We noticed this odd looking black wasp type insect with orange wings feeding off the nectar from a tree in our backyard last week. So, I looked it up on the internet. Turns out, it's a tarantula hawk. Okay...
The good part is that they're not interested in us humans. However, the bad part is that the females sting and lay their eggs in tarantula spiders, keeping them alive until the eggs hatch! There have been two tarantulas discovered here in the last few years... the heavy presence of these insects this year tells me that we must have a heavy population of tarantulas!!! Oh boy. Needless to say, I scan the yard every time I set foot out there. I really don't want to come across a tarantula or snake, thank you.
Hummingbird update: the first hummingbird egg disappeared the day after I took the picture. Nevertheless, another egg appeared a couple weeks later - only to disappear soon after. Our porch just isn't a good spot for hummingbird nests... the nest is still there but remains empty. We've got two hummingbird feeders in the backyard and the hummingbirds are going crazy. They chase each other and chatter and whistle all day long - from sunrise to sunset. Who needs an alarm clock when you've got birds?
Oh, another interesting bird species we found in our backyard was an oriole feeding on the hummingbird feeder.
It was shocking to see a big yellow bird on the hummingbird feeder. Apparently, orioles like sweets and are known to do this. Pretty neat, huh?