Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ladybug Blues

     This beetle was crawling on the deck one afternoon. I decided to get a close-up. When I saw the photo, I was surprised to see that the ladybug's eyes were blue. 

     According to, a ladybug has two eyes but doesn't see very well. It can only see the difference between dark and light, as if everything was a black and white photo. It cannot see colors at all.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Heavenly Beauty

     For some, there is much excitement when one plants seeds and realizes that all their watering and care has paid off. I looked over to the birdbaths and saw a pretty blue bloom. It is rare that I get flowers or plants to appear so I like to share them with you when I do.

     This is a morning glory vine. There is already one located on the property which was here before we moved in. The flowers on it are white. 
     The name for the morning glory in these pictures is Heavenly Blue.
     I purchased these seeds for a buck thirty five and planted them in the spring. I have been watering them along with the sunflower seeds that are located near by. They are a little darker than the color that is printed on the packet, but that is perfectly fine!

     The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Psalms 19:1

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Butterfly Beauty

     When I see butterfly collections, I always wonder if each butterfly was caught while it was still alive or found after it had passed away. According to, the fourth generation beautiful Monarch butterfly can live up to nine months. That is the longest that I have read concerning the lifespan of a butterfly. This is why I try not to harm a butterfly in any way. Even hitting them with my car causes me distress.

     They are so beautiful and I love watching their playful motions of turns and glides. I really wish that when they eventually did land, that they would stay longer, but with predators and collectors a possibility I understand.


                  This is a photo of a butterfly called the Viceroy. It resembles the Monarch except is has black lines on the hind wings that cross the vertical ones. You can see them in the photo. This Viceroy is probably a female laying its eggs on the milkweed vine. That is how I had time to capture the photo. An ordinary female butterfly's life consists of eating, pollinating, searching for a mate, laying her eggs and eventually dying unless she becomes a meal for another animal.

Red Spotted Purple
    Besides birds, butterflies to me are the most colorful animals in nature. Colors liven my day and make me happy. Sometimes I will stand outside and they swoop by my head and touch my hair. I don't know why they do this. But they continue to fly around near me, so maybe they know I don't pose a threat to them. I would love to take a picture of a butterfly landing on a person, especially if it landed on their nose. 

Goatweed Leafwing
Red Admiral
Hackberry Emperor
Gulf Fritillary
Eastern Tailed Blue

Dish made especially for Butterflies - cut slices of watermelon and oranges are great to add

Instead of collecting butterflies, I prefer to collect pictures of them or paint their beauty.

Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us. Psalms 90:17

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting 
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


Thursday, August 7, 2014

They Only Live For A Week

     What a thrill to see a Luna Moth! Not only did I see one, I got the pleasure of seeing two. They must have arrived at night and were attracted to the deck light. They stayed long enough for me to snap quite a few shots. I was able to persuade my kids to take a gander at them. Up close and personal is how my camera lens became. I wanted to share a few of the pictures with you.

     The above photo shows a picture of an eyespot. Aren't the colors absolutely beautiful? According to, the purpose of the eyespot is to encourage predators to concentrate on their wings instead of their whole bodies. They "not only look like eyes, but look like moons." This is probably how they got their name, since Luna (a Latin word) means moon.
     Because there were two of them, I had to research to find out which was the male and which the female. Most websites concluded that the male's antenna is thicker than the female's.

Underside of Female Luna Moth
Male Luna Moth

     According to, people rarely see Luna Moths, mostly because they fly late at night and it is a treat to see one, because they are very beautiful insects. I truly believe this! They are "considered an endangered species in some areas." "Humans have caused Luna Moths to become endangered by pollution and loss of habitat." Well, they have a place to live here if they want it and will be very welcomed.
     I was curious about how long these moths would stay on the screen since they are supposed to only live one week. I am so thankful they arrived here. I believe it is probably because of all the sweetgum trees. Their predators are owls and bats.
     Unfortunately a couple of hours later, after getting their picture made, a familiar bird that I call "Tweety," that hangs around the light to eat smaller moths, came and scared the female away. I saw her fly up and over the roof. I hope she made it safely to hide under the leaves in a tree. The male must be asleep because he is still on the screen at this time.

     Here they are when I first spotted them: separated but still close by to each other. I like how they could see each other from where they were resting. 
     I guess we are that way with some people we know; separated by distance, miles, circumstances, etc. but still remaining close. But we must remember we are only on this earth a short time.

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die...Ecclesiastes 3:1-8



Monday, August 4, 2014

Windchimes Make for Beautiful Music and Gifts

     We all have items in our lives that brighten our day. Some even have the littlest of things. Windchimes have always made me happy. Of the seven that I own each one is special and makes different sounds when the wind nudges it oh so slightly or at times pushes it with a gust. I try to place my chimes at different levels so I catch the waves of wind that flow through. Am I a hoarder of windchimes? I don't think so. Many years ago I would purchase them for gifts to give my children's teachers. Each teacher appeared to appreciate the colorful and musical apparatus. This week I was lucky enough to capture a 50% off special at the new Dollar General down the street. Two chimes for a couple of bucks. Not a bad deal.

