Years ago my friend, Marsha, gave us some Obedient Plant. She did not like it because it was not obedient enough for her! This year it is a wonder! Click to watch the video please. It runs just about one minute. I will get better at adding music to Videoshop!

Enough said, unless you want to research the topic. Then type in bumblebee to your search engine.

After 3 Inches of Rain

Over about a 36 hour period we had almost 3 inches of rain. Not surprising I was able to catch this beauty with diamonds on it’s back! Filling out nicely and sporting water drops!

The edge of the leaf shows you how busy this monarch caterpillar has been! That ridge is the center vein of the leaf! Only half a leaf remains.

Then there is the dueling duo! (With Lucky’s leg in the lower background! What a good dog to sit while I take photos!)

Wonder which one eats the fastest? The one in rear of photo looks largest until you notice the curve in the head of the one closer to you! Wonder if the eggs began side by side?

When I saw this adult female in the garden I had to wonder if it was newly hatched? I have never found a chrysalis in the wild. I have seen them formed in my terrarium when I was raising caterpillars a time or two. This year I did not bring them inside at all. When they first emerge it takes a while to pump up their wings, dry their wings and then a little rest. Next they go find a flower to nourish them. No more milkweed leaves for them! No, that is not bamboo forest in the background. Those are stalks of Cosmos!

These chrysalis are from a terrarium. The only thing in nature I have ever seen with gold on it! The butterfly has just hatched out. The black chrysalis will open soon. The caterpillar that is curved is about to form a chrysalis.

Make time for the small wonders. Perhaps they are the best wonders of all!!

My Friend Mike Powell and 1669

He seems to follow me everywhere! His interest in dragonflies, butterflies, flowers and nature in general keep me intrigued with his blog. Until he gets to the snakes. Then I tune him out. Yuck. http://michaelqpowell.com/2020/09/04/dragonfly-and-duckweed/

Because of him I am exponentially aware of dragonflies, though I cannot identify hardly any of them. As my oldest friends are aware I love butterflies, but Mike researches his and posts details about them. I merely admire. Well, except for the monarchs and especially their caterpillars. My husband and I garden milkweed especially for those!

Recently Bob and I made a trip to the Cincinnati Art Museum, wearing our masks and social distancing in the almost deserted museum. One exhibit was called “Women Breaking Boundaries” and this painting was done by Maria van Oosterwijck in 1669 entitled Flower Still Life. I was admiring the flowers: nasturtium, peony, tulip, lily of the valley, carnation or dianthus, rose, iris, poppy unfolding and greenery and POP UP! There was Mike Powell! Almost center of the painting is a dragonfly. Closer inspection brought two butterflies into view. Perhaps a beetle, wasp or fly on the edge of the table? Makes me want to return to the museum with a magnifying glass to identify the insects 🙂 Maybe you can study the painting below and use my list as a hidden object puzzle. You might even find more details than I did!

I wanted to purchase a copy for Mike, but alas they only had one small print and a large poster. Then I remembered I do not even know his address, just contact through his blog and mine!

So here is the painting description:

Even with Bob’s best computer photo enhancement tools we have trouble seeing that confident signature!

This is my favorite (without the frame). Thanks Mike for keeping me on my toes!

https://secretimages.org/2019/11/06/flower-still-life-1669-by-maria-van-oosterwyck/ wrote on the blog Secret Images about Maria, “Her signature motif, a Red Admiral butterfly, appears in most of her significant paintings; scholars believe that van Oosterwyck included the boldly-patterned insect to send a hopeful message about resurrection.”

Well I for one love that hopeful message about the resurrection!

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

1 Peter 1:3 NIV 2011

Pleasure of Keeping An Untidy Garden

I don’t think I shared with you the pleasure of not keeping a tidy garden?

May 11 the bachelor button volunteers were coming up from last year’s seed that had dropped in the garden.

You can see one flower almost perfectly centered under the window!

Here is a photo from June 1 taken from inside our office when the flowers were getting more full.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Matthew 6:26 (NIV2011)  

And eventually they went to seed. I was not quick to go out and cut the stalks back. Lo and behold my surprise when I caught this vision out the same said window!

As the seeds kept coming, so did the goldfinch. Male and female! Such delight.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Matthew 6:26 (NIV2011)  

Declaration from Heavens

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.  They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.  Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.

Psalm 19:1-4a NIV

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!  “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?”  “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?”  For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Romans 11:33-36 NIV

Stompin’ Deer

Lucky and I were taking an evening walk when we came upon a doe and her fawn. The spots of the fawn were almost gone. We stopped to watch them. The doe was unafraid of our presence. I was not certain if the dog would bark or try to chase them. As you can see in short video below, she watched along with me!

According to https://whitetailhunting.info/white-tailed-deer-qa/deer-stomping-ground/ “A deer is sending a message when it is stomping the ground. The message reads, “I don’t know what you are or what you are up to, but I do not like it. Move on!” In short, a deer stomping a front foot/hoof against the ground is a way of telling you or something else to get lost, go away.

