I am looking for some help in identifying some things. Any ideas?
1) Orange Daisy Plant
This plant is very exciting. It's clearly in the Compositae family (daisies, which have composite flowers), it's six feet tall, and it's growing in our back yard. I haven't found anything online that matches, although "orange daisy" is getting me a lot more useful images than when I was using "composite". Go figure...
2) Small Loud Bird
This bird has a loud raspy call (along with a more innocuous one). There have been two of them hanging out on our balcony or our neighbors', hopping from plant to plant and sometimes having a dust bath in a disused planter. May have a nest in the gutter next door. I keep thinking "wren" but don't see it in our bird identification books. (Note: once again, clicking on the photos will magnify them.)
Edit: The ledge on which the bird is standing is 3" long on top and 3.5" on the bottom. The post top next to it (which looks like a brick) is 1.5" tall.
3) Weird White Stuff
This stuff appeared some months ago on a small tree along the side of our house. I tried to cut off the branches and leaves that were occupied; got a lot off but certainly not all of it. Then much more recently after a big rain made our hydrangea's branches sag, I saw them again. I think they've changed, as though maybe something hatched from them...? Or maybe they're fungal.
4) Disturbing Vegetable Bug
This looks like a small stink bug with stripes on its legs and antennae. They're everywhere! Sunflowers, green beans, asparagus, peppers... Not sure about the tomatoes. Don't know whether they're connected to item 3.
5) Fascinating Other Plant
This is just something I saw while walking around the neighborhood. It's cool! I've never seen it before.