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Mother's Butterfly

Monday, May 14, 2007

We had a beautiful Mother's Day out here--barely 70 degrees, breezy, crystal-clear cloudless sky. Bill and I started the day in pursuit of the nearest resident Kentucky warbler, who sings loudly just down the hill east of the house. He was responsive and cooperative, if you call flitting madly from branch to branch against the light cooperative. We got some decent shots, though, and had a lot of fun with him. I'll post those when I've got time to crop and lighten. iPhoto is a time sink like no other, and the one thing I don't have lately is time. Plenty of birds, plenty of sunshine, flowers, kids, chores, trips and love, but not much time.
I managed to photograph two yellow-billed cuckoos, a thing that is much easier said than done (as evidenced by this rotten shot). This one had a well-masticated forest tent caterpillar in its bill, and it flew off with it, leaving me scratching my head. It seems pretty early for cuckoos to be feeding young; they only just arrived.
Chet Baker was left inside for this little photo-safari, but it wasn't long before Liam forgot and let him out. He tracked us into the woods and was overjoyed to find us. We were a little less thrilled. I decided to take Baker back and let Bill get some more photos. A tiger swallowtail was feeding on my yellow osteospermum, in the mad tangle of greenhouse plants that have yet to be set out. I focused in on the butterfly, ignoring all else.
I was getting some nice shots when I heard the smallest little sigh to my left.

You are not the only person who likes betterflies. I have been watching this betterfly for a long time, before you even noticed it.

I jest need to smell it. I need to get it closer. I will use my catpaw to try to drag the flower over to me. I will not scare the betterfly. I will just get to know it a little better.
Yes, Mether. I know. It's Mether's betterfly. And this is a much more interesting picture, because I am in it.
Bill and I ended a long, nature-filled, pretty much perfect Mother's Day sitting out in the front yard (well, he was mostly pitching and catching softballs to the kids, and I was sitting). Our tree swallows, who are tending five pink eggs in a nestbox out in the meadow, made an emphatic suggestion for another activity. She's been sitting for over a week, which must get boring...
Bill grabbed my camera and made these pictures.
I have to say, I am glad I am not a tree swallow. Making love on a highwire looks way too difficult. But then, so does flying.


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