Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum: Melanie's Wild, Wonderful, West Virginia Trip

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Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Jul 24, 2016 12:23 AM CST

Moderator

Hi everyone! I figured it would be easier for me to post all my BBB pictures in one thread and that way everyone can enjoy them! I am going to post some wildflowers over on that forum but I'll give you a link when I do that.

So I'm up visiting Grandma in Lincoln County, West Virginia. Branchland to be exact. If you Google it, you'll see I'm in the middle of nowhere. Well, almost nowhere. Seriously, I love it. I couldn't live here, but it's great to visit. One of my other hobbies is genealogy and Dad and I are visiting some cemeteries which is actually a pretty good place to see wildlife. Everything is in the middle of the woods here so there's always something to see.

Grandma has several bird feeders up. My aunt, who takes care of Grandma, loves birds and stocks the feeders. She can identify most of them, too. I haven't seen too many I don't recognize. As for butterflies, I have a book on WV butterflies and I've been submitting to BAMONA. I'm guessing they don't get many submissions from this part of the country. Hilarious!

So the Cardinal is the state bird of West Virginia and there's little doubt why. I saw seven of them at one time on the feeders yesterday! Oh, let me show you Grandma's feeders. Two "house" like feeders, one hummingbird feeder, and one smaller feeder with the metal mesh type screen (I mostly see Goldfinches on it).

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Cardinals!

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Goldfinches

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Okay, bedtime for me. More soon! Lots to come!
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Cheryl
Brownstown, Pennsylvania (Zone 6a)
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: Pennsylvania Bee Lover Butterflies Dragonflies
Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Birds Spiders! Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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nativeplantlover
Jul 24, 2016 8:11 AM CST
Hey Mellie!
West Virginia is truly "wild and wonderful" and "almost heaven". Gorgeous bird photos, the female goldfinch looks like she's deep in thought-whatever thoughts birds have. I feel the same as you about actually living there, tried it for a year. Enjoy your visit!
"My work is loving the world. Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird — equal seekers of sweetness. Here the clam deep in the speckled sand. Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me Keep my mind on what matters, which is my work which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished." — Mary Oliver, from Messenger
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
Image
mellielong
Jul 24, 2016 8:04 PM CST

Moderator

Yesterday, around dusk, my brother and I went out to catch fireflies! He's making a video for a song he wrote so we got a Mason jar and caught a few. He filmed them, then we released them. He filmed me doing that, too.

Back to pictures! Here's a Goldfinch and a Tufted Titmouse.

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Carolina Chickadee

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Oh, I forgot that at the hotel in NC, I saw this weird bug on the side of the building as we were leaving. I didn't know what it was. Dad took a look and told me to Google "Hellgrammite". And that's what it was! Also known as a Dobson Fly.

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What's weird is that when we got on the interstate, it was only a few exits up that we saw the exit for Dobson. Could I have found the epicenter of Dobson Fly activity? Rolling on the floor laughing

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On the way up, we stopped in Beckley, WV at Tamarack. They have shops featuring arts and crafts created by local artisans. I saw this woodworking piece of a Black Swallowtail. The price was a little too high for me, though!

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Back at Grandma's house, we attracted some Mourning Doves.

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My aunt said this is a White Breasted Nuthatch.

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I think my aunt said this was some kind of Sparrow? She wasn't sure; something about a mark on its breast.

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Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Jul 24, 2016 11:19 PM CST

Moderator

I suppose I ought to post more butterflies to keep the butterfly folks happy. So the day before we left, I was checking Find A Grave looking for the cemeteries I wanted to visit and to see if people had any photo requests. I stumbled upon a cemetery that listed my great-grandfather and had a picture of the metal funeral home marker (he doesn't have a headstone). Now, someone else had him listed in a different cemetery and we all thought the marker had rusted away by now. Last time my grandfather went up there, there were trees growing through the cemetery. I guess they cleaned it up because it's fine now. You need a four wheel drive to get up there, but Dad has a Ford F-150 so we made it just fine. Oh, and his first cousin lives in the house at the bottom of the hill. Anyway, I was super excited because I never thought I would find his actual grave since we all assumed it was unmarked. After I took photos of the cemetery, you know I chased some butterflies.

Eastern Tailed Blue. These guys are really common up here.

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Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

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Silvery Checkerspot

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Pearl Crescent

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Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
Image
mellielong
Jul 24, 2016 11:51 PM CST

Moderator

Damselfly? It's not holding its wings like a dragonfly.

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Another Damselfly?

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Webworms

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Leafhopper

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Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Kurt
Woodbridge , Va (Zone 7a)
Hummingbirder Butterflies Birds Dragonflies Garden Photography Container Gardener
Seed Starter The WITWIT Badge Annuals Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Virginia
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krobra
Jul 25, 2016 12:17 AM CST
sparrow is a Song Sparrow

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Song_Sparrow/sounds

not sure about the tiger st but looks like it could be an Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail
I am certainly no expert just looks a little different then the ones I am use to.

