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7 Jul

The hydrangeas are coming into bloom.  This is exciting!  Neither have bloomed since the years they were planted.  For one that is over a decade; I had been ready to pull it out if no blooms this year. Here is the first bloom off the newer one with a yellow rose.

A couple years ago the girl bought wool and silk at the guild’s rock day to make felt.  Yesterday a few of us met to divvy up books, yarn, and tools which dear departed Celia had bought and her Henry has since found. The get together inspired her to break out the fiber and get to work.

She made a wool and silk scarf.

The finished product is very beautiful!

And last but by no means least: both the girl and I have spied an Indigo Bunting.  She a few days ago and me this morning on the walk.  It flew from the ground up into a tree thick with leaves. Then it gave its annoyance cry.  (my interpretation).  Which is exactly what is recorded at the end of the “typical voice” sounds on the site.  Perhaps it is nesting?  Perhaps it is the one which made a meal of my flying friends?


A Few Photos

10 Jun

So much going on!  A little taste of earlier this week. And of what is in bloom.  The trip to NYC was very much fun and very hot.  Doing lots of thinking about things I saw at the Metropolitan.  More to come.

We had a Yee-Haw time with friends who came for a short visit. My SIL and niece are here now.  It was their first visit to NYC yesterday.

From this morning’s walk:  see how small that grass stem is?  Those are eggs laid at the end of a stiff filament that was placed on the grass leaf.   Will try to figure out who laid these.

Deciduous peonies and poppies are out. Foxgloves, clematis, wegelia,and, and, and…..

Big Bird Battles

4 Jun

Hawthorne and I walked in reverse this morning, going west along the edge of the grass sea and corn field, waded through goldenrod and mayflowers, turning north onto a path in the west woods.  Well, I did.  He was off running elsewhere.

From ahead near the corner where the cornfield and main north woods meet came the loud calls of a pileated woodpecker.   On and on it called.  Then a crow took up calling, loud and raucous.  Were they screaming at each other?

Then another pileated woodpecker joined in.  At this point I stopped walking because the noise was coming from only 60 or so feet away up in the high treetops.  I hoped to see those woodpeckers and maybe figure out what was going on.

There were two tall dead trees. With holes up high.  Possible pileated nest sights.  One woodpecker flew from a treetop to the top of one of those dead trees. Now it was two pileateds and two crows yelling all out. How long could birds go on in this fashion?  Piercing, repeated, angry, fearful, defiant.

Then:  “hoo-Hoo”; and a large brown bird with a wingspan as broad as my outstretched arms flew from that vicinity west into other treetops.  A Great Horned Owl!  I moved slowly up the path trying for a better view; it flew off further west.

It all came clear in that instant.  A few moments later another great horned flew east from a tree north of the one the woodpeckers were guarding.  The owls were harassing or hunting the nestlings of the woodpeckers.  Crows, which hate owls, had located the owls and had helped the woodpeckers drive them off.

Hawthorne ran up, panting, just after the excitement was over.  “Did I miss much”?

The large rhododendron and the azalea which it is overtaking are both open.  That poor orange beauty always has small worms that come and denude it of leaves, and this year the flowers, too.  The worms change color depending on what they have been chomping on: green leaves or orange flowers.


First June Days

2 Jun

Can you recall how hot and moist and calm you are after a tortuous sob?  Yesterday morning was like that. Perhaps that is why fifteen red efts were out strolling on the edge of the corn field.   Perhaps that is why the orchard grass in the shallow grass sea decided to release its pale golden green pollen in small dense clouds as one passed.  Or maybe it was to remember my brother who is now planted like a seed in the ground was born that day 51 years ago.

A stiff breeze brought cool, dry air over the night.  This morning there were no efts, and little pollen.  Though in the background of the blog you can see a slight haze as the wind whips the grass to release whatever pollen is left. Pounce decided to come with Hawthorne and me. He only wished to be carried a few times.  And only for a short while.  There were fewer dragonflies.

Can you see Pounce?  He is all business on walks.  Except when he is complaining about being left behind.  While I accompanied him (read–he walks slowly) Hawthorne was off running and exploring.

