You've got to love Mockingbirds! On my walk this morning there was one singing from a Poplar on the sunny edge of the woods. He was so full of himself, singing everyone else's songs. I walked toward the creek on the cool, shady side of the pipeline and enjoyed his music, as well as the chirrrrr of field crickets, the buzzing of bees, a Yellow-billed Cuckoo's monkey-like call, the clear notes of Cardinals, and Chickadees calling chick-a-dee-dee-dee-dee! The scents of summer were everywhere, one spot heavy with a musky sweetness I could not identify, nor could I find a source... another mystery Mother Nature will keep for today.
Down by the creek Eastern Tailed Blue butterflies drank from the sandy edge of the stream, and a Great Spangled Fritillary sipped nectar from Butterfly weed. White Yarrow is blooming down there now, and Horse Nettles, too. All the while the Mockingbird sang!
Just as I settled down near the creek to draw a Horse Nettle in bloom the breeze died and, as usual, this is when the gnats showed up. Biting gnats. I couldn't stand it. I finally had to get up. I decided to go back uphill and check out the breeze situation up there.
There was a steady breeze from the south at the crest of the hill so I sat down and decided to draw the Spotted Cat's Ears that are growing there and in various states of blooming and producing seed. While I drew many small spiders visited me, either creeping tentatively across the page or dashing so quickly I thought perhaps I'd imagined it. As well, a tiny black beetle came to check out my drawing, walking, stopping to look around, walking, stopping, walking... ants, (some large) flies, bees - a cricket landed on me. An orange-ish folded-wing-skipper (not as bright as a Fiery Skipper) landed on the bloom I was drawing, took a quick sip, and was gone.
Towards the end of my drawing the Mockingbird stopped singing and it was suddenly so peaceful! I was reminded that once I compared a Mockingbird to a loud radio with a boy at the knobs constantly changing the stations so that you get to hear snippets of songs, but not the satisfaction of hearing the whole thing. I immediately heard other birdsongs that had been drowned out by the Mockingbird: Indigo Bunting, Red Bellied Woodpecker, Tufted Titmice, and the soft zeeeet! of Golden-Crowned Kinglets from high in a pines near where I sat.