A Great Blue Heron is visible through the lakeside reeds:
Buttermilk clouds crowd the sky:
The lake overflows into the prairie:
In truth, depending upon the season, we see a predictable group of birds. Many are probably the same individuals who watch us in turn. Yet we greet each day with anticipation-- not simply to see a new bird or beast or bug, but to feel the joy of being outside and open to new discoveries. We greet the changes of season which bring with them new bird species, but day to day can also bring surprises. It's not just about birds or the occasional wild mammal we encounter. For example, over the past eleven years I have seen a particular butterfly species only three times out in our patch.
A Giant Swallowtail suddenly reappeared on the first day of November. Wings never stopped beating, it visited the Lantana flowers so briefly that I could barely keep it in the viewfinder of my camera. It stayed in one place for no longer than a second or two, wings constantly aflutter as it swiftly thrust its proboscis into the calyx of each flower. I chased it for about 10 minutes before it decided to spend a bit more time on a particular plant that was rich with blossoms:
Common subjects provide sudden unexpected flashes of beauty, such as the gilded flight feathers of this Northern Flicker...
...a Blue Jay enjoying a bounty of acorns...
...a Gray Squirrel sharing the feast...
...the uneasy thrill of discovering that a Bobcat is watching me silently from only 30 yards...
...the placid beauty of a White-winged Dove bathed in shade...
...the unusual arrival of a Philadelphia Vireo, the first I have ever seen on this patch (October 18, 2015):
Remarkably, I have seen and photographed a Bell's Vireo during three fall seasons, in October of 2009 and 2012, and again this October, 2015. Breeding in Central USA, it normally migrates to Mexico via west Texas and rarely wanders into Florida, where it has been reported in Florida an average of only once every fall. It lingered here over a two week period in late October--
October 15, 2015:
October 31, 2015 (check out those bright blue legs!):
No, it is not only about birds. A fish sends ripples over the lake in the still of morning, breaking up the sky's reflection:
A Long-tailed Skipper rests on a leaf:
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Linking to Misty's CAMERA CRITTERS,
Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,
Linking to GOOD FENCES by Tex (Theresa).
Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James
Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni
Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart
Linking to I Heart Macro by Laura
Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display