Staying Cool

In the middle of July, the mid-summer heat settled in with fog in the mornings and spontaneous thunderstorms sprinkled throughout the days and the nights.

A young robin followed his Mom to a berry bush in the garden. A painted lady butterfly clung to the rocks on the edge of the garden pond. A female goldfinch flew in to drink water. A catbird stopped by to take a bath after sampling the berries.

In the shade, a bold cottontail rabbit ate his breakfast as I walked by.

A male twelve-spotted skimmer wove a pattern over the water before landing on a blade of grass. Nearby, tucked into the plants on the edge of the pond, a female ebony jewelwing showed off her wings.

A chipmunk searched for fallen berries in the gravel under the bush.

July 19, 2017

A young American robin in a berry bush in the garden at Jester Park, Iowa, July 19, 2017.

A painted lady butterfly on the rocky edge of the garden pond at Jester Park, Iowa, July 19, 2017.

A cottontail rabbit in the garden at Jester Park, Iowa, July 19, 2017.

A cottontail rabbit in the garden at Jester Park, Iowa, July 19, 2017.

A cottontail rabbit in the garden at Jester Park, Iowa, July 19, 2017.

An American goldfinch drinking water from the garden pond at Jester Park, Iowa, July 19, 2017.

An American goldfinch drinking water from the garden pond at Jester Park, Iowa, July 19, 2017.

An American goldfinch drinking water from the garden pond at Jester Park, Iowa, July 19, 2017.

July 20, 2017

A catbird taking a bath in the garden pond at Jester Park, Iowa, July 20, 2017.

A catbird taking a bath in the garden pond at Jester Park, Iowa, July 20, 2017.

A male twelve-spotted skimmer dragonfly in the garden at Jester Park, Iowa, July 20, 2017.

A male twelve-spotted skimmer dragonfly in the garden at Jester Park, Iowa, July 20, 2017.

July 21, 2017

A female ebony jewelwing damselfly on a leaf near the garden pond at Jester Park, Iowa, July 21, 2017.

A female ebony jewelwing damselfly on a leaf near the garden pond at Jester Park, Iowa, July 21, 2017.

A female ebony jewelwing damselfly on a leaf near the garden pond at Jester Park, Iowa, July 21, 2017.

A chipmunk in the garden at Jester Park, Iowa, July 21, 2017.

A chipmunk in the garden at Jester Park, Iowa, July 21, 2017.

Take care and thanks for reading.

Sarah

 

About Sarah

nature, outdoor, and health enthusiast, book reader, and story teller
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35 Responses to Staying Cool

  1. A lovely post. Wonderful photos, Sarah. 🙂

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Iris 🙂

      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! I am happy you enjoyed the post. 🙂 I noticed when I was out the other morning how the fresh air has its mid-summer scent. I love all the varieties of fresh air. 🙂 I wish I could capture them to put with the photos.

      The wildlife love the berry bush! I watched to see who would arrive. Most of them were clever enough to be concealed in the leaves. The young robin had to peek up to see what was going on. 🙂

  2. zirah1 says:

    Wow, such diversity and the pictures are wonderful. Especially love the robin in the berry bush and the rabbit and chipmunk ones, since I have a real soft spot for both. And I loved the birds in the water. Looked so dang refreshing I wanted to be in there w/ them. So nice they have that available for their enjoyment. Thanks for sharing. p.s. And I see you have a new header image, too. 🙂

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Zirah 🙂

      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! I have a soft spot for the chipmunks and the rabbits as well. 🙂 I was happy that both of them let me get close enough for a photograph. The young robin peeking up from the bush was a happy surprise.

      The catbird looks like he is having fun, doesn’t he? 🙂 I was actually waiting by the pond hoping the goldfinches would be back. Instead, Mr. Catbird popped in the water right in front of me to splash around. 🙂 It has cooled off some this week. Last week, it was very warm. It was in the upper 70s and low 80s at sunrise and in the upper 90s and low 100s in the middle of the day.

      I am working on sprucing up the web site a bit. 🙂 I don’t know if I will keep that header, but I liked the photo. It was one I took last week. I think it looks very summery and cheerful. 🙂

      • zirah1 says:

        Wow, I thought we were having hot weather, but you’ve got us beat. And, yes, the green and yellow of the header is very vibrant and summer-y looking. It’s nice that it’s so easy to change things like that and mix things up a bit. 🙂

        • Sarah says:

          My outdoor time is usually in the early morning so I can manage the heat better than those who have to be outside in the middle of the day. It cooled down some this weekend. I am sure the hot steamy weather will be back. It comes and goes until fall arrives.

          It is interesting how changing the header can change the feel of things. 🙂 I have been meaning to do it for a while. When I was looking at the photos I took last week, I liked the range of the the greens and the exclamation of the yellow flower of this one. 🙂

  3. Shady_Grady says:

    Great pics. I think I like the catbird pics best. The rabbit looks worried but then again rabbits usually do.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Shady 🙂

      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! I am happy you liked the photos. 🙂 The catbird wasn’t in the water long, but he jumped in right in front of me as if to say…. Look at me! 🙂

      The rabbits do usually look worried. 🙂 This rabbit let me stand and watch him for a while before he turned around and ran for cover.

