This robin held those two grasshoppers in its beak for about ten minutes. When I first spotted it on the wire, I refrained from running for my camera because I was sure it would fly off and I didn’t want to miss watching it. I was curious about how it would ingest two grasshoppers at once.
But after several minutes of the bird staying put while turning its head side-to-side, I went for the camera AND took the time to switch out the lenses. Still there! I took a bunch of shots, playing with the settings, and then went back to watching. Soon, a house finch landed on the wire a few feet away. It also appeared curious about the robin’s intent. Then, from off in the distance, another bird flew toward the wire. Before I could identify it, the finch and robin took off.
They knew what was up: a Cooper’s Hawk! The raptor landed in the tree, but all its potential meals had disappeared. We were both disappointed. I’ll never know if that robin was able to eat both grasshoppers.
It’s been a rough day on the heels of other emotionally difficult days this week. Despite ordering one of these Let This Radicalize You (rather than lead you to despair) shirts a few days ago, I confess to tilting heavily toward despair right now. No need for me to list the multiple crises we’re facing because that’ll just make me more sad/angry and give people reason to quit reading.
Instead, I’ll celebrate the fact that I’m no longer withdrawing into myself and am here with a post. HELLO, OUT THERE!
Here’s one of my favorite recent photos:
Okay, that’s it for my burst of energy. Sending good wishes to anyone who’s read this far . . . 💚
Funny how something is an instant “known” and then, upon closer examination, can turn into an “unknown.” For example, this insect I photographed back in August while visiting the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. Clearly a grasshopper, right?
Well, I just went down the proverbial rabbit hole in an attempt to more specifically identify the type of grasshopper. I’m admitting defeat. Apparently, there are over 100 species of grasshopper in Colorado and to my eye, the markings on their legs are quite similar.
On the other hand, this immediately “unknown” insect was quickly identified via an online search as Tetraopes texanus, otherwise known as the Milkweed Beetle. Oddly, this particular beetle is not on a milkweed (and no, I’m not even going to try to identify this plant).
On this cold, damp, gray November afternoon, I’m basking in the warm memories of that visit to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge where keen eyes reap intriguing rewards.
When we try to pick out anything by itself,
we find it hitched to everything else in the universe. ~ John Muir
Almost missed her there
worker ant making the rounds
colorful work space
I stayed in a KOA cabin in Grand Island, Nebraska, earlier this month. The cabin was cute and cozy, but the highlight was the Barn Swallow presence.
They’d built a nest on the beam above the front porch and were very active. I was so focused on photographing this pair I didn’t realize I was getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. I shudder to think how many bites I would’ve gotten if those swallows weren’t there to catch and eat mosquitoes on the wing. I’m definitely on #TeamSwallow when it comes to biting insects.
I had poppy-envy yesterday as I walked the neighborhood. One yard was filled with happy orange poppies, bouncing in the breeze. Why hadn’t mine bloomed yet?
This morning, I looked out the window and saw two bursts of orange! And when I got closer with my camera, I saw the bees were also celebrating those cheery blooms.
Such a nice way to begin my weekend. Wishing everyone a blooming-good day!
I spent the majority of this day offline. In the morning, I exercised and then spent the afternoon reading through the second draft of my middle-grade novel while jotting notes to myself. After that, as some kind of misguided reward for my discipline and productivity, I went online for a peek at reality. Oh, my.
Rage. Rage. Rage.
I quickly logged out of Twitter and went outside to calm myself. That’s when I heard a whole lot of buzzing. I grabbed my camera and patio chair, and parked next to one of our shrubs that’s flowering. As the bees buzzed and flew around my head, I achieved my calm.
I highly recommend this remedy.
We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne.
~ Marcus Aurelius
I’ve been trying to work on my revisions this afternoon. I’m listening to Beethoven through my earbuds in an attempt to drown out the present reality and it seems to work in short bursts. I’m focused and then . . .I’m not. So I decided to look at some photos to find something to put here, and began examining pictures of birds, flowers, waterways, and other typically calming images.
Well? Right now, my heart is racing. Adrenaline is pumping and it’s as if there’s no escaping my anxiety.
Rather than try to (unsuccessfully) distract myself from these feelings, I’m going to try another approach. I’m going to sit with my anxiety. Because maybe it’s like how you’re not supposed to run when you encounter a bear: if I don’t run from my anxiety, maybe it’ll quit chasing me.
Two compound green eyes
one ear below on belly
wait, what did I hear?
outshining the rocks
White Admiral Butterfly
no salute required
Fancy insect trick
walking across the window
casting two shadows.
Flora and fauna
portrait of nature’s balance
So pretty in pink
pausing for admiration
now fly, dragon, fly.
True strength is delicate. ~ Louise Berliawsky Nevelson
The older I get, the more I’m conscious of ways very small things can make a change in the world. Tiny little things, but the world is made up of tiny matters, isn’t it?
~ Sandra Cisneros
Everybody knows what a caterpillar is, and it doesn’t look anything like a butterfly.
~ Lynn Margulis
I noticed a stately beetle on the screen and went for the camera. After taking several photos, I turned and saw sleepy doggo on the bed. *click*
Not exactly a National Geographic photo safari, I admit. However, these two images offer an accurate depiction of this household. Various creatures napping, chilling, and just hanging out. I’m okay with the lack of giraffes and rampaging rhinos.