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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An Un-Scarlet Tanager

While I was cooking dinner last night (lemon garlic pork loin, baked potatoes, sugar kiss melon, and potato rolls – in case you were curious) I glanced out the kitchen window and saw a boisterous family of Bluebirds at one of the birdbaths. Seeing that there was about 20 minutes left on the oven timer, I scurried to the back deck with my camera and began clicking away.

The lighting and the distance (as well as the unskilled photographer!) made for fuzzy photos, but I still enjoyed watching these guys sipping and dipping.

As I watched the family of Bluebirds splashing about, I happened to see a flash of yellow out of the corner of my eye. It was a female Scarlet Tanager patiently waiting for her turn to get a drink.

She stays the same lemony-lime color all year long…

…but her male counterpart, who showed up a few moments later, is a brilliant red during the mating season but becomes an Un-scarlet tanager when fall arrives, choosing bright yellow feathers for his autumn attire.

These two are just passing through on their way to spend the winter in South America, but seeing them was truly a treat!

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First Five to Arrive (Front Yard Edition)

During the summer season, my picture taking seemed to take a bit of a sabbatical (life happens!) but I am hoping to remedy that during the months of autumn.

This morning, I noticed that there was a flurry of butterfly activity amidst the front yard flowers, so I picked up my camera and decided to simply share the first five that I could capture in a photograph.

The Spicebush Swallowtail was first.  This one doesn’t come around all that often, so I was pleased to get its picture.

Next came a handful of Gulf Fritillaries.  There were at least five of them flitting about, looking as glorious as ever.

The American Painted Lady was the next to pose.  Again, there were several of these splitting their time between the butterfly bush and the zinnias.

A little Fiery Skipper (don’t you just love that name!) also showed up.  He was a little less cooperative about sitting still, which was partly due to the fact that some of the larger butterflies completely ignored his personal space and kept confiscating whatever flower he was occupying.

And last on the list was the Long-tailed Skipper.  I tend to call Skippers the button-eyed butterflies, since that seems to be one of their features that stands out to me.

Aren’t his colors beautiful when his wings are open?

So there you have it…the first five to arrive, front yard edition.  Maybe next week I’ll head to the deck and simply share the first five birds to arrive in the backyard.

I really do want to get back in the picture taking habit, so don’t let me be a slacker!

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