Posts Tagged ‘butterfly’

Hello Butterfly!

The Butterfly Gently Whispers DreamsWELCOME!

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RX: Notice Nature

I live in one wild corner!

Our newest wild resident is a deer.

She’s a brave young Momma and struts around like she owns the place!  Her territorial behavior makes me a little nervous.  In the photo below, she’s only a few feet from my door.  I stay back, keep my distance and she looks over at me from time to time, I guess checking to see if I’m still there.  After all, this is her new home and maybe in her mind, I am the resident human, who she thinks acts a little weird.

the young mother deer hangs around the yard

MY Home!

A few nights back, a neighbor knocked on my door.  She looked rather stunned.  I stepped outside.

First, she pointed at the deer standing close to us.

“Oh my!”  I gasped.

The deer was closer than usual!

We’ve become used to the deer and its territorial antics, but we had never seen it come for a sleepover right outside our doors, which is exactly what the deer did.

The neighbor pointed to our right and in a slight voice, suggesting she was taken by all the wild activity going on, she said, “The owls are here too.”

Two Barred Owls were perched under the street light on the electrical wires behind our building.  Oh, we’ve seen them before, both day and night, but lately, we’ve heard them too!

The owls were making a sort of hissing sound.  I’d heard the nightly noise for about ten days, but I wasn’t sure of the source. 

Barred Owls make several sounds other than the most known call (hoot), that can sound like they’re saying, “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?” 

I think the hissing sound we heard was from a fledgling.  The timing makes sense, because I heard the Barred Owls mating in springtime.

The hissing is a mysterious sound, and I think it’s a bit eerie for some people, but I love the owls and their presence is soothing.

Some people are afraid of owls.  Others say seeing one is a bad omen.

I respect the owl and feel protected when they come around.  Owls eat snakes, mice and rats.  They watch the darkness and alert their mate or youngsters (and me), of unusual intruders.

If you’d like to see the Barred Owl and hear the hissing sound, here is a video from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology on YouTube:

My neighbor and I stood together for a few more minutes in the wild of our otherwise pretty normal residential neighborhood.  We watched and listened.  The owls were successfully hunting.  The deer was cozy in the corner of the yard.

OUR BEAUTIFUL RESIDENT BARRED OWL

Barred Owl hunting in daylight in North Carolina Town

Perched Above Creek

The air was thick with wild.

“I also saw a big snake on my walk home,” my neighbor added.  “I think it was a Copperhead.”

Our wild backyard scenario was becoming more interesting by the second!

Barred Owls at Night

To our left, the Barred Owls hunt

wildlife comes to camp

To our right, the deer prepares for bed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank goodness, I don’t have a photo of the snake!  I’d rather they are not seen by me.

 

Nature is very much alive where I live and the residents do take notice.  Every neighbor I’ve talked with mentions something about the natural environment around here, usually pointing out one creature or another.  The children seem to like the turtles and the adults often mention the Great Blue Heron. 

A sense of community can be felt in our common awe, interest or simple excitement, inspired by the wild things that live amongst us.

Seeing the owls during the day (and capturing a few photos), is a beautiful thing.  Watching all the pretty birds, listening to the sounds of nature, and once in a while, getting a glimpse of the Great Blue Heron, are each blessings of beauty.

Nature’s beauty is healing in so many ways.  Beauty shows up unexpectedly too, like in the green muddy moss on the turtle’s shell and the hissing owls.  I think those are beautiful things.

A flood zone, surrounded by a creek, with a pond in the center, apparently has a unique ecological system, which is a big reason why we have a diverse community of wildlife, such as the family of turtles that live in the pond.

Below Photo:

A resident turtle.

Normally, the family of turtles take leave and dive into the water when people approach, which they did, but one came back after a minute or two of my arrival, climbed on the rock and gave me a stare!

Pond Turtle is Big!

I Like Water, Mud and Sunshine

Maybe I imagine these wild-life-looks I get, but I must say, I believe communication happens.  I like that.

For instance, I played with a white butterfly the other day.  That’s right.  We played and I had a grand time!

