Cherish is my favorite word, and I cherish the ability of turning the routine into a beautiful moment.
Nature creates in me, a spiritual and meditative time to bring peace, harmony and balance, into an otherwise ordinary day~
Mary Howell Cromer

Friday, July 17, 2015

Birds, Bison and Nature Painted Butterfly Wings~

We were going to visit with the in-laws of my oldest daughter Hillary one afternoon, and as we came around the curve before their property line, I snapped this Great Blue Heron, trying to hide from view.
For seven months now, I have been struggling with a pinched nerve in my neck.  The actual diagnosis that has been reviewed for me is called Cervical Radiculpathy and Cervical Spondylosis.  I went through six weeks of physical therapy that ended last January.  It had not done much, if anything to improve the constant feeling that I have an electrical current feeling going down my left arm, causing great tingling and sometimes numbness all the way from my neck into hand.  The only time that I have some relief, is when asleep.   All of this being stated, and after conversing with my Neurosurgeon and my family, as well as viewing online articles, we have decided for me to undergo a C5/6 Anterior Cervical Disectomy and Fusion on August 5, to hopefully correct the problem.  This is 80 to 90% effective and I am hoping to be in the majority and not the minority.  There will be 2 weeks of no driving, YIKES and no lifting, pulling, etc anything more than 5 pounds.  I would very much appreciate all good thoughts going up to get me through this time.  I appreciate each of you so very much.  I am so sorry that I had very limited time to access my desktop to be able to leave comments, but I was able to visit many of them and view the beauty from my laptop.  Have a wonderful week~ 

Remember to double click on the first image, to view a larger slide show presentation after you have read the narratives~

I will be linking up with Judith for:


Stewart for:

Add some rain, some Turk Cap Lily pollen and a Black Swallowtail Butterfly and you have a watercoloured Black Swallowtail.
It was really neat watching the butterfly get its wings drenched in colour from the pollen, as it took in nectar.
 The wings look like they had been dipped in magenta paint.
So beautiful!  

Sad, but oh so true!  This Red Fox vixen has Sarcoptic Mange and she will more than likely carry it to her kits and to any other fox member of her family.  This happens so much both in the country and the city and most of the times, the entire family is wiped out.  If there were only a few, then Have-A-Heart capturing of them and treatment for a few weeks would rid them of this disease, but it affects so many, and it is impossible to care for all of them.  These images are difficult to view, but it tells a story of nature that needs to be heard~

Yes, we have Buffalo/Bison in the state of Kentucky.  They used to roam this state many years ago and then they were gone.  Ranchers who raise them for their meat have brought many back into the state.  We had taken the dogs for a morning ride and stopped so that I could photograph them.  They were coming in my direction, when I decided to whistle for them.  Oh My, that was a mistake, as they turned and ran, no make that, they turned and stampeded away from me.  I hope the rancher did not see that~

Barn Swallows, baby Barn Swallows, what can I say, feathered hearts, that do amazing work, love, love them~

My neighbors Sue and Mona have lovely flowers in the Summer and I got these Skippers at Mona's~ 

Fritillary at Sue's home~

Black Swallowtails~  
One still beautifully formed, the others delicate wings torn and yet beauty still holds on~

Sue's dish plate sized Hibiscus~

This old house was quite interesting.  I had traveled further out into the county to have a day with 2 of my grands, Braden and Maci.  This place is on the back roads to their place, right in between 2 lovely homes.  I wonder what those walls would have to share, if the could speak~

I have shared Mona's garden in past, but every Summer, I enjoy walking across the lane to see what kinds of butterflies have come to sip the warm nectar from her garden flowers.  Here is some of her garden art~

Horace's Duskywing below was a first ever for me.  I really enjoyed it's beauty and watching it flitting about rather quickly.

Thank you to Eileen Hildt Wise for helping me with proper ID for this beautiful butterfly.
Just beneath the Duskywing is a sweet little Pearl Crescent Butterfly~

My 7 year old grandson Braden helps his little sister Maci Marette get down the steps to feed their pet pig Bella~

Maci loves our dogs and really loves her own dog, Lexi~

The bird nesting boxes have mostly been taken down by the good people of Foxhollow Farm.  OH SIGH!.  I always enjoy watching the many Swallows and Eastern Bluebirds that use these boxes~


  1. Thoroughly enjoyed this array, as always.

  2. A very beautiful post Mary. Something for everyone. Of course I always like the flowers best and you have captured them so beautifully.

  3. Mary, I'm sorry to hear that you've been in so much pain for the last while. I pray the surgery will go well and correct the problem and that you'll have a great recovery! Your photos are so beautiful today. I love the baby barn swallows on the line. They look like a greeting card. I've never seen a black swallowtail butterfly before. Your little grandchildren are adorable. Take care and blessings to you as you have surgery. A speedy recovery to you! Pam

  4. Oh my -you really outdid yourself with this post - so many gorgeous mosaics and photos, that I couldn't begin to pick a favorite!! Nicely done my friend.

  5. Beautiful images, I love the Butterflies, fabulous Mary.

  6. Hello Mary, gorgeous captures of the beautiful butterflies. They are like flying flowers. I love the bison, awesome captures. Sweet shots of the swallows. Your friend has a beautiful garden. I will keep you in my prayers that your surgery is a success and I wish you a quick recovery! Have a happy new week ahead!

  7. What a wonderful post!!! The blue heron is most handsome and stately in bearing. And oh my, the butterfly photos are amazing and so beautiful. They take your breath away!!! Have a wonderful week!

