Common buckeye

There were a number of buckeye butterflies fluttering about the tall grass that was growing along the Mississippi levee.  Occasionally they would alight for a short rest (and a photo) before continuing on their way.

“If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit.”  ~Unknown

A deer in the soybeans

This deer was grazing in a soybean field near Big Sandy Unit Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge.  She raised her head to watch as we drove by.

“Nature has been for me, for as long as I remember, a source of solace, inspiration, adventure, and delight; a home, a teacher, a companion.”  ~Lorraine Anderson

Wildflowers

Here are a variety of wildflowers which pepper the fields and country roads in our area during the spring and summer months.  Wildflowers not only brighten the landscape, but also provide habitat for birds and insects and food for many animals.

“Flowers are the music of the ground
From earth’s lips spoken without sound.”
~Edwin Curran

Long-horned Bees on black-eyed Susan

On my country road walks in the evenings, I have been seeing these little insects nestled together in the black-eyed Susans.  They are male long-horned bees.  The males have unusually long antenna or “horns” compared to the females, and they sometimes cluster together inside flowers while they sleep.  They are invaluable pollinators of many crops and plants.

“Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance.”  ~Samuel Johnson

A drive along the levee

A leisurely drive along the Mississippi levee at this time of the year never disappoints.  One of my favorite sightings this month was several Ruby-throated hummingbirds darting in and out among the red clover.  We sat and watched their playful activity for some time.  No photos, but clear, beautiful images in my mind.

“Memory … is the diary that we all carry around with us.”  ~Oscar Wilde

Exercising caution

I was able to get some photos of a pair of Dickcissels in the tall grass along the Mississippi levee. The female was quite the poser, but the male was more cautious and tended to stay hidden among the grass.  These “sparrow-like birds” can be found in our area from early May to August.

“Thus hand in hand through life we’ll go;
Its checker’d paths of joy and woe
With cautious steps we ‘ll tread.”
―Nathaniel Cotton