I’ve been watching this nest for some time, pretty sure that it belonged to one of the Eastern gray squirrel families that frequent our yard. It’s carefully positioned in a fork between a stout pine limb and the main trunk and was constructed out of sticks, pine needles, leaves and other natural materials. It is in a perfect place for a nest because of its proximity to a bird feeder and an endless supply of pine cones.
This afternoon, I spied a squirrel exiting the nest. It positioned itself on a forked branch below the nest which afforded it a wide view of our yard. Seeing that the coast was clear, it eased down the side of the tree and over to the feeder for a snack of sunflower seeds before heading to the birdbath for a quick drink.
Shortly after the first squirrel left the tree, a second one also came out of the nest, sitting a while on a nearby branch before heading to the forked overlook for a careful survey of the yard. Feeling safe, it too carefully climbed down the side of the tree and headed to a feeder — ever mindful of the watch dog who faithfully guards the yard.
“But when it comes to living there is no place like home.” ~Henry van Dyke
At this time of year, a drive around the flooded fields and woods surrounding the Mississippi levee never disappoints. It offers an opportunity to observe a variety of waterfowl and small birds.
“Birds are the most popular group in the animal kingdom. We feed them and tame them and think we know them. And yet they inhabit a world which is really rather mysterious.” ~David Attenborough
This is one of my favorite places to watch the sun set at Reelfoot Lake. On this day, as I watched the lake reflect the golden color of the sky, two eagles which had previously gone undetected suddenly took flight. It was all quite a lovely sight and a free gift for the taking.
One midnight, deep in starlight still,
I dreamed that I received this bill:
… Five thousand breathless dawns all new;
Five thousand flowers fresh in dew;
Five thousand sunsets wrapped in gold;
One-million snow-flakes served ice-cold;
Five quiet friends; one baby’s love;
One white-mad sea with clouds above;
One hundred music-haunted dreams
Of moon-drenched roads and hurrying streams;
Of prophesying winds, and trees;
Of silent stars and browsing bees;
One June night in a fragrant wood;
One heart that loved and understood.
I wondered when I waked at day,
How—how in God’s name—I could pay!”
It’s not necessary to go far from home to enjoy the beauty of nature. If you just sit still and watch, sometimes nature comes to you.
“What a voyage is this we make without leaving for a night our own fireside!” ~John Burroughs
The call of the Sandhill Cranes can once again be heard as they wander the grain fields around Hop-In Refuge in search of food.
“We are all wanderers on this earth. Our hearts are full of wonder, and our souls are deep with dreams.” ~Gypsy proverb
A lake is a landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is Earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature. ~Henry David Thoreau
Bur marigold attracts many insects which enjoy the nectar and pollen from their flowers. The beautiful yellow flower heads can be seen in September and October growing in sunny or partially shady wet areas.
“For observing nature, the best pace is a snail’s pace.” ~Edwin Way Teale