Saturday, May 30, 2009

Daniel's gonna LOVE this one!

While in the midst of moving to Alabama I searched for some nice blogs from the area and one that I came across turned out to be an invaluable resource and FUNNY at the same time. Now who can make creepy crawly things funny? Daniel from "Nature at Close Range"
This one's for you Daniel!Now I am not a talented researcher like Daniel so I'm going to leave that to the expert, but I knew this must be a type of Jumping Spider and found it to be "thiodina sylvana".
I was on the phone with my mom, camera in hand, when this tiny fellow took a likin to me. I thought something seemed a little uncomfortable as he gave me the eye(s).
Next thing I knew he dove to my pant leg as I nearly dropped the phone and let out a little squeak of resentment. I think I scared him more than me, because when I looked again he was back on his perch looking just as angry.
This picture was from right before the leap. Can you see the intent in his eyes?
This photo was heavily cropped, and slightly filtered with saturation and sharpness.
I just love this little guy...just not up close and personal.
I'd rather leave that work to Daniel!

Friday, May 29, 2009

A Different Kind of Sunrise

I may not be able to see the sun come up anymore...but that doesn't make it any less beautiful!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Banded Hairstreak

I took some advice from my friend Roy, The Fenland Walker, on using my G9 for good butterfly photos. Make sure you check out his blog, if you haven't yet, for a real treat.My little subject was getting some sun and I noticed not too concerned about me. So I thought I'd try to make a new friend. We had tea and crumpets!!
Thanks Roy!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Home Warming Surprise!

Yesterday I was "chatting" on line with my good friend Jenny Wren from "Wren's Nature Notebook", but little did I know she'd been plotting! We said our good-byes...she off to watch an evening nature show on the tellie (what else would she watch) and I off to the mailbox oblivious of her scheming. There was a note there that said "you have a package too big for the mailbox" so off I went to retrieve my mail. When I saw the package with the Royal Post mark on it, I knew that Jenny Wren had been up to something as usual.
There inside was the cutest hand made card. "Quail among flowering cherry"
It was a "Design from the "Two Quail" pattern of porcelain decoration c. 1750 Adapted and handprinted by Stephen Lisney" He is a local printer and a customer of Jenny's husband Chris. (Yes Jenny I think they are close enough to Guinea's as you can get!!)There seems to be an abundance of talented craftsmen in Frome, where Jenny lives. Her husband Chris is quite the Craftsman designing and making furniture, metalwork and lighting that is traditional and timeless. Not only is he well known for his work in England and the UK but has built furniture special ordered from the United States! You can see his beautiful work here
truely all works of art.
Thank you Jenny and Chris...and Poppy too, for this lovely sunflower to brighten my everyday!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Around the Gardens

I have so much to learn about my new gardens. Every plant I had in the yard at my previous home I put there, except for the wild hawthorns. It is amazing to be put into new surroundings and not know what's coming or going!I am really hoping this is a Redbud tree because I have many around my property. I missed the blooms this year and it's a new tree for me. I know I will be able to figure out most of these beautiful plants eventually but for now I'm just trying to get the house settled and keep the lawn mowed!! I was able to look up this one, it's Beautyberry Callicarpa. I knew there was one on the property and am just thrilled. I can't wait to see the beautiful purple berries later in the season!!I just love this bright pink Rose Campion, Lychnis coronaria, it is spread throughout the gardens and just seems to be a self-seeder popping up even along my driveway. Ok, here's another one I haven't figured out yet. It's in the shade near the house mixed in with the hostas. It is just beautiful in there with these small white, four petaled flowers. Some of the leaves are variegated. Between learning new plants and new critters, everyday is just a wonderful surprise!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Fern and a Surprise

Last week my good friend Jenny from "Wren's Nature Notebook" posted a beautiful fern in her garden. I told her that I had picked up a Japanese Painted Fern at my local flower stand. She asked me to post it "please" as we all know Jenny is very polite!!Sorry it took so long Jenny Wren!
Then on Friday as I was sitting on my front stoop enjoying the sunshine, I heard a rustling in the bush in front of me...
and this Luna Moth just plopped to the ground!! He fluttered for a few minutes and then just flew off! Must have just came out of his cocoon!!
Lucky me! Look at those "eyes"!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hi There!!!

Just a shout out to all my friends who visit me here!

And to one of my newest friends Debi at "Giraffe Head Tree" who has a delightful blog worth visiting.

