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Flutterby in July

July 27th, 2008

We’re on the way to mid-summer and after all the rain it’s so nice and green!  And hot! And humid!  Ah, but with all the growing things we have lots of butterflies around.  Sometimes I don’t see them and wonder where they are, and then I’ll start noticing them everywhere.   That intentional thought thing perhaps. 

Have you ever been interested in a particular kind of car, and then for the next 3-4 days you see them everywhere?! 

And I saw a fox yesterday for the first time this year.  They’re always around, but we don’t see them often.  I didn’t have the camera, but the fox was running along the dam toward the woods.  I thought, “What’s Kuma doing down at the dam?  Wait… that’s not Kuma, that’s a fox!”  It quickly disappeared into the woods.   If you like dogs, you can read about our indefatigable Kuma here.  He really does look like a fox!

Speaking of foxes, our cat Princess has always been wary, but even more so it seems since Sparky left us last month.   We’re not sure, but he may have encountered a fox or coyote one night.  He still made it home amazingly enough, but something bit into his hind quarters.  He spent almost a week with a veterinarian, but in the end he couldn’t be helped.   There are lots of predators about, which indicates a healthy biodiversity in the area.  But sometimes it’s a little too close to home.  And yes, we let cats run around outside most of the time.  It’s a rural lifestyle, and the cats love to be outside. They also help keep mice and moles away. 

Of course the only predators I see chasing butteflies is the yellow lab.  Sometimes he’ll see one on the ground, stalk it slowly and then lunge at it.  He doesn’t catch them, but has a goofy look on his face that seems to imply it’s just for fun. 

One of our more common butterflies is the Giant Swallowtail.  These guys are fast but don’t seem to mind letting you get a good look at them.  

Giant Swallowtail butterfly

Now I’m not trying to make this “the insect blog” or anything, it’s just that there are so many around right now!  It’s not too difficult to get a picture of a butterfly on the ground, but to catch one in flight was another story. 

This guy was more like a “flutterby” as he danced around quickly in circles.  I probably took 30 pictures to get this one in focus.  I wonder if there are any aerodynamic lessons to learn from butterflies? 

Giant Swallowtail butterfly in July

I know that throughout the world butterfly “souvenirs” can be found in many cities.  Which is not necessarily a good thing, especially if some of the species are threatened due to habitat loss or overcollection.  But some of the collections for sale are amazing in the diversity of species and colors.  Collecting insects is generally a fine hobby and quite educational.  I remember taking an entomology class years ago and amassed quite the collection of creepy crawlies.  Not sure what happened to it, but that’s probably a good thing!

And if you’ve read this far, it’s well past time to say thank you for visiting.  I appreciate if you have time for a comment, but if you’re just passing by, that’s okay too.   Sometimes blogging can be discouraging when it seems like one is “writing into the wind” so to speak.  But as Ron has found, there are many wonderful “lurkers” out there… good people that stop by for reasons we may never know or understand.  I’m glad Ron’s back at it…   I don’t know how long I’ll continue to write or share pictures, but hopefully we’ll continue the journey for a good while.

We’re off on a traveling adventure this week and I may or may not get a chance to post.  There are so many other wonderful blogs out there and I’m really amazed and humbled with the stories and relationships that blogging fosters.   And yes!  Next week we’ll be posting the Festival of the Trees.  See you soon.

4 Responses to “Flutterby in July”

  1. Ed Abbeyon 28 Jul 2008 at 8:49 am

    It’s funny but I think I see more foxes where I live now in town than I did living out in the country. I see a fox probably two or three times a year come trotting down our street, down my driveway and out back behind my house to who knows where. Every time I always do a mad scramble looking out various windows watching it go by. I never tire of it.

  2. R. Shermanon 29 Jul 2008 at 7:57 am

    There is nothing better to keep the vermin away from the house than cats running around outside. When we moved away from the city, my dad got several stray cats for the house, even though my mom hated cats. He just told her that it was the way to keep mice from getting to frisky and she relented. The thought of mice in the house was worse than having cats around.

    Cheers.

  3. Beth W.on 31 Jul 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Your “flutterby” photographs are beautiful. Thanks! Also, re pet encounters with wildlife, we lost a very young lab pup in a tragic moment when we were living near Asheville, NC. about 4 years ago.A band of coyotes had moved onto the ridge behind our summer house while we were gone for the winter. Our older lab survived. It was a very tough experience.

  4. Beauon 12 Aug 2008 at 8:06 am

    Thanks for the thoughts and comments- it would be nice to get another cat, although perhaps not so soon. But you’re right R. they really do help so much around the house and property. Good point Ed about the foxes- maybe there’s a lot more here than we realize? I appreciate your sharing the lab story Beth. We have the coyotes too, and will think carefully when letting the younger animals run about. Of course our other dogs are older, and we may need to think about them too.

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