Friday, June 25, 2021

Unravel my week...

Last Wednesday
was a low humidity day for me, so I took the bike and rode a trail in Sandhills see what I could find.  The trail I picked is one I've shown you before it ends up at the back side of Pool's only half mile round trip but it's thru a mature pine forest and it's not all flat it has an up/down hill section also.  The Trial in red, 

and I heard way more than I saw...The trees and bushes are so overgrown it's hard to find birds if they are trying to hide which most do,

BUT not all, these young Barn Swallows were in harsh light but at least right out in the open..

They were practicing bug catching from this perch...

Its a swampy area once you get back there as you can see the Ham creek spreads out and keeps this whole little boggy area moist.

One Prothonotary Warbler swooped past me calling very loudly but then disappeared in the thick stuff, all that racket brought out a couple of Common Yellowthroats, and I got a not so good shot of one of the male...

And a Red Winged Blackbird was hunting from just above the water's surface...

I don't know anything much about Dragonfly except I enjoy seeing them...I tried to get the correct name of this one but could not pin it down conclusively, so Im going with Pond Hawk. 

The wings were all clear. 

I pedaled back to the van,

and moved over to the Lake Bee Recreation Area they are refilling that pond I will be happy when they open it back up cause there is a wetland I enjoy checking on the opposite side of the earthen dam. 

Bee Lake refilling 

I had a cool drink and a snack here and then

Drove up to the Oxpen Lakes area. 

 Parked and headed out on foot for a walk in the fields looking at plants and insects.  And checked the Yellow Pitchers, they are doing well...

AND a lot of Hat Pin is flourishing by the waters edge...with the world's smallest insect sitting on one

Could be a dragonfly nymph?  A Buckeye butterfly along with a Variegated Fritillary 

Along with some other insect on the ground there,..Busy doing what butterflies do....

There was even more Common Yellowthroat around 

Along with Eastern Kingbird

Orchard Oriole 

This Common Crackle found a worm...

And an Immature Red Winged Blackbird was learning the ropes down in the lily pads...

I visited the one and only public restroom on the refuge and in the parking area an Eastern Wood Pewee was flycatching...

Found something new!

And on the wall of the building I found this really weird may not look it but he was big, at least 4 inches long! And  creepy antennae, his wings seemed  almost be armored...

He definitely had the steampunk look going on..

When I looked this up I found out it's called a Dobsonfly and those long things at the front is a mandible! Like Jaws of life!  Its actually an aquatic insect...and it only lives a couple weeks and during that time it doesn't really eat anything.  There is one species of this insect in China that gets a big as a human hand! 

Later on in the week...

 I took a walk around Goodale park, one of the mornings when it was clear but hot...

And there was one Wood Stork flying around in lazy circles, I don't know if he landed a man came up and started talking to me and I lost track of the stork...

He was photographing the pitcher plants there and then I showed him where I just spotted some

Sundews...another carnivorous Plant that I have found there....this is the first time I've seen them in that area that has tried to be a BOG, the staff keep fighting this, I don't know why they don't let it evolve into what it wants to BE! So here are the tiny little Sundews

These particular ones are only an inch tall and barely 2 inches wide....

And a young Tufted Titmouse was keeping track of his parent while he learns the ropes of life...

So that pretty much unravels my week..

My van has an issue...SO until I can that diagnosed and repaired I won't be going far from home. I don't mind walking but in 89% humidity its really TOUGH...I worked on my property a little this morning.   A wild grape vine had grown it's self thru the wire of my pasture field fencing, and  was creating an I took the chainsaw, yep that's how thick it was, to cut it off the fence and get the fence attached to the post again, I need some more metal post to replace a few of the old cedar posts that are getting  rotten they have been in the ground 45 yrs.  I am keeping the fence in repair so my dogs can play in there and I don't want to worry that other stray dogs may be in there, the deer jump in but fox or coyote I really don't want in there.  Anyways I was soaked as if I had been out in the rain from the humidity when I finished up.   Now inside in the ac recovering.  

And can we all say "WTH" is up with this picture?  Are the veggie sausage people not paying attention?

Hope your week unravels in a good way. 

Every day is a new Adventure.

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 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.  


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?

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 helps when you have hands to hold the closing mechanism open..


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'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. 

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) 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 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. 

Every day is a new Adventure.