Sunday, July 5, 2009

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life is funny , as I’m sure you all know. I am not a patient person, it’s one of my worst faults, that I am aware of anyway, and I have prayed for years for God to make me a more patient person. Well, after forty-six years, I think I’m getting it. I go to the park each morning and wait patently to see what I may or may not see that day. I spot a nest and stand there, camera ready, waiting for the nest’s occupants to poke their head out or to fly in or out.
Following a butterfly as it flits from flower to flower, hoping it will sit still long enough for me to get a shot. Yes, I am finally learning patience, but in the most gentle way that God could have taught me.
This week was a fun and fulfilling week. I finally got some pictures of those Anis that I love.
I learned that the Groove Billed Ani’s are of the cuckoo family.

I also joined another butterfly walk this week, and Carol the park’s Naturalist was there. I enjoy listening to Carol, she is so much fun to learn from about all the wildlife in the park.
We saw a few different species of butterflies, but of course, what was really catching my eyes were the Anis. They were everywhere that day!

I did get a few pictures of some pretty butterflies.butterfly9jpg
butterfly2 butterfly5jpg butterfly6 butterfly8jpg
Carol showed us a The Puss Moth Caterpillar, aka the "Asp” that looks nice and soft and fuzzy, but if you make the mistake of touching it, it will sting you. It is one of over fifty stinging caterpillars found in the U.S
It seemed that we could hear the cicadas all over the park. We have cicadas in Virginia, but none that sound like these. These sound like turbine engines! Carol found one on the ground and showed it to me.
The orioles are still tending their nest. It is all done now, and I suppose the eggs have been laid because they don’t go in and out as often but are close by in the trees.oriole nest
oriole oriole andnest
There is a baby cowbird over at the park that was laid in a Mockingbird nest and mama mockingbird is feeding it.
mockingbird and baby cowbird
A lot of people don’t like the Cowbirds because they lay their eggs in other birds’ nest, but look at this little fellow! He doesn’t know he’s adopted, and neither does his mockingbird mama.babycowbird
I mentioned in another post that I had seen Mrs. Mama Skunk and her three babies. All I ever got was the skunk tail pictures.
skunk2 skunk
You catch a whiff of them every now and then though.
I caught some Ani fledglings playing.
Anifledglings2 Anifledglings3
At home, Mama and Papa Scissor Tail have babies. There are four little babies, I believe!
Friday night we had our Fourth of July potluck. We decided to get chicken in a bucket and everyone bring a dish to pass. I made Barefoot Contessa’s Flag Cake that I had seen on Pioneer Women’s website.
This was a delicious cake and so pretty too!
I love Rea’s site. She always has such terrific recipes and also fantastic photography tips. A gal after my own heart!

I won two contests this week!
I won the book A Lucky Child, A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy
A Lucky Child by Thomas Buergenthal, Elie Wiesel
I collect holocaust books. It’s strange, I know, but I was truly excited to win this book.

I also won a Beach Bag of Books from Hachette.
Look at all these great titles!
The Secret Speech By Tom Smith
Julie and Julia By Julie Powell
Swimsuit By James Patterson , Maxine Paetro
Obama's BlackBerry By Kasper Hauser
A Summer Affair By Elin Hilderbrand
When You Are Engulfed in Flames By David Sedaris
Any Minute By Joyce Meyer , Deborah Bedford
The Book of Lies By Brad Meltzer
Kill for Me By Karen Rose
Miscarriage of Justice By "Kip" Gayden

We went to McAllen last night and watched the fireworks. We have watched fireworks together the last ten years. The City of McAllen put on a good fireworks show, and some of the local radio stations had patriotic music playing to go along with the show. They called it “The Concert in the Sky”. It was a very nice production.

Books this week:
Finished reading Black Water Rising by Attica Locke. It’s a fascinating book by a new author.
Also read Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich. I love her Stephanie Plum novels. Her books are funny and suspenseful.
Movies this week:
Hotel for Dogs. A cute flick, but I wouldn’t watch it again. Kids would like it.
Best in Show, a comedy about the crazy world of dog shows and their owners. It’s done documentary style. Starring Eugene Levy
Then She Found Me, starring Helen Hunt, Colin Firth, and Bette Midler. A New York school teacher hits a midlife crisis when, in quick succession, her husband leaves, her adoptive mother dies, and her biological mother, an eccentric talk show host, materializes and turns her life upside down as she begins a courtship with the father of one of her students. I liked this movie more than I thought I would.