Saturday, September 27, 2014

Two Chipmunks & a Skunk

I have only a few critter photos to share today.  I've been busy as a bee packing, cleaning and getting ready for our move.  I will probably be offline a few days until internet services are transferred to our new location.  I'll still have service on my cell phone, so I'll be checking in :)

Photos of these adorable little chipmunks were taken in the Chimney Tops park area within the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.  Chipmunks are numerous in the park and I see one or more of them every time we visit.  They are quick as lightening, however, which makes it difficult to photograph them.  I adore chipmunks, they're so darn cute! I could spend hours watching them scurry about the park, darting between the rocks and trees.   

While my hubs and I temporarily resided in Tennessee, a skunk family also took up residence in a pile of decaying tree trunks and limbs behind our house.  They usually came out of their den near dusk, so we often sat on the back porch and observed them.  While the adults scrounged around the yard looking for food, the kits (youngsters) often chased each other around the trees and shrubs.  It was great fun to watch them tumble about, wrestle and play together- their behavior was much like kittens!  I believe the one pictured below was one of the kits (but I'm uncertain)...

That's it for me today.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  
Thank you for dropping in :)

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Gulf Fritillary

The Gulf Fritillary is a brightly colored butterfly common across extreme southern portions of the United States. At home in most open, sunny habitats, it frequents roadsides, disturbed sites, fields, open woodlands, pastures, yards, and parks.

In Florida, it can be found in all 67 counties. The butterfly undergoes distinct seasonal movements each year. Adults move northward in spring and form temporarily breeding colonies throughout the southeast. Individual vagrants may occasionally reach into the central U.S., but rarely into the Midwest. Starting in late summer and continuing through fall, huge numbers of adults migrate southward into peninsular Florida. Adults overwinter in frost-free portions of their range.

The Gulf Fritillary is a medium-sized butterfly with elongated forewings. Adults have a wingspan range of 65 to 95 mm. Females are generally larger than males. The sexes are dimorphic. The upper surface of the wings is bright orange with black markings. Females are somewhat darker and more extensively marked. The forewing cell contains three black-rimmed white spots. The undersides of the wings are brown with elongated silvery-white spots.

For about two weeks I attempted to photograph this beauty without much success. It was always gone by the time I grabbed my camera and went outdoors. Finally, one came and stayed long enough for me to capture some good shots. A couple days later I was thrilled to get a few more photos.  

These butterflies are so beautiful. I love the blend of orange, brown, black and white colors.  Their underside wings are spectacular when the silvery-white colored spots shimmer in bright light, giving them a metallic appearance.  Dazzling, delightful creatures- don't you agree?  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Lovey Doveys

Among my favorite bird visitors are this pair of Collared Doves.  Rarely do I see one without the other.  I call them the "Lovey Doveys" of our neighborhood.  

I wish they weren't so bashful.  Just when I think I can get a good shot of them, they fly away, usually into a nearby tree.

The closer shots were taken from my bedroom window...

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sitting Pretty

Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds are presently a big part of my everyday routine, so I have a multitude of photos to share.  I've been sitting on the front porch observing them during my short breaks from household chores and packing.  We'll be moving in just two weeks!  I'll be glad when the move is over and we are once again "settled".  Hopefully, this will be our final move.

These tiny guys and gals will be moving on soon too...across the Gulf of Mexico to their wintering grounds in Central and South America.  This is one of their favorite feeders.  Unfortunately, bees and yellow jackets like it, too.  Sometimes the yellow jackets work their way to the inside of the feeder, where they drown.  I've used feeders with bee guards, but they somehow manage to get in anyway- they're persistent and determined, as are the hummingbirds.

Thank you for dropping in...
Wishing everyone a great start to a new week!

Still Moments

Though it's fun to watch Hummingbirds darting between the feeders and flowers,
it can be just as pleasing to watch them rest, if only for a brief moment.

In that still moment, one can better see the true beauty of the Hummingbird...

"Stillness is the altar of Spirit"

Wishing everyone a beautiful Sunday...

Saturday, September 20, 2014

More Critters in Colorado

My hubby and I saw some pretty amazing wildlife while we were in Colorado.
Here's a few more photos from our trip:

This little Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrel appears to be hitching a ride...
possibly to the nearest squirrel feeder?
The Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrel is often confused with a chipmunk,
but the squirrel is larger than a chipmunk and has no stripes on its head
Don't be surprised to see cows in the middle of the dirt/gravel roads-
we often saw this in Colorado!
Antelope on the Colorado plains
One of Ouray's "pet deer" that wanders freely through town
Mom and babies also in Ouray
Cute one!
A group of Mule Deer at the forest edge outside of Ouray
Herds of Elk were a common sight throughout Colorado
I'd never heard of a Yak, until I saw this one
More Yaks...a special breed on this ranch in Colorado
"Hands off my treat!"
Another common sight in Colorado are the Magpies...pretty birds.
I now wish I had taken more photos of them!
This was also the first time I had seen a Mountain Bluebird- what a pretty bird!
One of my favorite photos- this friendly dog visits the Jerky store every day-
he looks as though he is "placing his order"- "I'll take a sample of each, please".

Thank you for visiting!  I hope you enjoyed these Colorado critters!

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