When I go out to feed the birds in the morning, I am often stopped in my tracks by the sound of chirps and fluttering wings as cardinals seem to appear out of nowhere and descend on the bushes surrounding our yard. They know when feeding time is, and ready themselves to claim their share of the bounty. I’ve come to look forward to their beautiful flashes of red and all the activity that surrounds feeding time!
“Stop. Look. Listen. You are surrounded by countless little blessings but you’ll miss them is you don’t pay attention.” ~Ruth McPherson
On a recent trip to the Reelfoot area, we were able to spot several eagles. The first one we saw was sitting on a log out in the lake. It was keeping an eye on a flock of ducks that was swimming nearby.
Then we drove to the Mississippi levee and saw an eagle sitting in a tree near a large nest.
Further on down the levee, we spotted two eagles sitting in the same tree. One was near the top of the tree and the other was more concealed, sitting on a lower branch.
No matter how many times you see them, it is always a joy to observe these beautiful birds.
“We live in a beautiful and wonderful world … and the more you know about it the wiser and the better you will be.” ~Louisa May Alcott
On a recent trip to Reelfoot Wildlife Refuge we noticed that the Azolla, a floating fern which grows among the duckweed, had turned a reddish-brown color. The leaves of this freshwater aquatic fern really seemed to “pop” when hit by the bright sunlight.
“You stand out like a strawberry in a bowl of peas .” ~Unknown
A good way to begin the New Year is a drive to Hop-In Refuge to see the Sandhill Cranes which winter there. Harvested farmland provides a good source of food and water for the cranes and other types of waterfowl which gather there.
“Today is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one!” ~Brad Paisley
Monarch butterflies enjoying Silky Gold Milkweed in early October.
“Life is a ticket to the greatest show on earth.” ~Martin H. Fischer
Leaves aren’t the only yellow to be seen in autumn. Here are a few others that I came across during September and October.
“It is the color closest to light. In its utmost purity it always implies the nature of brightness and has a cheerful, serene, gently stimulating character. Hence, experience teaches us that yellow makes a thoroughly warm and comforting impression. With yellow the eye rejoices, the heart expands, the spirit is cheered and we immediately feel warmed. Many people feel an inclination to laugh when looking through a yellow glass.” ~Johann von Goethe
In autumn, the landscape is dotted with the vibrant golden-yellow blooms of goldenrod, a wildflower that grows in fields and along roadways. One insect that is commonly attracted to goldenrod is the goldenrod soldier beetle, or Pennsylvania leatherwing. Adult soldier beetles feed on the pollen and nectar, and forage along the flowers for insect eggs and aphids. The flowers also serve as a place for them to meet and mate.
“There’s something about autumn that wakes up our senses and reminds us to live … ” ~Unknown