A Back-up Plan

My original plan for today had been to head back to Red Top Mountain so Tucker could romp in the lake, but my back decided to go into a bit of a spasm so I opted for a back-up plan instead.  I went out to the back deck and sat by back-side down in a rocking chair and waited to see which backyard birds would show up.

A Tufted Titmouse made an appearance, as did an American Goldfinch in its faded fall plumage.

A Downy Woodpecker and a Carolina Chickadee also dropped in.

My favorite visitor of the afternoon was this handsome male Pine Warbler.  Isn’t his coloring gorgeous?

All in all, not bad for a back-up plan. 🙂

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The Toddler and the Turtle

This morning, while Tucker and I were in the backyard, I saw him stop and give something a quizzical, “I’m not sure what this is” kind of look.

When I glanced at the path nearby, I saw the object of his attention – a handsome box turtle meandering along.

I guess since I didn’t seemed to be alarmed by this new guest, Tucker figured it was safe for him to investigate.

At first I was afraid that the turtle would be seen as a new Tucker toy, but my curious canine was surprisingly gentle. Whenever he did get a little too close for comfort, the turtle did what turtles do and simply retreated into his shell a bit more fully.

Then Tucker would sit and stare at it with his forehead all wrinkled…

…and occasionally glance over at me for some sort of reassurance that this was indeed a welcome visitor to the backyard.

I have to say, this fellow was one of the least timid turtles I have ever encountered.  He never stayed tucked away for long.

And every now and then, my 70-plus-pound toddler, would sneak back over to investigate some more.

There is something so beautiful about a turtle’s shell, don’t you think?

And speaking of beautiful…

…isn’t my boy turning into a beautiful beast?!

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A Butterfly-filled Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday (my 33rd plus 20) and one of my favorite gifts was the abundance of butterflies that showed up.

Several Cloudless Sulphurs were fluttering about the fading Zinnias. Typically, these beauties don’t sit still long enough to get a decent photo, but I think they were being extra gracious in honor of my birthday.

A Gulf Fritillary paid a visit to the Lantana.

And a majestic Monarch made another appearance as well.  I know I just featured this butterfly in my previous post, but I figure since I never get tired of seeing them you probably don’t either.

Now, it could be that the butteries were out in abundance because of the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having here in Atlanta; but I think a more likely answer is that they showed up in honor of my birthday.  Either way, they were a wonderful gift!


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A Fond Farewell

The blossoms on the butterfly bush are fading fast, as are the Zinnias, so I was surprised when this lovely Monarch stopped by.

Although I hate to say goodbye to the butterflies, their departure means that the fall birds are arriving.  I will keep you “posted” on who shows up.

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Cheerful Chirpers

My backyard has been swarming with Chickadees lately.

Whether it’s due to their curious nature, their cheerful chirping, or their social personalities – everyone seems to love these little birds.

I have never seen a Chickadee act aggressively toward another kind of bird, but I have seen them fuss with one another.  Apparently there is a bit of a pecking order in their groups.
This fellow below stopped in for a drink and let one of his companions know in no uncertain terms that he would have to wait his turn.

One Chickadee in particular has been fun to watch.  I call him Willy because his wing is a little wonky…which makes me think of Wonka…and, well, you get it.

At first I though his feathers were just wet and he was holding his wing this way to dry them, but I saw him throughout the day and he always had his wing in this slightly awkward position.

I have to say though, he didn’t let his wonky wing hold him back in the least; he flew right down to the trays and fearlessly laid stake to his claim.

Whether it’s been Willy or one of the other black and white beauties, it’s been a pleasure to have these birds hanging out in my backyard.

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The Colourful Feathers of Fall

Over the weekend, I ventured down into the backyard to see what kind of activity was happening on the land level.  The birds that showed up all seemed to be feathered in the colours of fall.

Now, before going on, I should pause and say that I am thinking of adopting the British  spelling of the word “colour” instead of sticking with the u-less American  version. I was mentioning my preference for this version to a fellow blogger over at de Wets Wild (you do want to add this site to your “favourites”…and yes, I am adopting that word as well!) and we agreed that keeping the “u” simply makes the word more grand.

Anyway, as I was saying, the birds that made an appearance were robed in rustic brown…

…and rusty red.

In gleaming gold…

…and in copper with cream.

And then there was the male Towhee, who looks like a poster child for the colors of Halloween.

I wish I could have gotten a picture of the female Towhee as she truly sports the hues of autumn, but that will have to wait for another post.

And who knows, perhaps I will start a “restore the u” petition and try to right the wrong that Noah Webster instigated.  Hey, if one man could have the letter removed, one woman might be able to have it returned to its rightful place!


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Lovely Lilies

I paid a visit to Gibbs Gardens yesterday and spent the morning gazing at the loveliness of water lilies.

The white blossoms had a moon-glowish somewhat ethereal appearance…

while the deep purple petals seemed a fitting crown for Maleficent.

My favorite was the purplish-pink lily, probably because it cast such a nice reflection on the water’s surface.

If only I could have coaxed a frog into posing on one of the lily pads…ah well, it gives me an excuse to go back!


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