Cloudless sulphur

13 December, 2015            Cloudless sulphur 

That’s the actual name of a butterfly I photographed at the river this week. It caught my ear (the name, not the butterfly) and I like that quality in blog post titles.

One of our many nieces spent a couple of nights with us this weekend and today was her birthday! So we all got to celebrate! There was lots of hiking and lots of dogs involved, plus delicious food, so what more could anyone want. I for one could want more pictures but I wasn’t quite that organized. I’m hoping she’ll send me a couple and maybe I’ll do a brief additional post tomorrow. As I type these words she’s on a northbound Amtrak train somewhere between Richmond and Baltimore.

Part of my not being organized was I’d hoped to get a few pictures from her but I forgot to ask! So hopefully she’ll send me a couple and I can do an add-on post tomorrow or Tuesday. This week at home – or here in Richmond while I made my normal loops – I got an image or two I enjoy. It’s been extraordinarily warm this week and Thursday morning I “got” a new insect at Pony Pasture. The delightfully named “Cloudless Sulphur” (Phoebis sennae) butterfly. The ever-helpful entomologists at bugguide.net came through yet again with the identification. Look at this beauty, fluttering energetically along the banks for the James River in mid-December:

Cloudless sulphur (Phoebis sennae)

Cloudless sulphur (Phoebis sennae)

A day later I was at Deep Run Park with another buddy of mine. This American Bird Grasshopper (Schistocerca americana) fluttered off the ground and posed on a branch:

American Bird Grasshopper (Schistocerca americana)

American Bird Grasshopper (Schistocerca americana)

This just in – my niece just sent me a picture from the train – crazy. She took this around 11:00 (or something) this morning at Pony Pasture. When I am with dogs, I slip gently into a peaceful, almost Zen state, a graceful transcendence of my all-too-human soul to a mystical realm of pure light. You’ll know that you too have transcended when you, like me, can (after decades of practice) achieve the calm, restful demeanor of a True Master:

A combination of Mikhail Baryshnikov and an enlightened Zen master

A combination of Mikhail Baryshnikov and an enlightened Zen master (thanks for the picture Cappy!) 

Yuki is the white dog and Mackey is the black dog. Turner is the brown dog between Mackey and me. Lola is the other brown dog and Luna is the black and white dog. They’re a fun bunch!

I didn’t focus (that picture should be proof) on blogging much this week. I hope to get in a follow-up post. But I have (this will come as no surprise) a few more outdoor pictures from this week. Plus – this will be even less of a surprise – a picture of a Red-tail. I’ve taken picture of Red-tails in three separate areas of Richmond this week but I’ll only post one picture.

I got a semi-rare shot at Bryan Park with my buddy Ethan on Monday. Kingfishers don’t sit still for long but this one posed for some time. That’s the second time Ethan’s helped me get a kingfisher at Bryan Park – it’s a hard shot to get! This isn’t bad:

Female Kingfisher at Bryan Park

Female Kingfisher at Bryan Park

The same day I got a Red-tail at Bryan but it’s not a pretty shot. This one I took near Kuba Kuba Dos at the intersection of Forest and Ridge Road here in Richmond:

This is a big female Red-tail who prowls around the little shopping center at the corner of Ridge and Forest

This is a big female Red-tail who prowls around the little shopping center at the corner of Ridge and Forest

Still the same day – I had the morning off – I was hiking at Pony Pasture and someone started a leaf blower nearby. I didn’t even know this Great Blue Heron was around until it popped up and flew into this tree top:

Great blue heron HIGH in a tree at Pony Pasture

Great blue heron HIGH in a tree at Pony Pasture

Thursday I was back at Pony Pasture and I saw in quick succession an Eastern Bluebird:

December bluebird at Pony Pasture

December bluebird at Pony Pasture

A Downy Woodpecker:

Male downy woodpecker at Pony Pasture

Male downy woodpecker at Pony Pasture

And a Northern Flicker:

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker

More later this week (I hope but do not guarantee). And I hope you have a great week no matter what!

Thanks for dropping in, I hope you’ll come again, best,

Jay

PS This just in – a picture of me with the birthday girl and photographer extraordinaire (thanks for this picture Evelyn!):

Cappy! One of my five delightful nieces! Thanks for the picture Evelyn!

Cappy! One of my five delightful nieces! Thanks for the picture Evelyn!

 

About Jay McLaughlin

I am a rehabilitation counselor. I have many friends with autism and traumatic brain injuries. They help me learn new things constantly. I hike with dogs at the James River in Richmond - a lot. I've completed an Iron distance triathlon a year for 11 years. My most recent was in Wilmington, NC in November, 2013. I currently compete in mid-distance triathlons. And work and hike and take pictures and write and eat.
This entry was posted in Dogs, Fun, Insects, James River, People, Pony Pasture, raptors, Red-tailed hawks, Rivers, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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