Summer Tanager

I heard an unfamiliar song coming from the treetops.  As I looked up, there sat an adult male Summer Tanager preforming one of his chatter calls.  Not normally one that I see in my yard, he was an unexpected and welcome surprise.

“Keep a green tree in your heart and … perhaps a singing bird will come.”  ~Chinese Proverb

Roadside Beauties

The ditches running beside the country roads are sprinkled with a variety of seasonal flowers. Though often overlooked, they add beauty, color and texture to the landscape for all to enjoy.

Fiery red Cardinal flowers …

… growing together with showy pink clusters of milkweed.

Ironweed’s deep purple blooms …

… surrounded by a variety of other late summer beauties.

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” ~Frances Hodgson Burnett

Summer Scenery

Hiking on the boardwalk around the edge of Reelfoot Lake is a good way to see native plant and animal life, with each season offering up its own variety of treasures.

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery … I thought ‘this is what it is to be happy.'” ~Sylvia Plath

Down By the River

Occasionally, we like to take part of an afternoon and go sit down by the Mississippi River.  We go mainly to watch the towboats pushing the barges …

… and to see the eagles which nest along the river. 

It’s also interesting to observe the flora and fauna along the shoreline.

“Sometimes we’d have the whole river to ourselves for the longest time …” ~Mark Twain

Sweet Moments

One afternoon this week, I was surprised to witness some rather sweet moments between two Eastern gray squirrels that I’m guessing are probably close relatives. They laid on a branch of one of our pine trees, leisurely grooming each other.

“Some of the tiniest moments carry the sweetest memories.” ~Vicki Reese

Snakes about the Lake

During the summer, it is common to see snakes at various places around the lake. Some are poisonous and some are not. Though these creatures have a certain charm and intrigue about them, my favorite way to observe them is definitely from a distance.

Distance lends enchantment to the view.” ~Mark Twain

A Little Wren

Last year, a little wren built a nest in the eaves of my back patio to raise her young.  This year, she decided to relocate to a patio table and tuck the nest between a bale of straw and two wicker flower baskets which are sitting against a wall.

One afternoon I was sitting out on a bench a short distance from the patio, unaware that she had relocated, when she decided that it would be a good time to work on the new nest. My presence, however, was intruding upon her plans.

Despite my proximity, she proceeded to bring pine needles, dried leaves and bits of moss to form her new home. 

I have to say that I admired her courage and tenacity.

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”  ~Nelson Mandela

Turtles

Turtles seem to be plentiful this year. Here are a few seen in May and June.

“Wisely, and slow.  They stumble that run fast.”  ~William Shakespeare