Compare and Contrast

I took this photo on June 27, 2020.

Local cornfield.

And these photos on July 31, 2020. Same corn field!

Tried to get same tree perspective for your comparison!
What a grass!

Other things have been growing, too. I have never tried to grow a Hibiscus, but some around here do. One person had a ditch full of pink, white and red ones! This is one Lucky and I found while walking the street.

And another

I think the red is my favorite!

Remember this photo of the milkweed from May 14th?

Look at it today! The tall ones in the back are about 5’8″!

Big guys in the back!

Has your spirit grown and prospered so far this year? Are you feeding upon the Word of God?

“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall,  but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.

1 Peter 1:24-25 (NIV2011)

Strange Summer

Besides the obvious corona virus restrictions and civil unrest, the Cicadas have been singing even though the large scale emergence is not expected here until next year. We have had sweltering heat and humidity. Frequent air quality alerts with ozone levels on the rise. Even the shrubs and trees look wilted. Then we had almost 3 inches of rain in 24 hours.

One particular evening a strange rain storm swept through where entire sky looked yellow. No storm sirens blaring or weather alerts, just so strange. Our cameras could not capture the tones we saw with our eyes. I was able to adjust the color somewhat.

Teeming rain and some wind

The only other time I have seen a sky similar to this was in Lexington, Kentucky years ago when a tornado was close by.

Weird and fascinating. I prefer those blue skies with white puffy clouds and low humidity!!

See, the Lord has one who is powerful and strong. Like a hailstorm and a destructive wind, like a driving rain and a flooding downpour, he will throw it forcefully to the ground.

Isaiah 28:2 NIV 2011

For I know that the LORD is great; our Lord is above all gods.  Whatever the LORD pleases he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.  He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth; he makes lightnings for the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.  

Psalm 135:5-7 NRSV

Lucky Dog Update

Oh yes, she is settling in just fine and almost has us trained! Benjamin asked to be kept updated on Lucky so here is the news! Grandgirl told me about a Starbucks dog treat, so of course we had to try it out!

Something like Pupperacino. Whipped cream in a tiny cup. We went to the drive through and parked in the lot.

She is wearing her harness to ride in the car with ease now. It has a handle on the back that helps if we need to lift her into the car for some reason. Bob wants to get a handle installed permanently on her back. Silly man!

The League For Animal Welfare is always looking for unique names for the animals. There ought to be a dog named “Move!” When we had our other beagle one child I kept called her “Moo!” because I so often said “Move!” She walks in front of us and we tell her to MOVE! Trying some new techniques to get her out of the way.

She fared pretty good with the fireworks. Thunder and lightning, not so much. There was thunder in the distance the other night. She was up in a nanosecond, looking out the window as if to exclaim, “Not AGAIN!”

Oh no! Not again!!

When it rains she wants to be touched. If it really storms she wants to be held while she trembles.

Not certain when we might be able to let her off the leash even around our yard. Maybe in due time. She adores Bob. If he leaves the house, even to empty the garbage she waits at the door. I have gotten to where if he leaves in the car, I first open the garage so she can look out the screen door to watch him get in his car and then drive away. She cries less that way, though she most often waits for him by the door. Wonder if we need another dog so I can have one, too? If we both go out she sometimes howls from her kennel. When we get home she most often has not consumed her treat! And she has a lot to say when we return. Yowling and crying with delight. Wags that tail and wiggles those hips like a professional dancer. She rarely barks though, inside or out.

As I write this blog she is asleep under my desk. I occasionally nap with her in the guest room in the afternoon. She understands not to sleep in our bed at night. I layer my bedroom recliner with her blankets and she gets her FAVORITE, a bone filled with a slice of cheap lunch meat, a Milk bone and a smear of peanut butter. Then she settles in the chair for the night or occasionally on the floor.

Still insists on being walked before she will “do her business.” Hoping she will start going in our yard before winter. If not, we will be walking more in the winter!

Already five weeks in her furever home! Still some timidity that we may never understand, but she is getting more accustomed to us our routine and her place in the family.

Euchaetes egle

Yeah that is what I thought too when I read the name! We have been awaiting the emergence of monarch caterpillars. Recently while inspecting the milkweed plants I saw piles of tiny black poop on some leaves. A telltale sign of caterpillar activity. Imagine my shock when I found these instead!

Looking online for more information I found …

The furry milkweed tussock moth caterpillar looks like a tiny teddy bear covered in tufts of black, orange, and white. In their first three instars, milkweed tussock moth caterpillars feed gregariously, so you may find entire leaves of milkweed covered in caterpillars. Milkweed tussock moth caterpillars can defoliate a stand of milkweed in a matter of days.

The adult moth occasionally is observed on milkweed or dogbane, although you might not be impressed enough to notice it. The milkweed tussock moth has mouse gray wings and a yellow abdomen with black spots.

