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Each day that I live out here is full of close encounters with wild plants, insects, and animals. Each day, I never know what I will see or bump into. Some of these encounters are rare (like the Great Horned owl last fall or the tiny Norther Saw Whet owl, the size of my hand, this winter), and some are daily encounters (hawks, a wide variety of birds at the feeder, frogs, deer). Often, I do not have my camera handy or am too slow. But sometimes I am lucky and can capture the image. Whenever I can, I will share these encounters with you and we can enjoy the beauty of our natural world together. Today, I will share a few shots of winged ones taken just this week…

An Arctic Fritillary buttery (Boloria chariclea), adding a splash of color to my morning…

A ruby throated hummingbird at rest just outside the diningroom window (near the picnic table). I see them everyday as they love my flowers, but I have never seen one perched and at rest before. They are so tiny!

There are two hawks that live in the field where Lucy and I hike twice a day. I am not sure exactly what kind of hawk as I only get a good look at them when they are flying overhead and my field guides show them perched from the side. Most days, the hawks fly up and cry out as Lucy and I walk underneath their nesting tree. They are so huge that I once mistook one of them for a Great Horned Owl (from a distance). I made up a song in thier honor and sing it for them every time I see them:

Oh, kihew, oh kihew, you are chosen by Creator

to carry our messages up through the smudge smoke

I honor you this day and treasure your existence

may your children be blessed to the seventh generation

Here is a little sharp-tailed grouse. They are sometimes close to the trail and Lucy and I have startled them twice this week. There are four young ones. I got a good look at mama when she flew towards me to distract me from her babies. Lucy was good and left them alone.

There are also thousands of small red and large turquoise dragonflies that fill the evening skies on our walks. They dive and bomb and swirl around me, feasting on the misquitoes that my body attracts.

Enjoy your day, everyone!