November 1, 2007 – A Morning Walk

We have had the most delightful windy and rainy weather the past three days, thanks to tropical storm Noel who is finally making her exit to the northeast away from us. The rain has been a most welcomed blessing in this season of drought, and the cooling effect of the winds has been almost fallish – though our temperatures have remained in the mid- to upper-eighties.

I haven’t been able to count on the sun for light, and the wind has made photography a bit of a challenge, but I have skirted the rain showers and have captured one or two of the many delights to be found on this, our small plot of earth on Pollywog Creek.

On my morning walk this first day of November 2007, I was thrilled to see my first gray catbird in the dense layers of grapevine and beauty-berry thickets on the opposite side of the creek. I read that catbirds are often heard but not as often seen.

As I walked back toward the house from the creek, I noticed a hawk perched high on the branch of a tall pine tree on the far north side of the pasture. I wonder if he is the same red-shouldered hawk I photographed over the weekend.

In the field nearest the road, a white ibis and fox squirrel were foraging for food, oblivious to each other’s presence. I’m not certain what the ibis caught with her long curved beak, but the fox squirrel was munching on a gilled bolet mushroom. When I wandered closer, the fox squirrel scampered over to climb a pine tree, where he finished his mushroom snack from one of the lower branches.

As I continued to walk through the field I found numerous buckeye caterpillars feasting on common blue-hearts, and before I finished my walk, a buckeye butterfly landed at my feet.

A white peacock butterfly fluttered between the gardenia and zinnia bushes closest to the house. Her wings were severely battered, and she let me get a close look at her face. I have seen numerous white peacock butterflies recently. They seem to enjoy the zinnias as much as I do.

I have much to be thankful for today: my camera, the rain, the sun, the wind, the indescribable beauty of creation and the Creator of it all.

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