Sunday, August 31, 2014

An August Afternoon Butterfly Tour in Americus

Allow me to transport you to my garden for a quick butterfly tour.  If you were here, these are the things I would be sharing with you.  Please understand that our garden is private and exclusive for registered guests only.

(If you want to see larger photos, just click on them.)
In the butterfly bush, there are lots of silver spotted skippers, like this one.

Silver Spotted Skipper at Americus Garden Inn
Another brown butterfly, a duskywing has just appeared.  Check out the beautiful design on those wings.
Duskywing at Americus Garden Inn
No, that is not a bee or a butterfly.  It is a bee mimic, a hummingbird moth, also known as a clearwing hummingbird moth.
Clearwing hummingbird moth at Americus Garden Inn
It looks like a couple of skippers have found each other.  Notice the slight color variation - one is male and one is female.  Love is in the air.
Skippers at Americus Garden Inn
Look at those huge eye spots on the wings of the buckeye butterfly.  They are so incredibly vibrant.
Buckeye butterfly at Americus Garden Inn
A gulf fritillary butterfly on the purple queen.  Wow!  The orange really stands out against the purple.
Gulf Fritillary at Americus Garden Inn
Another buckeye with its wings totally open.  Absolutely gorgeous!  I love this photo.  It is exactly as I saw it.
Buckeye Butterfly at Americus Garden Inn
Another gulf fritillary.  There were so many of them.  They do not look real, they are so incredibly colorful.
Gulf fritillary butterfly at Americus Garden Inn
This sleepy orange butterfly was not very cooperative, so, this is the best photo I could get.
Sleepy Orange at Americus Garden Inn
A duskywing on the salvia.  So easy to miss these brown beauties.
Duskywing at Americus Garden Inn
Do you hear that?  It's a cicada on the bald cypress tree.
Cicada at Americus Garden Inn
A little brown skipper hanging upside down on the lespedeza.  I love the word - lespedeza.
Brown skipper at Americus Garden Inn
Did you notice that small bluish white butterfly?  It is an azure butterfly.  It just landed on the lespedeza and it appears to be depositing eggs.
Azure butterfly at Americus Garden Inn
Can you see it?  Take a closer look.
lynx spider at Americus Garden Inn
Let's take a closer look at the green lynx spider hiding in the  black-eyed susans waiting to jump out an catch a meal.
green lynx spider at Americus Garden Inn
A longtailed skipper just landed in the butterfly bush.
Longtailed skipper at Americus Garden Inn
Another buckeye makes an appearance. 
buckeye butterfly at Americus Garden Inn
A dragonfly has decided to join us on the tour and is posing for photos.
dragonfly at Americus Garden Inn
The silver spotted skippers are almost always hanging upside down, like this one in the abelia.
silver spotted skipper at Americus Garden Inn
Another hummingbird moth is in the abelia.
clearwing hummingbird moth at Americus Garden Inn
A red spotted purple landed on the river rock of the pond.  I placed my hand next to it and it climbed onto my hand.
red spotted purple at Americus Garden Inn
Imagine your hand next to mine, sharing this magic moment.
red spotted purple butterfly at Americus Garden Inn
Thank you so much for allowing me to share my garden, at the Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast, with you.   Come stay with us for a couple of days.  It would be my pleasure to share this with you in person.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Dragonfly Photography at Americus Garden Inn

I've had so many people ask me how I get such great photos of the dragonflies.  I am going to share all of the photos I took on one walk today around the garden of 3 different dragonflies.  You can tell me which photo you like the best.  This first one, I really liked the way the green, blue and amber were highlighted by the purple queen foliage.

This is the first photo of this skimmer I took, not knowing how long I would have to take another photo or two.  Not a great angle, but, it gave me some idea of what kind of dragonfly it might be.

A slightly closer shot and you can see the amber spots.

This angle highlights that a chunk of wing is missing.

Here, you can see the wing spots or "stigma" very clearly.

The dragonfly stayed still long enough for me to continue taking photos from several different angles.

This shot shows the tip of the abdomen, indicating this is a male.

I just love the iridescent wings.

Once I saw this photo, I knew what this is.

This is a spot-winged glider.

Did you know that dragonflies can move their wings independently from one another?

Last photo before it took off.

As I walked by the pond, this dragonfly put on a little show for me.

Notice that this dragonfly is in the opposite position of the glider above, meaning the abdomen is in the air.

There was a lot of glare and I wasn't sure if the incredible blue of the abdomen and the green eyes would come out.

Notice the piece of wing that is missing, the wing spots (stigma) and the slight amber color on the forewings.

This is the angle that almost everyone sees Goofy.

The colors really pop in this shot.

Although this is closer, the colors are not as vibrant as the prior photo.

This is the best one of this dragonfly, in my opinion.  What do you think?

Thank you so much for visiting the Americus Garden Inn blog and allowing me to take you on a dragonfly photo session.  When you come stay with us, I'd love to do this with you in person!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Cold Brewed Coffee on a Hot Day

This is a repost of a recipe that was recently requested by one of our guests.
I love coffee. I've loved it since I was a little girl.
I need coffee. It's too hot for coffee. Well, it's too hot for HOT coffee!

Let me start out by thanking my sister-in-law, Susan, for reminding me how to make cold-brew coffee. For those of you old enough to remember when "sun tea" was popular, we used to put tea bags in cold water in a pitcher and set it outside in the sun to brew. This recipe is similar, but, it is for coffee. Of course, I start out with our signature blend coffee from Cafe Campesino, Americus Garden Inn Signature Blend freshly roasted beans.If you look up cold-brew coffee recipes, you will find that 1/3 cup beans
coarsely ground
mixed with 12 ounces of cold water
are the perfect proportions.

Mix together and cover.

Let it sit at room temperature overnight or for at least 8 hours. I find that if you put it outside, in this heat, it takes as little as 4 hours.

A quick stir and prepare to filter your brew. I use a metal strainer along with a paper coffee filter.

Pour the coffee mixture slowly to allow the liquid to drip through.

You can see all that coffee goodness.

Gently press the liquid through the strainer.

As you can see, we have 12 ounces of cold brewed coffee. This stuff is super strong and does need to be diluted which makes it ideal for iced coffee.

I decided to make mine with equal parts coffee and almond milk.

Of course, you could use regular milk or soy milk.
I added a little Splenda, Kim added some Hershey's syrup to his.

Now, doesn't that look refreshing? Try the recipe for yourself and see how easy it is to make. You could put it in the blender with some ice cream and make your own frappuccino, too!

Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn blog. Have a great day.