Blooms, bugs, birds, and bees

Day Lily
This dazzling Day Lily decorates our front yard. Usually when you see one, you see another. Not so with this lily. It is a loner and one day just popped up. I’m thinking the wind or a bird making a deposit near our front porch can claim credit for the poesy. Either way, I’m grateful for a good shot not involving sky-high gasoline to get it.
jasmime bloom

Click on the cape jasmine to see more pictures at Corndancer dot Com,

Looking closer to home and finding some good stuff to see and shoot is the net result of our attempt to curb the pickup’s thirsty habits. It will go where others fear to venture and rides in creature comfort, but at a price.

In a round-about way, we’ve made some discoveries we might not have pursued otherwise, while withholding funds from the gas pumps.We did not have to look far. Wonder what else we missed?

Speaking of which, may we suggest that you go the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com where this epistle started. You’ll see other blooms and bugs and be regaled with the opening lines of this story. We’ll wait here.

See more blooms, birds, bugs, and bees in our Weekly Grist Gallery

There were no boogermen, beasts, or bad guys

If you are from the south, you’ve always wondered what was lurking in the bottom part of a Magnolia tree which hugged the ground. (If you are not from the south, we’re sharing a shameful secret). You’ve ventured a few peeks, but it looks dark, dank, and threatening. Though your curiosity is consuming, your trepidation is in charge.

magnolia tree
You are looking at a fine magnolia tree a couple of houses down the street from us. Notice that the foliage goes all the way to Mother Earth. When most people take a closeup glance, their curiosity goads them to see what’s inside the tree. Spooky trepidation then takes over and few ever take a look. The wait is over.  We are “fixin'” to reveal all.

 (Jaws music …) I entered the spooky inner sanctum of the Magnolia tree. To my delight I saw this cacophony of intertwining limbs, some taking root, as I tread soft carpet of old Magnolia leaves. It was like being in a mini-mangrove with no threat of alligators. Absolutely no apparitions or untoward creatures greeted me. If your children discover this, after that it will be a fight and footrace to keep them out. It’s like a natural jungle-gym.

inside a magnolia tree base
A benign tangle of limbs resembling a dry-land mangrove greets us at the base of this Magnolia tree. The expected apparitions and slimy creatures simply are not there. 
Magnolia bloom
This a magnolia bloom. The tree is across the street from us. The tree above is not blooming. A yard sprinkler apparently knocked the filaments off the inner stem. The detached filaments collected in the lower petal. The bloom is nearly seven inches across. If you see blooms on the tree, it is a happy camper.

Bugs and blooms

Less than a half-mile from home is a small colony of Black-Eyed Susans which unbeknown to me prior to this investigation, provide nourishment and something to do during the day for a smattering of bugs. The insects were good enough to pose and go about their business despite my interloping in their routine.

bugs on black eyed susan
A banker’s stripe bug, a greenish-grayish bug out of the field of focus, and a small white mite of some sort are finding sanctuary on this Black-eyed Susan bloom. Whodathunkit?

See more blooms, birds, bugs, and bees in our Weekly Grist Gallery

Just a few miles of four-lane from home is a favorite target. It seems that the signage across the front of our local Staples store has a magnetic attraction to sparrows. The nooks and crannies made by the Staples marketing emblazonry  make for luxury accommodations if you happen to have a sparrow mindset. The sign side of the building is in the shade during the hottest part of our sweltering southern summer days which probably adds to the attraction for these feathery homesteaders. I’ve shot this before. The store folks clean out the nests, but the birds always come back. Looks like a losing battle but it makes for some cool pictures.

sparrow nest in store sign
Mrs, Sparrow (top bird), takes a breather from egg incubating duties which Mr. Sparrow stands guard. It appears that both are voicing a warning to say away from their immediate territory.

 Last winter, we were directed to a large honey comb dangling from a huge oak tree not far from our neighborhood. The tree is in the former back yard of our neighbor (the one with the Magnolia bloom). We have published a previous picture of the hive, but not when the tree’s foliage was present. The honeycomb is larger so our friendly local bees have been busy. But then, that’s what they are. Busy.

large bee hive in tree
This huge honeycomb and hive hangs in a tree at 35th and Cherry, right here at home in river city, Pine Bluff, Arkansas. I estimate that the hive is nearly three feet in height. The bees are busy.

Looking closer to home, we found a few opportunities previously unknown and a few old friends who we revisited with good results. It’s a good day when you reap good results from circumstances you would like to have avoided. We need all of those we can get.

Trumpet vine blooms

Click on the flowers for our Weekly Grist Gallery

See more blooms, bugs, birds, and bees in our Weekly Grist Gallery

You’ll find 45 high resolution pictures from this same shoot. More bugs, more bees, more birds, more blooms. The pictures are larger and are captioned to give you a bit of information about what you are seeing. For these stories, we shot more keepers than we had room to publish so into the gallery they go. Take a look.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind


5 Responses

  1. You have done it again! Great work! I am proud to have a brother-in-law who has seen the inside of a Magnolia tree.

  2. These pix are lovely. I deal with high cost of gas also just by staying home, which is where I prefer to be anyway and need to be for our work. Wish you would send some more pix of your animals at home, especially some new ones of Chessie since I’m such a cat lover. Weezer

  3. Weez, thanks. We just recently lost our oldest feline, Kodakamus Orlando Glover-Dempsey Junior the Third, aka Kodak. One morning he didn’t show up and hasn’t since. We miss the boy. He’d been with us since kittenhood, better than 12 years. I’ll find a Chessie or two for you.

    • Oh, I’m so sorry about Kodak! My lovely calico/part Maine Coon, Miss Moneypenny (aka Penny) is now blind as a bat and vet can’t tell why – no diabetes or high blood pressure which are usual reasons, but she gets on well here – if we don’t move things around too much. Comical at times when she runs into things or misses a usual mark when jumping on perches, but then my sense of humor can be a little warped. She is a really good companion to me. It is said that the Maine Coon is “the dog of the cat world” and it is true that she is never far from my side. When she was still “sighted” she used to sit on my copier while I worked and I called her my Copy Cat, but now she mostly stays at ground level. Vet says her retinae are clear, but her pupils never contract and he believes she has only about 10% peripheral vision. My 92 year old mother in law has macular degeneration and is much the same way. She tells everyone “I (she) have “the macular, you know”, like “I have the flu, you know”. Never thought to ask Dr. Beame if cats can get “the macular”.

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