Dragonfly and Butterfly Windchimes

Even though you may not see the wind that causes the chimes to sound, you can be assured it is there.

Be Prepared As You Watch for Your Opportunity

     When I stand outside and watch a beautiful butterfly gliding up and down, I am anxiously hoping it would land and stay awhile so I could take its picture. But a larger goal of mine has been to capture two butterflies in the same photo. I see pairs flying around quite often but they will not stay in one spot long enough for me to snap a shot whether it be in focus or out. Well, today I got my opportunity and luckily I had my camera in hand. I know they're not flying but oh well, believe me this is good enough!
Summer Azures
Two of the smallest butterflies in North America

     Animals can teach us many things and today they have taught me that one's goal or dream may be possible but you must be prepared. I really don't know how many other chances I may get to photograph two butterflies at the same time. Just as in life, one may not know if the same opportunity will come along again. We must not only wait patiently and be prepared for our opportunity but watch for it.

Observe the opportunity. Ecclesiasticus 4:20

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I may have eaten some of that, when I was younger.

"What is that?" my son asked.

Unfortunately, I didn't have an answer for him. In my eyes it was just some kind of plant with pretty berries, that sprung up in the wheel barrow. I water it and move it around to different locations.

The plant is called Pokeweed. All of this plant is poisonous but in the springtime some people have made Polk Salad from the leaves. The leaves should be boiled three times and prepared by someone who is familiar with this plant. I do recall when I was younger hearing about this dish. There is a good possibility I have eaten some Polk Salad. Remembering or knowing if I have is the problem.

                                                  Enjoy Polk Salad Annie by Tony Joe White


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Don't You Just LOVE Surprises!

     Looking out the kitchen window, I noticed a tall flower along the edge of the creek. I knew exactly what it was because it appeared last year and I had researched its name. The internet is so useful for finding out information on plants and animals. The next day after a little rain, the two-foot stemmed pink flower had fallen over. I remembered it had fallen over last year also. I thought maybe a squirrel or cat had stepped on it. I was a little sad. I went out to investigate because even if it was broken, I still wanted a picture. To my surprise, it was just leaning over on the ground. I held it up to take a photo and then placed a rock against its stem for support. I noticed two other buds next to it getting ready to make their appearances.
     Last year while trying to stand the flower up, I broke it so I brought it in and put it in a vase. This year I was careful and was able to leave it to be enjoyed.

To every thing there is a season. Ecclesiastes 3:1

Surprise Lily

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Today, I tasted Memories. I tasted Love.

    I have been anticipating opening the jar of honey ever since I purchased it last week. I guess because I was looking forward in recapturing a moment in time; a time of screen doors and country morning sunshines, where I am sitting at grandma's kitchen table eating bacon, eggs and biscuits smothered with delicious golden honey.

     One summer morning in 1969, I was introduced to honey with it's comb. My life forever changed. To me, it was the greatest tasting food on earth and to a child that craved sweetness, I was in pure happiness.

     I wondered if I would receive the same experience as I did that first time since I hadn't had honey with it's comb since then.
     I prepared my biscuits, twisted open the jar, and the aroma filled my nose and memories flooded my mind. As I dipped my biscuit into the honey I appreciated every taste. I didn't have honey everyday, just as I didn't eat at Cracker Barrel everyday. So I savored the moment. Every time I eat at a Cracker Barrel, I feel like I am on vacation. There is a reason for this. It is because when my family would travel we would stop by there for breakfast. But since there is one in town now and I can eat there anytime, I make sure I don't.

     When grandmother told me I could bite into the comb, I trusted her and discovered it to be even sweeter than the honey. What a surprised. The wax gave an ever lasting, chew like, gum experience. And being a child, I loved gum.

     Today, I tasted memories. I tasted love.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Do You Know What This Is?

     While I was out photographing this winter I came upon this unusual stick-branch-young tree standing where two waterflows diverge. I don't like cold weather so that is why you haven't seen any posts from me. But on one sunny, cold day I decided to take a gander and see what could possibly be on the grounds. I had seen this nature stick before but just didn't photograph it or think about it too much. It is pretty unusual to me because I don't know anything about it. I began my research by googling tree with thorns.

     Some of you to nature buffs know exactly what it is! Well, to my surprise, I learned it is called a Devil's Walkingstick. I have heard of that before but never really knew what it was. I think I would like to much rather call it by its other name - Hercules Club. When spring arrives I plan to go out and take another picture of it. 
     I found out that Adams' Country Retreat has something in common with a few Botanical Gardens. One can find this tree on a their grounds also. I know for sure at the Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas and at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. It is suppose to flower in July or August and have fruits in August or September. It is a great wildlife cover and the fruits are eaten by many types of birds: cardinals, sparrows, thrushes, mockingbirds, robins, rusty blackbirds, orioles, bluebirds and towhees. I also captured a nice picture of a towhee that was following me around while I was taking pictures. He must be waiting around for this tree to fruit. The flowers attract bees and numerous butterflies - which I am happy about because I love watching the butterflies!