Sunday, August 19, 2007

Visions of Autumn in August



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When I walked outside this morning I realized our summer is looking like early Autumn, in a way. Soft birches are dropping yellow and brown leaves. You can hear them fall when a gentle breeze graces us. Hard wood leaves are drooping.



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We crunch through dry grass and leaves. No rain - for what seems like an eternity.



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Garden hoses don’t help much to sustain life after weeks of extreme heat and blazing sun without rain clouds. This once beautiful young willow kicked the bucket. It's death might be a result of disease and we’ll work on it when the heat subsides. Farmers are losing livestock and I feel sad for them. My positive side thinks we’ll have some rain in a week or two and maybe some Canadian air! The forecast for the next week is 99, 99, 100, 99, 101, 99, 102...chance of a T-storm on Thursday.

I've lived through droughts before and experienced similar weather patterns. This summer has been hard on me because I'm older and can't withstand heat like I could as a younger chick and also because I've worked hard to maintain new gardens this year.




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Looks like Jack Frost arrived! The pink zinnias are suffering but the orange ones are doing just fine.

It’s kind of depressing here in the southeast. We all pray for relief. I often sympathize for those who have too much of what we need.

I'll quit whining now (until the next post) and make the best of it!
Amidst all of this, there is an invincible summer to enjoy...

Home grown tomatoes!

Sunshine we crave in January!

Long days and the night sounds of crickets! Just a few, actually...

No mosquitoes this year!

Butterflies are in full force lately! I think of Sherry at Q's Corner when I'm zooming in...


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I don’t have my field guide yet and don't feel like looking them up on the internet. Enjoy the view.


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Splashes of color remain - through it all.

I realize I just posted hummingbirds two days ago but I couldn’t resist sharing what the little hummers did yesterday.


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Earlier this summer, I wasn’t able to get a decent photo of a male ruby-throated. Well, lookit what visited yesterday! I was thrilled, for a while. He intended to stay and dominate the yellow feeder. For four straight hours, he guarded “his” nectar and fought relentlessly. My laundry piled up in the laundry room, dirty dishes sat in the sink, and the bed didn’t get made until bedtime. I had to watch the little King of Nectar…


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"Mine!"



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“Mine!”

Five hummers in action. He’s sat atop the hanger for four hours. Whenever I'd go inside the house, there were at least ten. He fought hard without rest. What a sight! I really need to learn about posting videos.




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Some played it safe and watched the war from afar.



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I thought I was getting a photo of two hummers in flight! How about that butterfly! How cool is THAT?


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He was shaded under the overhang of the porch roof and I took about thirty photos to get a little of the red glow. I stood right under him and we talked about his behavior (yeah, ya’ll know I’m a fruitcake). This little guy was so determined to own the feeder and that I could have easily reached out and touch him at arm's length. I didn't. There was no need to spoil a relationship.

29 comments:

mon@rch said...

Love the butterfly and hummingbird shots! Ok, let me give this a try!
1) Cloudless Sulphur (never seen this species before but my best guess, Julie will know for sure)
2)Common Buckeye
3)hard angle but looks like a Spice Bush Swallowtail to me!
4)me - mon@rch!!

smilnsigh said...

Wow! Do you ever get good shots!!!

And it's beginning to have the look of Autumn here also. But no where near like the heat and drought you are experiencing. -sigh-

Mari-Nanci

LostRoses said...

I'm so glad to hear someone else is letting the laundry and the dishes pile up because they're "busy" watching birds! (You know I don't make my bed anyway). Such great shots, Mary, and look at that red gorget!

No, don't mention autumn yet! But on the other hand, you guys need a break!

Toni said...

Awe what wonderful photos. That would be me watching the hummingbirds and butterflies all day not get anything done.
Sorry to here about your drought. We had no rain all summer and now it keeps raining.
I think you will find me stopping by a lot. Love reading your blog.

Jean said...

Our trees have been turning for a week now - sign of early winter? We had rain all night and today - I am trying to send it your way - we are to be hot rest of the week.Hummers have left - at least our yard:)Great pics, as usual.

Jayne said...

Yay! You got that male!!! What a pretty ruby throat. How funny that he spent so much time defending "his" feeder. He probably ate little.

thailandchani said...

It's still hard for me to imagine how you get all these beautiful pictures.. but I'm certainly glad you do! What a perfect refuge for so many of us!

Hoping for early Autumn here, too. I don't like summer much at all.


Peace,

~Chani
http://thailandgal.blogspot.com

Mary said...

I'm sorry you still have not had rain.The photos are as ever fantastic.I would not get anything done either I would be watching them all day.

KGMom said...

HA! There you are just watching the hummers--next thing you know, you'll be giving them baths! LOL
I love the photo of the hummer AND the butterfly. I bet you are just shooting away, and later you see what you got. Notice in the one hummer shot there is a wasp on the feeder too. The jealous hummer takes on all comers.

Mary said...

Monarch, thanks for your IDs. You probably didn't need to look them up, either!

Mari-Nanci, and then there are the floods...

Lost Roses, I walked around the house with my nose pressed to the window until the little king left :o)

Toni, thank you. I appreciate you stopping by.

Jean, do the hummers leave this time every year? This is the first year I've had so many of them.

Jayne, it was funny to watch him take a break away from his post to take a quick sip!

Chani, glad you enjoy! What about Thailand heat?

Mary, something's got to give. Maybe a rain shower later this week.

Donna, we'll leave that up to the Science Chimp. I'd drive to OH with a hummer in my car before I'd attempt that!

Sarah said...

