Saturday, July 31

hey, Bud!

Never realized that garden geranium (pelargonium) buds were so hirsute! 

And there, folks, is your Word of the Week for July 26-August 1. I do a funky and fabulous science word of the week for my 9th graders, need to stay in practice for fall so I can WOW the Science Guy I work with. It is a contest to see if I can get one he doesn't know either. It is age and stealth vs youth and energy, SG is the same age as my own kids. 
FC, my blogfriend, has come to my aid more than once and helped trounce the Kid :o)

Friday, July 30

welcome Munchers

 black swallowtail caterpillars

Hoping for butterflies and hummingbirds, I have planted friendly perennials and carefully chosen annuals to attract them to my deck pots. The dill wasn't so much for pickles as it was for swallowtail caterpillars. And here they are! They must have spent some time in their "bird dropping" instar and now have emerged into the colorful, enameled looking beings they now are. The dill is disappearing under their constant munching. It is just fine with me to turn dill into butterflies! These two will be black swallowtails when the metamorphosis is finished.

Thursday, July 29

when life hands you Hailstones...

 July 29, 3pm

You make iced tea, no sugar, no lemon

ps. local TV station used the sharpie with hailstones still life and my iced tea photos on the late news this

the Grandfather Cottonwood and Apollo

 Cottonwood County, MN
The big old Grandfather cottonwood that lives along the fenceline, alone in his domain, no other trees to challenge. Last year he was between two cornfields, this summer he has soybeans for neighbors and downy woodpeckers for company.

Wednesday, July 28

taking a Nosedive

Cottonwood County, MN
Since we last saw this barn in February it has taken a nosedive into the soybean field.

My father-in-law stored silage in his silos for the Holsteins, but he never contemplated using any of them as a gigantic planter for an elm tree.
I think Ma Nature is reclaiming her space in this case.

Tuesday, July 27

the breadbasket of America

Cottonwood County, Minnesota
July 2010

Cornflakes, Fritos or Ethanol?

Monday, July 26

tatty but Beautiful

The Red Admiral butterflies are still around and sunning themselves by the front porch. They are getting pretty ragged looking, but are welcome nonetheless.

Sunday, July 25

festival and Celebration

The Inca god of thunder, lightning and rainstorms, Illapa. July 25 is his feast day and time for celebration.
He is said to keep the Milky Way in a jar in the heavens and pours it out to create the rains needed by the people and the land.

It is also a day of other celebrations, too . David and I celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary today as well. Time seems to have flown by since we were newlyweds heading into the future. That future has brought us a good life, 3 wonderful daughters, 2 terrific sons-in-law, 2 brilliant grandchildren, family, good friends. We've had some of the thunder, lightning and rainstorms, but many rainbows and sunshine as well. 
 Happy Anniversary, DS

Friday, July 23

two little Kids

Traveling today to Minnesota to meet Amelia, our new granddaughter, for the first time. And of course, to see big brother Erik, who has grown and changed lots since we saw him in February.
These other 2 little kids flew off into the wild blue yonder yesterday morning...the deck is a quiet place again, waiting for the hummers to arrive. Bon Voyage, small swallows.

Thursday, July 22

prairie Dancer

sometimes known as Mexican Hats

Wednesday, July 21

tied to Earth

Gliding across the lake surface is all they can do at the moment. The Canada geese and some of the ducks at Canyon Lake are in their summer molt and are flightless. The lake shore is littered with worn out feathers, the new flight feathers are growing rapidly and the year's goslings are acquiring their adult plumage. They should take to the air again soon, but right now they are earthbound.

Tuesday, July 20

waxing Moon

The oldest known photograph of the moon is a Daguerreotype taken on September 1, 1849. Samuel D. Humphrey exposed a 2 3/4" by 1 3/4" piece of silverplated copper, then developed it using mercury vapor to create the picture. Mr. Humphrey, photographer, of Canandaigua, NY, then sent photo to Harvard University which still owns it.

That is a far cry from stepping outside with a digital SLR and then to Photoshop for printing on a July afternoon 151 years later.  

 Full Thunder Moon will be July 25, 9:37 pm.

Monday, July 19

it's Chowtime!

The violet-green swallow babes are nearly ready to be out on their own, but not quite yet. Ma and Pa are shuttling birdie McDonald's at an amazing pace these days.

Sunday, July 18

and at the End

High on the wall, near the 7th Street end of the Alley,
is the Mediterranean on canvas.
Fine Art and fine art together.

Friday, July 16

Thursday, July 15

Wednesday, July 14

Tuesday, July 13

Monday, July 12

art alley Redux

I have taken you on a tour of Art Alley before, the ever changing outdoor art exhibit in downtown Rapid City. The alley between 6th and 7th Streets is a fascinating place, a constantly changing pallet for self expression by artists who work in every medium imaginable. The businesses whose back doors open on the alley allow and encourage the work, both locals and tourists alike are fans of these artists.

It is a wildly popular backdrop for senior portraits, family pictures, photography class projects and wedding photos. Things are never defaced, although over time they may be painted over, which is not seen as disrespectful to fellow artists, just part of the evolution that takes place. Take a walk down Art Alley as it is in early July 2010.

Sunday, July 11

oh, Baby!

She is 18 today, where did the time go?
Happy Birthday, Sweetie

Saturday, July 10

breakfast of Champions

which would be Ponderosa pine seeds, if you are an American red squirrel, AKA pine squirrel or chickaree.
This one is a familiar neighbor, both winter and summer, a lady squirrel with an Attitude and a very saucy tongue.

Friday, July 9

do turkeys Yawn?

My youngest once asked me if turkeys yawned when they are tired. Beats me, but apparently lady mergansers do when you disturb their afternoon siesta! I had no idea I had gotten this picture till I got home.
My wiseacre little brother says, of course turkeys yawn, they are full of tryptophan.

Thursday, July 8

evening Comes

Evening comes to the prairie
Nature draws a gentle cloak of rain across the Hills
A peaceful close of day for curlews and meadowlarks
 Earth settles to sleep

Wednesday, July 7

she and He

Did you ever look closely at the bits of a corn plant that bring you that delicious, butter drippy corn on the cob in midsummer? The she is the cornsilk on the infant cob, the he is the male tassel providing the pollen.

If some romantic compares your eyes to cornflowers, they probably mean old fashioned bachelor buttons, and if your hair is "like cornsilk", it is probably cornsilk in August. Otherwise you would resemble some Dr. Seuss-like creature with strange eyes and funky  hair.
The Lorax

Tuesday, July 6

high Summer

High summer, high clouds, early morning, after fireworks

Monday, July 5

independence Day #2

At 6:15 am, he and his siblings were surveying the outside world and being stuffed with breakfast...
by 8:15 am, they had launched themselves into the air for the first time and were scattered throughout the Thicket and being fed a snack!

Live long and prosper, little bluebirds.

A quick snapshot of one of our babies, a Monday afternoon visit to the deck railing.

Sunday, July 4

Independence Day

Happy 4th!
Happy Picnics!
Happy Fireworks!

Saturday, July 3

Friday, July 2