Above are Whistling Ducks who migrate to our pond every summer. They are really neither geese nor ducks but a sub family – Dendrocygninae. It’s a bit of a tongue twister so we call them non ducks. They live in Latin America in the winter and we think they are Catholics given the amount of ducklings they have.
This is a male Needham’s Skimmer dragonfly They are common along the Gulf Coast and give a lovely flash of crimson in a sea of blue and green Pond Hawk dragonflies. To me, they are beautifully colored fairies that cluster around humans because we attract mosquitoes. These little predators are quite precocious and will sit on your hand or head.
This is Mr and Mrs Puddleduck, a pair of Muscovy ducks who live here year round. Mr Puddleduck has a glorious blue sheen to his feathers. They wag their tales like puppies when you talk to them…awww! We have had so many thunderstorms around these parts that we have puddles in the ground around the pond. These are full of slugs and worms that these fat little omnivores love. Their feathers have been covered in dirt with their muddy foraging. I tell them to go bathe in the pond to no avail…
These are two mud encrusted red eared slider turtles – what is it with the mud this year? Perhaps it acts as a sunscreen in turtle world. Sometimes they ‘turn turtle’ and we have to wade in and rescue them before the sun bakes them. They are indigenous to the southern Gulf but people have released unwanted pet sliders into other areas and then they become invasive.
If you look really closely to the right of the most northerly pondweed, you will see the head of a massive turtle. He splashed into the water like a hippopotamus when I approached.
This is a Delta Flower Beetle, a beneficial migrant from the Florida Everglades. I was really trying to capture the Lantana blossom but then spotted the Delta which is also a type of Scarab beetle – happy memories from Egypt.
Following on from my last post of Blakeley, Alabama, the site was serenely quiet and tranquil. In 1865 the Civil War battle of Blakeley commenced. Ultimately 261 people died, hundreds were injured and over 3000 Confederate soldiers were captured by the Union. You can tour the battlefield, seeing the Confederate fortifications and other details. Prior to this sadness, Blakely had been occupied by the Apalachee who had fled their home in Florida after a British led Creek battle. Then it was chartered as the town of Blakeley by an early settler, Josiah Blakeley in 1814.
In the early days it was a thriving community but as I previously mentioned yellow fever and malaria killed so many people that the place was abandoned, to all intents and purposes. No one really knew what the cause of the illness was and it was referred to as “Bad Air”. Anyone who lives in the tropical south knows how oppressive a hot humid day can be but by comparison to Houston, the air seemed as fresh as a daisy.
There is a Calahaba Lily River Association – it is an aquatic plant found only in the south-east.
Wild or Louisiana Iris
The state symbol of Louisiana is the fleur-de-lis based on the real Iris above.
The residents seem peaceful these days…
Lady Blue Dasher with black lace wings
Battlegrounds often have a pervasive feeling of gloom but the wildlife has taken over most of the area leaving a sense of ‘life goes on’.
Have you all been watching the magnificent costumes in Game of Thrones? Everyone is wearing black with winter having arrived. It is as hot as Hades in the subtropics so my title only refers to my Cersei hair color… Once again my hair has turned a magical new color that did not reflect the box but I quite like it. I have some lighter highlights in it and it gives my face some color. Liben is my friend who gifted me some wonderful new outfits that she no longer wears. The off white skirt pictured above still had the ticket on it and fits really well. I even have a bum for a change! My friend Cris gifted me the wonderful necklace, bracelet, earrings and ring set.
I think Cersei would love this jewelry – I certainly do.
Every time I wear this set, I have fond thoughts of both Cris and her mother, who owned the clip-on earrings and ring. The sheer black top is a Christmas gift from Cris, too – she gave me a gift card from a local boutique. How lucky I am to have such generous friends.
Black and White Old Navy dress in the sale worn with a light white jacket from Chico’s outlet. Funky studded sandals from JC Penney many seasons ago.
I don’t usually shop at Chico’s but their crazy sizing is wonderful. I am a size 0 in their vanity sizing… Unlike most places, we southern Texas folks put on summer weight because it is too dang hot to go outside and we can’t exercise. I have some pounds to lose so I finally bought an ‘undergarment'(keep reading to the end and don’t get excited).
This is a better shot of the little black and white dress – it cost just over $10 so I bought a spotted navy one and a pink/navy striped one.
I was browsing through Walgreen’s for toiletries when I spotted these summer dresses for $15. Teddy loves it so it has joined my collection. I am wearing a dragonfly necklace that I bought in Rice Village, a nice little shopping district in Houston close to Rice University.
Do you think they will send me some free ones now?
Finally you can see the delightful undergarment. Of course, I am not a large – I just need some breathing room in this humidity… I can’t stand Spandex and still have nightmares about my Nana’s flesh colored girdle that I had to help her get in (surely some Jesuits designed it)? This new ‘smoother’ is quite comfortable and holds things in right up to the rib cage. If I just did some exercise, like Helen Mirren, I would have a flat tummy and no wobbly bits. At least it gives Teddy something to grab onto!
My husband managed to get this wonderful shot of me whispering to a dragonfly in the containment pond that is close to our house. My fear of moths does not extend to dragonflies which is lucky as they seem to like me. Dragonflies are fast little predators so they have little to fear but birds on the wing. It was as hot as Hades today – the pond and its wild surrounds were alive with all types of Dragonflies. Golden, red, amber, periwinkle, green striped, black, indigo, all flitting about looking for insects. In my imagination they are little fairies. They fly really close to humans because we attract mosquitoes and probably are drawn to our sweat. It was a beautiful moment on a perfect day.