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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

In the Shade of The Mimosa Tree

I wasn't really shaded by the Mimosas in the area that humid August afternoon, but the title sounds like it should be an Eugene O'Neill play, and it's been rattling around my head for the past several weeks.

Through this blog, I am opening a doorway for you to view my special place; a place of refuge that is closed to the rest of humanity. I'm not the only with this type of hide-away; most, if not all, people have a place for safe observation and contemplation. The idea even has biblical precedent in the concept of a "prayer closet."

And so, let's take a walk through my secluded spot, and hopefully you'll be inspired to leave no corner unexplored in your secret space.


Upon leaving my car, my ears are suddenly assaulted by the electric tones of an Eastern Kingbird. This bird may be small, but it seems to be infected with Napoleon's Disease (small, but big chip on its shoulder.) His scientific name is Tyrannus tyrannus, meaning tyrant of tyrants, and I'm sure the number of birds that he harassed could attest to this designation.


From the small and bossy, to the small and gentle, this Common Buckeye sat waiting for the sun to peek over the cloud, giving him a bit of an energy boost. Butterflies need their internal body temperatures around eighty degrees in order to maintain optimum flight. This poor fellow has a bit of his wing missing. (Maybe he met the Kingbird.)


This rusty-colored Dragonfly is probably a Needham's Skimmer. Dragonflies are cool. At once aloof and alert, they roam the air with an intensity that is hard to imagine. Dragonflies are also our good friends, since they eat a lot of mosquitoes.


I'm always surprised at how quickly the trees betray Fall's coming. It seems earlier every year, but it must be my memory playing tricks on me. Here's a Sassafras Tree showing the struggle between Autumn and Summer, life and death. (You can make Sassafras Tea and Root Beer from the roots of this gorgeous plant.)


Let's take a pause and enjoy the Eastern Comma in repose. He may be practicing for the long overwintering stage that could come for him later on. Upon finding a hollow tree or clump of leaf litter, these beautiful bugs will spend the colder months in our area.


Back to birds, this Mockingbird demonstrated his heartiness by continuing to sing well into the afternoon, well past the time when birds need to sing. Mockingbirds are our most talented mimics, and are adept at imitating other species of birds. But birds are not the only things subject to this mimicry; Mockingbirds can mimic anything from car alarms to police sirens.


And finally, though I didn't take refuge under the shade of the Mimosa, others utilized this colorful non-native plant. This Spicebush Swallowtail has found some intriguing nectar in the pink flowers of the Mimosa. Though it doesn't belong in our area, it is beautiful, and wildlife has adapted to its presence.


Finally, here's hoping you get a chance to sail away on the tides of discovery. And discovery starts right in your own back yard.

2 comments:

  1. Great pictures today! Love discovery and exploration!

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  2. Hooray for dragonflies! Eat those mosquitoes - Bethany and I got all bit up from them over the weekend! And, the harbinger of fall in our home is not necessarily the leaves turning - but the fall decor bins coming upstairs. Finding my quiet place on the couch this morning in front of the window to watch all the wildlife activity with the cats outside. Yey - for a day off and time to catch up on blog reading!

    Love you, my friend!
    Miss K

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