Friday, July 30, 2010

Rosehanna Finds a Home

Yesterday, I received word that this lovely lady, Rosehanna, had been purchased off of our Trainer's Listing. I am so happy. She had a couple of strikes against her because she is a mare (most people want geldings) and she is older (eight years, but that's old in the world of race horses). She will be going down to Kentucky, land of the lovely Bluegrass, to become a broodmare, and will be producing lovely appendix quarter horse babies. Just think, to never again see the backside of a race track! And, to have a new and loving home. How lucky can a girl get?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Summer in the Big Meadow

It's high summer in the big meadow. Everything has a slightly dry and crispy look. I did my walk at noon, and most of the creatures, being smarter than I am, were hiding in the bushes, keeping out of the hot sun. Two creatures, however, were very much in evidence. One, I could only hear. There was the constant buzz of cicadas. That, to me, is very much the sound of summer. I was hoping that my camera would record it, but all I got was a hum, that sounded very much like static.

The other creature very much in evidence was the grasshopper. With every step I took, one or more would jump up and fly away from my feet. I suppose, if you're a little grasshopper, big human feet are very dangerous.

I was very surprised to see this Butter and Eggs plant flowering. I found them over at the Great Meadow at least a month ago, and they are long gone from there. It's surprising how the ecology of similar places varies, even if they're just a short distance from on another.

It's a peaceful place, this meadow. You can see so far that it makes you feel very small. At one point, as I was standing, admiring the view, I saw something jumping up above the grass. "Oh look!" said I, "Rabbits." Then I realized that what I was seeing, so far away that they looked small, were a couple of deer, playing hide and seek. No pictures, they jumped and disappeared much too fast.

There, beyond the milkweed, in that strip of brown grass, is where I saw the deer.

There is an old apple tree along the path, laden with apples.

Around the base, you can see where the deer have trod down a path. Checking to see if the apples are ripe yet, you think?

I often wonder, on my walks, if this old barn once held the fruits of what the meadow grew when it was part of a farm.

One of the things I was most interested in was finding Monarch butterfly eggs and caterpillars on the many milkweed plants in the meadow. I had no luck. The only thing I found was this, and it isn't a Monarch egg. Maybe it's too early?

There was plenty of activity on those milkweed plants, however. This Red Milkweed Beetle thought he was hiding from me.

But, he was no match for the intrepid beetle hunter!

The Bumblebees were swarming all over a few late Milkweed flowers.

These ants had quite the successful aphid farm pastured on this milkweed.

I did see a couple of birds. My Indigo Bunting was sitting and singing, high on this wire.

And, high over the woods, this Turkey Buzzard was gracefully riding the air currents.

Just as I was ending my walk, I spotted this new flower. I took several pictures of it, before I stopped, and thought that it looked very familiar. I looked a little closer, and realized that what I was looking at was a flower from a Butterfly Weed. The poor plant had not produced a complete cluster, just this one little blossom. It's very pretty, however, all by itself.

When I got back to my car, I was hot, and sweaty, and tired. But, happy, too. There is just something about this particular Meadow that brings me peace. I hope that these pictures of my walk brought you a little of that peace, also.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hmmmmm, now what?

The new daylilies are all planted. The young man next door did all of the hard work, digging the garden and planting the new flowers. Right now, it looks as ratty as new gardens often look, but, I think that, next year, it will be beautiful.

You'll notice a problem, though. There is a big empty space at one end. I'm going to fill in around the borders with some hosta I have that isn't doing well. I think that they are in too much shade and I'm hoping that moving them to a spot where they get sun will help. But, that isn't going to fill in that one end.

No doubt about it, nothing to do but make another trip and pick up a couple more daylilies. Isobelle's Lady wants to go again, and we may be taking a friend of her's, also. Oh, this is just so much fun! Back to the website, to see if I can find any that I just HAVE to have.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

In Which Louise Shows Remarkable Restraint

Isobelle's Lady and I went to Grace Gardens Daylily Farm near Seneca Lake yesterday. We picked a perfect day to do so. The sun was out, but it wasn't blisteringly hot. I don't like the feel of sunscreen at all, even the "greaseless" stuff, so I started out without any. But, I soon went scurrying back to my car to get it, when it became apparent that we were going to spend a good deal of time just ohhhhhing and ahhhhhhing over all of the lovely daylilies.

