ColumbiaMagazine.com
Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  
 
























 
The Whitehurst Diaries: Gems of Blue for a Grey Day

There were other vivid colors hinting of fall, but on this early September walk with and among her farm companions, it was the blue brighteners which captured the mood of the day
Click on headline for story plus photo(s)

By Sharon Whitehurst

The weather is still overcast with brooding skies that suggest we've not seen the end of the welcome rain.

I was outside in my sturdy wellies and a warm 'hoodie' at 7 this morning--and considerably startled to see a young Black Angus bull [or maybe a steer?] plodding along the edge of the lower garden, which is open to the rest of our side pasture strip.


I blinked, stood staring, and decided the creature really was on our side of the boundary fence.

I considered the situation briefly, decided that if the bovine turned menacing the stretch of soggy ground between us would be in my favor.

I made shooing motions and sounds, the Angus pondered visibly, then began to amble up the fence line toward the woods, with me urging him along at a respectful distance.

The fence had sagged and he stepped over it, a back hoof twanging the wire. I watched him head for the rest of the neighboring herd, then continued on my way to the barn.

Pebbles the Horse hadn't missed this little byplay and was standing at the edge of her enclosure whickering indignantly.

I gave her the daily ration of grain she demands, kicked a pile of fragrant hay into place for her later snacks, poured out kibble for the barn cats.

Back outside I turned in a slow 360 degrees, eyeing the lowering sky from every angle.

It would take a more optimistic view than mine to declare that the bulging layers of cloud displayed more than the barest hint of slatey blue.

Bypasing the shortcut along the upper garden fence, I clumped along the old track past the clothesline.

Trumpet vine clambers over the woodpile and grasps its way up a crabapple tree near the path; just beyond, a bluebird house hangs, weathered and crinkle-roofed in a redbud tree, undisturbed since Haskell Rogers placed it there years ago.

The lapis blue of the little feather lying in the damp grass fairly shouted in the muted grey and wet green of the morning.

A gold leaf glowed through the transparent barbs.I pulled my camera from a deep pocket, snapped photos from several angles before gently lifting the feather for a closer look.

I placed it carefully back in the grass, then decided to claim it as a treasure, bringing it inside.

It is the habit of a lilfetime, this clutching and hoarding of found items.

My Grampa Mac fostered this bent when in childhood I returned from any foray into field or woods, my pockets stuffed with pebbles, clumps of moss, acorn caps, or with a fallen bird's nest cupped in my hand.

He set up a makeshift table on his front porch and invited me to display my treasures there.

In each place I have lived, a jumble of small rocks crowd an old bowl, bird nests gather dust on a shelf; dried flowers sift from the pages of books.

I was well pleased with my glimpse of blue on a dark wet day, but there was another gift in store.

Near the garden gate a butterfly flexed sapphire-dusted wings in the wet grass.

[Sally the Barn Cat made a dash for it seconds after I snapped the picture.]

I thought I had encountered a Black Swallowtail until I loaded the photo and realized someresearch was needed.

This is a "red-spotted-purple" butterfly, formally labeled Limenitis Arthemis.One of its preferred hosts is malus--so the gnarled appletrees of our back dooryard extend a welcome.

What's in a name?

I still count this as a sighting of 'something blue!' -Sharon Whitehurst

PS: Thanks to our good neighbor Dale Hayes, Randall Richard, the owner of the cattle, came over promptly and checked the fenceline and most courteously stopped at the house to let me know he'd done that.Good people here! Good neighbors, Dale Hayes and Randall Richard! -Sharon


This story was posted on 2011-09-09 02:41:51
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.


 

To sponsor news and features on ColumbiaMagazine, please use our contact form.

Butterflies of Kentucky: Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly



2011-09-08 - Old Gradyville RD, Gradyville, KY - Photo by Sharon Whitehurst.
Sharon Whitehurst writes, here's the photo of the 'red-spotted-purple butterfly'- Limenitis Arthemis. Learning some new bit of nature lore makes my day! -Sharon Whitehurst

Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.



The Whitehurst Diaries: Something Blue



2011-09-09 - Old Gradyville RD, Gradyville, KY - Photo by Sharon Whitehurst. A Blue Feather another Blue Gem on a Gray Day in Gradyville.
Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.



 























 
 
Quick Links to Popular Features


 

ColumbiaMagazine.com content is available as an RSS/XML feed for your RSS reader or other news aggregator.
Use the following link: http://www.columbiamagazine.com/columbiamagazinerss.php.

Contact us: Columbia Magazine and columbiamagazine.com are published by D'Zine, Ltd., PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270-250-2730 Fax: 270-751-0401


Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to webmaster@columbiamagazine.com. All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia! Magazine and D'Zine, Ltd. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.