Friday, August 31, 2007

Bird Activity

You'll have to "click" on the photos for more detail!

The self-appointed "Guard Bird" (Ruby Throated Hummingbird) watches and waits...American Goldfinches stop by, and then...
a Baltimore Oriole declares this to be his favorite "Watering Hole!"

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Better Than Scratching Chigger Bites...

... was the opportunity to head downtown wearing my "jammies!" Several downtown merchants sponsored "Ladies' Night Out" Tuesday evening from 6-9:00 P.M.

(They even offered discounted merchandise, too.)

Now, I am not likely to allow such an event to pass unnoticed. And, you can probably tell by the looks of it, I have a couple of equally ostentatious friends! I did take the liberty of editing the photos to "protect the innocent."

Here's the question: Would you allow these people in YOUR store?

Ah, yessss. An opportunity to kick up our heels!
(Nice legs!)

Did I mention a discount???
Last, but not least...
... is a vote for the winning "jammies!"
You COULD vote for me! (I'm the one with the
crazy robe and white long pants covered with cherries!)

Too bad this doesn't have anything to do with gardening... but
you might considered it rather "shady!" ;-)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Saturday Afternoon

We first took a walk through the prairie. My husband pointed out the Autumn Olive seedlings that the birds are planting by seed dispersion. He's having to destroy not only the mature plants furnished (as seedlings) for planting several years ago but also these new seedlings. Instead of being the ideal bushy refuge and food source for birds, they've become invasive.

I know not everyone appreciates thistles, but I truly think they're beautiful. I'm not the only thistle fan. Check out the Great Spangled Fritillaries below!
(Click on the name for more information and the photo to enlarge it.)
We were on the edge of the prairie and just next to the woodland edge.
Close-up of the thistle.
This is Partridge Pea.
Next, we headed for the woods.
"I think that I shall never see
a poem lovely as a tree.
. . .
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree."
by Sergeant Joyce Kilmer I credit the following fungi to our recent rainfall. I had a comment, upon which I took action to investigate. The fungus below is most probably a Puffball.
I have NO idea what this is.

This is Monotropa uniflora, Indian pipe. Sometimes people find more beautiful specimens.
Click on the botanical name to go to a site that provides a photo of another "version," and additional information.Last, but not least, a few other items to share:
Path of a bark beetle,
Jewel weed, nature's defense against poison ivy "itch!"This area was so very overgrown and lush with rainfall,
that several jewelweed had fallen over... note this one's rooted stem.
Poke Weed (often called Poke Berry)
The plant parts are poisonous. (click on the name for more information)

I don't know what these flowers are... do you? Each stem was multi-flowered.

Towards the end of the trail, I noticed a few sticky seeds
had clung to the tail of my shirt. As I walked, I picked them off and dropped them.
I was providing a means of seed disbursement until,
at the END of the trail, I looked down and saw...

Thousands of seeds stuck to my socks!I'm trying to decide whether I should pick off the seeds
or throw the socks away!

Your verdict?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Rain, rain, rain! WOW!

Wednesday morning we woke up to 1.3" in the rain gauge. Yesterday (Thursday) there was 1.9" in the rain gauge (yes, I'm emptying it every morning!). This morning (Friday) there was 3.6" in the gauge. And we hadn't been experiencing a dry spell.
Pretty crazy.
There had been a LOT of runoff...

My neighbors and I hit the ground running early this morning!
Water has a way of intruding where it hasn't been invited.
They had need of a wet vac, towels, and fans.

Later, we checked out waterways, drainage and the roadway. (The latter needed
a little "recompositioning."

Next, I picked up sticks and hickory nuts that had fallen all over the yard.
Three loads to the ravine! ;-)

I found this little guy in the front yard -
a Fall Webworm larva.
Click on his name for information about him.
Actually, he'd been abandoned after I'd picked up his home
and many, many of his siblings, and deposited them in my wheelbarrow.
After being reunited, they all received a free ride to the ravine.
But... there are always treasures!

Such as the following fungi.
(Note the blades of grass... these are very small

This little stink horn had obviously had it.
He had fallen over; looking pretty gruesome to boot.
All in a morning's work.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Checking Out the Flora and Fauna

I took a walk in the yard a couple of days ago. Since the fun adventures of the past week and a half were over, I needed to see what was happening "out and about."

Here's an anemone that seems to be losing control.

"Turtle Head" (Chelone Obliqua)... using your imagination, would you say it reminds you a bit of a snapping turtle's head? (As opposed to a snap dragon.)

Good old "Rudbeckia" Black-eyed Susan

A study in green...

And, one of my late summer favorites... all varieties of stonecrop sedum.
I'll add the name of the variety tomorrow.
This is the sunniest spot in the yard of shade. ;-)

Below: Isn't this a handsome fellow?
I found him on my neighbor's windowscreen.
He's a Twin-spotted Sphynx (Smerinthus jamaicensis).

And, this beauty is a Sweetheart Underwing,
Catocala amatrix.
Check out this site for information!
Meanwhile, I'm indoors tonight. More rain.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I Thought I Was Seeing Things!

What? A Red-spotted Purple on the hummingbird feeder?
(An empty, dirty hummingbird feeder?)

These photos don't get clearer when they're enlarged...
...I should have used "macro" on the camera.

A nice surprise on this overcast day.

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Short Spin Around the Yard

This is little "Baby Tears" in bloom! The blossoms are softly striped. I forgot to check out whether the blossoms are scented...
I inherited these hosta from friends. I don't know the name of this variety, but the white blossoms certainly brighten a shady spot!
This is Tenryu. I understand it grows in the wild along riverbanks in China. The flower scape grows around 5' tall. I'm 5' 4" and it hits my nose.
I need a hosta expert. I don't know this variety... it was already in this bed when we moved here nearly 5 years ago. It's a "blue."

And look at these fungi! Always thought of myself as kind of a fun "guy!" ;-) But, these may have me beat.
This is a close-up of the following photograph.
There were many more of these...
And, aren't these something?

You can see these aren't very large... the grass is the "size-ometer."
I really must get out more! Lots of interesting things to see in a shady garden!