Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Flitting, Buzzing, Chirping and Dipping

The yard is a busy, busy place right now. Every window and door leads out to a view of some crazed activity. The butterfly bushes in the front and side are simply alive with creatures. I sat in the window and watched the largest one for a while yesterday. There are Monarchs, Yellow Swallowtails, and the large black butterflies with the blue spots, along with scads of white and yellow sulphurs. There are many other butterflies - browns, and ambers, and the tiniest azure. Among the branches are gold finches, house finches, and purple finches, all taking turns lighting on the nearby echinacea. At one point a hummingbird came along and sipped from the blossoms of the butterfly bush, and then a sphinx moth showed up today - the first I ever saw in broad daylight.

Out back there is constant motion. There is a slight breeze, and the butterflies vie for space on the parsley and dill, while the birds push each other off the blueberry bushes and peck at the sunflowers. Flocks fly from tree to tree with no real plan that I can discern. They seem to have taken care of the earlier beetle infestation, and now I really wish they'd do something about the flies. Farm country, and it is fly season. Yuck. The caterpillars are going to town on the dill. There are about 10 of different size that I could count, and they are really very difficult to see without looking intently for a few moments. Their pattern is very similar to the dark and light of the flowers/stems/air.
We also have an abundance of bees. I don't know enough about bees to know if they are honeybees, but they are out there - all shapes and sizes, sipping away on the nectar of the flowers all around. Sort of reminds me of "The Ugly Bug Ball" that Burle Ives sang in Pollyanna to little Hayley Mills.
Here in human-ville, my daughter got her driver's permit today and we had a little lesson. I learned a lot. I learned, in particular, that I may not be cut out for this whole driver's ed thing. I learned that making jerking motions and stamping my foot while seated in the passenger's seat has absolutely ZERO effect on the motion of the vehicle. I learned why some people drink in the middle of the day, and most of all, I learned that if my daughter is proud enough of herself, she'll believe me when I say, "you did a great job, hon!" even when I am visibly shaking.
In other news, a parcel filled with Chukar chicks arrived at my sister's house for BIL to raise. We'll have another flock around for the year, and another gang to take up the bizarre mating call next spring. Maybe the lonely little guy that spent most of May on my roof listening to the echo of his calls coming from the building across the road might actually find a lady next spring.

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