The big raucous pileated woodpeckers in our corner of the Ouachita Mountains have been the Moby Dick to my Ahab-ic photographic ambitions. For years, I’ve tried to capture a decent photo, but they’ve proven elusive, skittish and pretty good at hiding for something so large and loudly colored. But finally, FINALLY, one very vocal female lit in a tree this morning, not far from our living room window. And there she is.
Arkansas summer mornings give rise to interesting conditions, thanks to the high humidity and the difference in temperature between inside and outside. Condensation on the windows can be especially telling — as if Nature was deploying her own forensic technique to seek the whereabouts of creatures and things. On this July morning, this ghostly outline appeared on the glass — retracing the landing spot of some storm tossed leaf.
Even though the alarms go off at the same time each weekday morning, no two a.m.s are ever the same. This particular morning, an indigo bunting issued his own wakeup call from the top of a pine tree outside our bedroom window.
White marked tussock caterpillar peers over the edge of the hummingbird feeder into a two-story abyss. We have no idea how he got there. He did leave the hard way, walking off the edge. By the time we got down to the sidewalk — POOF — he had gone.
The wild blackberries here on the mountain are a two-edged sword. The berries are delicious (especially when cooked into a cobbler with a lemon cornmeal crust), but the harvest is a thorny affair that often results in ripped sleeves, pierced digits and purple fingertips. Spotted the first few ripe ones yesterday.
(Drops head sheepishly) Yes. I ate them.
The teeny, weeny grasshopper claimed the coreopsis flower for his own after the painted lady butterfly moved on to its next nectar source. In the earlier photo on the bottom, it almost looks like the grasshopper is ducking while the butterfly feeds.
Tortoise making his way up a long hill one spring morning.
Nibbled by bugs, de-petaled by deer, this not-yet-in-full-bloom coneflower still maintains its dignity in the quiet spotlight that filters through the canopy.