I was growing a few Kohlrabi plants, which might have been the reason for my playful winged visitor, the Cabbage White Butterfly!

I was so happy about my time with the butterfly, that I shared photos and wrote a little about it in my photo journal blog, Green Healing Notes.

Photo Below:

A Green Healing Morning with the Cabbage White Butterfly!

Nature is Beauty

Beauty in the Cabbage Patch!

I need the outdoors to thrive; whether it’s walking through woods, tending plants, birdwatching, chasing butterflies, or taking photographs of the beauty I see. 

In nature, even in my own little green space, with one butterfly hovering around, I lose myself.  Or perhaps, I find myself and lose the rest.

Thank you for visiting my blog!

Logo by Leslie Sigal Javorek, IconDoIt, the blog, and other places of original art
dogkisses

 

 

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The Monarch Image by Michelle aka 'dogkisses'

“Some how, monarchs are able, with much smaller brains than ours, to feel their own bodies, to read the weather and to instinctively feel where they are and where they are headed and how they should respond to the earth itself.”

Excerpt from the post: Butterfly Effect

(See link above to the blog, “what a shrink thinks”).

Thanks for visiting!

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what a shrink thinks

We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically.
― Neil deGrasse Tyson

Every late August /early September it comes, whether I like it or not.

As soon as the wind shifts, without any invitation at all.

In fact, when I resist or forget that it is arriving, it bursts in a rage, like some slighted and pissed of fairy-witch that spits curses, wreaks havoc, and grinds the whole works to a stop.

When I just remember to behave with grace when it knocks it becomes a respectful, polite, if somewhat impinging guest who is aware that their presence is inconvenient, and unavoidably disruptive, and their scheduled stay just a little too long.

When I am attuned, prepared and accepting, it brings with it quiet pleasures and relief.

As the earth under my feet cools, and draws the heat out…

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Green Healing ~ Recalling a Horticultural Summer

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BUTTERFLY BEAUTIFUL

The last days of Summer are obvious.  The light has changed coloring the sky a deep blue.  The clouds are big, fluffy and milky white.  Horticulturally, we’ve planted several seed beds for Fall harvesting. 

The wildly stimulating grand symphony of color and life that the excited Swallowtails, Fritillaries and Skippers performed has slowed to a soothing and reflective melody, with the pretty ‘Little Yellow’ and the cautious, interested beautiful Buckeye.

The Sunflowers are gone, along with the melon patch.  I was absent the day our volunteer group cleared that garden, but my son went.  

I spent the time in the parking lot lying down in my car due to exhaustion.  (I may add a personal note about that at the end of this post). 

“You should have come today,” my son said after volunteering with the Horticulture Therapy group.  “We had a great time.  You missed out.”

I was happy that he had fun and especially to see his smile.

“Smell my breath!” he exclaimed.  “Smells like Basil doesn’t it?”

The fragrance was strong, I thought.  Whatever they ate must have been good.  “How are the Sunflowers?” I asked him.

“We ripped them up and cleared all that out,” he answered, referring to the space where the plants had lived.

“What did you do with them?” I asked.  It was a futile question, I realized.  I knew they were in the compost, along with the dozens of caterpillars on the Fennel plant that I had hoped to see become Butterflies.

“Yep,” he reiterated, “They’re gone Mom.”  His tone sounded of a time and place when men must tell women of particular actions that simply had to be done and only by men.

He’d been perspiring and had dirt on his clothes.  He looked satisfied.  I gathered that his physical strength and abilities had served the group’s work efforts well, which I believe is good for a young man.

I did feel like a part of me had gone to wherever the Sunflowers went.  I wished, in one way, that I’d been there for a proper parting.  I loved the Sunflowers.  Upon reflection, I figure the compost is as good a place as any to be with Mother Earth.

The next day I stopped by the gardens alone.  I wanted to sit for a while, remembering my Sunflower Summer.

Each had unique differences.  There were the giant yellow ones, which did demand first greetings from onlookers.  Some were stunningly bright with pointed petals, while others were softer, with petals that looked like long blond locks of hair.  The pale yellows were almost transparent in a particular light of day.   I smile every time I remember the one with a head so big ‘she’ had to be tied to Bamboo.

