Suddenly beautiful

30 August, 2020            Suddenly beautiful

It’s sunny and not real hot and the humidity’s down – living things are thriving in central Virginia! Evelyn has planted an array of native flowers and other plants in our yard to attract pollinators – and her efforts are paying off! This Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) fluttered past my window as I was typing the first draft of this post: 

Monarch butterfly on the flowers Evelyn planted – right outside my office window!

Here’s a rose from our backyard from earlier this week: 

This rose looks so good it makes ME want to eat it!

Also – Monarchs aren’t the only butterflies around at the moment. I may have seen one before but I don’t recall getting a picture like this. This is a Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia); I got this image at Bryan Park this week: 

Common Buckeye at Bryan Park:

A leopard frog surprised me hopping right down the middle of the path near the pasture in the back of Pony Pasture. This is right in the center of the spot where I see thousands and thousands and thousands of tadpoles each Spring. One of them became this Leopard frog: 

Pony Pasture leopard frog

I’m also seeing lots and lots of dragonflies; if you’re unaware, they eat mosquitoes! I haven’t photographed any real flashy ones recently, but this one posed cooperatively on my car door while I loaded my bike at West Creek Thursday afternoon: 

Dragonfly hitchhiking on my car door at West Creek this week:

I can hardly believe I’d put a rose in a blog post and leave out a gardenia! Although I’ll tell you why – Ev went out of town for a couple of days and there was one bloom, and it was spindly. Within about twenty-four hours of her return, I think I counted seven blooms, and they were all stunning. I always feel like I’m keeping something to myself when I post a picture of a gardenia; the smell is beyond compare. But they’re graceful and (IMO) satisfying to look at : 


Our big friend Yuki was out of town this morning so Mackey and Turner and I went to Pony Pasture ourselves. Yuki missed a spectacular late August morning; it was 73º when we parked the car. I’m always grateful to be there: 

I emailed this to myself with the subject “Never a bad time”

As I wrote in the caption, I emailed that picture to myself with the subject “Never a bad time.” Because there is just never a bad time to go to Pony Pasture with dogs. There are not a ton of things I can really, really count on – but if I hike at the river with dogs, I won’t have a bad time. Ever. Talk about a gift!

I think I’ll wrap it up! The next time I put up a blog post it’ll be September! An acquaintance told me that because of coronavirus, the kids in his county would be going to “virtue school” beginning on September 8. I’ve known some who should have gone to virtue school ten years ago! But at least they’ll have the opportunity in 2020. 

Have a great week, 


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 Birds, Dogs, Emerson, Flowers, Fun, Gardenias, Insects, James River, love, newfaze, People, Pony Pasture, Rivers, roses, simplify, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Suddenly beautiful

  1. Pingback: Work in progress  | NEWFAZE

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