An unexpected guest

This pine warbler made a quick stop at my feeder one day this week.  Though not one that I had seen around before, his bright color and cheery trill were most welcome.

“Always remember to set a place at the table of life for the unexpected guest.”  ~Linda Ellerbee

A Serene Scene

A walk along the boardwalk at the Grassy Island portion of the Reelfoot Lake Wildlife Refuge revealed a serene scene as a great blue heron stood statuesque in the shallow water, awaiting his next meal.

“There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature.”  ~Henry David Thoreau

Insects

I saw fewer insects in my flower garden this summer than I have in the past.  The sweet autumn clematis and climbing milkweed vine, which usually teem with a variety of insects, seemed still and quiet.  However, around the lake, the insects were more visible.  Maybe because of the high heat and humidity that we’ve had, they, like me, have sought a cooler spot to pass the day away.

“How could this earth of ours, which is only a speck in the heavens, have so much variety of life, so many curious and exciting creatures?”  ~Walt Disney

Barred Owl

Several evenings while out walking, I could hear the loud, clear call of a barred owl off in the distance across a field.  This evening, I spotted a large bird soaring along from tree to tree on the road up ahead.  I walked quietly to the last spot where I saw it land, and was excited to see its large eyes looking back at me through the branches.

“But the owls themselves are not hard to find, silent and on the wing, with their ear tufts flat against their heads as they fly and their huge wings alternately gliding and flapping as they maneuver through the trees …”  ~Mary Oliver

Venturing out

His presence given away by the clear, loud notes of his song, at first this little prothonotary warbler tried to stay hidden, moving about in the shadows of the low foliage at the edge of the lake.  Eventually, his desire to forage brought him out into the open, as he actively hopped from branch to branch in search of insects.

Here, he ventured out to sun and preen himself on the boardwalk.

“Keep not standing fixed and rooted.  Briskly venture, briskly roam.”  ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Viceroy

We saw these viceroy butterflies flitting about in a garden close to the lake.  Similar to the monarch in appearance, one way to distinguish the viceroy from the monarch is by the visible black line that runs across its hind wings.

“Butterflies … flowers that fly and all but sing.”  ~Robert Frost