I wish we could say the same - its been cold here - even had the heating on. I've taken to wearing socks in bed and am sitting with a cardi on now....

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mary,
Love those hummingbird pictures! All that buzzing and chirping is so fun to hear. The feisty little guy with the cowlick on his forehead is pretty cute. I always wonder how they can keep up their energy level when they spend so much time chasing everyone else away.
Let those household chores pile up because those hummers will be gone before too long and then we'll have to wait all winter for them to come back again.

Sonia said...

What a wonderful butterfly and hummingbird photos, Mary! Just stunning!

I am at home now! Thanks for the visiting!

Have a good week ahead!

Dorothy said...

Your hummer and flower/butterfly photos are amazing. Love your camera! I'm home from a vacation in Florida with my granddaughter...hoping to get back to posting again soon. Have a sick kitty in the house...life is a bit topsy turvy right now.

Dorothy said...

PS...I'm going to have to get a yellow hummer feeder. My pink one is not attracting the hummingbirds at all. I've not seen one come to it.

Mark said...

Hi Mary,
The weather certainly has been odd this year all over, perhaps people will acknowledge something is going on and its time to do something about it. Great butterfly pictures, at least they dont seem bothered by the weather.

Cheers Mark

Susan Gets Native said...

"MINE!"
You kill me, Mary!
I think I had maybe two hummers this year, but they obviously have reproduced and war is raging over and around my feeder, too.
Mon@rch beat me to the Bfly id's. Spoiler.

Mary said...

Sarah, thanks for stopping by! You are wearing your cardi and socks - my goodness, that's incredible. Two different worlds, for sure. But we have weather diversity all over the US.

Ruthie, I know they'll be leaving but I don't know when... probably soon.

Sonia, you must show us your vacation.

Dorothy, I hope your cat isn't too sick...Welcome back! I don't know if the color of a feeder makes any difference. I just know the bees like yellow!

Mark, there IS something wrong with the weater... The butterflies are well - for now...

Susan, well, I'll be dipped. You are off schedule, woman.

cat59 said...

Wow; fabulous photos of the hummingbirds and the butterflies. That ruby throated one is something! Living just a few hours north east, I sympathize about the weather. We have yellow and brown leaves all over the ground--keep having to fish them out of the pond. It is like fall, without the cool temps!

NatureWoman said...

Mary, your photos are amazing again! I love your hummingbird story. I feel bad you're having to endure so much heat without any rain. Hopefully it will cool down and rain for you soon.

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Butterflies!! Lovely, wonderful butterflies! The Buckeye is so pretty. Monarchs always a delight. The Sulphers flit about and add the glitter I so enjoy. Although it has been so very dry and hot you are caring for the flowers and the butterflies have food. Bless you for your care.
I have seen a few butterflies, here in Portland, but no Swallowtails. Hopefully, once I get to Victoria I will see more. You are in Hummingbird Heaven! Cleaning and scrubbing can wait until November. It is hummingbird time. They are a joy in every way.
Thank you for butterflies.
I will try and send a Norhtern cool wind your way! You need rain.
I hope that comes soon.
Miss you,
Hugs and butterflies,
Sherry

Alyssa said...

For being such a crappy summer you still have a lot of beauty. I am amazed at the butterflies in your yard. For all the things I've got growing here, there are only a few butterflies - and all the same kind! And I didn't know that hummingbirds were so feisty and territorial. Don't go outside with a red hat on or he'll poke you in the head!

I'm keeping all my fingers and toes crossed that your weather will change very soon.

Cathy said...

Oh Mary - All you're winged creatures are beautiful. Great butterflies! Don't feel bad about talking to the hummers. I was talking to a little crayfish whom the heavy rains had washed out of his burrow. He looked up at me and waved his little claws. I just laughed and laughed and he just waved make. Drats! I didn't have my camera.
Sure wish I could send you some of this water.

Laurie said...

Your photos are stunning, absolutely wonderful. I bow to the master(ess)?

hugs,
Laurie

possumlady said...

Incredible butterfly shots!

We finally got some much needed rain last night and today. Temps just made it up to 73 yesterday!!

I had to laugh at your title. I remember another dry year when I was walking with a friend at the end of August. We were walking down a sidewalk filled with leaves that I was kicking. I sighed and said "God, I love Autumn." He said, "well, I love Autumn too, but IT'S AUGUST!!

Chris said...

Really great pics, Mary. Sorry, can't face autumn yet :-) I don't think we've had summer!

terra incognita said...

Mary, I hope you got at least a shower this evening.. we had a very small one here during the storms in the southeast today. Just one quick downpour though, didn't amount to much. The creeks are even drying up. Your tree photos are a familiar sight, a lot of the leaves (especially on the smaller trees) are dropping already here also, due to this drought.

Great photos, as always! Love the hummingbird and butterfly pics.

ABQ-B-Fly Guy said...

Wow...great photos..I love the butterfly pics. I am not sure, but the butterfly in the photo with the hummingbird looks like a read admiral. Thanks for sharing...made my night!

Ron

dguzman said...

Great photos!!! I love the way that red gorget just glows out of the darkness. Amazing, as usual--you're truly wonderful with a camera.

We've had nothing but rain here, which the farmers are loving. It's even been in the 50s and 60s! But we're back up to 90 tomorrow, or so I'm told... ugh.

I keep feeling like we're going to get an early fall/winter this year too. There's just something in the air, and in the trees.

Oh no, I just got a new pink hummer feeder, Dorothy! (it was on clearance)--maybe I'll use some red fingernail polish on it to improve visibility.