Because we were close by, my husband and I decided to make an unplanned stop at a little country cemetery that we help maintain. We were quite surprised when we drove up and saw a red fox standing right in the middle of it. While we watched, the fox appeared to be foraging for food as it strolled to the back of the cemetery and out of sight.
“Expect the unexpected. Life is full of wonderful things just waiting to surprise you.” ~Unknown
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
Ruby-throated hummingbirds around the feeders at the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center – Big Sandy.
Occasionally, you would also see them resting on small branches overlooking the Tennessee River.
“It is not the strength of the body that counts, but the strength of the spirit.” ~Tolkien
Around the first week of May, many gardens in Tennessee come alive with showy flowers having a variety of colors and intricate details. The greatly anticipated iris season only lasts a few weeks. Though the life of the blooms are short-lived, the beauty and smell of the flowers linger in the mind until the next iris season rolls around.
On the first weekend in May, a town near us hosts an Iris Festival flower show. This year, as always, we saw a number of beautiful varieties.
“There’s a picture there that lives in memory when it’s Iris time in Tennessee” ~Willa Waid Newman
My favorite time to walk on our country road is shortly before the sun goes down. Each sunset has its own color and design as the light of day fades away.
“God is always seeking you. Every sunset. Every clear blue sky. Each ocean wave. The starry hosts of night. He blankets each new day with the invitation, ‘I am here.’” ~Louie Giglio