The clouds were playing tag and racing across the fields after each other, dark, light, dark , light.  I used to chase them, or run from them,  across the hay fields.  The corn is up in the last field.  The beans in the garden are up.  The deciduous peonies are opening.

We walked through the dry grass sea.  We made bed nests in it.  Really, a mature orchard or timothy grass field is the best place to hide if you do not wish to be found.  I used to do it regularly as a child.  Still do on occasion.


The perennial and annual poppies are popping.  The lupines are out.



Week in Review

28 May

Yesterday 13 red efts were out in the newly planted corn field when Hawthorne and I went for our morning walk.  That brings the May sighting total to 15.

Lots of rain and thunder and lightening.  About 1.3 inches the past two days.  Loss of power one night.

And now sickness so am not doing so much.

The tree peonies have been blooming, and quickly since a sudden heat wave has shown up.

The red bush was first and is almost done now.

Jay went fishing up the other end of the lake Thursday and caught perch, rock bass, sunfish and a gar.  The gar has lots of pointy teeth (see the blog header) and a skin so tough Jay was able to only get a small portion of flesh from near the tail, even using a filet knife and an electric knife..

I have modified the cooking on the last of the catfish and this new batch:  the pieces are rolled in mayonnaise  then in a spiced cornmeal/flour mixture and either baked or pan-fried.  The mayo has oil and egg and lemon and salt–all help to flavor and prepare the fish for the coating.

At Mom M’s the wisteria are blooming beautifully.  And lastly, a photo of Alison, Susan and me last Sunday before they had to leave.  What good friends to come to celebrate with us from far away!  We all went to Cornell together and along with about nine other ladies lived in apartments around the county in various groups for about a decade–or more–during and after college.

Spring supper Wednesday was fresh lettuce and green onion salad, baked fish and rhubarb custard with ice cream.  All but the ice cream we grew or caught.  Last night was the same with addition of a tomato-carrot-herb soup.  Only the carrots were store bought.

Sunny Saturday

21 May

Lilacs are out as are the tulips and columbines.  Last night we planted an Enkianthus we bought on our anniversary. We love the flowers.

Saw the first hummingbird yesterday.  At least one came to the feeder this evening as soon as it was up.

Saw an interesting small black beetle this morning: looked like some sort of very tiny (half the size of my pinkie’s fingernail) rhinoceros beetle   although that page indicates they are much larger.  The one I had was black with no reddish underpart.  It flew off on the way in the house to a container.

The robin’s nest with the four baby birds was on the ground this morning.  Two of the young were dead.  They were all surprisingly large for being about a week old.  Of the other two, one lived to this evening and is eating and pooping.  Am digging worms and feeding it.

Goldilocks ate another (boughten) mouse.  Then she had the opportunity to sun herself outside.  Perhaps she is getting ready to molt.  She is very sluggish and seems to be duller in color than usual, both signs of impending skin shedding.

Transplanting, planting, weeding, more weeding, raking.

In the Wet

15 May

The apples, both wild and cultivated, and wild strawberries are in bloom. So are the redbud, the flowering almond.  The latter looks like miniature pom-poms on a stick.

If you were from a city you might believe, as some city friends have, that now the woods is one great impenetrable green wall.  Only as impenetrable as the crowd of invited guests at the reception where you come in, late and uninvited.

But come as my friend and I will introduce you.

This morning it is raining after over a week’s hiatus.  The overcast half-light heightens all color.  Spent flowers and petals cover the paths as after a wedding.

For now is when the senses are almost overwhelmed with lively fullness, slow power, the rightness of all this creation coming into its annual glory.   Any terrestrial green you could wish for is here.

All those perfumes you have smelled that say they smell “green”?  Those narrow astringent thin half-starved scents?  They lie.

The scent is intoxicating: large and round and dense; subtle intense floweriness, thick with oxygen and pollen.  It welcomes one in, beckons me believe I could go live in beauty and never lack. Rich and full and altogether lovely. It is the smell of sufficiency and joy.

But not of breakfast.  One must come out of one’s senses and walk back to the house, dripping, with a large handful of clover and grass for Bouncer.  And a wet elderly cat coming to greet us joyfully through the lengthening field.

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