Saturday, September 20, 2014

Again! Backyard Distractions....

Adopt the pace of Nature:
her secret is patience.

Again with those backyard distractions.  Always something I can't resist.  This time of year,   Divine Design creations are at their peak.                                   

The next few pics are closeups of some flowers represented in the above photo.

The nectar of this Sedum blossom is enjoyed by several butterfly species.

This spectacular tropical plant was introduced in Europe in 1570 and with seeds coming from Britain in the pockets of early settlers, Heirloom Celosia was eagerly embraced into American colonial gardens, including that of Thomas Jefferson.  I have been scattering the seeds annually and today they are coming up all over our property.

This is a view from the top, looking straight down at the Celosia bloom.  
Fascinating Divine Design!

Vinca--oh, so common yet still breathtaking.  Gentle rain drops adorn this one.

So, I kept hearing about others in our area having Baltimore Orioles come to their yards during this fall migration.  And I was so jealous....  But then, there he was in a tree close to our window eyeing the Hummingbird feeders.  I grabbed my camera and
 took so many photos, I don't know what to do with them...

It was a very hot day and he was thirsty.

The hummingbirds had some competition.

Love, love, love the brilliant colors even though this male is displaying his fall plumage which is not as striking as his spring feathering.

A view from our back window.

Lush Esperanza after a rain.

Blue Daze blooms are barely 1 inch in diameter.  This close up is for you! 

And then we had a most welcome visit from a Yellow Warbler traveling
 through during fall migration.

A splash in the bird bath was just what he was looking for.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Winging It...

Lots of winged beauties in our yard of late.  Butterflies, dragonflies, hummingbirds. My neighbors, I'm sure, think I'm strange out in the heat of the day, camera in hand, chasing after a glittering and flashy object darting through thin air, waiting for it to land somewhere.  What can I say?  I'm fascinated by the winged mobility the Divine Designer gave these sometimes theatrical, sometimes flamboyant creatures.

Let the games begin....anyone who has ever provided sugar water for hummers knows how territorial they are....  It usually comes as a surprise.  Not what you would expect from such a diminutive, elegant bird.

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are widespread in the eastern half of the U.S.  Where we live in North Texas, we get both the Ruby-throat and the Black-chinned.  Unfortunately the Ruby-throats seem to have chased away all the Black-chinned who normally nest nearby.   

This shows an immature male with just the beginnings of his brilliantly-colored throat feathers.

As they hover over nectar, their wings, almost invisible in this photo, can beat at 50 up to 200 times per second.  They can fly backwards and upside down.

Truly exotic, tiny creatures...yet they can be as feisty as all get out.

The one who stakes his claim on the feeder first will spend most of his time chasing away others. 

Large numbers of Ruby-throats fly the 11-18 hours across the Gulf from the Yucatan during  migration. It was once believed impossible due to their size.  

Hummingbirds are uniquely and remarkably Divine-Designed....

A hummer favorite.

Dragonfly wings are exquisite and ethereal, glistening in the sunshine.

The common Zinnia: A butterfly and hummingbird flower of choice.

I was sooooo pleased to discover this Viceroy butterfly in our backyard.  It is not common in our area and can easily be mistaken for a Monarch.

The wingspan of this Pearl Crescent measure only a little over an inch.  Easy to miss.

An absolute thing of beauty, the Giant Swallowtail.  Never ceases to amaze.

Well, the Bumblebee has wings too so he found a place in this post....