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Today in the light rain (it’s heavier now) this group of very young bluebirds have discovered a nest box on the corner of my utility shed made for phoebes and barn swallows. They are playing “King of the House”. Each one takes a try to takeover the platform and eject the previous occupant. Several fly to the ground to pick up and a piece of straw for nest building, as instincts take over. They are mischievous and cute:

 

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Taking their parents lead, these fledglings hatched from my trail, about 15, have taken to the water in a big way as their parents watch:

 

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We have had lots of rain this July; nearly 8 inches, That has kept the Little Buffalo floatable all July, even in its mid-section. Smallmouth Bass are plentiful and Sunfish are still spawning; there are plenty of aquatic insects hatching early and late. All the fish seem interesting in the larger Mayflies. The river is alive !

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Her Mom was bedded down in the tall grass in 95F degree heat (index 109F) and the young fawn was ready to play. She lays next to a large doe, that is her mother, and finally annoys her enough that she gets up out of the grass with her baby and grazes with her. They all are pretty covered with ticks, especially their ears:

 

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By my very patient good friend Janice using her Canon T2 and a EF400mm  f/5.6L Lens at  1/3000th of a second. They are snatching gnats out of the air with their long sticky tongues. Gnats make up 60-65% of the juveniles diet in the summer after they are fledged (maybe 2 weeks ago), and the rest is nectar which makes up 35-40%. They need copious amounts of protein to continue their feather growth before migration south:

 

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Outside my back window at 5:35 PM Friday 7/25:

 

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Butterflies have been scarce due to the heavy rains of July. I saw a few Pipe-vine swallowtails on a butterfly bush this afternoon – the sun just now came out – this photo taken with a 300mm telephoto lens:

 

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