Tag Archives: trees

If I Were A Mushroom What Type Would I Be?~

This is to explain that header I put up. You can see Uriah in the background. Once he saw me taking pictures he decided to leave.

That white ball in the foreground is a mushroom.

It is seven and half inches high, and grew in full sun.

I have no idea what type it is. Do you?

Reflection At Dawn!~Or, I’ll Have A Coffee Minus The Bugs!~

I was up at four thirty this morning. I wandered around the quiet house, then I opened the blinds and kitchen door and stepped outside onto the deck to watch and listen to the sunrise. Birds raised their voices in the cool morning air and sang.

When I make a video I try and choose the best audio I believe fits with the visual aspects. Doesn’t always work…

But, standing out in the early morning sunrise I don’t think anyone could have chosen any sounds better for this moment.

Yellow pink clouds in a clear baby blue sky, mists rising off the fields and the sun slowly rising in the east. I watched as the colors deepened to reds and yellows.

“Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning” I whispered to the Robin sitting on the roof.

The odd weather we have been having lately, baking in the humid heat, to storms with seventy five mile and hour winds, I wonder what today will bring. Behind me to the west the sky was a deep misty grey. I guessed maybe around noon I should see what Mother Nature has in store for us.

Uriah complained. He wanted to go outside. I pushed past the cats huddled near the screen. All were hopefully waiting for a bird or a horsefly to come their way. Kaoru talks to flies and Sanosuke eats them.

“Eat too many and you’re going to throw up!” I warn him over and over.

Kenshin stands close by and in total agreement about the flies.  He had to be given antibiotics because of his infatuation with flies. Now he ignores them. 

Uriah whined again. I let him out through the garage doors, then came back inside and collected his breakfast. Some Iams dry food, two liver snaps and a beef basted dog bone.

By the time I stepped outside he was already hunting out his ‘mouse’ formally known as, That Rat.

If, I call it a mouse he chases it. If, I call it a rat, well, I think he hears cat and we don’t chase cats.

I took a few moments to notice the wet grass and the chilly air was a bit more uncomfortable, while standing in the grass, than on the deck.

Still, early mornings, in the summertime, remind me of camping.

I would wake up starving and make an attempt to light a fire. Some worked most didn’t. When the fire started I would fry some bacon in a pan, add an egg or two and pull out some stale bread, which I would toast by setting on the edge of the pan. 

When the wet wood refused to burn; I would let my nose find breakfast. In state parks they have a small store, with a little area where they cooked up and sold a breakfast of pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage and coffee, milk or juice. Sitting around on a damp picnic table wrapped in a sweat shirt, half asleep, eating like I was starving  in that cool damp morning air, and usually the only meal without the added protein of bugs. Was a wonderful adventure! And that food was amazing!

The sun lifted up over the trees. Bright white yellow and reflecting off the mist and dew everything sparkled.

Uriah munched on his breakfast and I headed into the house for some pancakes and coffee, minus the bugs…

Happy Father’s Day!

Walking With Mosquitoes And Uriah!~I Wonder- A short Poem!~

 

I walk outside and
Stare up into the sky and
Wonder, what you see…

I grabbed a can of Off bug spray and waved it over my head encompassing myself, and Uriah. He sat next to me leaning against my legs panting from the heat and humidity.

The mosquitoes are worse early morning and at dusk.  Right now it was only ten in the morning.  I was hoping for a reprieve from their onslaught.

Last night I had made it to the back path, I pushed past the Bog Willows, as they hung heavy from the rain storm. I stepped out onto bare dirt in the drainage area and I immediately became food.

I heard them first, that irritating high pitch buzzing.  Then I felt them surrounding me, like a piece of cheese cloth, barely touching my skin, yet laying heavy.

 I swatted and waved my arms around my head and muttered to the mosquitoes, telling them to leave me alone.  They followed me all the way back to the house. Uriah was watching from under the deck.  He rolled in the dirt, which seemed to dissuade the mosquitoes from attacking him.

