Friday, October 31, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Last Year's Fall Foliage

The autumn foliage is showing off its best colors around Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  A few friends have posted stunning photos of the color transformation on Facebook.  I so want to be there!  It's gorgeous this time of the year!  Hubby and I missed out on our leaf peeping trip this year, due to moving. Hopefully we'll get our turn next autumn.

The photos below were taken during our trip to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg in October 2013.  Our timing was perfect- foliage colors peaked while we were there. We enjoyed gorgeous views as a blanket of beautiful golds, reds, oranges, and scarlets covered miles of forests.

I've been so busy lately that I've fallen behind on reading your blogs and posting on mine.  I'm still trying to arrange things in our new place- it's been a slow but steady process (I'm not as energetic as I used to be!).  

Sooner or later, I'll catch up...probably later ;)    

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Last Photos of the Woodpecker Family

I miss this family of Red-Bellied Woodpeckers that I'd become quite attached to at our previous residence.  They were so interesting to watch at the feeders and I enjoyed hearing their calls.  These are the last few photos of them that haven't yet been posted...

Adult male "Woody"- always determined to find his favorite seeds.  
He often placed himself in some precarious positions to get what he wanted.
Adult female "Winnie"- an approaching bird.  
Juvenile from Woody & Winnie's brood this year
An upside-down view of the world
Carefully backing down the tree...
It didn't take long for the juvenile to learn how to hang sideways on this feeder and grab a seed.
Just adorable!
Silly bird!

I wish I could have brought them all with me...

Linked with Stewart at Wild Bird Wednesday

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

To a Butterfly

I've watched you now a full half-hour;
Self-poised upon that yellow flower

And, little Butterfly! Indeed
I know not if you sleep or feed.

How motionless! - not frozen seas
More motionless! and then

What joy awaits you, when the breeze
Hath found you out among the trees,

And calls you forth again!
~ William Wordsworth, "To a Butterfly"

Identity of Butterflies:  1.  Common Buckeye  2.  Cloudless Sulphur  
 3.  Variegated Fritillary   4.  Spicebush Swallowtail 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Small Critters of Summer

This week I'm sharing a few photos of the smaller living things
 that shared our porch and yard during summer...

Lizard displaying his dewlap and bobbing up and down...either he was trying to catch
the attention of a female or he was trying to intimidate trespassers
This one usually hid in my spider plant
Did you know that lizards like grape jelly?  I didn't know either- until I saw this one lapping it up
I had put out the grape jelly to draw in the yellow jackets- this helped keep them away
from the hummingbird feeders.
Walking sticks are so strange.  Plain-out weird-looking.  This is one of only two I've seen this year.
I almost sat down on this fuzzy little cutie that trespassed upon my lawn chair.
Does anyone know what species of caterpillar this is? Update: This is a Banded Tussock Moth caterpillar-
thanks to Theresa at Run-Around Ranch for her help in identifying it :)
I still see you! A couple of grasshoppers tried to camouflage themselves
in the green foliage of a nearby field.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend thus far.
Thank you for dropping in!

Linked with Eileen at Saturday's Critters,
Thank you, Eileen for hosting this fun and interesting meme!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Yellow-Shafted Northern Flicker

Before one lucky sighting this past June, I had only seen images of the beautiful Northern Flicker via the web.   I believe this is one of the most attractive birds among the Woodpecker species.  I didn't think I'd ever be fortunate enough to actually see one...

However, good fortune brought me the opportunity to watch this male Northern Flicker as he foraged around in our front yard for insects.  He didn't hang around for long, only a couple of minutes, but that was all I needed to get a few quick shots of him.  The images below are heavily cropped because he was quite a distance from me and I didn't approach him for fear of scaring him off.  When he did decide to take off, I got a glimpse of his underside feathers, a beautiful bright yellow- absolutely stunning in flight!

Adult male yellow-shafted Northern Flickers can be easily identified by their black malar (or moustache) which is absent in the female.  Flickers appear brownish overall with a white rump patch that’s conspicuous in flight and often visible when perched. The undersides of the wing and tail feathers are bright yellow, for eastern birds, or red, in western birds. With a closer look you’ll see the brown plumage is richly patterned with black spots, bars, and crescents.

Although it can climb up the trunks of trees and hammer on wood like other woodpeckers, the Northern Flicker prefers to find food on the ground. Ants are its main food, and the flicker digs in the dirt to find them. It uses its long barbed tongue to lap up the ants. They also eat fruits and seeds, especially in winter.

Click here to view a stunning image of a yellow-shafted Northern Flicker in flight.

Linked with Stewart at Wild Bird Wednesday,
Thank You for hosting this great meme, Stewart!

Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly

The Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly is common here in south Mississippi.  I've seen several this summer and occasionally photographed them from June through September.  Here's my photo collection of this beautiful butterfly species:

The Red-Spotted Purple is a species of the North American brush-footed butterfly and is a mimic of the poisonous Pipevine Swallowtail. Both sexes of this species are identical except that the females are slightly larger than the males. The males aggressively defend territories and readily dart out from their overhanging perches to chase passing objects. The butterfly occasionally visits flowers, but like many of its relatives in the brush-footed family, is more strongly attracted to rotting fruit, animal dung and moist earth.

"Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life.  And everyone deserves a little sunshine"  
~ Jeffrey Glassberg

Friday, October 10, 2014

A Fence & A Whole Lot of Flowers

Around the bend from our place, about 1/2 mile or so, is a piece of country property for sale. It was probably a cow pasture at one time, or maybe someone's hunting area.  

My son and I walked around the property to check out the wildflowers and have a look around. Goldenrods are everywhere, beginning from the fence and continuing across the open field, yielding only to the dense forest on the west side.  

What a pretty meadow of wildflowers!  Pretty patches of purple-pink grasses stood tall above the goldenrod and added a striking color contrast.

Narrow-Leafed Sunflowers are also abundant and look so pretty when paired with the Blue Mistflowers.

Small patches of these pretty pink flowers and tall purple flowers are scattered throughout the meadow.  If you can identify their species, please let me know.  

The autumn wildflowers have been exceptionally abundant and beautiful this year.  Have any of you noticed any difference from previous years?  I just wonder if I've actually paid more attention to them this year.  

Linked with Theresa at Good Fences
Thank you for hosting, Theresa!