Duckweed Thrives in Ohio

Are you old enough to remember “Sunday Drives?” Recently while we were driving around part of Eastfork Lake we went to one of our favorite little places where a road crosses a pond. With this orthotic boot still slowing me down, Bob has been very kind to try to find ways to entertain me. Going for a “Creamy Whip” ice cream and a drive is one of our amusements.

We hiked a trial here last autumn and delighted in the colors of the falling leaves. We also drove there last winter when things were frozen and cold. This day was totally different. Here is a summary from Aquaplant about Duckweed.

Where Does it Grow?

Duckweeds tend to grow in dense colonies in quiet water, undisturbed by wave action. Often more than one species of duckweed will be associated together in these colonies.

Is it Invasive?

Although Duckweed is native, it can be aggressive invaders of ponds and are often found mixed in with mosquito fern or watermeal. If colonies cover the surface of the water, then oxygen depletion and fish kills can occur. These plants should be controlled before they cover the entire surface of the pond.

Pros and Cons of Common Duckweed

Many kinds of ducks consume duckweed and often transport it to other bodies of water. Duckweed colonies provide habitats for micro invertebrates, but if duckweed completely covers the surface of a pond for an extended period of time, it will cause oxygen depletion. These colonies will also eliminate submerged plants by blocking sunlight penetration.

In the height of summer this is what the pond looked like! Kermit would be totally camouflaged!

In the background are ducks on the log like turtles sunbathing. Plant blooming in the foreground is a common Mallow. Not photo-shopped! Just Grinch green pond.
Reeds in the distance on the right

Here is part of the trail we took last October. Lucky was thrilled with new things to smell and mark. Our friend Pat from Columbus calls it “pee-mail!”

Notice who is walking the board walk! Some loose boards made us leery of it.

And this will be the scene here very soon!

Autumn is a many colored thing!

Here is the same place in winter

Yes, this is the same place in January! photo by r m dutina

We both found this so funny, decided to share it with you. Look in the center of Bob’s photo for skid marks where a duck tried to land.

photo by r m dutina

So I guess we had better be grateful for the greenness and the heat! Before we know it there will be falling leaves, ice storms and who knows what! Be on the lookout for treasures in plain sight!

I will bless the Lord at all times;
    his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
 My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
    let the humble hear and be glad.
O magnify the Lord with me,
    and let us exalt his name together.

Psalm 34: 1-3 NRSV

Under the Deck

The dog took an interest in whatever was under the deck this spring. First time she went exploring in the mud I had to get a bucket of water to soak the mud out of her toes and nails. The second time she did the belly crawl underneath and into the mud and came out with her nails packed (and I mean packed) with mud, her entire white belly brown with it, legs, you name it, I had an absolute fit. I bathed her in cold hose water and I did not even care if she got chilled. Besides it was warm enough out side in my demented mind.

Bob agreed that, yes, she was making a terrible mess. He bought new boards that match the Trek deck and attached them to two sides of the deck that she can reach from her lead. That ended the exploring and mud bathing.

Then she took an interest in watching the far left corner of the deck. Staring for hours at either the yard or woods. She often lies down and puts her head between the bars to keep watch. We never have determined what she is looking for, but she is determined there is something out there to see. Has she seen the Doe with her twin Fawns out there, silent in the woods? The doe often leaves the fawns in the shrubbery while she goes to eat at the buffet one neighbor puts out for her. She is so silent I could easily miss her visits if I did not see her movement. Or has Lucky seen something come out from under the deck? Maybe something like this!

Notice the nice job Bob did blocking Lucky! Also, notice the Palm Rock on the windowsill 🙂
I think this was mama bunny before she delivered her kittens!

We are frequently convinced that Lucky is smarter than we are. She hears thunder and lightning before we do. She knows the movements of the animal world beyond our comprehension. Sometimes that is maddening, like when she is underfoot and fearful of an approaching storm while we are getting dinner ready. Or last night when she refused to urinate during her last walk of the evening because she sensed something we did not. Was there a coyote nearby? Will never know.

From the size of the rabbits who frequent the neighbors lots and now ours, these are no “Little Rabbit Foo-foos .” I do not think Lucky would kill a rabbit, but we are not planning on turning her loose to find out!

