Monday, August 20, 2018

Solace in Nature

"Every now and again take a good look at something not made with hands---a mountain, a star, the turn of a stream. There will come to you wisdom and patience and solace and, above all, the assurance that you are not alone in the world." Sid Lovett

Saturday, August 18, 2018


The population of goldfinch varies during the summer months. They do come through to eat in the winter at the bird feeders, but summer is not as predictable. This year I have an abundance of volunteer zinnias and a few volunteer sunflowers and thus, an abundance of goldfinch!  They are territorial at the sunflower head but seem to be willing to share elsewhere and at the birdbath.  You can see below why my zinnias get destroyed.  It seems that goldfinch also like to eat the petals of the flower!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Natural Entertainment

There is nothing worse than a summer cold unless it happens during those hot humid days toward the end month as you wait for fall having tired of comparing a mild fever to the real heat of a sweating brow when attempting to weed a flower bed while your nose drips, drips, drips to the ground. While lying in my bedroom one afternoon and sucking on a cough drop, I observed the view from the window at the foot of my bed.

Yes, I opened the window to get a better photo.  This is Auralia spinosa more commonly known as devils' walking stick.  The common name comes from the sharp and spiny thorns on its branches and trunk.  It thrives at the edges of woods or where soil has been disturbed.  Many people want to eradicate it, but it is an important pollinator and in my case a great source of entertainment while resting in bed.

I watch them dance and spar and then drink deeply of some amazing nectar: bees and bumblers and wasps, and butterflies.  It is good medicine.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Wings, an Abundance of Wings!

"Nature is so delightful and abundant in its variations that there would not be one that resembles another, and not only plants but among their branches, leaves, and fruit, will not be found one which is precisely like another." Leonardo Da Vinci 

Since the rains are diminishing I have been blessed with so many winged creatures this week! And below are just the most colorful of the winged ones.

Monday, July 30, 2018

My Little Engineer

Seasons are interpreted through rose, or watery gray, or steamy orange colored glasses by humankind. This summer has been sloppy wet and just a little on the warm side. We did have a few weeks of hot and dusty drought where the soil actually started to crack, but the last month or more has been filled with an average of six inches (or more) of rain every week.  We are moving into August and the grass is not sage green, but energy green.  As a human, I tend to think I know the seasons and where we are in them.  Ha!

This flower pot sits at the side of my front door.  We thankfully cleaned the gutters over this entry porch back in June, because it tends to block and then a large waterfall hits the steps and/or bounces into the pot and floods it.  Not too long ago I was watering this pot every other day.  That white leaved plant is a Caladium and is good at repelling raindrops onto the pavement.  Why is that of interest?

Two weeks ago I was pulling weeds in the pot and frightened a tiny Carolina wren.  When I investigated I noticed a small nest tucked at the base of this big umbrella-shaped plant.  A few days later in early July I also noticed about a half dozen eggs had been added.  I would peek at the nest now and again, but the wren was never there.  I began to think my frightening her caused her to abandon the nest.  When grandson came to visit the Third week of July I snuck up to the nest and parted the leaves and told him to check out the nest.  Of course, Momma Wren was sitting on the nest and flew right into his face causing him to scream and run!  He is 13, so the fear was a thrill and not a trauma.

I am so happy to see she is back, and I am keeping my curiosity at bay, although I do try to listen and test if I hear small chirps.  The nest is a marvel of engineering because she made it into a waterproof cave of woven moss and grasses and the tons of rain has thus far not penetrated!  Here we are with summer two-thirds past and the wren is on her third, fourth(?) nest of the season!  No wonder these brave feathered friends can sing with such a bold heart.

My fennel is growing just across the sidewalk from this pot and I do wonder if she had the supermarket of caterpillers also in mind when she built her nest?

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Squish Squash or Splish Slash

With the total of over 8 inches of rains in three days one would think butterflies do not get thirsty, but here is one at the bird bath filling up in the early morning.
This time of year I become more prejudice because as we approach August some of the butterflies are tattered and torn and I get selective on only photographing those in perfect and beautiful symmetry.
Some of which are seen through various digital filters and others only sharpened a bit.
This is the time of year for dating. They manage to do that without an App. Amazing! Others are still lonely hearts.
And others just beg to be painted!!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Surviving the Winter

My daughter-in-law has the mistaken idea that I am a bit of a gardener. I am not. I just have a lot more time on my hands and more money than she does. She was helping me move something on my back patio the other day and she said: "Gosh, even your weeds are pretty."


These are coleus seeds from a tropical plant that I had in a pot and that amazingly wintered over!