Tree Discovery

Today, there’s a breeze in the trees.
Pollen too, and I want to sneeze.

On her most recent visit, Sharkey identified the species of the maple tree on the north side of our house.  It is a Tatar Maple, which is native to Russia.


The apparently leaning tower on the right side only indicates that I was pointing the camera at an upward angle.

It doesn’t show well in the first pic, but there is a bird’s nest in one of those shaded areas.  Let’s take a better look.


The wire is one of Sylvia’s amateur radio antennas.  She doesn’t use it these days.  Otherwise, I’d have to trim the tree around it or move it to another location.

This morning, I’ve been watching the birds make frequent trips to the sour cherry tree.


The power pole is vertical.  The camera angle gives an illusion of leaning.  Can you see any cherries in this pic?  Take a closer look.  It’s loaded.


The birds fly in and land on the branches.  Evidently it’s difficult for them to get what they want.  Soon they come to the ground and sort through the cherries that have fallen on the lawn.

This fruit is good for people too, but seldom gets ripe enough for us.  The birds get it first.  That’s okay . . . they’re probably sour anyway. :rolleyes:

A Great Day!

Monday was a great day.  Three events all happened on that day.  It was the summer solstice (longest day of the year) and it was marked by a beautiful sunset.


Behind me, the second event was taking place as the full strawberry moon rose on the eastern horizon.  They tell me that the solstice and strawberry moon happen on the same day only once in seventy years.  That makes it special.  Better than that, this was Briana’s birthday (24 yrs).  That was the first time ever that those three happened on the same day.

Briana was walking to the hospital to report for evening shift when she called to thank us for the birthday greeting and gift we had sent to her.

A half-hour later, I capture the sunset image.  What had first caught my eye was a bank of cumulus clouds.  As the sun was going down only the top of the clouds were bathed in white light.  Toward the bottom, the light was red shifted.


Although not particularly spectacular, it was a nice way to end a very special day.  Sylvia and I slept well last night while Briana made it through her night-shift duties.


If you think that we are proud of our granddaughter, you are absolutely 100% right!


In the Garden

Sylvia has been hard at work in the garden.  You can see that clearly.  The beans, garlic, tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, cabbage, jalapenos and rhubarb are looking great.


On the right, the scene changes as you look through the asparagus, which we have stopped harvesting.  Onions, beets, radishes, green peppers, butternut squash and potatoes are flourishing.  Peas are out of frame to the right.


Here another view.  We’ve been talking about laying down some mulch to discourage the weeds.  If some purslane comes up, we will eat that succulent plant.


This afternoon, a pop-up shower watered the garden.  It seems to have passed already.

Baby Bird Season

As I mowed the lawn yesterday, I saw a newly fledged robin.  It would hop away and seek cover when I came near.  A couple of times, I had to stop to give that young bird time to get out of the way.

Later, I was sitting in my recliner and reading when I heard a strange sound.  Almost like a dripping faucet–but not quite.  I headed for the kitchen to locate the sound’s source.  I heard it again.  Not from the kitchen, but from behind the door that leads to the end deck.

I peeked out a window and then carefully opened the door so as not scare this little guy.  Yes, it’s the same one I had seen earlier out on the lawn.


Here’s hoping this youngster is able to fly before being found by the neighborhood cats.

Color Tour

It is now late spring, and summer will soon be upon us.  With camera in hand I went out to check on our flower gardens.  Here is part of what I saw:







You might call the clover among the daises a weed, but I like them.

A brief pop-up shower Monday afternoon should perk things up a bit.  The veggie garden got better attention and more moisture.



Peonies on Parade

Peonies?  Yes, we have them.  Let me show you three of them. These are an interesting study in lighting.  If you get past the color differences, you can see different types of lighting illustrated.  In the first (pink), the subject is in shade and the light is flat, non-directional.  Contrast is fairly low and details are more clearly seen.


In the second (purple), direct sunlight is coming from behind the flower and slightly to the left.  I did a tiny bit of touch-up with a graphics program.


The final (white) subject was the most difficult.  The sun illuminates a little over half of this beauty.  Also it is white, which means the highest contrast.  It took a bit more touch-up to satisfy me with this image.160605d

I should have waited for an overcast day, but I didn’t.  Sometimes it’s enough to just enjoy the beauty of creation.

Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. Matthew 6:29

Grackle Builds Nest

While Sharkey was visiting us recently, we sent out to inspect flowering plants and trees.  It was also a good excuse to exercise our legs.  As we went past the propane tank, Sylvia lifted the lid and found a nest.


It is well protected under that cover, but if those eggs aren’t hatched by the next delivery, the bird is in trouble.  The propane delivery driver had earlier cleared another nest out of that cozy spot.  I think it will happen again.  Let’s hope that the babies have fledged by that time.

I’ve been watching mama bird come and go.  Her mate is nearby and is frequently having minor spats with a couple of robins.

Maybe next year mama grackle will build her nest in the cedars again.  It’s a much better place.


A Welcome Visitor

Sunday evening, our friend Sharkey arrived on schedule.  She did an overnight stay with us and left mid-day headed for base camp.  She and her friend, Marie, will be hiking on the Buckeye Trail.

160606eSharkey & Sylvia love the outdoors.

I think we were all tired.  While we enjoyed excellent conversation, it was a bit more subdued that normal.

Sylvia and I always look forward to Sharkey’s visits.  In the [relatively] few years that we have known her, she has become a  very special friend.  We have discovered many things that we share in common.

We particularly appreciated her willing and able hands on Monday morning.  Before breakfast, Sylvia and Sharkey did some weeding in the vegetable garden.  Afterward, she helped us as we secured the fence–making it bunny proof.  We are both very grateful for her helping hands and especially for her great sense of humor.

Do you know Rhoda?

Every time I see this bush, it brings to mind a name for a [fictional?] music group with a female lead singer, Rhoda and the Dendrons.


We’ve had a lot going on here and it has kept me away from this blog.  The vegetable garden is in and looking good.  No pictures yet.  The peonies are in blossom.  The purples were first, followed by the pinks.  Yesterday, the white peonies opened their blossoms.  Japanese iris by the barn are looking good, but you have to walk right up to them to see them.  They are hiding behind day lilies, which have not yet blossomed.

We are sleeping better at night since our new Sleep Number bed arrived last week.  It is a lot nicer than sleeping in my recliner.  What a difference it makes to raise the head (easier to breathe w/o snoring) and feet (Lessens pressure on the lower back).  Our unit even has the built in massage.  Expensive, but well worth it.

Sad Discovery

The other day, I was walking down the driveway on my way to the mailbox.  As usual, my eyes were searching for anything different or unusual.  That’s when I saw it there in the driveway.


Some egg thief seems to have enjoyed a meal.  You can see small puncture marks on the left end of this egg shell.  Do you think it was another bird?  Or perhaps a mammal?

Fortunately, that is not a green egg. :laff: