Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

This Tiger Swallowtail visited one of the vines in my yard in the late afternoon.  It had suffered a tear to its left hind wing, probably as the result of a bird bite.  Fortunately, it was one of the lucky ones that got away, and this didn’t hamper its movement as it gracefully fluttered from flower to flower sipping nectar.  Watching this beautiful butterfly was one of the highlights of my day.

“There’s no need to be perfect to inspire others.  Let people get inspired by how you deal with your imperfections.”  ~Unknown

Wild Passion Flowers

This is the time of year that Tennessee’s state wildflower, the Passion Flower, can be  found growing wild by the roadside or in fields and woods.  The vines run along the ground or climb up trees and fences, and produce beautiful lavender flowers and greenish-yellow fruit.

The things you are passionate about are not random.  They are your calling.  ~Fabienne Fredrickson

Keeping cool

It’s been a hot summer, and these blue dragonflies at Reelfoot Lake were trying to keep cool.  In order to stay cool during hot weather, dragonflies raise their abdomens straight into the air to reduce their exposure to the sun.  They also use their wings to deflect the sun.

“He who keeps his cool best wins.”  ~Norman Cousins

Feeding time

In the above photo, the deer was feeding out in the back of a soybean field in the middle of a hot afternoon.  The photo below was taken at dusk — a cooler time when the light is low and deer are usually more active.  We rounded the bend in a road and could see several grazing on vegetation off in the distance.

“Your mind will always believe everything you tell it.  Feed it faith.  Feed it truth.  Feed it love.”  ~Unknown

Bird watching

Back in early May, I spotted two birds in the Reelfoot Lake area that I had never photographed before.  The first was an Eastern Kingbird.  Quite a dapper looking fellow, he was sitting in a Cypress tree out in the lake.  I watched for some time as he flew off to snatch insects out of the air and then returned to the comfort of his perch in  the tree.

The other was a Baltimore Oriole sitting in a tree at the State Park.  He and his female companion were busy with the task of nest-building.  Between all the flurry of activity, he seemed to be dutifully guarding the site.  Baltimore Orioles migrate through our area in the springtime, but generally move northward for the summer.

You never know what you’re going to see when you get out in nature, find a quiet spot and take the time to listen and observe.

“Sometimes when we just stand still the grace finds us.”  ~Mary Davis