You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2009.

june 30 zuke

June 30 – Why, yes, I do believe I will be having some zuchinni.  This is why I only have one zuchinni plant!   There is one tiny zuchinni growing under there and all these blossoms.

june 30 zuke2

I learned from last year’s gardening.  Last year I had 3 plants in one barrel.  I got some zuchinni, but never did that plant look like this.  This one was 6 leaves or so when I started and barely took up the middle of the barrel.  Now it’s a monster intent on overtaking what space it has.  It looks like a happy plant to me…  The other 3 barrels each have one tomato plant in them and they are equally as happy and growing quite tall.  I’ll have tomatoes as well!!


june 29 tv

June 29 – First, this.  As I hit the paved road going to town I saw these guys, only at the time they were perched on a road-killed deer.   I’m going to use this image on David’s brother’s birthday card!  They try to out old each other on cards, and I think this will be a nicely fitting image.

In town there is a shoe repair place.  He’s been there quite awhile, and I hope he continues so that when my boots require re-soling, he can do it.  This sign always makes me smile, and this time I happened to have my camera with…

june 29 heel

Then I went home and it was baby animal palooza.  The mama squirrel brought the baby I saved from my cat (I assume it’s the same one, anyway) down to the feeder.  How cute is he????

june 29 baby squirrel

He’s perched there on the remains of my homemade bird bath.  David hit it with the mower (the big 44″ pull behind mower) and it fell to earth and broke into large pieces.  When I make another (I sandcasted it myself) I shall include some chicken wire in the cement to make it stronger.  For now, perched on a stump, it makes a nice feeder.  Later in the evening (at 9 p.m.), I had these visitors:

june 29 cardinals

My cardinals have had babies and they are bringing them by to show them where the good stuff is!!  I am so excited by this.  It’s the first time since I became a birder and bird feeder that I’ve had someone bring by the young ones.  I hope my chickadees out back will do the same with their wee ones.

june 29 fledgling

This one stuck around after its sibling and dad flew off.  It stayed until dark, peeping rather forlornly.  It has its wee crest!  I was hoping for some more pictures but most turned out rather blurry as it was overcast and 9 p.m., so the lighting was quite poor.  I’m sure they’ll be back, though, so I’ll get more pictures.

I found an excellent book – the Audubon Guide – and it told me my orange flowers from a few days ago are Orange Hawkweed, aka Devil’s Paintbrush.  They are related to dandelions, as are the Yellow Goatsbeard.  The Goatsbeard is way cool because it makes a dandelion puff you just can’t believe – it’s nearly as big as a baseball!  Perfect huge puffs like geodesic domes, as one book put it.  With the book I was able to find Ox Eye Daisies, yellow yarrow, Heal-All, the goatsbeard and the hawkweed.   Those are all the wildflowers blooming just now (that I’ve found so far).  I’m going to have to get myself a copy of this guide so I can figure out the later summer flowers.  I know I have milkweed, and I know it by sight, the whole plant.  I think I’ve missed its flower phase, though.   My next research goal is to find out more about Monarch butterflies – do the caterpillars make their chrysalis on milkweed or do they just feed there?  I have butterflies, I have milkweed – I must see a chrysalis!

june 28 oxeye

June 28 – Oxeye daisy with dew.  Don’t those dewdrops look awesome?

We had dewpoints in the 70s for a few days there and it made for some interesting pictures.  I started wearing my boots out to feed the chickens as it was so wet.  I don’t like getting wet feet in my plastic slip-ons because then my feet squeak in them.  If I’m wearing socks, then I have wet socks.  ew.  So boots it is on days like this.

june 27 henchick flower

June 27 – Long ago, David planted hens and chicks (the succulent) in the front planter bed.  The past few years, I’ve noticed they bloom in late June.  This year I planned on good pictures.  My past ones aren’t as good, I don’t think.  However, one thing this project is doing for me is getting my already good eye better.  I’m very pleased with so many of my photos this year, and it keeps getting better.  I should have expected it.  One thing I have learned is that daily practice of anything makes a skill that much better.  For me it’s been knitting and photography.  It makes me see that yes, I could actually acquire these other skills I want – I just have to do them a little every day.

june 26 phoebe

June 26 – Took the dogs for a walk and took my camera along.  This is Phoebe with her summer haircut.  Not sure what caught her attention just then, but I’m glad for it.  This picture just makes me happy.  I was also happy for the walk because while out, I discovered this!

june 26 strawberries

It’s wild strawberry time!  These berries are tiny – like the size of an M&M or something maybe a little smaller.  But they pack such a huge blast of flavor that I can understand why humans went to such lengths to domesticate them and make them bigger.  Fresh strawberries (like from the farm fresh, not store fresh) taste almost as good as these, but not quite.  This year I’ve gotten to eat more of these than in the past (maybe 2 dozen) but the memory of it is going to last a long time.  Last year I only found 3 (yes, 3) berries to eat.  This year has been much better, and I thank the dogs for insisting on a walk just then.  I think the reason I don’t find them is little creatures get them before I see them.  Also, they can be hard to find, since all the other plants are getting so big right now.  I have to really search to find them.

june 25 hobie

June 25 – Went to sit on the planter wall and enjoy being outside.   I had Avery with me and was pulling the ever-present weeds.  Hobie joined us and started rubbing and rolling on the point where the two railroad ties meet.   I think just here he’s looking at Avery, though he never made a move towards him.  I took quite a few pictures (of course) but think this is my favorite because he looks slightly demented.   We at Chez Michaels like demented, I think.

june 24 honey1

June 24 – 95 degrees this day.  Late last Farmers Market season, I bought this big 4 lb jar of local honey (sooo good!).  Over the winter it crystallized, since it was in the pantry in the freezer-like garage.   Since it was going to be a scorcher, I put it outside, hoping the sun would take care of it for me.

It did.  🙂

june 24 honey2


june23 snake

June 23 – While I may not be up to speed on my flora, my fauna knowledge is good.  This is a baby (8″ or so) Eastern Hog Nose snake.  Colloquially, they call them Puff Adders, as they manage to puff up the sides of their heads, making them look like poison snakes, and they hiss and strike (which this little guy did do to me).  David swears they spit and can get you in the eyes.  I’m thinking that’s a local folklore type of thing.  Nothing in my reading indicated that habit.  Usually, if the hissing and puffing doesn’t work, they roll over and play dead.   I had seen one of these my first summer here, but none since.  I did find out they eat toads, which makes me a little sad as I rather like my toads.  I don’t see them often enough as is.

I love the way its tail is a little curlicue here.  I found the snake while looking through a pile of wood.  It didn’t scare me because I knew what it was.  I only get scared of snakes, I’ve discovered, when I don’t know.  I do get a bit of an adrenaline rush oftentimes, but not this time.  Maybe because it’s such a tiny snake.

june 22 wildflowers

June 22 – I’m not up to speed on my wildflowers, so I don’t know what these are.  This year I’ve been taking pictures of all the wildflowers I see, in hopes of figuring out what they are.  The wildflower book I have (an older Sierra club guide) isn’t really good for me for identifying.  I’m hoping to find something useful at the library.  These come up all over every year.  They’re another I tend to leave be unless they come up somewhere in the way.  I love the bright cheeriness of them.  If anyone does know what they are, please leave a comment and let me know!