Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Natural gifts

As you may have noticed, many of God's gifts to me come in the world He has created. Here are a few recent ones, from yesterday at the beach:

779. The Common Kingfisher. I actually saw this beautiful bird flash by last time we went swimming, but I thought I was dreaming. Surely there aren't any birds that brightly colored outside of the tropics? Yesterday I got a good enough look to be sure of what I had seen and look it up. (Not my photo. Click to go to where I found it.)

780. The bat that flew down for a drink, right in front of us, in broad daylight! Either we awakened it with our noise, or they just get thirsty while sleeping on hot days. I was thrilled to see one so clearly. I enjoy watching them around the streetlights outside our window when I go to bed, but they're just shadowy blurs then. This was entirely different.

781. The perfectly peaceful, glassy water. The I photo posted of Jaan enjoying it yesterday really captures the beauty.

782. When the wind picked up, and little waves started, beetles floated in by the hundreds. I loved watching Jaan and Raia scurrying around to collect them. Yozh had a feast last night!

783. Last week, as we were walking down to the beach, we found a place where water was leaking. There were hundreds of white and blue butterflies puddling there. That was enough to excite us. But, in the middle of the clouds of other butterflies, there were two different kinds of swallowtails! In America I would have said Tiger Swallotail and Zebra. Here I think it was an Old World Swallowtail (left) and a Scarce Swallowtail. They stayed right next to each other, intently drinking. After a while, I got my finger wet, and picked one of them up, letting it drink on my finger. (Again, the photo is not mine. Click to go to where I found it.)

784. This one is from earlier; I had written it before we even had internet set up:
We found a field full of butterflies in the park while we were walking. When we stopped to watch them, we noticed that one of the blue ones was laying eggs. Jaan was enthralled. We took one of the eggs that we saw her lay. Then, as we crouched there, holding our breath, she came back and laid another egg on the leaves in my hand! It was just a perfect moment.