Archive | September, 2010

In Bloom

22 Sep

The Autumn Croci and little Fall cyclamen were a month early, appearing the third week in August instead of the third week in September.   They are all still out.

The Sweet Autumn Clematis is past its peak, though the bees are very busy there each day.

The wild Aster I let go in the flower bed near the clothesline is fabulous this year. The Anemone Japonica are also past peak, but still look fine and busy with bees.

The small Rudbeckia are great this year.  It seems the more I pull out in the spring, the better they look in the fall.  See Jay with the geese in front of one spread.

The Over-the-garden-gate and Peruvian Apple came on like the tortoise and now look wonderful.  Both these plants are garden volunteers and get ripped out profusely before just a few (one in the case of the P. apple) are allowed to keep on growing.

But my favorite just now are the very late blooming poppies:

Of course there are scads of flowers still blooming.  Too many to list.

And I counted nine–nine!–Monarch larvae on the Asclepias Monday ranging in size from 1/4 inch to ready to go to chrysalis.

Goose Hunting

22 Sep

Jay and Daren got these the first time out up back in the harvested corn field.  Yesterday they went again and spent $2.00 on shells on one goose which had a near death experience it will be able to tell its goslings about.  They missed several others also.  Jay says “That’s enough goose hunting for the year.”

Pounce,  Hawthorne, and I thought they did just fine.

Hawthorne got the legs and thighs and a gizzard, I got the hearts and livers, and Jay used the breasts for jerky, which in my opinion is the best use of Canada goose meat.

A Funny Story

16 Sep

The girl was sitting chewing on grass waiting for soccer practice to start.  Another girl comes over and says ” Whatcha doing?”

“Chewing on grass.”

Eww!  How weird! Why would you do that?  What if a grasshopper pooped on it?”

“Well, it tastes like salad.  Do you eat fish?”


“Well, those fish ate worms and things in the water before you ate them, so you are eating the worms that became the fish.”

“Hmm.  yeah…”

“Do you eat at McDonald’s?”


“Well, the hamburger comes from cows.  And the cows ate –guess what–grass!  So in a way you are eating the grass that became the cow!”

“Oh!  I never thought of it that way.”

Then the girl promptly bent over and took a blade of grass and started chewing on it.

“I don’t taste anything.   Oh, wait, it does taste like salad!  This is so cool!”

To which, my daughter tells me this morning, she privately went “Yes!  Another follower!”  As her goal all along had been to change the girls point of view, to manipulate her.  I told my daughter she should become a teacher.

Hazelnuts, other trees, and things that like trees

14 Sep

Jay and I walked through the arboretum last week.  There are very few black walnuts this year.  But there are lots of prickly Chinese chestnuts on the trees not yet ready to fall.

At another location, Jay showed me a hazelnut which was a prolific producer of small ( middle fingernail-sized) nuts.  The tree also has rough bark, unlike Corylus americana.  I think it probably is Corylus colurna, the Turkish hazel.  The article confirms that Turkish Hazel has rough bark, small nuts, and is often used in urban situations.  This one is located between two parking lots and a road.

The nuts are perfect for the flying squirrel, who is now 46 grams.  Sue reports he has made her science room the place to be in school, and that her students are excited, motivated, and doing more self-directed science than she has ever seen.  Many of them were unaware of the existence of Northern flying squirrels.

He rides in pockets and is woken up countless times during the day.   On my last visit, he ate a red raspberry and one of the small hazelnuts while riding in a vest pocket.

Two weekends ago we visited family and one of the jaunts we took was to visit our black walnut grove planted thanks to my father’s foresight.

Dad, Jay and I walked through one of his small woods which he wishes to harvest.  Outside there were two different wild apples.  Inside I found a wing and tail feather from wild turkey at opposite ends of the woods.

Guess which apple was better tasting?

Also saw quite a few  of these:

I do not yet know what plant this is.

and a few of these:

These are Beechdrops, Epifagus virginiana.  They are, so my Peterson Field guide tells me, a parasitic or saprophytic plant.  Indeed there was no green or leaves on the plants, which were growing at the base of large beech trees. And they are blooming in season.

New Fingerlakes Food Blog

10 Sep

Kevin, fiance of a good friend,  chef, and lover of food has started a new blog about restaurants in the Fingerlakes.

His first entry is a review of the Dewitt Cafe.

Seven Pounds, fourteen ounces

5 Sep

so far.  Dry beans is what I am weighing.  It will be a good eight pounds by the time I am a done shelling all.

From Larva to Chrysalis

4 Sep

There have been several discrete cohorts of Monarch larvae this late summer probably as a result of different batches of eggs laid.

One group was on four smallish Milkweed plants up back right near where the wood splitting machinery is set up.  I eventually saw six larvae there and moved the last one down to a similar wild milkweed in my garden since oil was dripping on and coating the leaves.

This is one of the first I saw:

One group of at least two were on a tall wild milkweed on the northwest side of the garden.

One group of 5-6 have been on the light-leaved cultivated Asclepias with lighter yellow flowers.  And there are at least two newly hatched small larvae on the red-flowered darker leaved variety of same next door to them.  Both varieties are on the north eastern side of the vegetable garden.

What I have not seen, though, is a chrysalis.  The larvae get fat and large–and then disappear.  Hunting for chrysalises has been futile.  My friend Sue has lots in her insect cage inside from hand reared larvae. But I have been hoping to see one in the wild.

Last night as I was hurriedly removing dry bean pods from plants because the sky got dark and the wind picked up all of a sudden, putting an end to my leisurely bean stripping in situ,  I thankfully saw this in time to not damage it:

How it came to be on a bean plant which was being dried on a bench thirty feet from the garden is interesting to contemplate.  The larva was attached.  So I hung the plant up in the back room and took this photo last night.

This morning it looked the same.  I wondered if maybe I had somehow injured it and if it were dead.  But about 9AM when I checked again, it looked like this:

This photo is magnified for effect.  Fascinating, eh?

And another 45 minutes later:

Complete!  Voila!

Tell me there is no evidence for personal transformation.  Or of one life leading to another.  Evidence refutes you.

%d bloggers like this: