I was headed down the driveway when I spotted this monster crossing our lawn. I stopped the car, picked up a weapon (my camera) and went to investigate. Soon I was eye-to-eye with the beast.
I’m not going to mess with this one. Would you?
I retreated. And got a better look.
The turtle left, but perhaps blessed us in passing. A few days later we received two and a half inches of rain and that brown lawn is once again a luscious green.
I saw that turtle in the morning. Later that afternoon. I met a painted turtle on the driveway as I was walking back from the mailbox. Unfortunately, I had no camera with me.
As we are officially in autumn, the birds are beginning to flock together. Perhaps they are getting ready for their annual southward migration. As they pass by, my big antenna seems to be a favorite place to get a bit of rest.
They all came at once. Soon they were all gone.
I enjoyed their visit.
I hesitate to write about our [from here] 80% solar eclipse. Others have posted pix that put my efforts to shame. Nevertheless, here’s what I captured with a tea strainer for a pin-hole camera:
This image was projected onto our pebble-surfaced kitchen floor. This technique was going to work, and I had over 20 minutes to max coverage. I rose to find a sheet of white paper. The sky grew dark. A bank of huge dark clouds had rolled in. The show was cancelled.
Of Bats and Birds
I was coming home from a meeting last week. The sun had set and the sky overhead was nearly dark. I came to a spot in the road with lots of trees on both sides. As I approached, I could see flying bats stuffing themselves with insects.
After arriving home, I stepped out the back door. As I watched, a pair of bats were sweeping the between our house and barn for insects. I enjoy watching them fly in their zigzag pattern.
I’ve searched on other evenings since, but have not had the good fortune of seeing them again.
The next day, I sat here in the office at my computer. My eye caught some movement in Sylvia’s flower garden. It was a pair of hummingbirds battling for dominance over a yucca plant. They sure are feisty fellows.
The neighbor has harvested the wheat from the field behind us and has baled the straw. From here it look like a lot of straw.
Sunday evening, Sylvia and I were talking on the phone with our son in Omaha. The sun had just set and it was a pleasant evening. I took the phone outside and sat on our small deck to watch the fireflies. A gentle breeze kept the mosquitoes away.
In the gather gloom, I became aware of motion on the low ground. Turning my head, I saw the twin fawns and their mom. The children wanted to play. They would run and chase each other as fast as the wind.
I watched until I could no longer see them through the darkness. Then I went back inside. The fireflies kept telegraphing their messages to one another.
The garden is doing very well again this year. As a wise friend observed, “You either have too much zucchini or you didn’t plant any.” Our first try at cantaloupe is proving interesting as the single plant is trying to take over its corner of the world. Sylvia pruned it back.
There is one exception to the flourishing garden. Three times, Sylvia planted parsnips. None of those plantings developed into parsnips.
I stepped out the back door and found myself looking at this guy. He was looking back at me.
I got down on the driveway to get that shot and this one.
This is about the largest praying mantis that I have seen. I’m always glad to see them, because they eat other bugs.
Yesterday, I posted a pic of a tree that had fallen in our front yard. It was partially blocking our road. I also reported that the county work crew was starting to clean up the situation.
They did their part and left. I still have a mess to deal with.
They were good enough to cut the tree trunk close to the ground. I’ll still need a man with a chain saw.
I checked the rain gauge this morning and found one inch had fallen since yesterday morning. Can someone say “wet?”
It rained most of the day and we had strong winds out of the east. Driving into the city to meet our son and daughter-in-law for lunch was not much fun for the heavy rain and traffic. Coming home was different. The rain had slackened and so we had much better visibility.
We had been in the house for a short while when I noticed a tree branch down beside the road. It looked to be all on the lawn. But a closer look revealed the rest of the story. Just minutes after we had driven by, this happened.
A work crew from the county road commission is now clearing the mess out of the road. Update to follow.
No, this not a restaurant review. The big boy that I’m talking about is a spotted fawn. He is very large for his age, and so I’m saying he’s a young buck.
Sylvia and I have been watching him and his mother this year. We would see them regularly as the sun was starting to set. They would come out from cover and graze on our lawn or in the small hay field beyond. I posted pix of them on the eighth of this month.
For the last week, I’ve seen Big Boy wandering around here during the day. He has been alone and looking lost. We think he has been orphaned.
Friday afternoon, I stepped out the back door to go to the mailbox. There he was standing by the propane tank looking at me. I froze. We just looked at each other. A few minutes later, I spoke softly to him. He did not reply. I walked several steps down the driveway. He took a couple of steps toward the barn. I continued to walk down the drive. He ignored me and walked on past the barn. I thought he was gone for the day.
Later, I came into the office and looked out the window. There he was napping next to the driveway.
It had been a chilly day and I think he wanted the shelter of the tank, the warmth of the asphalt and the softness of the grass. He had a nice nap.
I really wanted to follow his example and have a comfy snooze myself.
I called Sylvia in to take a look at the sleepy fellow. Then she called me to supper. After clean up and doing the dishes, it was time to check on Big Boy again. He was awake.
He watched us watching him, but did not react. A later look revealed that he had moved on with his business. Whatever that may be.
You know the expression . . . As summer transitions into autumn, the bees are busy. This time of year, you’ll find them on the seedum.
The are harvesting those last loads nectar before the season ends.
No time to play. Must seize the day. Carpe diem.
Meanwhile, out at the barn. Another creature is looking for a different kind of meal.
This is the largest mantis that I have seen. I frequently find these on the seedum, but not this day.
I was glancing through my archive of unused photos when I found this sequence of images that I had capture over the course of a single day. It started in the morning. These grow near our back door, which is the main entrance to this house.
In the afternoon, I saw a spider securing its prey. It was a large spider, its body being as large as my thumbnail.
That evening, Sylvia went into the office to read emails and play a game or two. It is relaxing and the way she frequently unwinds after a busy day.
Another day came to a peaceful end.
As sunset approached, I looked out the dining room window and saw them grazing on the grass. With camera in hand, I captured an image.
Something over my way made the young one curious. He approached the house.
Hey! You at the window, is that a camera in your hand? I’m out of here!
It’s amazing to me how fast this guy can run. Mom has seen it before, and it’s no big deal to her.
She continued her grass-grazing activities while continuing to be alert to her surroundings.