Friday, June 18, 2021

What's Stirring on the Homestead


This week has been a little less rain but still hot...I was able to get my outside chairs painted for another season of use...but honestly I rarely use them.  Sitting is not one of my hobbies, unless Im not feeling well.  This week I had a few days when I was LOW as could be...Getting outside is the only thing that  helps me keep close to the sanity line.  


I used the left over paint from the deck painting earlier this year... chair resides in front of my container garden...on the old shed slab


I painted the 2 chairs and the bench...SO who knows if I decide to sit down I will have a place to do it...I can't leave my cushions out or the squirrels will destroy them.  So I keep them stashed in the shed.  

Walking around the yard taking care of my plants some things caught my eye...like this Thread Waist Wasp on the wild flower I was able to get established in one area..


                 Deer will nibble the tops if they get a chance...but they are pretty east to keep otherwise.

I have butternut squash on the vine...hope the squirrels don't find these....I'm trying to keep the little gourds hidden...


I had an Eggplant on the stem but look what happend to it..


And they didn't even eat it, just stripped it off the plant   GRRRR
 A couple more blooms are forming, So I put the plant in a wire cage hope it doesn't get attacked again. 

Some California Poppies did open...they only last a day or two but more buds are there.. 


And I love to grow pepper so I have several plants and they are doing good so far...I over winter  peppers in the sunny utility room.  They come back  really good when once they go into the yard I also over winter the Bell Peppers.  


Jalapeno 

I eat them raw, I cook them, I freeze them and I pickle them!  They are easy to grow and easy to preserve.  I also grow Banana and Bell Pepper.  

Last night for dinner homegrown Courgette, or Zucchini as we call it. With a pepper on the side...oh it was soooo good.   I am also growing onion, cilantro, parsley, green beans, yellow squash and I have 2 pumpkin vines so far only bloom and no pumpkin, tomato, and Asparagus keeps giving me a stem every now and then. 


Up in the trees are the new Eastern Bluebirds, looking gorgeous at this point..If you recall the nest box blew down and I had to reset it for them....that was before the eggs were laid.  


And this large member of the Tyrannidae family
the Great Crested Flycatcher, they breed here and it's always fun to watch them catching food to feed their family.  They are cavity nesters and they like to nest in my fake gourds. 


The beak size is amazing eh?  


One of the many Carolina Wrens that make my yard home...


The sweetest bushes in the yard are in bloom now, the Gardenia

Just walk outside and you can catch the sweet aroma..

A Blue Darner? Not sure..



Hard to get a shot of the Ruby Throated Hummers, this is a female, a young one.   Thru the window of course...




I don't have to go far to see all kinds of wonderful things...just walk out the back door. And even at Night...



Crescent on the 15th 


What's stirring in your world?


PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.

Friday, June 11, 2021

The Heat is ON

So I am laying low!

Humidity & Rain...Lets talk about it.  We had a beautiful spring but then wham,,,the air flow turned and is now coming from the south east Atlantic---this is the air hurricanes are made of.  It's very unstable as the evening thunder storms give testimony to. 

New Feeder, the birds like it...

I get out as early as possible and do my yard chores, mostly pick up twigs from the last storm, put some seed in the feeders...etc.  I don't put in a lot of seed in rainy weather as it will begin to sprout right there in the feeder in just a couple days if there is any millet in it and sometimes the sunflower seed will spout.  I don't normally buy one with millet in it, for that reason but lately the shelves are nearly empty so I had to take what I could find....
I put in enough for one day and add more daily that seems to work best.  


The Big Blue Whale Hosta is waterlogged

I had to replace one feeder it finally gave up after years of squirrels dangling on it...there seems to be a shortage of bird feeders in stores too...I got that one at the Tractor Supply....and just as I presumed trouble is a brewing over at the Cardinal Feeder.  

his name is Trouble...it helps when you have hands to hold the closing mechanism open..

Waiting....

actually this Cardinal is an old photo taken with my Kodak! It was the best camera I've ever owned, but the on/off button stopped working...it's still in my closet.   Not like you can take it to the camera shop and have it repaired, that was in the old days.

Remember  old yeller? Well my dogs do chase this fellow and It could get ugly.  I may have to attempt to relocate him to the deep woods where he will have all he needs for survival and not be harassed by people and dogs if he doesn't move on soon.  


It's been about 2 weeks now of me chasing him out of the yard, and he just won't give up...I don't want him or my dogs to get hurt. 

Shap
Sharp teeth!

Speaking of hurt, check this out.   I was able to recover a couple of folders of old photos off my no longer operating PC.  This adapter thing worked for one of the hard drives but not for both of the drives.  So the tower is gone to PC heaven, (the recycle center) minus the hard drive I kept that and Im still trying with the other drive.  


2 laptops and a PC

I was thinking the other day what if I put all my lost blog photos back, I'm using Google Photos and Facebook storage to do it, then comes the announcement from Google, that they will be closing it down, yada yada?  I throw in the towel at that point.  This tangle of wires is about how my brain has been lately with the main component unplugged.



this is the one that refuses to co-operate I plugged the thingamabob to the whatsyamacallit, plugged it in and NOTHING but a blue light of the old central nervous system.  

this is what I ordered to do it with...$15 Amazon

It's pretty hard to do any birding other than just what I can see with my naked eye or  hear. Humidity, binoculars, and camera lenses just don't mix...there is this thing called----> fog. You can see it the raccoon photos.

