Postcards from the Delta

Age and weather has caught up with this white clapboard church with its beautiful carpenter’s gothic door.

Old church
OLD FAITHFUL -- The church's beauty remains, even in its old age.
Closeup of church
AGED --The church's simple, strong character shines through the decades.
STANDING STRONG -- Rusted, but still dignified -- the old White River bridge.

Blue wasp

Wasps, and their stingers, are to be respected. This one should be admired not for its ferocity, but for its cobalt coloring and delicate details, such as its curved antennae. It should also be respected for its work — it is, after all, a tarantula hawk. No small prey that.

Blue wasp
Blue wasp.
Blue wasp, right face
Blue wasp 2

Our truck is pregnant! (well, almost)

In four years of service, our SUV has proven it can climb like a goat, negotiate snow like a sled dog and carry furniture,  mulch and groceries like a champ. Also in its four years of service, it has served three times as a nesting site for wrens.  At one time, there was a nest in each rear wheel well.

We think the SUV  may have sheltered one brood successfully, but don’t know what became of the other brood, if there was one. Over the weekend, we noticed a telltale piece of bermuda grass was trailing out from between the wheel well and the tire. The nest, as yet without eggs, is pictured below.

Wren's nest
NESTING INSTINCTS — Wrens like to find little caves to put their nests, such as inside the dormant patio heater. However, the SUV’s wheel well is not a good choice.

Memorial Day

Saw a lot of late spring flowers and shot a lot of photos, but the most significant blossom of the Memorial Day weekend was this poppy.

Memorial poppy
ROTC cadets spent their Memorial Day handing out these poppies and collecting donations for the VFW.
Lily
Orange lilies given by a friend brighten up the garden along with the mums, coreposis and stunted corn.
Bee balm
Pollinators love the bee balm's ragged edges.
Blue wildflowers
A spike of blue wildflowers growing at the edge of the driveway.
Periwinkles
Periwinkles are a feast for the eyes and insects.

Purple wildflowers
Amethyst stars peer out from the greenery.

Field of blue wildflowers
These shy blue wildflowers were thriving in the understory.

Eastern coachwhip

The rocky space underneath our front porch has been a den for hog nose and coachwhip snakes. We’d noticed a few freshly shed skins on the slope in front of the house, but hadn’t seen the snakes —  until Memorial Day that is.  Stepped out on the deck, looked down, and there was a coachwhip, enjoying the warm air and the warmer shale.

Eventually, he wound back under the porch, with only one semicircular loop showing his range of colors.

These beautiful snakes are a velvety black with large patches of black-trimmed pink scales. You can see more of Arkansas’ herps at: http://www.herpsofarkansas.com/Snake/HomePage.

snake head
The coach whip's black head contrasts against the light shale.
Going ...
... going ...
coachwhip disappeares
... gone!