Earth Psalms - June 2011

June 29, 2011 | 0 comments

My two granddaughters and I followed instructions and stayed on the paths, didn’t pick plants or pick up caterpillars, and deposited our juice bottles in the recycling receptacle (at home).  As we strolled among the butterfly bushes, verbena, pincushion flowers and asters, the plantain, grasses and milkweeds, we spotted a “mock” monarch, a pipevine swallowtail, a cabbage white,  a (yellow and black) western tiger swallowtail, and a dozen or more black and orange swallowtail caterpillars dining on the Dutchman’s Pipevine.

Other than enjoying the sight of these beautiful flutter-bys, I had a lot to learn about these beautiful insects.  Some interesting tidbits about butterfly behavior: They go “nectaring”, dipping their long tubular tongue into a flower to “eat”.  They also dine on rotten fruit and animals droppings.  Ewwww!  They “puddle”, or sip, dissolved minerals and salts from wet earth.  The males “hilltop” by finding a high spot where...

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June 11, 2011 | 0 comments

My first of many sightings of white storks took place in Segovia, Spain.  While others gawked at the Roman aqueduct, I gawked at swifts dipping and soaring in aerial dances and a muster of white storks (with black wings, red bills and legs) tending their hatchlings in huge nests on the tops of towers and tiled rooves.  Four nests on one tower alone! And as many loving couples with young.  I longed for binoculars. 

Storks are reputed to be monogamous (for a season).  Mating pairs return to these nests year after year, adding to them until they weigh over a thousand pounds.  How would you like that nest on your roof? 

They live in the open for all to observe their ways, and have the reputation of being excellent parents.  They spent far more time at home with their children than people do.

Storks have a varied diet of frogs, fish, insects, earthworms, and small birds and mammals.  They are listed among the “unclean”...

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June 2, 2011 | 0 comments

Rick called me into the dining room this morning.  Right out front were five (tom) turkeys puffed up, tail feathers spread in all their magnificence, and one plain little tina turkey pecking at tidbits in our garden.  Faces purple and red, the boys strutted this way and that. One even did a side walking routine that had Rick and I laughing inside the house.  Hark!  Another two toms showed up.  I guess this was a gorgeous hen. 

She paid no attention.  Aloof, she focused on the food in front of her slender face.  Peck. Peck.  Peck-peck-peck.   One young tom approached in all his glory and she looked at him.  Ohhh wee.  You could see him puff up with pride.  Three others thought enough was enough and approached him.  He deflated like a balloon and raced down the street.   Another gave up and wandered off.  Miss Hen ignored the three remaining suitors. 

We left them to their...

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