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/papilio-appalachi...
[Last edited by krobra - Jul 25, 2016 12:18 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1223318 (6)
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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wildflowers
Jul 25, 2016 7:31 AM CST
Yes, Melanie, those are damselflies. Thumbs up

Loving the tour. Smiling
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Jul 25, 2016 8:35 AM CST

Moderator

Kurt, my aunt did say Song Sparrow now that I think about it. She wasn't sure because there was something about a spot on the breast she was looking for? I had BAMONA ID the Tiger ST for me because I'm determined to see an Appalachian Tiger ST, but so far all the ones I've seen here over the years turn out to be Eastern Tiger STs. I thought it looked a little different, too! But I guess I was looking with my heart and not my brain.

More pictures to come. The internet is super slow here. I was dozing off waiting for my pictures to upload last night! Rolling on the floor laughing I added some to the plant database and now I feel like I better check and make sure I did it right!

BAMONA gets back to me super fast for some reason when I'm in WV. Although, the guy who confirms them is one who does some of my FL sightings. Hmm...anyway, I saw a bunch of Skippers on Grandma's neighbor's butterfly bush. I thought one looked a little different than the ones I normally see, and it was! I had my first ever sighting of a Peck's Skipper. Hurray! We don't get them in Florida.

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Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
Image
mellielong
Jul 25, 2016 10:46 PM CST

Moderator

My aunt said I missed a male Eastern Towhee this morning! But I really needed the sleep. And I'm off to bed now. I've got another day of cemetery wandering and butterfly chasing tomorrow.
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
Image
mellielong
Jul 26, 2016 3:51 PM CST

Moderator

I think I broke myself today. When I get home to Florida, I'm going to make a cocoon and enter diapause until the heat lets up. So I'll emerge around...October? Hilarious!

We went to visit my 2nd great-grandmother's grave today. I cataloged the cemeteries for genealogy purposes.

Dad saw this terrapin. He said it looked like an adult from the size. It looked small to me, but I'm used to gopher tortoises.

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Dad also spotted this deer. He is a hunter. I've seen quite a few on the side of the road - only one was dead. He said it was raising its hoof to get us to react because it wasn't sure what we were. I did a few jumping jacks to try to scare it but it didn't flinch. I actually got really close to it before it hopped off.

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Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Cheryl
Brownstown, Pennsylvania (Zone 6a)
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: Pennsylvania Bee Lover Butterflies Dragonflies
Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Birds Spiders! Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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nativeplantlover
Jul 26, 2016 7:04 PM CST
Mellie Your wildlife pics are breathtaking- Really!! There used to be so many box turtles around here, but they started to disappear quickly around 1980. So can you share with us? ---> What is your camera, lenses etc?
"My work is loving the world. Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird — equal seekers of sweetness. Here the clam deep in the speckled sand. Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me Keep my mind on what matters, which is my work which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished." — Mary Oliver, from Messenger
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
Image
mellielong
Jul 26, 2016 8:26 PM CST

Moderator

Thanks, Cheryl! I use a Panasonic DMC-ZS50K LUMIX. I bought it as a package with all the accessories from Amazon: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B012GQPULO/ref=oh_aui_de...
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 26, 2016 9:42 PM CST
They are wonderful shots, Melanie. I have a LUMIX too but no accessories. Hmmm. Shopping on Amazon tomorrow for me.

Please don't go to sleep until October, btw. We'd miss you a lot. Big Grin
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
Image
mellielong
Jul 26, 2016 11:02 PM CST

Moderator

I saw this little guy while Dad was bringing the truck around to pick us up in front of the mall.

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We had to stop by Lowe's so you know I checked out the garden center. And I found a Silver-Spotted Skipper!

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I was taking a picture of Echinacea "Cheyenne Spirit" for the database when I noticed a Gray Hairstreak on it.

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On the way home, we pulled over so I could pick some Queen Anne's Lace for my Black ST cats. And I saw more Silver-Spotted Skippers. I know thistle isn't something most people want growing in their yard, but it really attracts the butterflies. I had three Silver-Spotted Skippers on them! I circled them so you can tell. Hilarious!

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Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Kurt
Woodbridge , Va (Zone 7a)
Hummingbirder Butterflies Birds Dragonflies Garden Photography Container Gardener
Seed Starter The WITWIT Badge Annuals Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Virginia
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krobra
Jul 26, 2016 11:27 PM CST
Very pretty and nice detail Melanie ,

I wish I still had an empty field behind my house , I'd love to have an open field to plant full of wild flowers
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Jul 27, 2016 11:27 PM CST

Moderator

Okay, I had a super day today. I saw butterflies, moths, birds, and other bugs. I submitted all my butterflies and moths to BAMONA because there was one I wasn't sure of and I didn't know the moths. Plus, it's National Moth Week so I had to contribute something!

