Always hope

24th August 2022

One of my frustrations, of which it’s fair to say, there are a few, ought to have a solution. The question is whether I shall ever get around to finding it.

There is an insect in the photograph on the left. I noticed it when I was attempting to capture raindrops.

But this was the best I could do. I also failed to discover its identity. Perhaps it is a tiny variety of stick insect?

It certainly enjoys great camouflage.

Late yesterday Grant called me outside to view this scary-looking beast that we’d never seen before.

A Pelecinid wasp. It’s nice to know it does not target people!

My mother would not appreciate this at all.

Slugs were her bitterest enemies and she dealt with them harshly to protect her garden.

My own attitude is rather laisser-faire.

What is a slug but a homeless snail?

This poor chap was seeking a bit of carrot.

No it wasn’t. I was amused by the reflection and the colours, so I took a picture.

After a very wet 24 hours, slugs were out in force.

Earlier, I had rescued a monarch caterpillar from that sliding door. Not a good place to park yourself…

Suddenly, it’s all happening in the “Monarchy”.

After seeing the wasp, I had shown Grant where one of the caterpillars was hanging from siding on the back of the house.

“I think it’s dead” he said.

Two days ago
This morning

“Not dead. Just in transition.”

Another caterpillar, in similar disposition had caught my eye the day before.

Overnight it had become a chrysalis. This one defied my limited photographic capabilities.

It is very close to the ground. Had I laid on my belly, I doubt I could have got it in focus, the camera always wanting to capture more interesting forms beyond.

My concern with this chrysalis is that little black blob at the bottom. I am not sure what it is, but I don’t plan to blunder about investigating.

This earlier Monarch chose to attach itself to the famous poke-weed, so it’s a good thing I didn’t allow Grant to tackle it just yet.

During my brief garden foray the other afternoon, I removed a few very dead looking plants, but one has to proceed with great care…

In Spring, you look out for nests, now it’s caterpillars and chrysalises. And I discovered that Monarchs descend to the ground, seeking what they need, so you even have to watch where you place your feet.

The chrysalises seem so vulnerable, but in about a week, hopefully there will be some blessed events.

They are so neat. The little row of golden dots makes me think they are all “zipped up”. Those dots mark what will become the edges of wings. It is all so totally amazing.


Proof, today, that one should never surrender hope.

In the Spring, this Rose of Sharon was sad and naked.

It’s companions nearby were spouting new growth and promising blooms which come forth in late Summer .

Why was this plant still dormant?

Deer snack on these plants but I thought perhaps the over-hanging tree had possibly affected this one .

Bending one of its forlorn branches, I could see that there was still life within, but having no idea what else to do, I murmured words of encouragement.

Something daft, like:

“Take your time. You’ll be fine. I love you.”

Now, in just the past 2 weeks it has sprouted not only leaves but numerous buds.

No doubt they will be just as beautiful as these.

Soon, I hope to discover what can be done to correct my eyesight which has become almost dizzying.

When walking in the garden I often resort to keeping one eye closed.

It seems strange therefore, that more than once now, I have managed to zero in on the tiniest bird, in the bushiest of bushes.

A red-throated hummingbird.

After our first hummingbirds arrived in the Spring, they all but disappeared. Then earlier this month they were back with what must be babies.

Junior hummingbird.

Another of Nature’s little miracles.

How do they know where to come back to, from so far away and how do they remember where we hang the feeders? How do they teach this to their babies?

How do they stay on course, in a high wind?

Without even leaving my humble property, I can find endless entertainment and wonder.

There is always something to hope for and celebrate.

5 thoughts on “Always hope

  1. Despite milkweed, I have seen only one Monarch Butterfly here this year. Your caterpillars and chrysalis pictures do indeed provide hope for that iconic, now endangered, butterfly. I fear that the farmers around us are using chemicals that contribute to the loss of Monarchs, which were numerous here ten years ago. Thanks for your always fascinating posts and pictures!

  2. Nature is truly wonderful. I think of gales and torrential rain and wonder at the resilience of tiny, almost weightless creatures, but also the large or feathered ones who become waterlogged. Magic!

  3. Oh my … that Pelecinid wasp looks scary – its tail!! I like your hummingbird photos very much, their wings in constant movement, it’s so pretty! Oh, and I’m happy that your Rose of Sharon is showing its beautiful side – Nature is amazing!

  4. That scary-looking wasp doesn’t actually sting. It lays its eggs on beetle grubs using that long tube, and the baby wasps eat the grubs alive. Pretty gruesome. I’m glad they are not as big as pigeons!
    Best wishes, Pete.

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