Mouse gray and yellow my foot! These ugly monsters are literally defoliating many plants and I am angry! Then Bob reminded me we have seen these before. Oh. I guess there is enough milkweed to provide for all of them. But WHERE are the monarch caterpillars?

Evidently, not here. Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar U G L Y

Meanwhile, the corn is fine and growing quickly!

Unexpected

Have you ever done a tedious job that you might have to repeat? Then you dread doing it the next time? Recently our wireless internet connection went down and we needed to get the wireless printer reset to operate again. If you have had that pleasure, you press one button and then hold in the WPS button on the router down. It did not work.

img_2371

But while holding in the button I looked to the left, out the office window and beheld a wonder! A Scarlet Tanager, right under our feeder! And then in the branches of our maple tree. Nope! I could not grab a camera (holding in the stupid button) and even if I had run for a camera I might have missed the grandeur of that lovely startling bird. I have only seen one at our house once or twice before! Here is a photo from online.

Be still my heart!! Yes, eventually Bob and I figured it out together and all things wireless are working, for now!

“Human beings must always be on the watch for the coming of wonders.”

E. B. White

A few days later Bob and I took on another rather tedious job. Our office windows look out at the front yard and sun all day long. The window seals eventually rotted from all that sun. Bob connected with the building supply company who connected with the window company which eventually found the seals. He picked them up in northern Kentucky and then we played window installers and put the seals in. Yikes. I was grateful for my crochet and sewing experience! We had to feed this tiny plastic edge into a tiny plastic slot and get it to lock in. Had to make certain the corners were cut on an angle that would match the window. More than once we had to take it out. All the while the windows in question were open and the summer heat was pouring in vigorously.

Poof! While holding an edge of the window I looked down at my cactus garden tray. The tips of one succulent were amazing. Right there! Just then!

Right there in the midst of the tedium a wondrous sight! Oh, that appreciation made the job much easier.

There are treasures galore around us if we will just stay aware. May the blessings of your day astound you!

Lucky’s Story

I had a request from one of Mike Powell’s young friends to see the dog. Namaste to you, too, Benjamin! Is Gem your grandmother? My grandkids call me Grammy or Gigi.

I posted about the little beagle on June 27, June 29 and July 3. There are some photos on those days. She is settling in to our lives with sweetness.

We have named her Lucky. Sitting here on our sofa I think she looks like a regal princess. She ran to the door today when a salesman came. Ever since she ran away once we have been careful to guard the door and control her. She got past Bob, but was only going out to greet the man. That was amazing as she ran away that one day and we were really scared that she might not know WHERE her new home was. Also amazing because she is usually timid around strangers! We got her right back into the house.

She loves to look out the front door at the people walking dogs, children riding bicycles, and cars going past.

Every night she sleeps in her crate in our bedroom. Last night was the first night that was cool enough to sleep with the widows open. She must have heard raccoons or some other animal outside. At 1:45 AM she barked until we woke up. Ugh! I was so sleepy. I closed the front door and covered the top of her crate with a blanket. She went right back to sleep.

I keep taking her for car rides. She does not like it much yet. This was the first time she put her head out the window to sniff. When we got to the dog park she had lots of fun!

She knows not to beg at dinner time. She does love to lick an empty plate if there is a little gravy or something tasty on it! Her favorite treat is a piece of hot dog. We often stuff a hollow bone with a little hot dog, piece of Milk Bone and peanut butter. Peanut butter is also a favorite! Benjamin, do you like peanut butter?

Here she is exploring the edge of a corn field. Mr. Mike wanted to see how tall the corn was here. Sometimes beagles are called “a nose on legs.” She loves to sniff trails where rabbits, deer or coyote’s have traveled. Squirrels are fairly exciting, too!

She is a nice little bundle of 20 pounds. People think she is a puppy, but she is actually 4 years old. I hope you have enjoyed seeing Lucky and getting to know her a bit better!

More from the Walk

I recently posted about a walk with Lucky at Sycamore Park in Batavia. I never finished posting all the photos! Here is yellow Jewelweed, also known as Touch-Me-Nots. When the seed pods form if you touch them the seedpod springs open and scatters the seed! Fun for kids 🙂 like me.

Notice the water drops from rain and subsequent humidity. Yep, I was soaked from humidity when we finished the walk.

This is the base of a sycamore tree. Makes me want to write a kids story about who might live in there. Oh! Maybe that is where Pooh goes!

I started to write that this was thistle, but when I looked it up I was corrected that it is actually a Teasel.

http://www.botanicalaccuracy.com/2014/01/teasels-tousled-with-thistles.html “The problem is the teasels (Dipsacus) are not too far away from thistles, but certainly not true thistles, but they look a bit like them and get confused with them a lot.  Teasels also have large heads of small flowers and are plants that look ferocious with spines.  The teasel itself got its name from that the flower heads were used to tease out the wool before spinning (carding). Several teasels are invasive in the United States and you often see them along highways in ditches and on road banks. Their flowering heads dry beautifully into gorgeous botanical stalks for flower arrangements.”

