Wednesday through Saturday, April 9-12—Hummingbirds and Butterflies


Having a house for sale while still living in it means that one doesn’t really have a normal life.  We always do a good job of keeping the house clean and things picked up, but everything is now really put away, and while we’re still trying to have some semblance of normality, it just doesn’t exist—more stress!  With all the activity Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday was a bit more sedate.  John and Ed invited me to fish with them, and we met at Rim Shoals about mid-morning.  It was 34.6° when we awoke, and it need to warm up several degrees before fishing.  The White River was high, and the fish were slow to take a fly.  John and Ed each caught 2 fish, and I ran the motor.   While I was gone, Kay spotted our first of year Ruby Throated Hummingbird!

140411 E 007John and Ed dropped me off at lunch, and as I needed some exercise and quiet time, and I went for a 15-mile bicycle ride in the late afternoon, seeing lots of butterflies, but didn’t have a camera.  As for the ride, the hills here in northern Arkansas are a challenge and the roads rough.  My TREK road bike is built for smooth surfaces, and I felt every piece of gravel on the chip and seal.  Here are the stats:

Ride Time: 1:32:48

Stopped Time: 11:22

Distance: 15.00 miles

Average: 9.70 mph

Fastest Speed: 26.45 mph

Ascent: 486 feet

Descent: 590 feet

Calories: 1004

Things in Baxter County move slowly, very slowly.  As of Thursday, the listing had not been posted on MLS.  Kay is working as hard as she can to facilitate getting that done, and she’s known in her real estate office for having all the “i’s” dotted and “t’s” crossed, but it is Baxter County!  More hurry up and wait.  I have the type of personality such that I want it done and want it done now.  Kay is my balancing act, and provides the levity our relationship needs!  Wayne and I took a great drive to southern Missouri to look at fishing spots at Bryant Creek and North Fork of the White River.    They were both high, with significant discharge, but look like some “new to me” places to fish.  Wayne has fished there before and had moderate success.  While visiting one of the campgrounds, we saw a friend of his and visited briefly with him; he was suiting up to fish with caddis flies.  Now that the Norfork has lost its appeal, and perhaps when the water goes down…  Kay and I enjoyed a nice evening sitting on the patio watching the birds, and saw a Questionmark Butterfly light in one of the cedar trees nearby.  Things are looking up!

Friday morning we had breakfast on the patio, and saw an American Lady butterfly land nearby.  It stayed put long enough for a decent photo, both closed (photo) and open showing its orange and black.  This great start to the day provided impetus for a bicycle ride and chasing butterflies—highs in the low 80s and slight breeze.  I rode along the White River, and saw five species of Swalllowtails:  Zebra Swallowtail (photo), Giant Swallowtail, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Black Swallowtail (photo), and Pipevine Swallowtail (photo); several Monarchs (photo); and bunches of male and female Falcated Orangetips (photo). 

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The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail has eluded photographing for several days now!  Also observed were a number of birds, including a Bald Eagle.  Here are ride stats:

Ride Time: 1:58:17

Stopped Time: 1:00:47

Distance: 18.73 miles

Average: 9.50 mph

Fastest Speed: 29.89 mph

Ascent: 790 feet

Descent: 827 feet

Calories: 1178

Friday evening, we had a delightful visit with John and Sandy, and played bridge for a couple of hours—what fun!  Maybe we can do it again sometime.

All of the bicycles had dirty, greasy chains, and Saturday was “Clean Bicycle Chains Day”.  The job got done, but not without grease and grime all over me, though I’ve learned to wear disposable gloves for chores like this.  We put the rack on the Honda, loaded the bikes, and went for a leisurely ride.  The 10-15 miles per hour wind proved formidable, but some butterflies were still flying, and I finally photographed the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, and got a decent photo of a Pipevine Swallowtail.

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It was a successful day indeed!  Here are ride stats:

Ride Time: 1:03:33

Stopped Time: 37:44

Distance: 8.10 miles

Average: 7.65 mph

Fastest Speed: 16.15 mph

Ascent: 104 feet

Descent: 0 feet

Calories: 494

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