Most surprising to me were the red Sunflowers.  The wonderfully rich colors are worthy of any camera!  They were beautiful.

There was one Sunflower still standing.  My son had planted it down below the main gardens against a tall cement wall.  His Sunflower was always different from the others in the most interesting ways.  A corner of the bloom’s circle of petals curled around the large spiraled center.  I often thought it looked like the small hand of a shy child, perhaps covering her face after a compliment, but mostly, the beautiful flower reminded me of my son.

In the brightest Summer days the plant stood tall.  As the days went on, it started bending forward, as though to watch over the smaller plants blooming closer to the ground.

One day I visited the gardens when my son wasn’t feeling well.  His flower was leaning so far over that the petals almost touched the tops of the relatively short Zinnias.  I couldn’t believe it was still standing.  I inspected the stem thinking the plant might need to be staked.  Surprisingly, it was thick, obviously strong enough to handle the form it had taken.

A garden and the life it brings is a continuous source of metaphors and personal reflection.

The critters who visited, along with the more permanent residents in the gardens, are treasures in my heart.  I remember my first ‘Green Healing’ garden friend, the little Lizard who lived in the Cabbage patch.  I fell in love.

My next Green Healing friend was a Ladybug.  The Horticulture Therapist pointed her out to me as we were walking to the Greenhouse on a chilly Spring morning.  She was sitting pretty on a leaf in the unforgettable garden of Crimson Clover.

The therapist knew I had enjoyed my camera and encouraged me to take a picture.  I snapped a few shots of the little ladybug.  Returning home, I uploaded the photos.  I saw what I loved.

That little ladybug was absolutely incredible, at least to my eyes.  I couldn’t believe the details in the photograph.  I couldn’t believe I took the photograph!  The morning dew spiraled down beside my new little friend like a tiny string of graduated pearls.  She’s my Lucky Little Lady who got me hooked on nature photography.

I’ve enjoyed all the wildlife in the gardens, most recently a new baby Turtle rooming with the Frog in the Pond Garden.  I love their photos, but Baby Turtle doesn’t like posing for the camera.  I try not to disturb him.  I guess, in my heart, I feel most connected with the Butterfly.  Everything about them is amazing and beautiful.

I’m not surprised that the Buckeye was the most prominent of the winged friends during my most recent visit to the gardens in the last days of Summer.

These beautifully winged wonders have an average life span of only about ten days, but their flight period is year-round in the southern United States.  The Northern ones do not overwinter and many return southward in great migrations. 

A small patch of the orange Mexican Sunflowers are still thriving.  I imagine they had a lot to do with the delightfully high number of butterflies in the gardens this year.

There are several other flowers blooming that obviously produce nectar, but I’m not familiar enough to know their botanical names.  I love the big white ones.

Nectar Producing Beauty for Hummingbirds and Butterflies

The hummingbirds and butterflies like them too.  I’m sure there is plenty of nectar for the late Summer and soon to arrive Autumn winged visitors. 

Sulfer Butterfly on Nectar Flower

Personally, the Summer was for the most part, difficult.  I’m grateful for my time with the volunteers and in the gardens.  It was time away from the harsh parts of my life.  People in that group care about people and those are always good kind of folks! 

I’m also glad to have spent time watching and being with the Butterflies.  On that note, I’ll recall the pretty Painted Lady who put on the most colorful show of the year with the orange Sunflowers and pink Zinnias.  ‘She’ showed up during my recent visit, but I didn’t recognize her.

After taking several photos, I asked a staff member to look and tell me if she knew the Butterfly.  “I’m pretty sure that’s a Painted Lady,” she said.

Ha!  I thought to myself.  “I don’t think so.  Look at the wings,” I replied.  They were jagged like those of a Question Mark or Comma.  I was confused and thought she didn’t know her butterflies all that well, which surprised me.

Again, it wasn’t until I saw the images on the digital screen that I realized the woman had correctly identified ‘my lady’ painted pretty.  She may have had a difficult summer too.  Her wings told of predators, but mostly of survival, because she’s still flying free.

