Friday, August 27, 2021

Dog Days...

I know you have heard that term used many times but do you know the origins of the phrase  Dog Days of Summer?  OK GOOGLE: Do your thing-

This period of sweltering weather coincides with the year’s heliacal (meaning “at sunrise”) rising of Sirius, the Dog Star. Sirius is part of the constellation Canis Majoris—the “Greater Dog”—which is where Sirius gets its canine nickname, as well as its official name, Alpha Canis Majoris. Not including our own Sun, Sirius is the brightest star in the sky.

SO now you know!!  But it's not all about dogs...

First sign Autumn is on the way is Golden Rod just beginning to open  this time of year is our butterfly season,..

Speaking of which I visited the Pollinator Plot again it's full of weeds not but ALSO  full of Monarch's and other nectar lovers...

I read that the variation in color of the underwing is male and female...the paler one is the female

And  a Pipevine Swallowtail ?

I will share more  of the butterfly photos in my next post...

I noticed a Summer Tanager poking around near the hummingbird feeder, she is trying to catch a wasp which is their favorite meal...notice the bigger than normal size beak on this female. 

More insect hunters present is the very common Carolina Wren...this looks like one the adults not the young ones that fledges a couple weeks ago...

Another really good hunter I found is the Eastern Wood Pewee, this one found an insect on the limb, you can really see the orange inside the mouth  

Then the bird hung around looking for another meal...these is one of the Tyrant Flycatchers.  They did nest on the homestead I can hear them calling daily...

And lets talk about Poison Ivy...leaflets 3 let it be, but if you're a Carolina Chickadee you eat those berries that come on this time of year...Migratory Birds look for this nutrient rich waxy berry to help them make the long journey so if you have one climbing up a tree...let it be!! 

The Brown-headed Nuthatch has plenty of natural food around in the form of pine nuts but why do all that work when you can get a pnut or a sunflower seed just fly in a grab it? 

And who doesn't love a poke around in the Poke Berry bush? I know Northern Mockingbirds do...

And last year I transplanted some wild plants to one of my border beds...I am almost thinking this is a White Swamp Milkweed...I sure hope so I would love to get more established if possible...pollinators  love's just starting to open so I will keep you posted..

Earlier in the spring  caterpillar ate most of the leaves off I was happy to see them grow back

And the garden pots have more Green Bell Pepper  more delicious than anything you can buy in the store...this one plant gave me 4 peppers this year and Many last year, I over wintered it and I plan to do the same this year.   I plan to overwinter all my pepper plants in the laundry room with the sunny windows. 

And I read I can overwinter my eggplant so I already brought it into the porch it has 3 new blooms on it I may get some fall veg off it...then I need to prune it back to the lowest growth and dig in more compost and fresh soil to the plant keep watered but on the dry side and keep from frost...sounds easy 

By the time this posts we will have had 10 inches of rain in the month of August, maybe more as is it predicted to rain every single day for the rest of the month...not like all day but T-Storms.  I don't know if that's a record or not.  The average is about 5 we have plenty of this going on...

And lastly I made up a batch of Sweet Banana Pepper to place in a jar it's a great side for a lot of dishes...

...So how did you spend your dog days?

Every day is a new Adventure.

Friday, August 20, 2021


So what's new, lets see if I can come up with a Seinfeld post, one about nothing. 

notice 2nd set of numbers, 95% humidity and it was not raining, 

This was the stats next morning after Tropical Storm Fred came over us...and we will have TS Grace coming next...we had a lot of tornado warnings yesterday.  

And you thought you had it bad, check out this poor old hornworm...

here is what I found out from Google..

The white obtrusions are actually the cocoons of a parasitic braconid wasp. A female wasp has laid her eggs under the skin of that hornworm. As the eggs hatch the larvae actually feed on the hornworm insides. The larvae eat their way out of the caterpillar and spin the cocoons you see.  It's horrible!! I almost felt I should put her out of her misery...

So all that stuff we see on sci-fy movies of a weird creature invading  bodies, laying eggs, and hatching out... IS TRUE!! Holy Alien. 

I found some seeds to start my fall garden pots off, lettuce, spinach and arugula all favorites, I want to find Swish Chard and Romain...hopefully later.  Seeds are not really on the shelves yet. I want to get these in the soil for a mid October harvest...each one takes about 20 days from seed to Im thinking  to plant 2nd week of September...And at that same time I will put some in seed starter inside to transplant in Dec/Jan.  That's my plan anyways we shall see. 

I put some cilantro in a pot last week and it's up I have to rotate it every day 

And today I put a second planting in this blueberry container, I saved about 6 of these things to use a seed starters so this is a trial to see how it will work...when it's cooler I can close the top to help the seeds germinate.  I put it in the laundry room where it can get light but not too strong sun..

While I was in there I noticed my Florida Bromeliad is growing...this stick fell onto my windshield when I took a walk around one trail in the everglades, and it had a Bromeliad on it so I picked it up and put it in my van and it's been living on this  stick ever since that was in 2016.  I pour a little water over it now and then and it thrives in the humidity we have here.

This is I'm pretty certain one of the young Carolina wrens that fledged from the hanging pot by the screen door....

And lately I've had up to as many as 8 female hummingbirds fighting over the feeder...soon they will take off too...I saw a lone male hanging out one day then he went on his way south.

This one sneaking up from below

And Im trying this product for my dogs it's supposed to be good for Joint, Coat, and Skin.  They just started on it yesterday I got it from Amazon.  

