On Saturday past, Charlie and Abe drew my attention to some beautiful butterflies I hadn't photographed before which were very excited about the soil in the pots that I had recently watered with fish poop fertilizer solution. These were "Mourning Cloak" butterflies, and we found out that their caterpillars are stinging caterpillars--a little alarming when you have little boys who must pick up every critter that isn't too fast too catch. Still, the butterflies are elegant, somber fellows that I enjoyed having around.
|Also, incidentally, peeing outdoors attracts Zebra Swallowtails...|
And over the last several days, I've found many tiny toads, small enough to sit on a dime. I showed one of them to Abe who loves to hold every tiny thing, but let the rest go on their toady ways, figuring it's hard enough being a toad the size of a bug without a giant 6 year old putting you in his pockets.
When we were in town yesterday, Tuesday, the boys took their bikes and road around the walkways at the athletic fields. They found a football which became ours because it was far enough lost that I was pretty sure no one was coming back for it. The boys spent last night tossing the old pigskin around, except no one but Daddy can throw worth a pound of bacon, so that was pretty comical. When the boys had given up on that, they ran around the yard and found Mourning Dove fledgelings in the hedge, and a tiny nest in the lilac with four eggs in it-all pale bluish green, splotched with brown. According to my 1944 copy of Birds of America, I guessed this to be either a Yellow Warbler or Chestnut-sided Warbler nest. Not having anything to go on but descriptions of the nests (in the book) and the appearance of the egg, I couldn't decide. The nest better fit the description of the Chestnut-sided Warbler's nest, but the eggs looked like Yellow Warbler eggs. Still, I'm not sure I can record this one in my birder's journal.
This morning, I found baby barn swallows that had fallen from the nest, either dead before they fell, or dead from lying on the concrete all night. Knowing birds as I do, I knew this was so that the strong one, whose head reaches the highest whenever his mother comes swooping in with a bug would survive to swoop himself one day. Bittersweet bird-ness.
So these are our found things that made me smile. And you know what? I can't keep any of them or take them with me, except a football. I find more peace and self-awareness looking outward at the world finding things than I ever do contemplating myself. I hope everyone has found things like that--things that come with freedom and joy without the thought of possession or the burden of cost. Even if they're not related to Tinkerbell...