Red admirals

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

Sunsets

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

Red-winged blackbirds

Flying among the tall grass along the levee were the red-winged blackbirds.  Stopping to perch atop tall stems, the male, with his bright shoulder patches, would occasionally puff up his wings and belt out a loud song.

The female, the less showy of the two with her streaked brown feathers, was quieter and more likely to be overlooked.

“Blackbirds are the cellos of the deep farms.”  ~Anne Stevenson

Trumpet Daffodils

One day earlier this week the sun was shining, the temperature was mild, and it was a perfect occasion for an afternoon stroll.  I spotted a number of wild daffodils in bloom along our country road.  Nothing brightens the disposition like seeing their little yellow heads bobbing in the wind.

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”  ~Hal Borland

Stirring up the Snow Geese

While driving the back roads along the Mississippi levee, we came upon a flock of snow geese scavenging waste corn out in a farm field.  What a lovely sight they were when they became agitated and a frenzy of white bodies took to the sky. The whir of their wings as they shot off the ground, followed by a multitude of loud shrill cries, are sounds that will long be remembered.

“Nature was here a series of wonders, and a fund of delight.”  ~Daniel Boone

Seeing yellow

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

Goldenrod and Soldier Beetles

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