Just for a moment I thought of crawling under the deck with Uriah.  I shook off the thought when I pictured myself getting stuck with a happy wiggly, smooching dog covered in dirt..

I looked up at the large fluffy clouds floating over head in a baby blue sky. I spotted a thickening grey line off near the horizon.  We’re in for another afternoon thunderstorm. 

I set the bug spray back inside the garage door. Picked up my walking stick, and motioned to Uriah to walk. He headed for the Blue Spruce next to the driveway. He pushed past the heavy boughs, wiggling underneath. Turning around he faced me, then sat down.

 I left Uriah to his cool spot under the tree and started walking along the drive way, checking out the grass. It needs to be cut, but with the rains and heat, I keep putting it off.  

I noticed a thin, two to three foot spiky leaved stem pushing up between the grass.  Every year these wildflowers blossom out with some very pretty neon blue flowers, hanging off the side branches like tiny frilly bells

I hope to take some pictures when that happens.

To take pictures of this plant, I need to come outside early, before six or seven. At that time of day, there are flowers that open up and smile upwards into the cool morning sky.  Those same flowers are closed tight by nine to ten in the morning.  

I spotted a stem full of closed flower buds; I knelt down to take a look. Uriah pushed in front of me and sat on the unopened flower and grinned.

“Uriah you’re a nut!” I rubbed his face and gave him a push.

He took that as time to play and fell flat on his back and started to roll and moan. All over the plant I was looking at….

 I started to chastise him, but when I looked up, inches away from his head was another plant. All the way down the driveway they stood waving at me slightly higher than the field grass, waiting for morning to come.

 Here are a couple of great sites for wildflowers.

http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/grants.htm

http://www.wildflower.org/howto/

Video Of Sanosuke!~ Or, A Mouse Condo Of Poop! “No Vacancies!”~

 This morning when I opened Uriah’s dog food container I  noticed it was very low.  I usually set the bag of dry food inside a tall plastic container, so each time I scoop out a cup I don’t have to lift the bag. Today I lifted a nearly empty bag. 

Time to go dog food shopping!

Uriah has a bad habit of not eating what I give him, at least not right away. When his brothers were alive he would tease them with his food. They ate faster then he did, with his usual, “I am starting trouble!”  grin!  He would sit on his food and wait.  Literally! Sit on his food!  So when they were finished and came nosing around he would show off by slowly eating in front of them.

Uriah, set in his ways, keeps up that play. With no one to show off to, Uriah wanders off and those country rats steal each morsel right under his nose. A problem starts when the mice take his food and carry it into the cars engines.

To get Uriah to eat I have to stand next to his food bowl, no matter where it is.

Or, I try to anyway. Uriah is a dog that has the ability to ‘out wait’ anyone.

He can hold his pee for hours, then still wander around and hold it in until I can’t take it any more. I will stand next to a bush and pretend that I’m lifting my leg, until Uriah looks likes he’s laughing at me, and then joins in.

Today I opened the garage doors and pulled out my car. I opened the engine and Uriah helped me look under the hood. 

Mouse poop littered the top of the engine!

I loosened the air filter and pulled it out. Mouse poop inside under the air filter! Great!  When I had taken my car last month for a fix on a recall, I had to dish out an extra eight hundred dollars to remove a ten pound bag of dog food from my air intake. Lovely little Mice! 

Michael had a doctor’s appointment on Friday.  He took his old Saturn, not trusting my mouse condo.  *His car saved our lives in an accident in 2004. A young girl on a cell phone..* So he totally trusts it to fend off mice:-)

Michael came home two hours late riding in the cab of a tow truck. Seems the mice may have invaded his engine too. Lack of a dollar, means his car is now a paper weight in the garage.

Back to Uriah helping with my engine!

