Tag Archives: nature

Monarch butterfly


Photo credit: Rick L. Hansen, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Wikimedia

Monarch butterflies have been in decline for years. As a result, backyard gardeners, butterfly lovers and environmentalists have been encouraging homeowners (and renters) to provide plants for Monarchs. I found the following graphic on Facebook and thought I would share it here:


  1. Plant milkweed. It is important to locate seeds and plants that are native to your area. Very, very important.
  2. Encourage your locals schools and businesses to allow a Monarch-friendly patch of milkweed and other butterfly-friendly plants to thrive. Important: do not mow down plants until and unless they have gone to seed or died back naturally.
  3. No pesticides: my property is a pesticide-free zone. During the warm months, there are hundreds of insect species that stop by or live here including butterflies, bees, wasps (not all are bad), dragonflies, flies, and more.
  4. Share this information with others. If I had my way, pesticides would be banned from use by the general public and government entities.

More information: Journey North Monarch Butterfly project.


First snowfall – video


Surprise snowfall this morning in Connecticut, New England, USA. Snow before Halloween is unusual in the southern half of the state. After about two hours it turned to sleet and then rain leaving only small, sheltered reminders of the winter to come.

Note: Video and still photography captured using Canon Rebel T3i. YouTube video put together using YouTube Video Editor which was a complete nightmare. Never again.

The snow kisses the trees


What a wonderful, beautiful quote. Lewis Carroll knew. He just knew.

winter snow Lewis Carroll

Leaf Peeping in Connecticut


Machimoodus State Park in beautiful East Haddam, Connecticut provides nature lovers with seasonal opportunities to enjoy native plants and wildlife while hiking, fishing, picnicking, horseback riding, and birding. Stunning views reward the hiker who makes it to the vistas overlooking the Salmon and Connecticut Rivers.

This slide show was created as a New Media Productions project.

Connecticut River – September 17, 2015


The Connecticut River at Route 82 from Haddam across the Swing Bridge to East Haddam is a beautiful sight. I have photographed it previously, but never with mist rising from the water and an early morning sun.

CT River-1

Connecticut River at Eagle Landing State Park facing east. September 17, 2015. Copyright 2015 Michele Haynes. All rights reserved.

CT River-2

Connecticut River at Eagle Landing State Park facing east. September 17, 2015. Copyright 2015 Michele Haynes. All rights reserved.

Goodspeed Opera House - East Haddam, CT on the Connecticut River. September 17, 2015. Copyright 2015 Michele Haynes. All rights reserved.

Goodspeed Opera House – East Haddam, CT on the Connecticut River. September 17, 2015. Copyright 2015 Michele Haynes. All rights reserved.

Connecticut in July


Took a little walk this morning in the light rain and captured a little bit of Connecticut’s beauty. Enjoy!





Never Forget to Cultivate Beauty


This post from my other blog Texas Adventures in New England on June 3, 2011 seemed to follow well after yesterday’s post on Beauty.


I have been sick with a virus I caught from the boys this past week: coughing, stuffy head, sinuses so sore my teeth hurt, and even more exhaustion than normal. What little I normally accomplished was forgotten as I spent day and night on the couch taking my prescription cough syrup with codeine every 6 hours, trying to stay hydrated and eat what little I could stomach.

This morning the cats decided to go exploring on the kitchen counter. Suddenly I heard this huge bang and the sound of broken glass. TJ, one of our almost-grown kittens, had managed to knock down a huge cutting board, casserole dish and my Bonnie Hunt mug. Everything was intact except for the Bonnie Hunt mug that was in pieces all over my floor.

While picking up pieces I glanced out onto the deck and saw my poor Mother’s Day hanging basket, completely devoid of moisture and looking pretty dead. I remember thinking to myself the last two days that it would need some water soon because we hadn’t gotten any rain lately. Of course, the moment I turned my head the thought was gone.

So we return to this morning and my poor, poor hanging basket. My beautiful flowers looked dead. I carried the basket into the cool kitchen and placed it in the sink where I sprayed the soil and every inch of the plant itself willing life back into it. While spraying my poor plant I realized that the last few months I had not been enjoying the beauty in life. A few nights ago I forced myself to sit out on the front steps and look up at the night sky. Our night sky here is breathtaking. Instead of soaking it in, this beauty free for the taking whenever it is clear, I usually ignore it. Instead of watering and cultivating my beautiful Mother’s Day hanging basket I had ignored it as well.

A few hours later I dragged myself back into the kitchen to get something else to drink and was so blessed to find my flowers had sprung back to life. They had been on the edge; I knew that.

I then realized that I had been letting my infirmities overshadow all of the beauty in my life. There is much to be found and enjoyed. It takes just a teeny bit of effort and there is the night sky with millions, nay billions of stars painted on a background of space. My beautiful hanging basket blooms and blooms with just the occasional watering. It doesn’t take a lot of work, but if I neglect the beauty in my life I let ugliness creep in and win.

I choose to cultivate beauty!