middle set is outdoor top set is indoors

So this morning I got up to no water!  I called, they are doing "repairs to the line", I'm on a rural water district, SO glad I keep a gallon of fresh potable water in my van, and 50 gallons of rain water under the eaves by the front deck.  I keep a lid on that one so no skeeters get in came in handy for the morning flush and I could do a sponge bath with it if necessary.
 I  open the barrel so it can be refilled once it is down to half, so it's currently FULL as I took the lid off during  one of the recent downpours.  
--------------
 Pulled this one from the OLDER than dirt photo album achieves; this is my dear friend Sundance, with Mom's little Pekinese mix, Peppy.  This photo is from 1975, before we moved onto the homestead in '77.  We were renting in town and I asked the landlord if I could put a horse out back and he said "SURE" lol...(try doing that these days in the town limits) and so we built a little corral and a single stall shed for him...I used to baby sit Peppy while mom was at work so he would go with me to give Sunny his breakfast.  I worked from home then as I was getting my upholstery business off the ground (in the spare bedroom)...so they became best friends. You can see the love they had for each other... By the little stall I had a garden....I've always been an Earth and animal person even before it became "hip".

the gentle giant 46 yrs ago!

...the next year I opened to the public in a location  in town and supported myself with that occupation for 30 yrs! I still baby sat dogs and had 3 little yappers with me every day for a  couple years, one was mine, one my sis's, and mom's Peppy.    

I saw a soft shell turtle creeping out of the pond when I stopped a couple weeks ago to take a quick walk at Goodale...I have never seen soft shell turtle there before...oddly enough. 

He saw me and turned around and went right back in the pond.

And since my post is all over the place this week I need some outside help....so my Sis sent me this pretty Antelope shot she got when they visited Yellowstone last week...that look says it all. Broken hard drives, broken bird feeders, broken water system,
yes as Glen Frey sang, THE Heat is ON. 


Thank you sis!

Next time I may dedicate an entire post to the good ole' days. 

PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.

Friday, June 4, 2021

HIT or Mismanagement...

Well here it is Thursday again and My blog comes out at Midnight tonight so I better get busy and create a post!  This week sort of got away from me.  

So the first part of the week I was  not 100% then latter part of the week it rained, right there in the middle of all that I went in search of harmony.  Did I find it?  Some of it found me right here at  home. 



I see deer almost daily in my field

 One of the coolest spots I found was on my way to somewhere else.  I have taken to driving the even farther back way to get to Sandhills because US 1 is so busy with log trucks and other semi's I like to mosey, they are in a hurry.  SO I take the back way and even bypass 2 small towns that are only one block long LOL...I know I've drifted well beyond hermitress. 



So I pass through this area where there is some big Ag fields, and open space and I saw these Spanish Bayonets' in bloom.  


And some really Big garlic plants.  I believe this was an old homestead lot as I saw some old foundations here and there.  




And all this lovely stuff is growing under the watchful eye of the Blue Grosbeak up on the wire, 


And the Eastern Towhee on a prickly briar stem...


Once at Sandhills, I spooked a Great Blue Heron up a pine tree...


And a stop at Pool D gave me a look at a young Eastern Phoebe learning how to hunt on his own...I know they had their nest under the boardwalk of Pool D.  



And this shy Grey Catbird hid in the shadows but couldn't resist singing and gave away his location...



I pulled over and watched this Red Headed Woodpecker showing off his brilliant feathers. 



The ponds are kept too deep for waterfowl to flourish...why you ask? So hunters and fishermen can get a boat in the water...too shallow they get stuck...hmmm 

I was on my way to Dove Field A,


...where I never  see any Dove, actually I saw NOTHING there.  It was rather bleak.  Sometimes I have to wonder at the "managed" areas, there is nothing there to see.  But I came to ride my bike across the field and back.   The last time I was here grasshoppers were everywhere and  American Kestrel...today since they plowed up the field Nothing! The field is "managed" so white men with guns (Im on the verge of a rant)  can come to kill Dove...in the process they kill everything that is natural and even the Doves don't fall for it.  BAD management is at the root of why this Refuge has so few success stories in the area of waterfowl and grassland species. They are managing for the WRONG activity.  Plant some millet lets get some Painted Bunting, and some Dickcissel and some Blue Grosbeak in here and Birders will come by the hoards.  Hunters are has beens!!

Almost came a "dirter" here...my start and end point is over at the green tree line in the distance.  

They are growing quite a bit of Wild Onion, in other areas where they burn, then let grow what nature has put there birds are there.  Those areas are marked no Hunting.  So my ?? is does Hunting provide good habitat management? I don't think so. 


And on the edges where the tractors couldn't go some passion flowers



Over on the verge of the field where some natural grasses were growing an Eastern Kingbird was keenly looking for a meal...


Observing wildlife and birds is my hobby and my passion...it makes me happy and it fills me up with good feelings, I don't think setting wild life up for slaughter is a good thing.  WHEN will this tide ever turn left?  Just goes to show the current way is not the best way.  SO Many of our refuges are being mismanaged for the purpose of hunting.  IF they were managing for observation  and continuation of the species more people and more wildlife would benefit, currently a few white men in pick up trucks toting guns have more SAY then a middle aged couple in a Subaru. 


 According to the report I read  put out by the Fish n Wildlife Service in 2016, 43 million people identify as birders, they are on average earning $70,000 a yr and spend $80 Billion dollars in the process. Where as HUNTING:  13.7 Million considered themselves as hunters and spent $12 Billion annually. OK big difference, and yet where is the political clout?


After my dusty ride there and back and some near misses in deep sand,  I drove to lake Mays and had a sit by the water and ate a snack before driving home.  


So in closing I guess what I am saying is let it be known what side of the aisle you're on, we've been fed this line  of misinformation long enough that Hunters are the ones funding our wild spaces, I call BS on that one! Just one more Incorrect piece of info that is driving policy in this country.  

Speak your truth..

PEACE
Every day is a new Adventure.