 I pulled out the Shop Vac and vacuumed up mice poop on my engine. Then I popped the hood of the Saturn. I removed the air filter and didn’t see any mice droppings. Michel told me, that the air intake was under the car, and that will need to be removed to find the problem.

If a mouse was sucked into the engine…well, bye, bye engine. I can’t crawl under that car …

I stepped outside with Uriah and we both contemplated the problem. Or, I should say all three of us thought about it!  Me and Uriah, and That Rat who was sitting near the door on his hind legs watching us with a thoughtful, “what’s going on guys?”  look…

I jumped when I saw that reddish- brown haired rat. He in turn jumped and raced into the horseradish plant as I yelled after him.  “We are not your family! Stupid Rat!”

Hmmm! I wonder if he could be trained to keep the mice out of the garage.

I looked down at Uriah; he never made a move to chase the rat. But he did take a mouth full of his food and started to chew, slowly.

*

Sanosuke had me laughing this morning. So I made a video for fun. Enjoy!

Youtube Video of Sanosuke And Kaoru, “This Is Love!”!~ Or, Computer Dating Is For The Birds!~

 

I was shifting through bird names and I pulled up, Dickcissel.  Then I Googled the Dickcissel’s picture; he looks similar to some of the smaller song birds I saw in the Blue Spruce just outside the window next to the computer.

Then I played the  Dickcisselcall/song, both Sanosuke and Kaoru sat up and listened.  As the young cats ran out of the room my attention turned back to checking my email. I had closed the site with the bird’s song, so when I heard a bird singing again I automatically rechecked my task bar.

 It’s like checking if I left the iron on…not that I use the iron anymore.

 It took me a minute to realize, that singing bird was coming from outside the window, in the Blue Spruce. And that bird was talking to my computer. Hmmm!

What all this rambling means is I added a Dickcissel to my list of birds I have seen and heard.

http://www.sdakotabirds.com/species/dickcissel_info.htm

I took this picture while standing in the kitchen, hiding behind the counter and zooming in through the window. The bird, I believe, is a Brown Thrasher.

What do you think?

I played the Brown Thrasher’s song and Sanosuke and Kaoru went crazy, again.  I really shouldn’t laugh when they start jumping from window ledge, to window ledge all excited, but I couldn’t help myself.

http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/679/overview/Brown_Thrasher.aspx

For fun, I put together this video. Enjoy!

This Is What Happens When Protecting Nature Isn’t A Priority. ~Or, You Can Step On All Of Creation If You Pass Out The Green Bucks!

I wrote and rewrote this Blog. I had a hard time writing this.

On June 3rd in the middle of the afternoon, just when I decided to slather my face with a face mask someone knocked on the front door. I splashed water on my face and hurried to the door. I was worried about Uriah, he was wandering around the back and he could get hurt when a car comes down the driveway.

I was surprised by a state police officer informing me that a neighbor was going to be working on the drainage tiles…Long story, very stressful.

  • In 2008 this neighbor, the one who told me to get a gun because of the Cougars and Wolves wandering around- We don’t have Cougars or Wolves!- He filed against me and another neighbor to tear up the drainage tiles. This man had bought the lowest area of land in 2004, and it flooded regularly. He wanted to replace ancient drainage tiles, without putting a retention pond on his property. He also broke through the Aquifer so he could have a swimming pond on his property and he wanted to attach the pond to the tiles that would add to the water problem and tap into the fresh water. Bad idea to go into court thinking this is crazy and someone will listen-when you don’t have a lawyer.. *

 

I asked the policeman, why now? He had told me two years ago, that he was working on the tiles, and it would only take two weeks. But he never touched anything. The police officer said, that neighbor had been waiting for approval from the, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, concerning the wet lands.  And he, the policeman, was sent to tell me what my neighbor was up to…

I will call this neighbor, Bob, not his real name.

I asked when Bob, would be digging. He didn’t know.

How long would it take? He didn’t know.

