It was nice to get away recently and spend a few days relaxing with family at Chickasaw State Park. The park is a rustic place, not too far from home, where one can be out in nature enjoying walking trails, picnics, camp fires, and a variety of lake activities.
“A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking.” ~Earl Wilson
The common grackle is one of those birds that both irritates and fascinates. A flock showed up in our yard in early spring, bringing with them noisy chatter and rowdy behavior at the feeders. A pair or two stuck around, and during the past couple of months they have been through courtship, nesting, and are now raising a brood which clamor loudly for attention and food. The juveniles are dull brown with dark eyes. The adults, with their beautiful iridescent colors and stern-looking golden eyes, seem to be devoted to the fledglings, looking out for them and eager to meet their needs. If the past is any indication, they will all soon move on to places unknown, and the yard will once again be quiet and peaceable.
“It’s amazing how lovely common things become, if one only knows how to look at them.” ~Louisa May Alcott
There’s a place on our country road where I consistently see red admiral butterflies when I’m out walking in the evening. They are territorial and tend to patrol the same area, chasing away other males that enter their space, and often returning to the same perch.
Recently I spotted the red admiral pictured below, flitting around, stopping occasionally to perch on a leaf and soak in the last bit of sunlight as the sun was setting in the westward sky. Its wings were so tattered that I wondered how it could possibly fly, but fly it did, without the least bit of obvious trouble.
“There’s no need to be perfect to inspire others. Let people get inspired by how you deal with your imperfections.” ~Unknown