The Tattered Beauty

You could say I've been getting my money's worth out of our house, yard, and property this year. It feels like I have spent more time here in the past three months than I probably did in the entire 10 years before that. We've definitely been glad, especially lately, to have a house with an acre outside of town. It's been a good habitat for me during the coronavirus quarantine.

It is also a good habitat for many other creatures. On this morning, I went into the backyard to check the hummingbird feeder and the plants, as I always do. I surprised a large rabbit in the meadow, and in the woods nearby, a doe and a buck with a rack of maybe five horns or so, looking like it might still be in velvet.

A little tagalong fawn has been hanging out in the woods behind Barb's new butterfly garden. I have been trying not to get too close, but I startled it a few mornings in a row. I named it Rocket when it took off at top speed into the neighbor's yard. (Barb would just love that.) I wonder if Rocket belongs to the doe and buck I saw?

The hummingbird feeder was empty, and I'm not sure who drank it. I made some new hummingbird juice (as we call it: a 4 to 1 ratio of water to sugar), and went out to get the feeder in to refill it. As I reached for the feeder and pulled it down, a hummingbird flew all around me, around my body, around my stomach, around the feeder, trying to eat. Poor hungry creature! That may have been as close as I've ever been to a hummingbird!

I washed the feeder and filled it again, and moved it into the old butterfly garden on the side of the house for the overnight, thinking that its proximity to the house would protect the feeder. In fact, it did NOT. Thursday morning found the feeder not just empty, but tossed onto the ground and dirty. It's back up now, but that's the third time this week that I've filled it.

And as I went out around lunchtime, and took one lap around the yard, I spotted a huge yellow butterfly - a female tiger swallowtail, I think, see the blue at the back of the wings. She was hanging around the tall plants by the deck.

She flittered all around and landed on this spot, where she sat for a minute or more, giving me the opportunity for photos, which I gladly took. It looks like somebody took a bite out of the one back wing there, but she was having no trouble at all getting around, even with that one bit missing. Rock on, lady butterfly, so beautiful and strong, rock on!

The soundtrack song: Natalie Imbruglia, with Torn.

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