Insects on orange butterfly weed

The bright flowers of the orange butterfly weed attracts a variety of insects during their blooming season.  Here are a few that stopped in to enjoy the pollen and nectar.

“Stop every now and then.  Just stop and enjoy.  Take a deep breath.  Relax and take in the abundance of life.”  ~Unknown

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

Blending in

This green frog blends in well with the color of the surrounding duckweed, and can easily go unnoticed.  What commonly gives its presence away is its high, reverberating chirp or an occasional hop.

“So you’re a little weird? Work it! A little different? OWN it! Better to be a nerd than one of the herd!”  ~Mandy Hale

Tattered Gulf fritillary

Life has taken a toll on this butterfly as revealed by its tattered and torn up wings.  But regardless of the predators and various environmental challenges it has faced, it is still a beautiful butterfly that has survived to fly another day.

“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph”.  ~Thomas Paine

An abundance of snakes

While walking around the boardwalk at Reelfoot Lake, we came upon a large number of water snakes that were swirling ferverishly in the water.  We were not sure at the time what we were witnessing, but have since found out that it was a breeding or mating ball.  In the spring, female snakes put off a pheromone scent which attracts males.  The male snakes then track the female, and a breeding ball occurs when there are many males competing over the same female.  In these photos, the female is the largest snake.

And since pictures don’t do the situation justice, here is a short video clip that gives a better idea of what a breeding ball looks like.

“Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.”  ~Alfred Hitchcock

Passing through

Photos taken yesterday evening as a storm system passed through, bringing with it some imposing clouds.  It was impossible not to pause a moment and be amazed.

“We’ve got one short, precious life here on earth.  Let’s not spend it hurrying.  ~Aliza Latta