The Squirrel Pleading

Recently Bob tried to catch a photo of this squirrel in a portrait pose. He ran to capture the image and voila! {I do not know how to add that appropriate accent in Word Press 😦 }

r m dutina squirrel portrait

And then I had a session with the pleading squirrel. The feeder is designed to foil the squirrel. It entertains us wonderfully. Too bad for the squirrel.

“I wonder who else can feed me today?”

Though the squirrel is not mentioned specifically in Scripture, Psalm 150:6 does say “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
    be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”

Revelation 5:13 NIV


Whether an afternoon rest or in bed for the night, I rest best if I read first. I often read books in bed on my iPad mini. Sometimes as I am falling asleep I will accidentally drop the iPad over the side of the bed. The thud rarely wakes me.

Last week I awoke one morning and retrieved from the floor a new paperback book I had been reading. I also saw the dark form of the iPad cover and reached down for it. I could not grasp it, so I reached further down and grasping again, pulled to get it out from under the edge of the bed, but it weighed more than usual. In a split second I realized it was wet on the edge.

Oops. That was not an iPad mini. That was the dog’s snout. Poor Lucky! What a way to be awakened at 6:45! As she scooted out from under the bed she looked at me with so many expressions. “What the heck?” “Are you certain you are awake, Molly?” “Really? Is that the thanks you give to your constant companion?”

I started laughing and have not stopped since. Every time I think of it I get the giggles. Such a good thing that she is a gentle dog! What has tickled your funny bone lately?

This beagle sheds like a maniac. I can brush her out in the yard and gather wads and wads of fur. I have noticed this especially around her hind quarters. I am considering having her shaved there. But then I knew a Sheltie who was shaved and never looked quite the same again. Guess I will just order a new brush and see if I can keep up better with the Hairball/Shed maniac. But she is so cute! Don’t you agree?

Learning Curve

Oh my goodness. I was brought up short by my ignorance during a visit with my oldest Grandgirl the other day.

She met her boyfriend on Snap Chat. And he is a looker! Lives about 27 miles away. They have a limit of seeing one another 4 times a week, at least before school began. With the price of gas I am not surprised on that limit.

She wanted to come over and bake a cookie recipe with me that she got from Tik Tok, I think. It has pretzels, chocolate chips and chopped caramels in it. She baked those with him, too. Told me she did not think they would be too hard for him. Oh my, dear. The male ego is fragile. Hope she did not say that to him!

She had to teach him how to crack an egg. She liked that fact. The cookies were delicious!

I am so out of touch! Yes, I suppose I must lean into this learning curve. Parts of me sarcastically say, “Really?” When we began an account on Facebook our children were upset as they saw it as their domain. Now they have moved along without us. The Grandgirls helped me load Snap Chat a few years ago. Without practice I have forgotten how to use it and the value of even having it on my devices. Not certain I even want TikTok. Here is more information in case you are interested.

“TikTok is a short-form, video-sharing app that allows users to create and share 15-second videos, on any topic.”

I do not take many videos. If I mastered videography would I only want you to see it for 15 seconds?

And what about Snapchat?

Snapchat is an American multimedia instant messaging app and service developed by Snap Inc., originally Snapchat Inc. One of the principal features of Snapchat is that pictures and messages are usually only available for a short time before they become inaccessible to their recipients.


Do I really need more apps and time destroyers? I’m thinking not, but perhaps I am just thinking old! One pastor called one of these apps a tool of the devil. I think that demon can find his way into anything, but not certain the entire platform is evil? More likely the techno-crazed modern brain is caught up in too much information bombarding daily. It is amazing how modern technology has made it possible for us to be connected to others if we want to be!

Not likely I will load and use either of those apps. Just thought you might want to know how out of touch this Grammy is! I do pray for the protection of my grandchildren and all those using these apps. Most of all, may they turn their eyes to the Lord God Almighty.

But my eyes are toward you, O GOD, my Lord; in you I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless!

Psalm 141:8 ESV

Rodeo Squirrel and Flying Tuxedo

We have red headed woodpeckers who visit our feeder almost daily. At our previous house we had Pileated woodpeckers, which resemble the Woody Woodpecker cartoon character. These guys are smaller and have a fully red head, sometimes described as a red hood. The black and white areas of their feathers are purely black or purely white, not speckled as so many woodpeckers are. I have taken to calling them Flying Tuxedos. I have tried repeatedly to capture their image on video, but to no avail. So I turned to the internet and found this one by Mike Blair.