Painted Lady with a few marks of a butterflies life

On a more personal note, I have pneumonia.  I knew I felt terribly bad, but I attributed the worsening of my health over the past six weeks or more to stress and possibly, utter exhaustion.  Also, living with chronic illness means it’s hard to know the difference between your normal way of feeling and a nasty infection.  According to the doctor, the large pills she prescribed should get me well.

Along with the medication, I’ll look to my jagged beautiful Painted Lady!

Thank you for visiting DogKisses!  Pardon the lengthy post.  It took me a while to write and there are probably grammatical errors.  I hope to be back to myself again soon, which would include having energy to read my favorite blogs.  Until then, I hope you are having your own Green Healing moments this Summer.

Peace and Pass it on.

Green Healing ~ Discovering Macro

 

Whoa!  I discovered macro mode!

Big Bright Yellow Sunflower and clear Carolina sky

BEAUTIFUL SUNFLOWERS!

Bright Yellow Sunflower Image with Macro Lens

Ingredients for GREEN HEALING:

A beautiful day. A classic Carolina sky.

A lovely bright Sunflower. A little silver Canon.

My little silver camera surprises me.  I see people walking around with very fine cameras.  They are impressively large and I’m sure those carrying bags include an assortment of lens.  One day I might like to have a bigger and more powerful camera, but that’s a secret.  I don’t want my sweet compact little Canon to hear me say that.

I love the ‘macro’ view of various insects, along with the delicate intricacies of tiny flowers.  Photographing the life around the pond garden is always fun but again, a closer look is better.  ‘Little Frog’ has grown.  He (or she) mostly sits in the sun when I visit. 

The newest garden critter, a baby turtle with a serious face and grand personality, usually found within a few feet of the frog doesn’t seem to like me, or my camera.  I’m not sure which one bothers it more.  The frog had to go clear to the other side of the pond to get away from the determined turtle while I took pictures.  I must admit that although I love taking photos of wildlife, I don’t want to disturb the beloved critters I meet.  I’ve noticed how some don’t like being photographed, particularly lizards and turtles.

Turtle and Frog, together

Baby Turtle chases Frog

My favorite part of the day was photographing Butterflies in the Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower) garden.  I was in awe!  Truly, I was.  

Painted Lady Butterfly and Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower)

Painted Lady and Mexican Sunflower

Above, Our beautiful Painted Lady Butterfly sips sweet nectar from Tithonia.  (Below) Swallowtail enjoys the same.  Tithonia are my favorite flowers because of their prolific blooms, hardiness and obvious nectar production.  Of course, the deep (and bright) orange color is pretty cool too.

Swallowtail Butterfly on Mexican Sunflower, Macro by Michelle for DogKisses's Blog

Below: Our pretty Carolina Sky and a Swallowtail Butterfly

Swallowtail Butterfly in the blue Carolina Sky

I’m very glad I took the time to play with my camera in the garden.  The images of butterflies are vivid and clear in my mind.  I can close my eyes and see swirling colors and merging outlines of transparent wings.  I’ve had a few dreams of winged colors, which were nice to wake up with in my mind.  I guess you could say I’m having macro ‘Green Healing’ dreams!  Mother Nature is amazing.

In Gratitude to Mother Earth, Father Sky, the Butterflies, and one very special person who decided to plant the Tithonia Garden!

Thank you for visiting Michelle’s  DogKisses Blog.

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Butterfly la Blue

A colorful play in blue, with the Red-spotted Purple Butterfly. 

Butterfly, You are so pretty!

Thanks for visiting Dogkisses’s blog.

Note:  I also had another visitor to my ‘Green Healing’ garden the same day the Red-spotted Purple stopped by for the photo shoot.  A brand new, as in new-born, and very, very tiny lizard took its first crawl on a leaf in my favorite container of flowers.  I was truly in awe. 

Pop over to my other blog, Green Healing Notes, for a look.

Peace and Pass it On.

Butterfly, A Beautiful Life

Watch the butterfly happen!  Two minutes of transformation.

NationalGeographic, “Great Migrations: Butterfly: A Life”

The best part is near the end of the clip.  I hope it plays for you.