Wednesday, October 20, 2010


It is mid-October, but there are still butterfly species nectaring about at Prairie Pond Woods, and a few individuals that have come back to the deck flowers for the past few Red-spotted Purple, three Great Spangled Fritillaries, and two Eastern Commas.  They're not looking so good...a bit I'm guessing I won't see them at all by the weekend.  And every afternoon between 4:00-5:00 a very beautiful moth flies, quite spastically, over the deck. Too spastically so far for me to get a good photo.  Maybe tomorrow.

By now you've probably seen the Eastern Comma in the photo.  
But can you see why it is called a Comma?
In the lower portion of it's ventral wing is a small, silver "comma."
Its cousin, the Question Mark, looks similar but has a dot at the bottom of the comma making it look like one. Two species easy enough to identify!

I'm always amazed at how these seemingly delicate creatures can hang on through cold nights and frosty mornings...but they do.  And it is a great thing when folks plant late-blooming flowers, such as asters and golden rods in their gardens to help these late-blooming Lepidoptera.

So, what's flyin' around outside your place?

Friday, October 1, 2010


On roadsides,
in fall fields,
in rumpy branches,
saffron and orange and pale gold,

in little towers,
soft as mash,
sneeze-bringers and seed-bearers,
full of bees and yellow beads and perfect flowerets

and orange butterflies.
I don't suppose
much notice comes of it, except for honey,
and how it heartens the heart with its

blank blaze.
I don't suppose anything loves it except, perhaps,
the rocky voids
filled by its dumb dazzle.

For myself,
I was just passing by, when the wind flared
and the blossoms rustled,
and the glittering pandemonium

leaned on me.
I was just minding my own business
when I found myself on their straw hillsides,
citron and butter-colored,

and was happy, and why not?
Are not the difficult labors of our lives
full of dark hours?
And what has consciousness come to anyway, so far,

that is better than these light-filled bodies?
All day
on their airy backbones
they toss in the wind,

they bend as though it was natural and godly to bend,
they rise in a stiff sweetness,
in the pure peace of giving
one's gold away.

~ Mary Oliver