New Photos
November 6, 2006

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Owl Water continues to surprise me with the wildlife it attracts (though the pump, having quit again, is a big disappointment.) I had seen American robins only late winter/early spring, but this one came to the spring on November 3, when I was taking visitors around the place. I've been wanting a blue jay picture for a long time, but the blue jays have eluded me--until November 3, when this one came to drink. This isn't the best blue jay picture in the world, and I hope to do better, but I'm so elated to have one at all, that I had to share it.
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The American Snout is our most abundant butterfly this fall; here's one taking a drink. On the underside, the wings are dull--gray with perhaps some darker markings--but the upper side of the wings have orange, black, and cream. Along the north fenceline, I came upon a frostweed still in flower (at least, I think it was a frostweed) with a lot of snout butterflies around it...and a dead stalk of giant ragweed, with this row of snouts posed prettily in the afternoon sun. Here you can see the color on the upperside of their wings.
We have ruby-crowned kinglets around in the winter only. They're very "flittery" birds, in constant motion, so I was delighted to catch an image on this one near Owl Water.
Last week, these variegated meadowhawks were flying around in tandem--the male has clasped the female by the head with his epiproct and cerci, to ensure that no other male mates with her until she has laid eggs. In the second picture, she is dipping her abdomen to the water, to release her eggs.
Two tiny butterflies were flitting around, then posing momentarily, on the seedheads of a switchgrass on the creekbank. I think they're some kind of crescent--possibly a Vesta or a Painted--but with tattered wings and worn areas, and without a view of the underside of the wings, I just don't know for sure.
The land welcomed me back from World Fantasy Convention with some gorgeous touches of fall color, despite the continuing drought. Every time a flameleaf sumac fires up, I think of the burning bush Moses saw...these plants, however small (and this one is just about waist high) are stunning in the fall, though their leaves blow away in the first stiff wind. And at the corner of the southwest meadow, coming out of Dragon Alley, I spotted an even more brilliant one, glowing against the dark green of cedar and the soft colors of the meadow.

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MoonScape80 Acres