially, since our 4 year drought. Things are just not the same.

  • Oh great shot of the titmouse in flight. They are so hard to catch. Cute bunny… I have to look up the turkey vultures. I though they were primarily carrion eaters which they find with a great sense of smell. I have seen one rabbit here…. Michelle

      • From Cornell… and a yuck… Turkey Vultures eat carrion, which they find largely by their excellent sense of smell. Mostly they eat mammals but are not above snacking on reptiles, other birds, amphibians, fish, and even invertebrates. They prefer freshly dead animals, but often have to wait for their meal to soften in order to pierce the skin.

      • Hm, who knows. I wonder why Eileen said: “I do not think the vultures go after live critters.” Someone/something else does the killing and the turkey vultures pursue the ‘freshly dead animal’ ?

  • Your photos show a lot of beauty in your garden. I hope your bunny stays safe. I haven’t seen any in our back yard for a while, ever since the clover patch disappeared. Your titmouse is perfect, love how you have caught its wings so clearly.

  • Hello Leora! I love the Titmouse in flight, great capture! The bunny is so cute, I do not think the vultures go after live critters. Great post, have fun working in the garden.. Have a happy week!

  • It’s be a very sad time to know the vulture won….

    I’d like to invite you to Hootin’ Anni’s to view a special post of nature’s thrilling day for me.

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