  4. Jet Eliot says:

    Such delightful captures and moments with the summertime wildlife, Sarah. I have never seen an ebony jewelwing damselfly, they are stunning.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi 🙂

      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! I am happy you enjoyed seeing the summer wildlife. 🙂

      It was a happy surprise to see the ebony jewelwing on the leaf almost hidden in the plants by the pond. I was looking at the flowers and looking for caterpillars or butterflies. There she was all sparkly with her emerald green face and edges of wings. I don’t recall having seen one before either. I usually see the dragonflies and damselflies when they are flying and they go by so fast I can’t tell who they are. It was a lucky couple of days to find them both staying still long enough to get a good look.

  5. I’ve missed your beautiful nature photographs whilst we’ve been away ecotouring! 🙂 Stunning pics as ever – love the rabbit ones.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi 🙂

      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! I am happy you enjoyed the photos. 🙂 The rabbit is cute. 🙂

      I am looking forward to reading all about your summer adventures. 🙂

      • Aww thank you. I’ve just posted up about our journey to the Bronte Parsonage … I’m still about 25 posts behind … :o) Looking forward to more of your photographs x

        • Sarah says:

          I just looked at your post. Very interesting and pretty! I am looking forward to reading the rest of the story. 🙂 It sounds like you have lots of stories to fill in the winter months. 🙂

  6. Great photography! These photos are incredible. Absolutely love these cute animals.

  7. What a range of creatures and the chipmunk looks so cute but bet it could bite! A catbird! Wonder why? Beautiful but your dragon and damsel flies are really stunning. Jester Park seems a good place to go!

    • Sarah says:

      Hi 🙂

      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! I imagine the chipmunk does have sharp teeth. 🙂 I keep a respectful distance from them although they rarely let me very near. This one was so intent on his berry collecting that he kept eating even when I got close. He had a lot of competition for the berries. They are all off the bush now.

      The park is a nice place to visit. 🙂 I feel lucky to be able to go there and it isn’t that far away.

      One of the calls of the catbird sounds like a plaintive meow which I assume is how it got its name. 🙂 I have a recording of one chattering, but I don’t have the meow call yet. I heard their meow call from the bushes a lot during the spring, but didn’t see one making the call so I didn’t record any of them. Next time I hear one, I will make a little recording. It does sound a lot like a cat’s meow. I was confused the first time I heard the call. 🙂

      The week these photos were taken it was very hot. I think this is why I saw the dragonfly and the damselfly early in the morning. I haven’t seen them since it cooled down. I go out with the camera at sunrise when it is usually cool for summer in the 60s or maybe even upper 50s. It was in the upper 70s and low 80s the week of these photos. I was really excited to see them and happy that a few of the photos turned out. They shimmer when they fly. There were a couple of dragonflies doing acrobatics over the pond. It was impressive!

      • You are very dedicated to make sure you get out so early. Very interesting about the catbird. Hopefully it helps keep cats away. Am still working at editing and then insert something extra in my story. Need to have a deadline now but will send off the first chapters soon. A bit apprehensive I guess.

        • Sarah says:

          I am an early morning person so going out early comes naturally to me. 🙂 I love watching the sunrise and listening as the birds wake up.

          I am looking forward to reading more of your story. 🙂

          I read a book a while ago given to me by my sister called “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. This was back when I was just starting the web site. I don’t know where she heard about it. I don’t remember a lot of it. I do remember that he frequently mentions resistance and how it gets larger the closer a project gets to completion. I think this is likely why most books require an editor so that the author has someone who is professionally good at writing and reading and understanding stories who can look at the story from an objective standpoint. I imagine it could be stressful. On the other hand, it could be interesting to see what someone else sees in the story and where any holes in description and character or plot development might be.

          I really liked the premise and introduction and the world you created in the beginning of your story. I am curious what happens next. This is always a good sign when it comes to stories. 🙂 I picked up that courage is one of the traits your characters need on their journey north to find cooler weather. Perhaps you can draw courage to put your story out into the world from their courage. 🙂

          • Thank you Sarah, I think you are spot on and glad you are intrigued too. I have been so back and forth to the UK too that it has disrupted my flow and then at times my confidence. Yes, courage needed as with my characters! Have been busy today outside as it was cloudy! But will get on tomorrow and send the rest to you, without any probably unnecessary additions!

  8. Beth L Olson says:

    I love these! What kind of camera do you use?

    • Sarah says:

      Hi 🙂

      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! I am happy you enjoyed the photos. 🙂 They were taken with a Canon 5D Mark 3 camera. I like it. It takes happy photos. 🙂

  9. birdlady612 says:

    Lovely post. Your photos are amazing, especially if the dragonflies. I have the hardest time photographing them because they don’t stay still for long. Great job.. 🙋🐦

    • Sarah says:

      Hi 🙂

      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! I am happy you enjoyed the photos. 🙂

      This was the first time I had photographed dragonflies or damselflies. I am usually out with the camera in the early morning when it is cool. I don’t usually see them. They must be tucked away then. The week of these photos it was very hot here: upper 90s or 100 for the high and in the high 70s at sunrise. There was a lot of activity at sunrise. The twelve-spotted skimmer kept returning to the same clump of grass after flying around the small pond in the garden. I went and stood nearby and waited for him to return. 🙂

      Seeing the ebony jewelwing damselfly was pure luck. 🙂 She was tucked in the flowers by the edge of the pond. I was looking at the flowers when I saw her. She was moving her wings, but otherwise she stayed perfectly still.

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