Saturday, July 18, 2015

Golden Wonders

St. John's Wort

Fragrant Coneflower
Baby Brown Thrasher
A Black Swallowtail flitted among the Monarda, sipping it's golden nectar. It was an early arrival, many are coming soon, but very few are being seen. A challenge was issued by a county conservationist for me to find Monarch Butterflies. He hadn't seen any during the previous week, their habitat being destroyed where they winter. As a child I could catch a dozen in minutes in the field behind my boyhood home. I have tagged them for the last two decades as part of a study with the University of Kansas. When we first started 100 stickers would go fast in a day or two. Last year we worked two weeks to find 50.  As you know I love to  be around these flying flowers. Their colors amaze me each time I see one, and often I run along with them to get a good picture.  I hope to see the populations return in my lifetime, as I have persevered for decades with restoring prairie land  all around me. A cool prairie breeze touches my cheek, thanking me for kind thoughts and actions.

Those babies are getting big.
It is too hot to pose for you

A cloud of newly hatched Bullheads moves around a pond.

Male Widow Skimmer

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Being Cool

 It seems hard to think about wool products when the heat index is in triple digits. Poor Dolly had to be cooking so out came the shears. It will be interesting what my daughter creates with the wool.

 Guess it is best to just stay in the pool.
Or head to Northeast Iowa and go trout fishing. It is so pristine and the cold water streams make it a bit more tolerable. There are 58 streams to play on.  
 Limestone cliffs tower above the water. This area is also know as Little Switzerland.
 I have climbed this and stood looking down through the valley below.

Ground Cherries

The foliage is as unique as the tall flower stalks on this Compass Plant. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Putting A Cat In A Box Made Easy

Red-headed Woodpecker

These little Carolina Wrens have taken over a few bluebird boxes, but it is hard to say no to them. They have a happy song and remind me of placing a wren house outside the kitchen window for my mom to always watch that I had made in cub scouts. This pair has had a couple families in this one.
Prairie Clover
Compass Plant

Liatris filling out

Culvers Root
Bumble Bee on a milkweed bloom

Mother bluebird
 A few days of sun are followed by storm clouds moving in. Sometimes the storm moves through fast, but today I listen to a gentle rain with some thunder. A brave little dog sits close, not wanting to go out  in this type of weather. I made some pancakes today and laughed taking them out into my dining room seeing Rascal in his favorite thing, a box. Perhaps I set this out there for him he thought. I was going to recycle it, but will get more use out of it letting him relax. If it had a lid one could close it and mail him to unsuspecting friends. He will stay if you lift it and carry him  around, but I am more interested in my pancakes with fresh blueberries and maple syrup. Glad he isn't trying to nose in, he does if milk is involved. Warm is coming in fast creating these storms and close to triple digit temperatures are in store for the week. I will spend some time in my pool and weather out the warm. We sheared the sheep and they thanked Billy for the new look. It is amazing how much wool comes off them. My daughter has plans for it, so it will be fun to see what she makes.