The Birds and The Bees

Ahhh fall. What a wonderful time of the year! The cool crisp air, amazingly blue skies and all the colorful foliage of the trees. I both love and hate it at the same time. On one hand, it always reminds me of my childhood and the excitement I always felt for the upcoming holidays of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. 🙂 On the other hand, I have to say goodbye to all my favorite annual flowers and most of my little garden critters. Of all of them, I think the ones I miss most are the hummingbirds. Little sis and I always have feeders in the front and back yards for the little guys. This year when they headed south for the winter, we were busy and left the feeders up longer than usual. The hummingbirds had been gone about a week or so when sis noticed movement on the feeder by our front window. It was covered with bees drinking from the feeder. I have never seen them do this in such large numbers before. I would see one or two occasionally but nothing more. After watching these little guys, with much fascination, as they emptied the feeder in just a couple of days, I decided to snap a few pictures.

Honey bees (Cropped & Crossover)(watermarked)

Bees drinking from our hummingbird feeder.

Hummingbird (Corrected-Orton-watermarked)

Here is a pic of one of the last hummingbirds to visit us in our backyard this year.

Mums the Word

Yesterday, I (Big Sis here) decided to head to one of my favorite places, the Missouri Botanical Gardens, to take some photos. The weather was so nice I just couldn’t resist. I found several changes had been made since I was there last week. The workers and volunteers had been busy clearing and replanting flowers throughout the gardens. I found some amazing beds of mums and wanted to share some of the beautiful color with you! Enjoy!

Yellow mums (Corrected & Watermarked))

Orange mums (Corrected & Watermarked)

Flower Power

Big Sis and I have been experimenting with a new look for the photography recently. Honestly, it’s been a little nerve wracking trying to tweek the photos because most of the time Big Sis and I are divided about what looks good. We’ve joked for years that we’re like Yin and Yang because if she likes something, I usually don’t and vice-versa. But it’s been an eye opener seeing how these photographs can transform.

Just wow.

Here are a couple of flowers that really make a statement.

Pink tulips (Orton only)

Yellow water lily (Cropped & Altered)

It’s Friday! Come meet our Grasshopper.

I woke up to a gray, drizzly and slightly chilly morning. I’m from the South and grew up in an area filled with lots of sunshine, so the level of cloudiness that envelops St. Louis sometimes gets to me but I rallied and headed to take the dogs out. But what do I spy just as I round the side of the building?

This cutie pie.

grasshopper on the hose

 

 

He was sitting on our hose, content as could be until he spied me looking at him. This was the only picture we managed to get before he jumped over the fence and out of sight. Bummer.

But on a positive note, at least he wasn’t as big as the dark brown/black grasshoppers that can be found in Alabama. I remember as a child, my parents taking me to visit a family cemetery in rural Calhoun County. The cemetery was overgrown and very old, and I remember getting out of the car and wandering around looking at the old tombstones. But I had wandered pretty far from the car and the grass was over knee high in many areas when I noticed the first big guy. He was sitting on a wrought iron fence that enclosed a family plot and then I noticed another, then another, and another…

Just thinking about it gives me the shivers. These grasshoppers were longer than my index finger and that cemetery was infested with em. My parents had grown up in the area and was use to them, but I hadn’t been and I wanted back in the car. So I high tailed it back over to it and dove in. I can still hear their laughter in my ears as I ducked and weaved around the plots while simultaneously trying not to walk on any of them, even though the ground was crawling with em.

*Sigh* They never let me live that down.

So Happy Friday everyone and here’s to a nice and pleasant weekend with no big scary grasshoppers. 😉

 

The Butterfly House

I don’t know about you but where I live, here in St. Louis, the weather is like diaper surprise, ya never know whatcha gonna get and you could pass out from the fumes. But since it was cloudy and slightly chilly today, we figured it might be a good day to head indoors to take some pictures. So if you’re in St. Louis and love gardens and nature but don’t want to be out in the elements, head over to the Butterfly House. It houses a collection of butterflies from around the world. They grow these cute little guys themselves and it’s so relaxing to walk through the indoor gardens with tropical butterflies fluttering around you. Try it. I dare you not to relieve some stress while you’re there! 😉

And as a bonus, as a division of the Missouri Botanical Gardens which, if you’re already a Garden member, the price of admission is already included in your membership. YAY! Good deeds AND included admission? I’m there. Also, they acknowledge other garden memberships from around the world, so check yours before you come.

I highly recommend you visit if you have a chance. It’s located in one of our numerous parks and it’s great for families. Check out their website for more information.

In honor of the Butterfly House, here are some of the photos we took.

Enjoy!

Bee on yellow bush

Butterfly

Little Butterfly 2

Garden Critter

This morning I went out to check on my tomatoes and what do I spy? This little guy…

Horned worm

He was happily munching on what few blooms I have left. I didn’t have the heart to get rid of him. It’s too late in the season for me to get many more tomatoes, so I just left him. Cutie pie.

But I also managed to find some rather interesting mushrooms lurking in my hydrangea pots. I’ve never seen mushrooms that looked like this. Does anyone know what variety they are?

Mushrooms (1)

And here I wanted to show the big guy off…

Mushrooms 2

Interesting morning in the garden. Gotta love how nature always surprises you. 🙂