Clever Critters


I am constantly amazed at the critters that grace my yard. They work very hard for their tiny bits of food. I am also inspired nearly every day at the beauty of the flowers and the lift that their colors give my spirit. This begonia reminds me of Santa Cruz and the begonia gardens that were once there. I’m surprised that we are successful at growing them here. It’s hot during the summer but when we find them a little shade they come up and look as if they are hoping they can live in that exact spot forever.

This swallowtail spent nearly all of its time hanging upside down via those spindly legs. It looked perfect but was quite challenging to get a proper photo of. I think a photo of the butterfly hanging this way is appropriate because that was how it was moving about the garden. I always enjoy finding preying mantis in the garden. They look so fierce and annoyed when you find them. I often wonder if they realize how small they are. I suppose they are quite large compared to an aphid. Fall will be here shortly; I can feel it in the air. I suppose those clever critters can feel the season changing too. I’m so blessed they are here and still attracted to this yard.



Simply Still Serenity



It’s not often that I arrive at a lake to find it still and perfectly reflected upon itself. I was amazed to find this. I almost felt bad putting the kayak into the still waters. Once I was on the water, I didn’t feel bad anymore. It was quite serene. There wasn’t even any wind to push across the water and force the surface to move.


Still Morning at Salmon Lake

I don’t think about missing silence until I find myself submerged in it. It is completely calming. Fish and Game stopped stocking this lake with fish and word must have gotten out because there was hardly a fisherman to be found. Even the bald eagles were circling the lake and leaving. I loved being there because every little sound became apparent to me. The bees were buzzing, grasshoppers rubbing their wings, and when a person spoke, their voice was perfectly clear to everyone in the lake basin we were all residing in. There wasn’t much talking going on, though; I think everyone was simply enjoying the silence of the morning. 



Matters of the Heart



I’ve been recording and watching the Rio Summer Olympics in the comfort of my living room every evening. I’ve noticed many things about the athletes, but a couple of things have begun to stand out.


Lighted Bleeding Heart

As they compete, I can see that they give their all to their sport. At the end of competing, I can quite literally see their hearts beating in their chests. They have exhausted every bit of their energy to achieve their goal. Shortly after their event has ended, they smile a big broad smile, and then they hug the people around them as if they never want to let go.  It is an amazing sight and one that I don’t often view on my television. I’ve been picking and choosing the events that I will watch. I’ve been thinking that I don’t have enough time to devote to watching every event, yet it is one of the few times that I can view the world coming together with one goal in mind, excellence. 



Bleeding Hearts at The Old North Church

I’ve been deleting after watching each selected event but am realizing that I do need to find the time to dedicate to this. I can feel that it does my heart good to see these people embracing each other. Our televisions are filled with hatred, lies, manipulations, violence, bullying, terror, and tears of disbelief. I’m opting to keep those recordings and watch them to their fullest, even after the games have ended. What I see there is love, honesty, unity, hard work, kindness, pride, and tears of joy. Who wouldn’t want to watch that at its finest? I won’t see that again for four long years, and that matters to my heart. 




Flying Objects


Last weekend we went in search of wildflowers at Gold Lake Lodge in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  I thought there wouldn’t be many left but I was pleasantly surprised.



Hydaspe Fritillary

I had just been lucky enough to get a good photo of a Fritillary butterfly when another orange flying object caught my eye.  It didn’t look at all friendly and I didn’t want to get too close to it as a few of my former close encounters have not proved to be kind to me.


Could it be a Cow Killer?

I took my photos to the ranger station and was sure they would know what it was.  They had no idea, nor did the owners of Gold Lake Lodge.  I bought a field guide to the Sierra Nevada and have spent a lot of time on the internet trying to figure out what this beast is.




Perhaps in the Bee Family as it was Rather Hairy

I can tell you more about what it is not than what it is.  Can anyone help?  If you have the answer, please let me know.