Autumn


dramatic weather changes

one day cold, next one almost hot

late blooms, gayfeather, groundswell,

native grasses blowing in the wind

owls hooting, robins on the patio

praying mantis, walking sticks

working on their last hunts,

other insects singing night songs

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Dear Monarch Butterfly


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Saturday I discovered your chrysalis underneath the top of a disintegrating cable spool by the red and green barn.  At first I remained uncertain about you.  Were you really a monarch?

Then I thought, “This is too late; you won’t survive,”

I checked the weather. There is hope.  No freeze until late Thursday night.

By Monday evening your chrysalis had turned a dark green transparency; I could see hints of your wings inside.

When I looked Tuesday after horse feeding, you were out, unmoving, wings folded, your chrysalis a hollow shell.

I checked you twice last evening.  Still by your chrysalis, opening and closing your wings.

Becoming really worried, knowing a cold front was coming, I puzzled what to do, keep you inside the barn, leave barn doors open, what?

This morning you had moved to the edge of the spool top.  Today’s wind and warmth might inspire you to take your journey south; I could only hope, placed you where you could fly away easily.

When I fed the horses at five today, you were gone.

Relieved, I wish you a safe journey to Michoacan.

 

 

 

 

 

Walking Among the Flowers


After feeding the horses, completing chores, a late afternoon walk to look for the last of the wild flowers took my fancy.  Here in the canyon country of the Panhandle of Texas, the majority of wildflowers are three colors:  yellow, white, purple.

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Butterflies feeding in the gay feather.

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At first I thought this might be bitterweed but now, not sure.

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Although this one and the last one may resemble each other, they are different.

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Looked up, the sun decided to shine–at my place four inches of rain in the last week and more than seven inches ahead of normal.

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Black foot daisies and prairie zinnias bloom from early spring almost until frost.

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Athena among the flowers.

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Prickly pear can grow almost anywhere.

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I almost missed this one hidden among the grass.