Thursday, August 23, 2012

Spotted Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Spotted Tussock Moth Caterpillar

For additional information visit here and here.

Cora. Soccer, Camping, Caterpillar and Grampa Dan

Cora with Grampa Dan

Soccer training with Grampa Dan.

Campground wildlife.!

Camping near Two Harbors MN.

Peaceful moments.

A visit with friends.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A weekend camping and fishing trip.

We had beautiful weather. Nice warm sunny days. Cool no bugs evenings. A lake nearly to ourselves. Everyone caught fish. Everyone! Good food. Hot coffee and cool Rolling Rocks. And of course great friends to make the weekend great. Oh yes and a fish fry on Sunday night.

Everyone caught fish. 

Some caught larger fish.

Some caught a nice stringer of fish.

Some caught bait fish. But looked good doing it.

Some caught nice fish and cooked a great fish fry for the group.

 Some took an un-scheduled swim. 

Some traveled in style.

Some floated the lake with oars in hand. And fished with "Dandelions".

Some cleaned fish with ease.

Some EVENTUALLY took a nap. Under protest.

We all enjoyed beautiful weather and scenery.

And of course we all ended the days sitting around the campfire with sticky marshmallow fingers, chocolate lips and Graham cracker crumbs in our laps. 

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Backyard: changes. Crops: fruits and seeds. Birds: variety and color.

This is our composting area. It also does double duty and serves as seasonal "toy" storage.

Our new birds feeders. Notice the mounting to the stump (drilled hole and wedged post).

I saw this little storage tip for the wheelbarrow on a TV program. Works great. It is built with a 2 x 4. This one is sized to fit the location on the shed. It could have been shorter (narrower). On each end attach a 2 x 4 block. The blocks serve as spacing for the front lip of the wheelbarrow to sit in. The final step is to add the slide bolt (at the top center) to hold the wheelbarrow against the wall.

This Morning Glory has grown along the driveway edge for years. The seed pods self seed the garden spot. Donna also hand harvest seeds each year. She gives them away to anyone who wants to have them growing in their yard. Each year we find them growing in other spots around the yard and neighborhood. My guess is the birds are dispersing them from our garden to wherever they travel.

This year we are going to have a fairly good plum crop. They seem like they are maturing early this year as are the apples and raspberries. It has been a very hot summer. Lots of days in the high 90's even some triple digit days. 

The apple tree only fruits every other year. Although the quantity of the fruit seems about normal the quality is not up to par. We have a lot more insect damage than in pass years. We do not spray the fruit trees by choice. We prefer to feel like anyone can safely eat the fruit directly from the tree.

We are thrilled with the number of birds we are seeing at our new feeder station. It took the birds less than two days to find the new location.

We are enjoying the variety and colors of the current visitors. 

This male Cardinal and his mate are year around residence of the neighborhood. We hear them 'talking' to each other throughout the day. The chirps and calls have increased in frequency in the last few days. The photo below helps explain the increased activity.

I was lucky to catch this photo.  Our kitchen window over the sink is high (eye level). We can not easily see the ground at the base of the feeder. I was watching the birds at the feeder this morning when the male Cardinal flew in perched momentarily on the crossbar and then quickly dropped to the ground. My guess was that the female was probably on the ground already.  I quickly grab a chair and the camera and managed to peek over the edge of the window to the ground. My first glimpse was of four Cardinals mom, dad, and two chicks. The mom heard me or saw me in the window and flew away. The dad however was to busy feeding the chicks to notice the guy in the window with the camera fumbling to get a vantage point and a picture.

This hummingbird was a little nervous about me being 2-3 feet away on the other side of window. We have to move slowly for them to land and stay. We are hoping they will get use to us and come and go without the additional caution. In any case we have seen and I have photographed more hummingbirds in the last 2-3 days than anytime in the past 10 years.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Changes at the kitchen window. Hummingbirds welcome.

Our backyard outside the kitchen window has seen some major change in the last week. First we decided that it was time to have the spruce tree(s) cut down for safety reasons. Their root systems were to shallow and the trees visually lifted the root system in strong winds.  We decide a controlled toppling of the tree(s) was far better than a storm driven event.

The loss of the trees included the loss of the bird feeders and the wildlife that visited them. So it didn't take long (two days) before we decided we needed our feeders back. 

A few dollars worth of hardware, a twenty inch long 2 1/4" auger bit and a nice new spruce tree stump provide the solution. Drill one deep hole in the center of the stump. 

Add a 2 1/4" eight foot metal pole. Level up the pole with a couple of wedges to secure the pole in it's new home. Add a 2 x 6", 48"long board. Creating a T. Add 3 bird feeders and ....... build it and they will come.

Add one..... no maybe two new window hummingbird feeders and get out the camera.

Enjoy our new visitors.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Our new humming bird window feeder.

The new feeder is getting lots of visits but the birds are very aware of our presence on the other side of the glass. We have to stand very still otherwise they will fly off. 

 As they get more comfortable with our viewing I am not able to get any better video than this quickly shot clip.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

We had a hail storm today.

We had a hail storm today. It lasted about 10 minutes. With pea size to marble size hailstones.
We didn't appear to suffer any damage. For more info on hail storms click here.