Daylily season is about two weeks ahead this year, and the early varieties were finished. But, I wanted late ones, to extend the bloom in my yard, and there were literally hundreds to choose from. What to do, what to do? I ended up taking pictures of the possible candidates, and then going to a lovely gazebo that they had on the property to try to pick which ones I really wanted. Here are the ones I ended up with.

Exotic Love - I do like loud, and this one just jumped right out at me.

Emerald Enchantment - I can, however, show restraint at times.

Bittersweet Honey - After sticking my nose in the air and saying that I didn't want any small daylilies, I had to eat my words after I saw this cutie.

Surprisingly Pink - I really liked the delicacy of this one.

Ruffled Dude - Who can resist a dude who wears ruffles?

John Morton - This was my favorite, though. Refined, yet bold at the same time, I love the way the color of the throat is also a tracing around the border.

This is where I showed remarkable restraint because I really wanted to take these two home, also. I can't remember their names, but I will definitely be looking for them next year.

And, if these had somehow found their way into the back of my car, I wouldn't have complained at all.

Now, today, I just have to figure out where I'm going to put them. I think I have it all planned out, and I change my mind, again, and again, and again.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Around the Yard - The Last of the Daylilies

I've been bad. It's been so hot and humid that I have not been walking. So, I decided to take a walk around the yard, and see what is blooming.

The daylilies are almost done. Only a few of my latest bloomers are left. Among these are two newcomers that I planted this year.

Baltimore Oriole

I like this one, but it's very similar to an old, unknown red that I have had for some years. The only difference I can see is that Baltimore Oriole is slight more orange. Here's the unknown red, another late bloomer, for comparison.

The other new one that bloomed this year is Nova Lavender. I don't know quite what to think of this one. In this picture, it does look slightly lavender, but seen growing, it looks kind of a dusky pink. Pretty, though, no matter what color it is.

Frans Hals is always one of the last to be blooming.

As is this unknown lemony white.

There are a few other things blooming, also. The Mandevilla vine is flowering. This vine loves the hot sticky weather we have been having. It will bloom well all through August, and into September if the weather stays warm.

As far as wildflowers go, there were:

Stinging Nettles

Ox-eyed Daisies

And, gaaaaaa! Brown Knapweed. I have never seen this stuff on the borders of the woods around my house before.

The weather has taken a turn for the better. I'm going to try to get over to the Big Meadow today, and see what is going on.

Oops, change of plans. We just got the OK to go to a large daylily farm near here, even if they are technically closed. Ay yiyiyi, this could be bad for the pocketbook.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Out of My Rear Window 7/25/10

Today is a study in green.

But, if you focus in on the birdfeeder you see the Blue Jays, cheerful and cocky.

Until the Turkey Ladies came along and the Blue Jays decided that it might be wise to vacate the territory. Notice that the turkey lady on the right has a beard. I always thought that those were young Toms, but I read a while ago that one in ten hens has a beard like that.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Summer Deer

This time of year, I don't see many does with fawns in my yard, In August, they'll start bringing the babies around. But, the young bucks are frequent visitors. They scarf up the leftovers under the bird feeder.

And then finish thing off with a lick or two of the salt block.

Once that soft velvet is gone from their antlers, I don't think these two will be quite so companionable.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Soft, Rainy Day

It has been raining since I got up this morning. And, it's the soft and steady rain that does so much good. No gardening today, but, then, no dragging the hose around watering either.

It hasn't stopped the little birds from feeding.

But, this turkey lady stood under the shelter of the lilac tree for quite some time, until the rain let up a bit and she could go on her way.

What a good day for staying home, curled up with a good book. Maybe I'll even break out a bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs, stockpiled from Easter.