I was looking at more old photos and I dragged out my Alaska scrap book that was fun to trip thru 

In the  Land of Midnight Sun  before digital was invented photo of sis and me at the Arctic Circle's 200 miles of bad road getting there and another 200 getting back! 

I got a shot of our rental on the VHS video we made but no snapshot of the swift, at least I couldn't find it, but here is one  from Amazon...we did the whole trip (1600 miles)  in a 4 cylinder Suzuki Swift exactly like this one.
So to all those macho Overlanders on Youtube....really? 

from Amazon

That was my week in a nutshell, nothing exciting...and just everyday life on the homestead. 

Every day is a new Adventure.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Slow lazy week...

So it's a new week...and it's getting into mid August...who knew time would speed up like it has?  I am  already thinking of my winter "crops" for the garden pots and I just planted some Cilantro seed  for early sprout while it's warm, and I need to find some Lettuce seed, Carrot, Onion, Broccoli will be other winter crops I'm planning to grow.  I actually have some onion I sprouted from seed that I need to transplant.


A good salad with some fresh home grown Banana pepper, and lots of pumpkin and sunflower seed, is a really easy no cook meal to close out a hot day.  A piece of toasted flat bread makes it extra special.  That Green Leaf lettuce is from the grocery store.  I'd like  to grow some green leaf.. 

One evening I cooked up a whole pan of Brussel Sprouts added them to some potato  and carrot and what a delicious meal that was.  It made 3 meals actually. 

with one homegrown red jalapeno tossed in for seasoning 

WHAT YOU BEEN UP TO ask?  I know it looks like a pile of dryer lint...but it's actually

Annie's Undercoat that  is shedding, I just combed this much out in a matter of a couple minutes, she has lots more but she is not a huge fan of the shedding comb. 

In other news I sold the Nikon after  friend Dave spoke of the FZ82 Lumix, I want one of those,....So I listed and sold the Nikon in the same day it shipped out today so as soon as I get paid from Ebay I will be looking for a Lumix FZ82, its the newer model of my current camera, and I love the ease of use of it so much this will be my third Panasonic when I get it..

 Goodbye Nikon and hope your new owner falls in love with you...I tried but just didn't bond with this one..


I stopped at the race track because I saw a lot of Mississippi Kite flying around...

Here is a wide shot I tried to get as many Kites as I could in the shot, that's the Grand Stand of the race track in the background.  

There was 21 Kites in all....13 in this shot as far as I could see...

The clouds were nice that day...


and big eyes.,,,The Spice Bush has the sweetest smell if you ever get a chance to take a whiff you won't be disappointed, and that sweetness is not lost on Bees...I tried to get some clear shots but they won't BEE still 

Big Eyes

                   Lots of Pollen on those guys...Hope you all have a great weekend. 

Every day is a new Adventure.

Friday, August 6, 2021

Summer on notice...

Monday I did began to feel the cold ease up some, talking about the cold in my's been dragging on a while now.  So I got out my yard blower and did some pine needle clean up on the old brick patio...felt I could do a little more so I opened up the mower garage pulled it out and rode it around the yard.  I must add that on that morning the humidity was a tolerable 44% and there was actually a breeze.  

One thing I like about riding the mower around is I feel content, it's a time to just go on auto pilot and circle around as if I'm in a labyrinth, it def has healing power. A little noisy tho! 

the Moon wants more Zen sounds

The Male hummingbirds left on July 30th.  The females are not as eager to leave  and some extra ones showed up as well...I saw 5 at one time dive bombing and a couple times they did share.  Soon the feeder will be taken apart for the last bleaching and stored away for another year. 

Wednesday I went out and found  one of the wren chicks on  the ground, the other two not in the nest, I picked him up put him in the nest little bugger jumped right back out so I guess it was time... the adult was calling this is one reason I wish they had not nested so close to the house...I could have spooked them walking around,,,the pot was only 4 ft from my porch door.

Has it been 10-14 days?  I think this is a little early but it's not up to me...

The parents  were rounding them up when I gave up and went inside I was doing more harm than good at that point,,, 


  I found this click bug in one of my empty watering containers he found himself in a place he couldn't escape but I heard him making clicking so I turned him out on a fence post top,,,,

He hugged his legs in tight and went into play dead mode...sort of like a turtle, his head is hinged and even it is clamped down tight. 

So I rolled him over and I was surprised to see he is actually covered in a stiff bristle of hair..

The flower pots and beds are slowly coming of age and the Red Sedum is about to open, to me  it is the last of the summer bloomers and then the fall bloomers begin to make a bud...

Sedum on the far left

Im about to pick my Butternut Squash and another flower or two are trying  a last ditch effort but I don't think there is any hope for more fruit this year.  The eggplant is giving it one more try also...

I did enjoy the one I got to eat! The Squirrel took the other 5!!

And this out of control indeterminate tomato  bush finally has some tennis  ball sized fruit...

I tied mesh around them after taking this photo because I found one on the ground chewed up but not eaten...Squirrel AGAIN!

she is keeping her eyes alert for an attack from a sister hummer...

 it rained and the little hummers got wet...just another day in life to them...

 We take a walk around the yard on  good days Floss finds a cool spot to watch from under the spice bush

Annie and I  found this feather it's about 4 inches long Hawk, Owl? I really don't know 

Im not a big Parsley fan, so I saved this for any Monarch Caterpillars, so far none have shown up..

Here's the butternut one more is on the vine it needs to get a little bigger so I will leave it for now..

I will be sure to save the seeds for next year. 

Another cycle is about to complete.

Every day is a new Adventure.