A Daisy in the Leaves

Daisy in the Leaves By Melanie Reynolds

Daisy would like to remind you to leave the leaves unless they create a safety hazard on your walkway or driveway.

Our human desire to meet perceived expectations of what “a nice yard” looks like often contributes to more harm than good. Your shrubbery does not have to be perfectly coiffed, nor does it need to be wrapped around a perfectly trimmed and unblemished expanse of grass.

We must undo the pragmatism of “overdoing it” when it comes to rakes, leaf blowers, chainsaws, loppers and pruning shears. Save your gas and your oil. Let the decomposers do their job. Let the moths settle into the leaves.

One of my favorite computer file folders is entitled “Moths etc.” with the etcetera being dragonflies, butterflies and bees. Beetles and arachnids get their own file folders because there are so many of them. I’m not very good at identifying moths I know what the green ones are and what a Swallowtail looks like, the others are just described by defining features.

A few of my favorite visitors:

Hawkmoth Moth, Family Sphingidae

Pero occidentalis, Family Geometridae

Green Emerald Geometrid(?), Family Geometridae

Campaea perlata, Family Geometridae

Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus), Family Papilionidae

And finally, this rare sighing on July 23, 2015 at 2:35pm (according to my photo metadata.)

A wayward traveler? Closest match found Purple King Shoemaker (Archaeoprepona demphon) from Mexico or Central America. Thank you for the special visit! Interestingly enough, I’d dreamt about a blue butterfly months before this one appeared on my doorstep. If that isn’t the universe’s way of slapping you with a side of mysterious meaning, I don’t know what qualifies then!

All of these pictures were taking on my front porch which is a popular gathering place for moths and butterflies. The porch is covered with a southeast sun exposure and dappled light through a cluster of mixed trees that provide a rich soft slope of humus and decaying leaves left mostly undisturbed.

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans and anyone else who celebrates the day!

While the origin story of the holiday is a myth, the fact remains that for many of us the day has always been about spending time with family and being grateful for what we have. Nature offers a bounty of wonder for those who know where to look. Protect what we have with strength and humility. No mashed potatoes for the nihilists! (<-humor)


Reminder:

November: Fungi/Mushrooms Due: November 30th.

December: Nature at rest Due: December 31st.

Photo Submissions

Email to: natureledlife@gmail.com

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Thank you!