We are planning a visit in the future and I just can't wait to meet her!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Getting to Know our Neighbors

As you know I was thrilled to find out our neighbors have Guinea Fowl and every time I drive up the road I have a smile on my face when I see those silly birds roaming the area. Morgan was also thrilled to find out that there was a girl close to her age, Alex, who rides the bus with her as well. They hit it off right away!
Friday evening we went up the road and Brenda and Mike, Alex's grandparent's, invited us over to have a stroll in their beautiful yard.
They have many guinea fowl that are paired up and laying eggs. Rather than leaving them to the wilds they got an incubator and have nearly 100 eggs warming to hatch! They have the biggest ducks I've ever seen,and this beautiful male Peacock struttin his stuff!!! Morgan and I were invited in the pen to get nice pictures. The oldest male was just spectacular,and this female, a beauty,but my heart still belongs to the guineas.

Oh and I won't forget Miss Prissy who no one can hold a candle too. She is just the sweetest Collie dog around!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dragon Part II

My very good friend June from back north near Chaumont helped me by solving the puzzle as to what type of dragonfly this is! Now June is a birder friend of mine and is REALLY into butterflies too, dragonflies...not so much. But didn't she come through with the name for my "up" challenged fellow. She told me she thought it was an Arrowhead Spiketail! I it and yep, that's what it is. I still kind of like my name for it better!
Thanks June!!


My yard is just FULL of Dragonflies. Which is just fantastic because they are one of my favorite things.I am having a time identifying this guy. Dragonflies can be very difficult to identify with some species that need a real expert in a lab to do the job.
I'm going to go out on a long limb here and say this could be a Twin-spotted Spiketail.
But I really think they should have called it the "Mean-faced Follow-the-Arrows".

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Let's go for a Walk

Morgan says to me "I'm bored, let's go for a walk." So we did. At the end of the driveway we came across this beautiful Indigo Bunting singing his heart out at the top of a tall tree. We turned east up the hill, and then down the hill, and before we got to the next hill we spied Mr. Tuxedo before he spotted us. Why...doesn't he remind me of someone...Oh Poppy from Frome! There are lots of pine trees which I didn't see much of in Chaumont,
and these beautiful rolling fields. I'm not sure what these are but they do smell like our honeysuckle up north.There are ponds and streams along the way. A couple of the locals!Turning back now I just love this pond with the bird houses and old farm equipment, and they have this wonderful grass that is just starting to sprout. You can see how very tall it will get this summer. I might have to ask for some of that!With the sun getting low and the hills seeming steeper it was time call it a walk. We'll have to head west on our next trip out!

Monday, May 11, 2009


My Uncle Lloyd from Long Island, Maine bought this beautiful Welcome sign for me when he visited us at our home in Chaumont, NY. The deep blue color matched my laundry room wall, where it hung, perfectly. I think my Uncle Lloydie must have known something when he found this for me!
Could it have been a more perfect match for our new home in Grant?
Thank you Uncle Lloydie, I think of you and Auntie Bev each time I come home!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Yesterday was exciting to say the least. It rained buckets, the tornado sirens were going off, and yes, I could hear it from way out here. They are even kind enough to have a voice blasted out into the air saying "SEEK SHELTER NOW!!" But I was too busy putting a bucket under my leaky kitchen ceiling!Well, now we have a big hole up there, but we'll get it fixed, and I didn't like that light fixture anyway!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tuesday Morning Fog

Walking up the foggy driveway yesterday invoked a feeling of closeness with the woods. The fog seems to embrace you and makes you feel as if you are part of your surroundings.
Every detail in the woods became pronounced and no critter could hide his home.The grass carpet under the tree's foot looked cushy and soft...and a small hosta growing out of the forest floor caught my eye. I could'nt resist tickling this fellow out of his tunnel with a blade of works almost everytime, well at least the first time, then they wise up to your trick!And my new favorite critter...
the Five-lined Skink! What a cutie and FAST! I've comissioned him to keep the bugs to a minimum. Hope he's up to it!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Up the Drive

Walking back from the mailbox last week gave me the opportunity to have you walk home with me through the woods. To the left is a beautiful oak standing tall, not unlike the one I left up north, only this one spends more of it's time being green.Looking back at the oak walking up a steep grade. Turning back home now we begin to enter the woods.The previous owners actually lived in two places on the property. They started their first home, a trailer, closer to the road and there is evidence of gardens along the way. Periwinkle lines the driveway where the first home was placed. Getting closer to home I can just see a hint of yellow from my gardens through the trees there on the left.The woods are so well canopied that very little seems to grow below them, leaves keep things from filling in, which is nice for walking. There are many oaks but this one in the center is one that caught my eye. It is quite large and looks like it may have been hit by lightning at least once. I'll have to do a more detailed post on this and other old looking trees here. I can't wait to find out more about the trees I have here. I love the bark on this one. It is very tall. Here we are, almost home now...and who is that waiting for me.Ole? Oh yeah, sorry buddy, I couldn't take you along today.
But next time you can go with me, if you promise not to chase squirrels into the woods!
We have unloaded the truck and now have a house full of belongs to find places for. It's going to take some time to get this done.