New butterflies and a casserole

Thank heaven fall has finally arrived in North Texas.  We wait soooooo long, so I've been crazed to get outside every chance this weekend.  The timing is perfect as I need to walk off lots of stress related to my father's health and the sale of his house.

Friday I took a long walk at Plano's Oak Point Nature Preserve.  Saturday I walked along the creek in Highland Park.  Sunday I visited the Heard Nature Sanctuary in McKinney.  Today I walked along my own little creek, and then out at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. 

Concentrating on nature photography takes every problem out of my mind.  When I get back to the computer, there are still logistics to figure and phone calls to make.  For a little while, though, the butterflies and spiders take charge.

At the Heard there were many medium sized butterflies obviously attracted to tree trunks.  They didn't seem to be exactly the same, but they had the same ability to become camouflaged on the trunks.  Hackberry Emperor butterflies, Asterocampa celtis, were new to me; not colorful or flashy, but intriguing.

Look hard for these two.


This is a common checkered skipper, according to my Audubon field guide.  I'm sure I've seen them many times before, but the sun caught the slightly blue body just right today on the blue salvia.  So now I know its name. 

As for the casserole, it is exciting to use my oven again without overworking the air conditioner.  I walked to the grocery store for the ingredients this noon.  I needed to use up some frozen hash browns, so got chicken, cream of chicken soup, frozen broccoli, and shredded monterey jack cheese.  Plebian, yes.  Satisfying, indeed.

And now for the spider:

© 2010 Nancy L. Ruder

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