Wednesday, September 30

the almost Harvest Moon

Waxing gibbous moon, 85% illumination, the real deal occurs Sunday, October 4.

Tuesday, September 29

teasel, teasle or Teazel

Fuller's teasel was used in the textile industry prior to the Industrial Revolution. It was a simple tool used to raise the nap of newly woven fabrics, particularly woolens. Combing over the fabric to raise the nap with a metal comb could tear the cloth, teasels would break rather than ruining the weaver's work.  These volunteers showed up in one of my flower beds, I left them to grow, my daughter the Textile Artist is intrigued by such things. They arranged themselves artistically for a portrait, you can see why floral designers find them appealing in a fall arrangement.

Monday, September 28

prairie Afternoon

golden afternoon
harrier skims open fields
red-tails soar skyward

Sunday, September 27

sometimes the cranes migrate, sometimes Not

The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, new construction is a welcome addition to campus. View from the football stadium on a Friday night. The sunset was rosier than the score for the home team.

Saturday, September 26

the purple Gate

The folks in the neighborhood of Lincoln Academy (the school where I work) seem to enjoy painting from a funky color palette. This outrageous purple gate is cornerwise across the street from the pink house with the lavender fence and the green hose. 


Friday, September 25

lines and Curves

The green hose has been hanging on the lavender fence that belongs to the pink house next to my school for the past year. It's like a vine that has twirled itself around the pickets of the fence, it tickles me every time I park on that side of the building, today I happened to have the camera with me.

Thursday, September 24

the blue jays missed One...

Only one left on the tree...

Wednesday, September 23

mackerel Skies...

There is an old New England adage that says:
    Mackerel skies and mare's tails,
      Bring big ships, with low sails. 
There were no mare's tails with these mackerel skies on the first day of fall, and the National Weather Service doesn't predict squalls or hurricanes for South Dakota this week, so we'll just admire the patterns that Ma Nature decided to create today.

Tuesday, September 22


The autumnal equinox has arrived, 3:18 pm MDT, it feels like fall today in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Monday, September 21

I was hoping for butterflies...

but this visitor came early this morning to my tall goldenrod instead. All are welcome as summer starts to wind down, they will be missed when the frost comes.

Sunday, September 20

the sign Said....

..."free to a good home".  It had no leaves, flower buds or other signs of life, but the price was right, marked down from $39.99 to  what I paid for it...nothing. It took about 10 weeks to come to life, quite the botanical Cinderella.

Saturday, September 19

the Paragon

As the season changes, most birds are acquiring the subdued colors of winter. Here, however, is the Paragon, where on the Planet would this appear subdued or dingy or drab?

Thursday, September 17

fun with Photoshop

Ok, so windy days are not the time to be trying to take pictures of flowers, but these were so cheerful looking I thought I'd try. Every shot was blurry, what a surprise! I played with it in Photoshop and blurry suddenly became Monet...I kind of like the Impressionist effect that resulted.

Wednesday, September 16

the sole Survivor

I love Prairie Sun rudbeckia, unfortunately, so do the deer this time of year. This plant was loaded with flowers a few days ago. This morning this was the only one still greeting the sun, the white-tails had cleaned every flower and remaining bud off the plant. I suspect that I will have a lovely pot of chewed stems by morning decorating the space in front of the birdbath. Sigh.

Tuesday, September 15

sometimes what ends as a showery Day...

...starts out as a Sunkist orange sunrise

Monday, September 14

X marks the Spot

This post is brought to you by the letter X, the color BLUE and the number 1.

For those of you who have arachnoleptic fits like my youngest daughter... X marks the spot of 1 Aragog sized spider, mashed by a flyswatter and marked in BLUE for me to vaccuum up...because "EEEEwww! I'm not touching it!" :o)

Sunday, September 13

coolest bike rack Ever

This is the bike rack at a new family dentist's office I drive by every it not the coolest thing for welcoming young patients?

Saturday, September 12

why is he Here?

He appeared on a fence post on the corner of our road a week ago, no explanation, no sign, no anything, no idea why he's there. Much speculation about his origins, intentions and purpose for being. You don't normally spot aliens keeping company with Angus cattle in a South Dakota pasture....

Friday, September 11

remembering 9/11 Heroes

South Dakota National Guard and Stevens High School freshman football team present the colors honoring our country during the playing of the National Anthem by the Stevens High School Blue Raider Marching Band.

Thursday, September 10

awesome Grandpa

If you once plant Grandpa Ott morning glories, you won't ever have to do it again. I love these, the bees love these, the hummingbirds love these. Unfortunately the deer love these as well...evidence the photo below, those stems are supposed to have leaves attached.
These flowers are currently 8' off the ground and the plant continues up a string another 7' and is still growing the first week in September. They self seed readily and are a real eye catcher.
Grandpa Ott is one of the heirloom varieties that started the Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa. Check out their website at

The nice thing is that Grandpa has gotten so tall climbing up the deck railing, that the flowers and the rest of the leaves are way out of the deer's browsing reach.

Wednesday, September 9

more things to Harvest

My Early Girl tomatoes weren't! They sulked in the cool, rainy weather, they suffered from being blasted by two hailstorms and took their time ripening. I planned on BLTs on the 4th of July, we are finally eating them on the 4th of September! After a long wait, they sure taste good.

Tuesday, September 8

where you going with That?

The season is turning, more evidence than just the shorter days is all around. The resident pine squirrel is showing off just how she got the name. She is harvesting green cones from the ponderosa pines in our yard and packing them off to her midden somewhere to the south of us.
She was on the dead run when I caught her picture. Down the tree, on to the neighbor's board fence heading east, quick turn on to the chain link heading south and off she goes.

She does stop for a snack occasionally, there is a spot under the biggest pine that is littered with the scales from the cones and the empty cores. She has a quick drink from the birdbath and off she goes again. I discovered on Monday morning that she is not only having a snack and a drink, but she has part of her stash tucked under the edge of the birdbath and surrounding rocks.

She also has the top of my pot of ivy geraniums crammed full of cones!

Monday, September 7

the chokecherries are Ripe...

The chokecherry trees that create The Thicket in the back yard were weighed down by robins and cedar waxwings devouring the cherries. Their antecedents are responsible for the plants being there in the first place, along with the honeysuckle and the cotoneasters. The birds absolutely would not cooperate for pictures, the chokecherries are more well behaved and sat still.

Sunday, September 6

the house finches' Garden

Volunteer sunflowers planted by house finches, with another consumer ready to have lunch.

Saturday, September 5

the full Corn Moon

The full Corn Moon, so named by Native Americans as the month that the corn from their fields should be harvested and prepared for winter storage. September 4, 2009.

Friday, September 4

Thursday, September 3

Wednesday, September 2

Tuesday, September 1