Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Butterflies, still...


Evening northeastern sky

Autumn weather arrived last night. High winds brought the inevitable chill.

It’s so typical for me to continue to believe there are a few months of summer to enjoy when Autumn is banging my door down. Time speeds by when I’m not paying enough attention and before I know it, the street lights turn on at 5:30pm and I flip out. No!!!!!!


Hummer held on tightly to a nearly bare cherry tree outside my bedroom window yesterday.

Goldenrod is bright along the roadsides and maples are showing some shades of crimson and yellow.


Butterflies remain!
Gulf Fritillaries lately.



Purdy Swallowtail ;-)

It’s been a banner year for butterflies in the garden, possibly due to the loads of Lantana I planted. Four new, small butterfly bushes are taking root out there, too. I should become a butterfly lister.


Cloudless Sulphur

Look at them.



Eastern Tiger Swallowtail ~ time to stand back and zoom out.

About the butterflies -


Chocolate Brown Emperor ;-)

yes, they are beautiful.


Stunning Monarch

They don’t need me or my camera to show them off.

Battered Skipper ;-)

Watch them.

On their worst day, they’re still breathtaking.


Homely Dude

Can’t say the same for the birds.

Oh, my. Who chewed your butt off?


What’s so common about a Common Buckeye? I found this splash of color a week ago.



I love walking through a cloud of Grass Skippers.

Readers often say, “Wow, those are beautiful photos!” While I appreciate the compliment, I know the truth. Out of several thousand I’ve taken, there might be a dozen I admire. Downright fabulous butterfly photos are here.

Sleepy Orange Sulphur

Butterflies. If you have missed them this summer, I’m sorry.


Brown & Gold Fritillary ;-)

This is how you cram a summer of butterflies into one post. Overwhelming and awkward, I know… And I didn’t even include them all.


While summer begins to fade, I’ll keep sporting short-sleeved shirts and flip flops until my toes turn blue. Even in December. How ‘bout you?


Heading northeast soon, with steamed crabs on my mind. Mouth is watering.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Young Robin

Good and bad, it was one of those mid-summer mornings I awoke early to the heat – eighty-five degrees before 7am – stillness – cicadae drone, and as I faced the rising sun on the back deck all I wanted to do was to go back into a bed of cool linens. It was a day off from work – a time to catch up on chores and errands. The agenda was darn formidable.


Overwhelmed and unprepared for the day ahead, I yawned at the work to be done on the overgrown and fabulous pond I examined the night before. Tending to it is one of my favorite things in any weather but I dreaded it on this particular day.

Above and beyond the regular grief we all face in daily living, life flings messes our way to further aggravate. I got tired of mopping up…real tired and real cranky.


My scowl faded.


How pretty! We exchanged a glance or two.


Young Robin wondered how it arrived there…

Wondered what it is…


Thought about a bath, perhaps…



Oh, I know, I know, young Robin.

Mothers. In my adult life, I rarely depended on my mother as she had plenty of her own worries. I was always quite independent, even as a child, and we were both alright with it.


Was wary of the crashing water behind but, gee,


Robin would have loved a few sips of coolness.

I know, I know…

Not often, I needed her to listen. It was very nice when she did because I knew she knew me better than anyone else. Actually, she could read my voice and my face like a book. I hated that sometimes. She’d raise her left eyebrow at me and I knew she knew something I hadn’t disclosed. Damn.

When we connected, she always knew how my life was going without given a single detail. The tiniest inflection in my voice was a dead giveaway, no matter how I might have tried to mask my true emotions, even over the phone. She knew. She also knew I would be just fine.

Yes, I’d be just fine.

I miss that about her. She had good instincts.


Can I do this all by myself? Mother? Anyone?


Will I fall?

I know… I know, young Robin.

Young Robin meandered around the pond for a long time that morning. I felt lighthearted. Laughing at the reflection of my disheveled self in the patio window, I mumbled out loud, “Holy crap, I resonate with a bird.” Now that’s kinda strange, and hey, didn't I also have a conversation with a tree frog? Scary, huh.


Young Robin fled without a sip of water that morning. I’m sure its next visit to the pond was just fine.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Space Invaders

There are only a few weeks left with the backyard warriors. I’m compelled to offer them here again before they leave.


Waiting for a space invader.

Can anyone get enough hummingbird drama? I can’t. I could sit for hours every day and watch them rule their galaxies and tangle and clack their beaks in a mid-air spiral that sends shivers up my spine when I hear the combat.


Invade my space? Surely you jest, but bring it on.

Oh my, what a lovely fighter pilot you are, young lad. Delicate. Sweet.


Now you see me…

In flight, watch them in reverse and make a u-turn in a nanosecond. Watch intently to see them turn into a blur and disappear with lightning speed, headed for a precise and safe landing on the same twig as before… So predictable. And I smile.


Guarding their feeders,

watching their space,


and agitating and inviting their invaders,


from hidden places.


Hummer puffs up and retracts its neck before an ambush.


Sweets for the Sweet


Watch out! Incoming!


They are their own special galaxy.

Bright spots.

My daytime Milky Way.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bella's Smile


A triangular hula-hoop doesn’t do its thing. Miss Bella knew something was terribly, terribly wrong.

With hands on hips, we watched her struggle with that hoop and thought about her dilemma for weeks. She had the only hula hoop in town and it was decrepit.


The stores didn’t have a decent hula hoop for sale. I searched for new, sturdy ones all summer long as I knew the day of reckoning was approaching when sweet Bella would be completely and totally hula hoopless. Then what?


It don’t hula and it don’t hoop no more.


I’ll just sit here and wait for Christmas…or forever…and I get hungwy and die.



Chloe never, ever enjoyed or shared Bella’s fun and fascination with hula hoops and always finds it incredibly boring and annoying.


What a stupid little dope. Let her sit there overnight or for a year. Woman, where’s my teeny tiny violin?

There is something about our pets that makes us forget they are only dogs, cats, birds, lizards, snakes, fish, horses, gerbils, rats, and guinea pigs who all adapt quite well with whatever their small lives lend them. If you care to look into their eyes long enough you can see their little souls inside full of joy or fear or sadness… I often examine my compassionate feelings towards animals who are facing death or harm’s way versus my more casual feeling towards humans facing the same circumstances. It doesn’t seem right, but it is what it is.

Bella would probably forget about her hula hoops in a few days or weeks if they were gone for good… But we’ve kept her in supply of hoops for five years because we love to see her eyes sparkle. I’d miss the hula hoop fun, too.

A few days later,


Her Daddy placed an order. I couldn’t wait to tell Bella she had a special delivery on the front porch.


Open da box.


She didn’t know what to do.

She didn’t know what to say.

It was all soooooo dazzling…


She mustered up some whimpers.

Then, her torso lifted by the sheer excitement and strength of her WROOOOO!


I'm on base! Throw the hoopie!



Woman, I know you’re in there. Please. Get her away from me.


What a gal. What a smile.