Monday, August 22, 2011

Summer Delights

Our country property is especially lush and beautiful over the summer months. While taking a break from my usual chores, I delight in wandering around our acreage with my camera in hand. There is always something lovely and interesting to see. In this post I feature several of the pretty sights I have observed this summer ~ Identification corrections always welcome

A colorful Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly enjoys the deep purple blooms of a Tall Ironweed plant

 Wild Bergamot flowers attract this beautiful hovering Hummingbird Clearwing Moth

A Monarch Caterpillar navigates the buds of a Common Milkweed plant ~ I have seen very few of these striped beauties this year

A Viceroy Butterfly shows off its gorgeous wings

The iridescent colors on this tiny Condylostylid Long-legged Fly are especially resplendent

Red Milkweed Beetles are regularly seen exploring the Common Milkweed plants

A Wild Bergamot bloom is the flower of choice for this Silver-spotted Skipper

Delicate Eastern Amberwing Dragonflies are a common sight in our peach and apple orchard

A busy Honey Bee delights in the tiny blooms of a Sumac Bush

This sightly Eight-spotted Forester Moth was seen flitting around the Common Milkweed plants all day long

Bruce observed a Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly lay this single egg on a peach leaf ~ I kept an eye on it for a few days ~ Sadly, during a recent visit, I noticed it was gone

Had the pretty green egg survived, it would metamorphosized into a lovely Spicebush Swallowtail like this

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Country Critters

Our beautiful country property is a haven for wildlife. We have owned the land for four years and have marvelled time and again at the lovely creatures who habituate on or in the vacinity of our acreage. Below are several photographs of beautiful animals seen in the country.

I was thrilled to observe this little spotted fawn leaping about gleefully on a grassy area of our property

With fifteen hummingbird feeders hung on our acreage, these diminutive, feisty birds are a common summer sight ~ Juvenile male Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Female Eastern Box Turtles are often seen in the spring in search of suitable sandy soil to lay their eggs

In a recent post, Goodbye to Spring, I featured photographs of this beautiful Sandhill Crane family ~ As you can see, the two trailing youngsters have grown up quite a bit from the gawky, spindly-legged fluff balls seen only a month ago

This is our spirited young hooved neighbor across the street ~ I love the faint russet color on his stunning coat ~ He certainly is a gorgeous boy!

A slithery Blue Racer peeks out from between some old logs ~ We have seen these snakes curled around the mid to lower limbs of pine trees

Little Chipmunks are a common sight ~ They camp out under the bird feeders and stuff their cheeks with sunflower seeds

I spotted this Wild Turkey in an area where I scatter sunflower seeds for the birds ~ Upon closer look, I noticed a mini version of the female enjoying the tasty treats as well ~ Then, ...

... I was taken by surprise and delighted when six of her offspring popped out from the forest ground cover ~ Since these images were taken, we have seen this busy mama turkey and her youngsters quite often ~ The little gobblers are growing rapidly!

A lovely doe wades in a green sea of corn

This Eastern Hognose Snake resided in our peach and apple orchard until torrential rains displaced it

This year our bluebird houses were quite busy ~ Lots of nests were built but most were abandoned. We were fortunate to have at least two Eastern Bluebird broods raised successfully

One of our two curious canine critters ~ This is Honey ~ She was fascinated by this Eastern Box Turtle, as this was her first meeting with a shelled reptile