I didn’t trust Bob; I asked how much digging would he be doing? I was told he would only take out a fifteen foot wide section of trees, running along the tiles.

I told him Bob couldn’t bring his young kids on my land. If they got hurt I could be sued. He agreed that could happen.  He said, he would inform Bob, not to bring his children on my land.

The police officer told me Bob would replace my fence and toss around grass seed.

Grass seed?  He needs to replace the wetlands vegetation!  

The policeman shrugged and said nothing.

My thirteen year old was graduating from eight grade that evening, so I went back inside and made a note to send out and email to the county and find out what was going on.

I didn’t have a chance to send the email that night. The next morning before I got up, Bob had torn out the trees. He ripped through the wetlands destroying nesting areas of countless birds and animals. From the deck I watched the birds circling and screaming.

He pulled out more than fifteen feet; the least was twenty feet wide. I need to measure to be exact, but it looks like he tore a crooked line of up to thirty feet wide.  The length from north to south is around five hundred feet.

I was under the impression it was illegal to tear out vegetation during nesting season. Or am I wrong…?

This may be small compared to the oil spill in the Gulf. But each time a tree is ripped out a nest destroyed, a plant or fish is killed. We are losing a little bit more of nature. A little more fresh air, a little more life is gone.  It makes me ill to think of all those baby birds that died.  I have a hard time wondering what else died under his wheels.

I was shocked at how someone could come onto my land and do so much damage. Later that evening I took Uriah out for a walk.  I watched Bob driving along the road in a four wheel, off road vehicle; he turned into the farm field, next to me.   He wasn’t on his land. He saw me with Uriah and turned away.  His two boys were with him. He was taking his kids to check out the area he tore up..

 Here is a very small list of the birds that live around me. There are some odd birds and songs like the bird that looks like a Miniature Blue Heron; it has a loud screaming call.  Or the one I can’t seem to see very well through the trees, it has a throaty growl. There’s a beautiful bird with reddish-brown back and head, with a beige underbelly that holds itself like a Jay. It might be a Cuckoo or maybe a Brown Thrasher.  I didn’t add the foxes, skunks, muskrats, or coyotes. 

This is not a complete list at all.

Great Blue Heron
Blue Jays
Crows
Horned Owl
Cardinals
Red-Tailed Hawks
Turkey Vultures
Screech Owl
Pheasant
 Peregrine Falcon
Sedge Wren
Ducks
Geese
Woodpeckers
Robin
Toads
In the video I turned and faced the neighbor’s house, you can see where he dragged the downed trees. This pile, earlier, was circled by birds franticly searching until they finally gave up.

How To Cut Grass Without Getting Hurt!~.. Or, Hide Under the Deck With Uriah When The Tractor Is Running…!~

The air is still hot and heavy with moisture. Add to that a mixture of bug sprays, chemicals and manure, spread across the fields by plane or tractor. At that point, breathing becomes an inflexible process.

The skies this morning were blue, then deep, dark angry grey that rumbled and barked, spitting out streaks of light, then changing back to blue.

I took Uriah out for his morning walk by sitting on the front step and waving him off. With a happy wag of his tail he headed to the pond where he startled some ducks and blackbirds.  As I waited for him to return I was bombarded by annoying mosquitoes. 

Uriah took his time. So I just stared out over the field grass and watched it grow.

I had the tractor running a couple of weeks ago. It had roared to life, with as much exuberance as Uriah running to the pond.

*If you didn’t get that reference, well, Uriah walks slowly sticking his head in every hole sneezing and rolling in everything that smells bad… The tractor coughed, wheezed, chugged and rolled, jerked and smelled bad…

I checked and filled the tires, added water and oil. Brushed off the cutting deck and oiled anything that moved. Once I pulled her out of the barn I decided to move that downed tree.

I was very careful..

Before I took her on the path, I stopped the engine and walked the area, poking at the ground.  I didn’t want to get stuck in heavy mud, or caught up on a stump.     I backed into the path and tried to get as close as I could to that tree.   Driving backwards is not within my tractor maneuvering ability, so it took me a while.