“The stomping of foot is not a sign of aggression towards humans, although dogs and coyotes and other mid-sized critters should definitely stay out of the way because these animals ARE seen as an immediate threat.

“The stomping of a foot is one way for a deer to “test” what it is looking at. If a deer sees something that it is unsure of, the deer may stomp the ground just to get a response.”

Well, this fawn was looking at a woman from the neighborhood who stopped to watch the deer feed. No one was spooked, until a man came down the street walking a barky dog with a kid on a bike. THEN the fawn ran into the woods, followed by mom.

Lucky and I continued our walk marveling at our unexpected encounter.

Incredible Bluebird

You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder.

James 2:19 NIV
Incredible Bluebird © 1991 Molly Lin Dutina

Incredible Bluebird!
Are you aware of your beauty?
As you ride upon your twiggy perch in the wind,
I watch in wonder and listen
as you speak to your mate.
“Aah!” I gasp as your colors burst forth in flight.
Unconscious of your beauty
yet cognizant of His call
you sing forth the praises
of God who made you.
Sing out, my soul,
in praise of God your Maker.
Take flight and rise,
above your deepest fears.
God is in charge,
and all the demons shudder,
as I rise to His call
soar upon His heights.
Even so, God’s company in heaven
gives a victory shout,
we rise upon our wings of faith.

This video is about 5 minutes long, but great images. Did not remember that Saint Francis is credited with the lyrics!

Relax Like A Dog

If you have ever struggled with tension, perhaps you have tried a guided meditation to relieve stress and tension. I have done many guided meditations. Some with more success than others. A series of the most famous are by Jon Kabat-Zinn and used by medical patients in the Stress Reduction Clinic.

Healing comes out of the practice itself when it is engaged in as a way of being. From the perspective of mindfulness, you are already whole, so what it the point of trying to become what you already are? What is required above all is that we let go into the domain of being. This is what is fundamentally healing.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn “Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to face Stress, Pain and Illness”

Mindfulness meditation can truly help us regain a place of calm and peace. Not unlike the powerful peace the Lord of Peace gives us. Very much akin to it.

This video is funny! Guided meditation for relaxation following dog behavior. Actually if you try it with an open mind, it can help you relax all the whilst laughing!

What a hoot!

Doggie in the Window

When I was a child in the 1950’s this was a popular song. Perhaps one of the first choruses I learned to sing?

Lately we have called our new Beagle “Lucky-To-Be-Alive!” Bob was working in the yard one day while I was out. He decided to let Lucky be on the deck and watch him so she would know where he was (which is on the second story of our house). As he was working down below he would call to her and she would put her head between the bars of the deck. This happened several times. Then he called to her and – no dog.

As he came in the house to see what was going, she met him at the door. She had caught the screen, ripped it with her claw and come in to try to get to him. Oops. He was able to fix the small tear in the screen. Eventually, all was forgiven.

They say the first few days a dog is withdrawn and getting used to their home pack. Then the next few weeks they are learning the routine of the household. Then you finally get to know the dog’s personality. This beagle has quite the personality! She knows what she wants and does not hesitate to tell us.

Yesterday (August 20) I finally found monarch caterpillars in the milkweed! SO EXCITED. One was about a quarter inch long, one about half inch and one fat and older. He was curled on the leaf so I could not tell his actual length. I came in to get Bob and he grabbed his camera to join me in the garden.

We had opened many windows and the door on the lower level to let some of the cooler, less humid air in over night. I actually forgot about the open sliding door in the basement.

As we tried to capture photos in the bright sun, a neighbor came over to find out what we were doing. As we were telling her about the milkweed, monarchs, caterpillars, etc., we could hear Lucky barking and barking. Next thing we knew, Lucky was running around our feet and then across the street to explore. Yep! She had ripped the downstairs screen and let herself out. She was in SO much trouble!!

She ran around the neighbor’s yard. Resisted the urge to come and be loved on. We were grateful she did not take off into the woods. That side of the street would be very difficult to navigate if we had to attempt to capture her. Finally she was so curious about Lisa that she came to her . Lisa held her collar. I said she was okay to pick up . Eventually I took her in my arms. Then Bob took her as he was getting ready to leave. We put her in the kennel. Inspected the screen damage and in some ways blamed ourselves. We could have tied her out, or put her in teh kennel, our taken her with us on a leash. But the sight of those caterpillars was so exciting!

I mean she really tore the thing this time. Our neighbor was the second person to tell us they now make a stronger screening material that is supposed to deter dogs. I don’t know if this one wouldn’t rip that, too. AND I had just gotten her nails cut on Wednesday!

How much is that doggie? Veterinary fees. snacks, kibble, screen doors!, leashes, tags, flea drops, heart worm medication and she is SO worth it. But at times she makes us growl.

For all her eagerness to be part of the pack she is still timid at many times. Cowers if I hold the leash over her when we are getting ready to go out – as if I might hit her? Is reluctant to come to Bob when he offers her a treat. It makes no sense to us, but perfect sense to her.

We may never win her full trust and affection, but she has us as her furever family!