Mike Blair has best flying video I could find!

I have also been amused lately by the young squirrels who have been coming around. They are certain they can outwit the sunflower seed feeder equipped with a spring that closes off the seed when their weight triggers it. They have not succeeded. Just like at the last house they are stymied and frustrated. They know from the seeds dropped on the ground below exactly what this feeder holds. But they cannot access it. They swing about on it and remind me of the Rodeo Wannabes who ride the fake bull in the bars.

True rodeo rider and pretend rodeo rider

Here is a photo of a defeated squirrel

r m dutina

Keep your eyes open for treasures in plain sight and what they might remind you of!

Jewelweed, Touch-Me Nots

Seems I have been waiting a long time to see the blooms here. Perhaps due to SO MUCH rain! We are so far the 6th wettest August on record in Cincinnati area. We love having this plant about as the hummingbirds frequent them. There are only a few blooms here so far.

The Spruce says: Jewelweed is considered an easy plant to grow and requires little hands-on care once it’s established. It generally doesn’t have any issues with pests or diseases. And the dense growth of jewelweed can actually help to discourage the development of weeds, which will lower your garden maintenance overall. Just make sure the jewelweed is planted in an area where the soil remains moist.

And as I have noted in previous blog postings, when you touch the seed pod it springs open to scatter the seeds. Here is a photo of mostly spent seed pods!

Our hummingbird feeder is mounted outside the kitchen window. It makes for great entertainment while doing dishes or cooking! The whoosh of wings and chatter as the birds guard what they consider ‘their’ feeder is a constant throughout the summer. In the morning during my prayer time they whoosh past the bedroom window where my ‘prayer chair’ is located. When the window is open and I hear their approach and flight past me I am always amused. Has anyone clocked their flight in situations like this? I could use one of those things where they sports people clock a pitcher’s throw!

According to

The thin, asymmetrical, and slightly curved primary feather of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird allows it to achieve an optimal speed when flying. It can fly straight to a speed of 25 miles per hour, and 40 miles per hour during courtship dives.

Hummingbirds Plus

Did I mention zooming past the window? Here is a video of their feather sounds and chirping.

If you learn to identify jewelweed and notice some growing near you, watch for hummers zooming in and around the plants! Well worth waiting to see them!

Tiny treasures in plain sight!

In Due Season

Watching “The Green Planet” again and came across this!

That has to be one of the most amusing ways I have seen to spread seeds! That is the “Harvest Mouse” eating, of course, dandelion seeds. They showed an actual film of the mouse climbing the stem. I was again laughing out loud!

No idea what the mouse weighs, but it tickles my heart. Never even dreamed about anything climbing a dandelion stem.

I understand how unwanted mice are when they invade a house. We stayed at one of my sister’s houses in Colorado that was especially prone to mouse invasion. I would not kill a mouse in the wild, but inside the house where they run all over the food and silverware? That is something else!

The Lord God takes care of all of His creation, except perhaps when they invade a woman’s abode.

The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season.
You open your hand;
you satisfy the desire of every living thing.

Psalm 145: 15-16 English Standard Version

Frumpy Contentment

I have been leading discussions about Philippians lately. My focus here is the secret of being content in any and every situation. Not just well fed or hungry. (So ignore the fork below.)

I woke in the night with an image of a happy frumpy man in my mind’s eye. He was overweight and wearing soiled overalls. He had on a bucket-style hat with a collection of pins adorning it. He was smiling and obviously happy and content with his life.

In our society so fixated upon how others dress, their weight, what they look like to us, this man was a refreshing revision of contemporary humanity. He obviously did not care about social norms. I had the impression he knew Jesus very well. There was no such image online that I could find. Not even close. I want to be like him, though. He might have been carrying a fishing pole in his left hand?

We need all the humility mentioned above, but we also need 1 Timothy 6:6

Godliness with contentment is GREAT GAIN. Find your comfortable clothes and go out into the world declaring the power of Christ to make each of us content, whatever we go through. Going about His business, doing His job assignment to you with joy. My pastor calls it ‘the family business.”