Satisfied I wasn’t going to be stuck in the mud; I turned off the engine and gracefully slipped off the seat unto a wild rose bush.  Ouch!

Finally I was able to wrap the chain around the back hitch and around the middle of the tree.

Once back in the driver’s seat I slowly moved forward, dragging the tree not forward but sideways, just as I planned. The trees roots were facing south and its upper branches to the north. I could only move it a few feet, or it would get caught up on the Bog Willows.  

Slowly I inched forward.

Uriah was watching me from the edge of the path. As soon as I made my first lurching movement his tail disappeared between his legs and he ran towards the house. Smart dog! He remembered when that same chain broke free from the last tree I moved and went flying, taking out some branches. I had found it hanging in a tree some fifty feet away.

I hesitated for a moment and watched Uriah run. For a second, I debated what I was doing and thought that maybe this wasn’t a good idea…

That lasted for a minute.

Then I set the tractor in forward motion, slowly the chain went taut. I was very surprised when the tree moved off the path and ended up right where I wanted it to be, top facing west and roots to the East.

Nothing tried to bite me. I didn’t get the tractor stuck in the mud. The best part, I didn’t see one tick! 

I removed the chain from the hitch. Then I put Uriah in his outside kennel. And came back to cut the path, I was tempting fate by not walking the path first.. But even that turned out well,   so well in fact I took Uriah out for a walk..

A walk that ended with us being chased by a few angry Bumble Bees, luckily they only sting if cornered…

Uriah’s Rabbit Dinner & After Dinner Bath!~ Or, Crunchy Dead Bunnies & A Dip!

 Sweat ran down my back and I felt light headed from the heat and humidity.  The sky above me was a hazy, darkening blue-grey with soft, puffy white clouds. The tops edged with a hallo of white sun. I watched a Blue Heron fly towards me from the west. He nearly disappeared inside the glaring setting sun. This is his usually way of approaching the pond.  His large wings barely moved as he glided in.  His long legs held out behind him and his thin neck stretched straight ahead in elegant splendor. Slowly, his heavy wings caressed the air as he slipped between the trees into the pond. His goal was to  feed on frogs and catfish.

I was standing next to a giant Blue Spruce.  It towered overhead as I pushed into its soft prickly branches.  Uriah was half hidden underneath the thick needles.  His choppy movements shook the upper branches and a pinecone hit me on the head. I tried to drag him out by his chubby body.

He had something in his mouth and he wasn’t giving it up! In the expanding darkness I couldn’t make out what it was.  All I could hear was a loud, “Crunch! Crunch!”

 I pushed Uriah to the side and yelled at him to drop whatever was in his mouth. He rolled his eyes up at me and refused to open his mouth. Like a spoiled kid caught eating a candy bar he swallowed his prize.

Using my walking stick I scrapped at the pile of grass that accumulated along the bottom of the tree. Uriah had his nose to the ground, digging at a specific pile of grass; he pulled out what looked like the remains of a nest and a decomposing rabbit. I saw the back feet and a sort of body, but no head or fur, except for a fuzzy tail. The entire rabbit was covered with the grass clippings and dirt.

Uriah and I started a little dance of power.

He tried to pick up the remains.  

I yelled!

He dropped it!

I skipped backwards away from it!

He jumped forward and grabbed it!

 I yelled! 

He dropped it!

This could go on all night…

Finally I stepped between Uriah and rabbit, and pushed him towards the house.  I could see his little mind whirling.  He was storing this information, so in the morning he could reclaim his prize.

Mental note to self: Tomorrow get rabbit before Uriah does…

In the morning, I walked out with Uriah. The heat hadn’t abated, rather someone turned up the thermostat!  I hurried around the house and grabbed a shovel and a plastic bag.

Luckily, Uriah spotted a bird near the garden and decided to chase him away.

