Tuesday, June 29

mystery Solved

I wondered why my little "Florida Swamp" garden (that is a water hyacinth and water lettuce in a pot on the deck, a reminder of Sanibel trips), was having such a problem with evaporation. Searched for leak, then caught the guilty party in action! Ma Nature has been getting a little help from Lucifer lowering the water level, I have a suspicion that Jack Sparrow, his partner in crime, is also in on it. I just haven't caught him yet.

Monday, June 28

redbirds in a Tree

I just put this penstemon cousin in one of my perennial beds, what do you think? Does it look like birds in a tree?
Being a birder meant I had to have it just because of the name. Seriously, the name of the plant is Redbirds in a Tree, an offering from High Country Gardens in Santa Fe.

Sunday, June 27

keeping Company

Still life with starlings and bovines
June day on the short grass prairie

Saturday, June 26

Golondrina verde-violeta

Tachycineta thalassina
Golondrina verde-violeta
Hirondelle a face blanche
Violet-green swallow

Sharing the same habitat and ecology as the tree swallows, these are our swallows of the West, the Black Hills being the easternmost part of their range. Although we have this pair, there are others in the area, they seem to forage together, sometimes riding the thermals to dizzying heights after flying insect prey. 

They nest every year in the birdhouse offered high over our small deck on the sunrise side of the house. The swallow kids will have a featherbed to grow up in, courtesy of the wild turkey troupe that frequents our neighborhood. They will also cheerfully take offerings of parakeet feathers and down from expensive bed pillows.

Thursday, June 24

tranquil and Tumbled

Rapid Creek on the way to the Cheyenne river to the Missouri to the Mississippi to the Gulf. Fresh water traveling to that which is fouled, wishing it could help make it clean again

Wednesday, June 23

la Grenouille

Bon Voyage, Becka and Andy as you hop on the plane tomorrow. Safe travels, have a wonderful time!

Tuesday, June 22

Okawita Paha

Known to non-Lakota people as Harney Peak. Okawita Paha is a sacred place in the Black Hills (Paha Sapa) of South Dakota, a place of ceremony and reverence to the Lakota. At 7244' above sea level, it is the highest point in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. View is looking west about a mile from our house, you can see a similar view from our roof. I prefer this one.

Monday, June 21

Summer Solstice !

The sunflower is the symbol of the Summer Solstice, this one is waiting to greet Helios.

Enjoy this day of the longest daylight hours and the shortest night-time hours of the year.

Happy Birthday, Fearless Leader

Sunday, June 20

the bearded One

Here is the reason they are called "bearded iris". Mme Chereau has a white beard, just like the Bearded One, whom my daughters call Daddy. 

Happy Father's Day, DS

Saturday, June 19

weather Weirdness

These are mammatus clouds, a rare example of clouds forming on sinking rather than rising air currents. It is a common myth that these warn of an imminent funnel cloud or tornado, however, they are harmless. They are seen after the passage of a strong summer thunderstorm, after your garden has already been turned to coleslaw by hail. The hail missed us this time.

Friday, June 18

morning Ablutions

on my favorite pond, the drake blue-winged teal (Anas discors) does his morning ablutions, his lady was out breakfasting among the water plants

Thursday, June 17

the Hudson River School

Durand, Self Portrait, 1857
Asher Brown Durand (1796-1886)
Self Portrait
(borrowed from the Web)

Asher Brown Durand was the leading light of the Hudson River School of Landscape Painting in the mid nineteenth century. Along with Thomas Cole, these painters believed that Nature was a "manifestation of God" and rendered their oils directly from nature. They worked along the Hudson River valley, the Catskills and in the Adirondacks, the home of my childhood. I have always liked the paintings of this group of artists since encountering them in an Art History class in college. The post thunderstorm clouds from last night's weather events would have intrigued and inspired them.

The storm had passed to the east and was illuminated by the setting sun.

Wednesday, June 16

seeing is Bee-lieving

It wasn't till I looked at the pictures in Photoshop that I realized I caught the bee leaving. My Harrison's Yellow, the old fashioned, thousand thorns per square inch, immensely fragrant rose is at its peak. Full of every conceivable kind of bee and perfuming the whole yard. It would be the perfect rose if it bloomed all summer, not just as an ephemeral June treasure.

Tuesday, June 15

one red Clothespin

Fortunately, we have not had the terribly heavy rain that some folks have, but June has been wet, wet, wet. My sheets on the line have had a "soft water rinse" about 6 times. Today dawned bright and sunny, hopefully, things including the laundry, will dry out a bit. After several years of drought we are glad for the rain, but a sunny day is most welcome.

Sunday, June 13

where have you hidden the Fawn?

She must have a new fawn hidden somewhere nearby, she was browsing alone in the side and back yard every couple of hours yesterday. We saw a doe with tiny, still wet fawn several days ago, just a couple of doors down, so we know the fawns are arriving. I have a suspicion where the little one might be, but will respect her privacy.

Saturday, June 12

in the Basswood

This pair of robins has honored us by choosing the basswood in the front yard for their nest. It is right outside Rachel's window, but they have hidden it among the big basswood leaves, so you can only see from one spot underneath. He likes the dead top of the neighbors' spruce to sing and keep watch. She has been sitting patiently for about 5 days among the greenery as he guards their territory.

Friday, June 11

happy 100th Birthday....

my Tevas on Sanibel Island

Capt. Jacques-Yves Cousteau
explorer, ecologist, inventor, researcher, film maker, conservationist

Thursday, June 10

again, Madame

Madame Chereau, the most sought after iris of the 19th century, blooms in a Stafford garden for the 93rd year. Originally planted by my grandmother-in-law in northern NY in 1917, I transplanted some to my western SD garden several years ago. Madame always reminds me of Cora, gardener extrordinaire, when it blooms in early June.

Tuesday, June 8

the disembodied Foot

Attempting to take pictures of the robin's nest in the basswood, I turned around at a strange sound behind me, this is what I saw. Lucifer lounging in a second story window, catching some rays. His "unattached" foot looked so weird, I gave up on robin portraits for the moment.

Sunday, June 6

we are excited and Proud

Rachel Anne
Stevens High School Class of 2010
June 6, 2010

our youngest daughter graduates today!

love you,
Mom, Daddy, Becky, Andy, Beth, Nate,
Erik and Amelia

It has been quite a week of celebrations for our family.

Saturday, June 5

Terra Firma or the wild blue Yonder?

A June sky from the ground up, or is it the sea from the sky down?

Wednesday, June 2

welcome to the World

Amelia Jane Davis
June 2, 2010
7 lbs. 15 oz.
Our new granddaughter!

Tuesday, June 1

and who lives here do you Suppose?

For my friend Terry, and his new yard bird...the 5am Caruso.