Saturday Snapshot August 9: Small is Beautiful

In my last Saturday Snapshot, I posted my serendipitous sighting of a Pelican. One of the largest flying birds, the Pelican has a wingspan of 9 feet, and some weigh close to 30 pounds. The Pelican can fly, amazing at 30 pounds; a butterfly can fly too, equally amazing at 0.5 gram, wingspan averaging 5 cm. I’d love to see the Monarch butterfly. They don’t come by here. Maybe I’ll be able to see some one day when I travel to the east coast. Aren’t they just as mind-boggling? Flying as many as 2,000 miles in migration with such a minuscule body? Where do they put their GPS? Butterfly Something even smaller… What caught my attention are the two seeds like stars. How small and delicate they look compared to the dragonfly: dandelion seeds Here’s another kind of small. Succulent, plump and colourful. Real food for the birds, imaginary treats for me. Don’t they look like round scoops of ice cream? fruits   And the small songbirds in the woods are my favourites. This House Wren is not adorned with bright colours, but a closer look at the different layers of down and feathers you can see the various shades of colours and pattern. And this juvenile looks charming to me:   House Wren Yes, the Pelican is majestic, mesmerizing when it flies. But a tiny Yellow Warbler can make my day too. Looks like the feeling is mutual:

Yellow Warbler

I don’t get to see a Pelican everyday, but these tiny creatures can tide me over till the next serendipity.


Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads. Click Here to see what others have posted.




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If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

42 thoughts on “Saturday Snapshot August 9: Small is Beautiful”

  1. So much beauty! I’ve never seen a warbler. That may be my inattention as much as anything, combined with living on the Gulf coast, where there aren’t the sorts of environment these birds prefer. But my — I’d love to see one.

    We do see the monarchs from time to time, but not every year. Their flight path changes, apparently, depending on food sources and such. I wonder if they have a little Fodor’s for butterflies?


    1. Linda,

      You can see from this map how ‘common’ the warblers are, saturated in all of N. A. except, in the southern Gulf coast where you only see them during migration to S.A. Mind you, I see them only in the short summer months and since they are so very tiny, it’s hard to see the yellow bottom to ID them. And they fly so swiftly.
      Monarchs are amazing, having read about them only so hopefully I can see them when I go to Toronto in Sept. May bring my ‘birding camera’ to watch for some migratory birds.


  2. Gorgeous! That yellow warbler — I’ve never seen one. Love the wee bits of red in his chest. And oh, those berries!

    I see fewer monarchs than I used to — they’re so lovely. One of my favorite experiences several years ago was visiting the Butterfly Garden in Chesterfield, MO, with Diana/Oh. It was truly magical to see these butterflies so close.

    I’d say your world is pretty darned beautiful — and you show it off so well!


    1. Jeanie,

      Do click on the link I left in my reply to Linda above, you’ll see how ubiquitous the Yellow Warblers are. But for me, I’ve only ‘discovered’ them recently. They are hard to photograph too, since they seldom stay still for longer than a few seconds. I’d love to see the Monarch butterflies. I look forward to seeing some migratory birds in the next few weeks. Sept. is a good month for both films and birds. 😉


  3. A warbler caught in the act of warbling! Brilliant work, Arti. I was wondering what kind of birds the twitter brigade were outside my window. I think they might be house wrens — diminutive and flittery, they’re difficult to photograph.


    1. nikkipolani,

      I’m sure in your warmer climate you’ll have more varieties than we do here. Most curious to see what your flying visitors are. Maybe a video camera can do the job.


    1. Sandra,

      Yes, I like to save the best till last. That Yellow Warbler pic sure had made my day. Mind you, I didn’t see that expression when I first took the photo since it was so far away. Not until I’d uploaded the pics.


  4. What beautiful beautiful photos! I feel your awe, and share it. Where I live in the SF bay area, I see pelicans fly over the bay and just stare with my jaw open. But right on our deck, I listen to and watch the tiny hummingbirds as they suck up the feeder’s sweet juice. All of these sights are blessings.


    1. Pam,

      You must see so many Pelicans that you wouldn’t use the word serendipity. For me, it was a chance encounter. These warblers too, I see them swiftly dash from trees to trees but so hard to take a good photo of them. And you’ve called out the bird I’ve always wanted to see, the Hummingbirds. I must admit I haven’t seen any here. Thanks for stopping by the pond and throwing in your two pebbles. Hope to hear from you again. 😉


  5. I totally agree Arti.. I love every one of your images here, beautifully captured. We see pelicans quite often, easy to catch on the ground but as you say difficult in flight but… I was more excited about catching a teeny blue fairy wren a while back than anything else, mainly because they flit around so blooming fast that they’re almost impossible to snap 🙂


    1. Grace,

      Thanks for stopping by Ripple Effects and leaving your kind comment. Glad you’ve enjoyed the photos and good to hear from a bird photographer. Isn’t it true that the larger birds are easier to shoot than the swift and jerky movements of the smallest birds. But such a challenge is the exact pleasure of birding. 😉


    1. Joanna,

      We have many dragonflies here. Some I was told are damselflies. I can’t tell which is which. They come in some very beautiful colours. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment.


      1. Right after I left that comment, I was at the store looking at greeting cards and there were several beautiful ones with pictures of damselflies. I realized that I know very little about that sort of insect, so maybe I will do a little research.


  6. Small is indeed beautiful! I have been entranced all summer watching the bumblebees and dragon flies and butterflies. I saw a monarch the other day float through the garden. Such a happy sight. We get house wrens too and I love them. They make the loudest piercing kind of screech that always amazes me coming from such a tiny bird. Soon we will have goldfinches coming through and I can’t wait!


    1. Stefanie,

      How wonderful to have the Monarch butterfly arriving at your garden! I’m sure your flowers and plants must have attracted many birds and bees. Just great, right at your doorstep.
      And on another note, I remember you were thinking of finishing Vol. 3 of Proust’s (The Guermantes’ Way) Bellezza and I will be attempting it this fall, maybe Oct. and in a snail-paced (likely a few months) and low key way. If that’s a suitable time for you, you’re most welcome to join in. 🙂


    1. Barbara,

      They move so swiftly. Hard to get one staying on a branch for more than 5 secs. Glad to have caught this one. Thanks for stopping by. 😉


  7. Your photos of the birds and the dragonfly are incredible. Liking to take nature photos myself, I know how quiet and still you must have needed to be. 🙂

    I like the berry photo too and your caption. It’s a small moment that many might miss. Thanks for sharing it!


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