Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

This Tiger Swallowtail visited one of the vines in my yard in the late afternoon.  It had suffered a tear to its left hind wing, probably as the result of a bird bite.  Fortunately, it was one of the lucky ones that got away, and this didn’t hamper its movement as it gracefully fluttered from flower to flower sipping nectar.  Watching this beautiful butterfly was one of the highlights of my day.

“There’s no need to be perfect to inspire others.  Let people get inspired by how you deal with your imperfections.”  ~Unknown

Wild Passion Flowers

This is the time of year that Tennessee’s state wildflower, the Passion Flower, can be  found growing wild by the roadside or in fields and woods.  The vines run along the ground or climb up trees and fences, and produce beautiful lavender flowers and greenish-yellow fruit.

The things you are passionate about are not random.  They are your calling.  ~Fabienne Fredrickson

Keeping cool

It’s been a hot summer, and these blue dragonflies at Reelfoot Lake were trying to keep cool.  In order to stay cool during hot weather, dragonflies raise their abdomens straight into the air to reduce their exposure to the sun.  They also use their wings to deflect the sun.

“He who keeps his cool best wins.”  ~Norman Cousins

Feeding time

In the above photo, the deer was feeding out in the back of a soybean field in the middle of a hot afternoon.  The photo below was taken at dusk — a cooler time when the light is low and deer are usually more active.  We rounded the bend in a road and could see several grazing on vegetation off in the distance.

“Your mind will always believe everything you tell it.  Feed it faith.  Feed it truth.  Feed it love.”  ~Unknown

Noisy Grackles

I often enjoy retreating to the quietness of our backyard to sit and enjoy nature.  But recently, the backyard was unusually noisy due to several families of Common Grackles.  The dull brown juveniles screeched and squawked, demanding their parents’ attention.  The adults chattered as they made continual trips to the feeders in order to satisfy the endless appetites of the insistent juveniles.  Though an interesting scene to observe, the disturbance made by the grackles was quite the opposite of the peace and quiet that I had been expecting to find.

“We love to expect, and when expectation is either disappointed or gratified, we want to be again expecting.”  ~Samuel Johnson