Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Spotted Cat's Ear and Mockingbirds

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.


Anonymous said...

dear aunt helen, this is charlie i'm trying to help doodad leave a comment.

Anonymous said...

and it worked. -dodad