For comparison “So, can you tell teasels and thistles apart? Thistles have many (involucral) bracts below the flower head that form a cup below the flowers.  In teasels, there are just a few long bracts that stick out below the flower head.  The teasels have lots of sharp parts in the actual flower head, so the flower head looks like a spiny ball the whole season. In thistles, the bracts below the flower stays, but there are no persistent spiny parts inside among the flowers themselves.  The fruits, which are little nut-like, single-seeded achenes have a feathery pappus for wind-dispersal in thistles, but are naked in teasels. “

So much to learn!

Growing Corn

Someone mentioned that they could not tell how tall the corn was in my blog from July 2. Well, when I walk the dog alone it is hard to get a photo that compares it to an adult height! July 12 Bob and I walked there on purpose.

The Ohio saying is a good crop of corn should be “knee high by the 4th of July.” So here it is a week later! I am about 5′ 7″.

And the lovely Beagle Princess Lucky, also known as a nose on legs!

Here are the photos from July 2.

Sweltering heat and high humidity. Are they growing corn or rockets?

Summer Walk

When I took Lucky for a walk at Sycamore Park (see Playing Michael Q. Powell) I made certain we went near the water. She was not interested in swimming, though I did put her feet in at one point. Discovered a flower or two I was not familiar with. Bob and I recently discussed Matthew 6:28 “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow…” Some translations read flowers or wildflowers. These plants remind me not to be anxious. My Heavenly Father knows all things that I need. He wants me focused on His Kingdom and His righteousness before all things. Seems this plant might be called Wild Petunia?

Wikipedia teaches that common chicory is also known as blue daisy, blue dandelion, blue sailors, blue weed, Bunk, coffeeweed, cornflower, hendibeh, horseweed, ragged sailors, succory, wild bachelor’s buttons, and wild endive. This is where we get the term describing someone’s eyes as cornflower blue. This plant is in the dandelion family!

Cornflower with a busy bee!

Growing along the sides of the road this always announces summer to me. I remember my mother teaching us that people used to roast the roots and use them to extend their coffee supply. It is caffeine free, but is supposed to taste like coffee. Can’t say I have tried it. It is still used and often known as New Orleans coffee.

Saw this thing below and thought, “What in the world?” Before I could look it up on the internet, I noticed a similar growth in my front flower bed.

Last spring I had some garlic in the kitchen that was beginning to sprout leaves. I decided to plant it where I could watch it. A friend had told me that if I plant it in the fall I could harvest my own garlic the next year. Granted, I chose a different time of year because the garlic presented itself ready to grow. Learned from Leslie Land at https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/gardening/advice/a18057/growing-garlic-460709/

“I spent most of my gardening life cutting off the flowering scapes of hardneck garlic so they wouldn’t draw energy from the bulbs. Then I read a story about a garlic growing guru who said it didn’t matter a whit. Well, it isn’t really much bother. Tender young scapes are delicious and older, curly ones look wonderful in the vase.” I never knew ANY of this! Perhaps I should have picked that “scape” at the park? Nah, leave it for someone else to notice and wonder about.

Keep looking around! Never know what you might discover in plain sight!

Bursting With Activity

The side garden is a busy place right now. It does not matter if I visit at morning, noon or evening, the milkweed is cluttered with bees, beetles, ants and aphids.

This photo only shows a portion of the milkweed. The fragrance is heady this time of year. Early evening carries one of those “knock you down” perfumes. We have seen a few monarchs flitting about. Have found no evidence of caterpillars yet. There seem to be tiny white/cream eggs on the underside of the leaves. They hatch so tiny that until I see actual holes in the leaves I cannot be certain we have newborns.

Until then, I enjoy the busy pollinators.

Even the bachelor buttons are humming with bees. Made me wonder how much pollen these plants produce? Do the bees run out after a few days? Seemingly not.

Looking this idea up on the internet I found these facts! “Very fond of milkweed blossoms, bees will desert other flowers when these are available. The plants provide a good nectar flow. Bees discard the pollen.  Assuming enough plants are available, milkweeds can bring a good crop of honey.” says https://www.beeculture.com/milkweeds-honey-plants/ Oops. I was only thinking pollen not nectar. Our bees are mixing it up between those two plants!

Will keep you posted as the milkweed gets taller and taller. Bob says it is taking over the garden. Jumps the rock border and tries growing out in the yard, where it is promptly mowed down. We started the seeds several years ago and have been rewarded with caterpillar feeding, raising and releasing after chrysalis.