  8. So many fascinating things to look at and to learn about once again this week, what a wonderful post. Happy MM.

  9. Butterflies and bison and grandkids oh my! Such lovely photos....but the poor fox and poor you. Yes you'll be in thoughts and prayers and I hope that the procedure solves everything for you ! :)

  10. Sending you best wishes on your surgery and your recovery. No fun to be in pain. Gorgeous images. The poor fox. Bison in Kentucky --- who knew?! Stunning butterflies and the great heron is one of my favorite birds. Happy Monday! Be well.

  11. Wow beautiful photos Mary. Even the old house looks charming. We have Grey Herons and Red Foxes here in the UK but all the other birds and butterflies featured today are new to me. I'm sending you all my good wishes for a speedy recovery. Gillian x

  12. So sorry you have been having challenging times, health wise. Hope your surgery goes well and you are soon pain free!
    Your photos and collages are wonderful. Such beautiful butterflies, and those baby barn swallows are precious! Thanks for sharing these lovely images with us!

  13. Very beautiful birds and flowers.

  14. I didn't realize your neck was still grieving you Mary, hopefully the surgery will bring relief - and prayers that it does.
    Gorgeous butterflies, not many here this summer likely because of all the rain so I'll enjoy yours.
    It saddens me to read about the foxes, can't food injected with something for the mange be dropped for them to eat? I know a program was done here a few years back for rabies and food drops for wild animals.
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday.

  15. I'm so sorry to hear about your neck pain being so persistent, Mary. I hope the fusion surgery will give you lasting relief! Your grandchildren are adorable and I'm sure they bring you lots of joy.

    It's sad about the fox with mange=that seems to be a growing problem everywhere.

    Your butterfly and swallow photos are beautiful!

  16. Great photos! I LOVE the butterflies! Such wonderful colors and detail.

  17. Mary, Thanks so much for the lovely pictures. My favorite was the dark butterfly. I will sent healing thoughts your way. Sylvia D.

  18. Love the fox family today! And the swallows on a wire! Of course the happy 'giggling' faces will charm the socks off the codgers if you know what I mean...sweet as candy those photos are.

    And I do hope your treatment choice for August will help !00 percent.

  19. I am so sorry that you are in pain. I will pray for your quick recovery. Your photos are just beautiful. Those little barn swallows made me smile. I loved your description of their wee chests "feathered hearts". The butterfly photos are stunning.

  20. I hope the surgery helps you. The pain sounds horrible! Meanwhile you are still taking great photos! Maci is adorable!

  21. There is so much in this post, all beautiful shots. The first butterfly matched the flower it is on. So sad about all the foxes. Loe the Buffalo shots adn the young Barn Swallows are so cute. Your flower close ups re gorgeous. I hope you pain goes away VERY soon.

  22. All great photos but the butterflies are especially beautiful.
    I hope your operation goes well and gives you relief from pain.

  23. So many wonderful images here Mary especially the butterflies....poor fox. I will be saying a few prayers and holding you in my thoughts for your surgery so you can have some relief.

  24. Stunning butterflies and the bison look like real beasts. Hope you're feeling better soon.

  25. Your photography, as always, is a joy to view! I so enjoy my visits here. Sorry about the nerve pain - I will be praying for your surgery and will note it on my calendar as a reminder. Sweet family photos too. One of our daughters is moving forward in adoption of a child they have fostered since he was born almost two years ago. They have given him the name Braden. Oh, just remembered, his birthday is August 5th. That will remind me of your surgery :)

  26. I always admire your photography; this time, especially the butterflies, one of my favorites to photograph. Buffalo are also raised here. I am not sure that I would be brave enough to get close enough to photograph them. Excellent photos. The surgery will go well. Heal quickly.

  27. My gracious what a gorgeous post. Thank you for sharing.
    Thoughts and prayers for you upcoming procedure and speedy recovery.

  28. Hey again Mary...thanks for popping in for a visit with me at Hootin' Anni's this morning. Yep, I know just what you mean about the difference in loading time comparing laptops and desktops.

    Again, I really enjoyed the photo shares this time 'round. Had to scroll through them once again for pure enjoyment early today.

  29. I wish all the best luck going for your operation Mary. I am sure it is for the best and equally I am certain you will be more than the 80 or 90% effectively improved.

    The pictures of the Black Swallowtail are just perfect against the orange colour of the lily. What a wonderful creature that is.

    I have to agree that those Red Foxes do look in poor condition. And such a shame that the whole family will be affected in the same way. Nature can indeed be cruel.

    Your swallows seem to be at the same stage as our own. Eventually I should say as ours are late after a poor spring and equally awful summer (so far).

    Thank you for another lovely post Mary. Pictures and words that have a lot or a little for everyone who tunes in, whatever their particular interest.

    Take it easy and don’t stress.

  30. I hope all goes well.
    So many beautiful captures. Those swallows are gorgeous and it must be good to see bison back. What a beautiful garden that is and you capture butterflies very well, I am hopeless at that. One day I hope to have a garden like that with many flowers.

  31. Gorgeous images. I love those sweet barn swallows on the wire. Two of them look so happy together and I wonder if the third one, by himself, is lonely.
    I'm sorry to hear about your neck troubles and hope the surgery will correct it.

  32. Birds, butterflies, bison, blooms - Beautiful!

    Thank you so much for sharing the beauty in your world! We're saying a prayer for you to heal quickly.

  33. stunning images as always. Love the different species you share. Love the Bison and the butterfly is stunning.

  34. Such a wonderful collection of images as always. I have to say the black butterfly against the orange lily has to be one of the most stunning images I've seen - so striking and beautiful. I love the baby barn swallows too - aren't they cute and fluffy. I would have been extremely nervous around the buffalo - I believe they are quite dangerous and thank goodness they ran in the opposite direction to you! Thank you for sharing your world with us again, and also thank you for stopping by my blog earlier - it was lovely to see you!


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