Monday, September 14, 2009

Butterfly Reawakening

The bits of nature in my backyard delight me. Birds, rabbits, flowers, butterflies all have a place in my heart. But occasionally I am jarred into realizing that I have been less than aware of my surroundings. When something new appears, there is a reawakening of the senses – and a reminder that I am not a nature expert. Like the dark butterfly that showed up on the bush. I checked my butterfly and moth book but couldn’t identify it. That makes me all the more excited to see it. How can I take something for granted when I can’t define it? I keep looking for it and the search makes me aware of the rest of Mother Nature’s treasures.

Note: If anyone can identify this butterfly, please let me know. I may not be an expert but I am always eager to learn.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bird Rainbows

When a friend from the UK came to the US, she was amazed by the colors of the birds she saw here. There were bright red cardinals, vibrant blue jays, brilliant goldfinches. The birds so special to her are constant visitors to my backyard. Sometimes they are all on the feeders at once. Iridescent grackles and dusty robins fly through. Red-headed woodpeckers, speckled starlings, soft gray titmice all come around. I am always delighted to see these bird rainbows but hearing the admiration of someone who doesn’t have the same feathered parade reminds me to appreciate the beauty of what, for me, is so common.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Our Pepper Plant

My husband does not like to eat peppers. He can tolerate green peppers but forget the spicy ones. So it came as a surprise when we stopped at a farmer's market and he immediately picked out a pot of HOT pepper plants. He was drawn not to the food but to the vibrant colors: yellow, purple, orange, and red peppers blazed above the green leaves. While I chose corn and tomatoes, he bought the pepper plant. He placed the plant right outside our kitchen window where we could see it whenever we peeked out. As the season progressed, the colors changed. Everything was turning red. I think the plant is ornamental which is good because I suspect the peppers would be too hot to eat anyway. Meanwhile, we are enjoying the ever-shifting color pallette and may even save the seeds for another show next summer.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Grackles on the Feeders

Grackles are on the feeders – again. They come in flocks and eat everything. The smaller birds give deference to them and I can understand why. These birds are pretty large, as is their appetite. I shoo them away when I can to give the others a chance at the seed but they will be back, maybe later in the week or in a brief minute when they think the coast is clear. We can play this back-and-forth game several times before they finally take off. But their iridescent coloring shines like jewels in the sunlight and so I temper my need to replenish seed with appreciation for their beauty.