I really need to go to bed, but before I do, I have one picture I want to share. I came back to Grandma's house saying what a good day I had. I said if I finally got to see the Eastern Towhee, things would be perfect. And he showed up while I was eating dinner! Hurray!

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Okay, one more before I go to bed. Hilarious! I'm staying at my uncle's house because grandma's is too crowded. My dad picked me up this morning and I heard a rooster. Well, I turned and it was standing right under a tree in my uncle's yard. My aunt said it's a feral rooster and has been around for 5-6 years. My uncle said it used to be owned by the people across the street but meth and jail left the rooster homeless. My uncle also said the rooster was a Rhode Island Red. I thought he was a very handsome bird.

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Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 28, 2016 7:33 AM CST
Wow, the rooster is gorgeous, Melanie. Looks like he's taking care of himself pretty well, too.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Cheryl
Brownstown, Pennsylvania (Zone 6a)
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: Pennsylvania Bee Lover Butterflies Dragonflies
Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Birds Spiders! Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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nativeplantlover
Jul 28, 2016 7:55 AM CST
mellielong said:Okay, I had a super day today. I saw butterflies, moths, birds, and other bugs. I submitted all my butterflies and moths to BAMONA because there was one I wasn't sure of and I didn't know the moths. Plus, it's National Moth Week so I had to contribute something!
I really need to go to bed, but before I do, I have one picture I want to share. I came back to Grandma's house saying what a good day I had. I said if I finally got to see the Eastern Towhee, things would be perfect. And he showed up while I was eating dinner! Hurray!
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Okay, one more before I go to bed. Hilarious! I'm staying at my uncle's house because grandma's is too crowded. My dad picked me up this morning and I heard a rooster. Well, I turned and it was standing right under a tree in my uncle's yard. My aunt said it's a feral rooster and has been around for 5-6 years. My uncle said it used to be owned by the people across the street but meth and jail left the rooster homeless. My uncle also said the rooster was a Rhode Island Red. I thought he was a very handsome bird.
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Too bad for the rooster, then again, maybe he's actually doing better without his previous owners. Some parts of WV have real issues with far too many bars, strip clubs, and places to gamble. So sad, but the wildlife(meaning the animals and insects) is great!
"My work is loving the world. Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird — equal seekers of sweetness. Here the clam deep in the speckled sand. Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me Keep my mind on what matters, which is my work which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished." — Mary Oliver, from Messenger
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
Image
mellielong
Jul 31, 2016 6:10 PM CST

Moderator

I'm back home! I want to kiss my internet router. I missed it so much!

So I was pretty bummed that last week was National Moth Week and I was missing out. My MOSI friends did a moth watching thing over at one of the libraries. But I was determined to see moths in WV and report them! Fortunately, the cemetery where Grandpa is buried turned out to be a hotspot of activity. Well, I visited the big cemetery, and then there's a smaller one up the path about ten minutes away. Lots of opportunities for spotting stuff.

I think BAMONA is under extra pressure during National Moth Week because they got back to me really quick.

This is a Canadian melanolophia (Melanolophia canadaria).

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They identified the genus, but not species of this one. Caenurgina sp.

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I thought I might be having some kind of religious experience, but it turns out this is a real moth. Dad and I were both pretty freaked out, though. This is a Clymene Moth (Haploa clymene).

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Now, I had been trying to get some pictures of milkweed, but we kept driving by it and it's just not safe to stop on those mountain roads. Finally, I found a patch along the fence line of the cemetery!

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Ladybugs, aphids, and a milkweed bug? Yup, I found the right plant.

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I went to wave a bug away from my face and the movement scared up my real quarry - a Monarch butterfly! Hurray! I don't see them in WV very often. Dad says he can't remember seeing them as a kid. I think it must be hard to fly around mountains.

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Then, a smaller butterfly came and tried to chase the Monarch away. I looked at it real close because I thought it was special. It may look like a Silver-Spotted Skipper, but it's not. That's its lookalike cousin, the Hoary Edge! I think I've only seen one before in my life so I was pretty excited.

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Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Cheryl
Brownstown, Pennsylvania (Zone 6a)
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: Pennsylvania Bee Lover Butterflies Dragonflies
Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Birds Spiders! Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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nativeplantlover
Jul 31, 2016 7:59 PM CST
Some unusual finds and as usual, really nice photos Mellie.
"My work is loving the world. Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird — equal seekers of sweetness. Here the clam deep in the speckled sand. Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me Keep my mind on what matters, which is my work which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished." — Mary Oliver, from Messenger

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