I dragged the shovel over to the Blue Spruce and carefully scooped up the carcass holding it as far away as possible.  I was surprised it didn’t smell.  When I reached the drive way I opened the plastic bag and tired to figure out the easiest way to get it into the bag.

I looked up and saw Uriah trotting over to the Spruce, nose to the ground hunting out the dead rabbit. After minute he looked up at me and ran over. I knew then that this plastic bag wouldn’t keep Uriah away from the rabbit, and I certainly wasn’t going to bring it into the garage. 

My next thought was: The burn pile! I could bury it there, under the ash.

It was relatively easy, the ground bowed to the power of the shovel and I dug a shallow grave. In the meantime Uriah had run off into the trees so I thought I was getting away with something..

When Uriah finally came back we took a walk to the pond where he happily swam in circle, then promptly ran out and shook all over me. He probably figured he was doing me a favor. It was very hot, and I was melting.

I stood in the heavy humid air, with the hot sun already burning my skin. It was only eight-thirty in the morning.  Birds yelled at me! We scared all the toads into the water, I couldn’t see them, but I heard their heavy bodies making contact with the water the same way I do a belly flop. Ouch! With Uriah stirring up the mucky bottom I couldn’t see where they went to, even when I pushed through the grass and searched the waters edge. I had taken a picture a week ago of one floating lazily in the water.   

I could hear my neighbor cutting his grass and a truck passing by on the road.

I shielded my eyes from the sun and motioned to Uriah to follow. We headed back to the house. I washed off the shovel with the hose before I went inside.

While I did that Uriah was nosing around the burn pile…

Magic beans And Happy Fairies Planted A Garden!~Or, What’s The Name Of That Herb?~

With one of my cats, PJ sitting to my right I finally began typing out this Blog. The past week has been full of gardening fun, rain, high humidity, cold weather and todays temperatures pushed me into air-conditioning.  The range has been maddeningly painful.

Last Saturday a family of magical beings came by and helped turn over the garden and plant some vegetables. They stayed only about three hours, but during that time I was able to talk to, and walk around with three little boys, while their parents grunted and groaned, as they dug, straightened and chopped up large chunks of dirt and moved around rocks.

When the boys spotted the rocks, the middle one was enthralled by the odd shapes and sizes. He wanted to take some home so they could make their own, Stonehenge under a tree in their back yard.  I was in agreement, so a pile was formed and a box appeared from the barn, a sturdy box that would hold all the rocks. Their father didn’t’ realize those rocks, when placed in a box, would weigh a ton and a hernia, until he tried to pick them up.

 Being a magical family, the boys had hoped to float the box of rocks above the ground. But alas, they forgot their fairy dust and had to settle on using a simple dolly.

 In the meantime, Uriah was being ridden like a horse.  A horse that was too tired to stand. He laid on the ground while the youngest boy sat upon his back and held tight to his ears.  I was worried Uriah wouldn’t like this, but when I saw his furry face he had a happy doggy grin. Finally, Uriah got tired of the game and stood up. Luckily the littlest guy was expecting this to happen, so he jumped off Uriah and gave him a big hug.

Uriah heard something in the trees and did his slow walk towards them. He kept looking back at me. When I finally turned my back, he slipped in-between the trees. Totally vanishing between the green leaves and heavy branches

Uriah’s normal disappearing act caused great distress to the youngest boy. He called Uriah’s name over and over, it must have seemed like hours to him instead of minutes, until Uriah reappeared to hugs and kisses. Uriah looked up at me, I shrugged and he happily trotted off with the little guy running along behind him.

Because of that extra help, I was able to plant a large amount in a short time.

This morning the rain was still pouring down, watering the seeds and plants, allowing the garden to take root, now, that also means the weeds will have a fighting chance too. I haven’t used weed killers or inhibitors in many a year. I prefer the old fashion wrestling techniques… I pull and the weeds pull back:-)