Gotcha!

Butterflies and dragonflies in flight can be mesmerizing.  However, their erratic flight styles can drive you crazy when trying to capture them in pixels, whether panning with a real viewfinder or even worse, trying to pan using a digital viewfinder and its fraction-of-a-second lag (and no drive or burst function).

Well, a little spray and pray with the shutter yielded my favorite shot of the morning as this red-spotted purple moved through the canopy of the valley forest.

butterfly flying.
TAKING FLIGHT – Red-spotted purple flits among trees in the valley forest.

Should we be worried?

The nearest cell tower has been the roost for a small band of vultures for years. In the last weeks, however, some of the vultures have ventured closer to the house for a rest, lighting on trees just past the yard. When you glance out the kitchen window and see the large, moribund-looking birds staring back, part of you wonders if it’s an omen.

A few days later, a lightning bolt crashed near the house, knocking out the power, water, air conditioners and other and  sundry electrics, as temperatures outside soared past 100. Inside, temps in the living room hit 107. Thanks to all the repairmen who have come and gone in the last two weeks, the house is livable again.

Neither of these fellows has come to roost near the house lately. At least none that we’ve seen.

Black vulture in tree
MORBID THE YOUNGER — Young black vulture hangs out on a tree that usually serves as a roost for collared doves and indigo buntings. He’s rather a dashing bird with a sharp look about him. 
Black vulture and hummingbird.
PHOTO BOMB — Fast-moving hummingbird gets a look from one of the local black vultures. (Can’t look at this one and not think of Beaky Buzzard from the Warner Bros. cartoons as he’s bringing home a baby bumblebee. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=na7WqSb6sY0 )

Weekly Photo Challenge: Convergence II

When functions Converge: When your rain gauge also becomes your thermometer.

(Typical Arkansas fall weather – 15 degrees F two weeks ago, mid-70s today.)

Rain gauge filled with ice.

BRRRRRRRrrrrrr!

More convergences we liked:

Velocitus tremenjus

It’s been a good six or seven years since we’ve seen a roadrunner on the mountain.  That’s when my husband caught one on video repeatedly circumnavigating our truck at the end of the driveway. Since then, we hadn’t seen eye nor feather of him  — until this afternoon. Taking a spin on the treadmill, what should appear on the garden wall outside the window but Geococcyx californianus himself.

Like his cartoon counterpart, the roadrunner is large — nearly 2 feet from beak to tail — and according to the Peterson guide, rather uncommon. Unlike his purple ostrich-like TV version, we’ve not heard a meep from him.

Always loved the Warner Bros. cartoons — and the creative Latin names given both the roadrunner and coyote. While we do have coyotes here too, we have yet to see any Acme delivery trucks.

8-10 Roadrunner1

8-10 roadrunner2