Entries to Win Afghan

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Winners are: 3rd place- e-book of your choice: Wendy Nystrom. 2nd place- book of your choice, paper or e-book: Sue Ann Crawford. Winner of the afghan: Elaine Hull.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Johnson Road Wetland- Two Seasons

The afternoon was absolutely beautiful! About 70 degrees, sunny with a breeze, blue sky and clouds. I slept as late as I wanted to today (12:30) then woke up slowly. Result: I did not feel awful. So I went for a walk- my standard road loop plus a little spur to check out the wetland on Johnson Road. It's pretty big- at least 5 acres.


It looks like a meadow that you could just walk through, doesn't it? Not so. This is the same wetland, same view, I showed you in April.


You can certainly tell in early spring that it has open water over much of the area.

Here's the same view in March. Pretty much the same as April, but the sky looks more wintry.


I'm liking this spot quite a bit. It adds about a half mile to my walk, so it makes a nice occasional diversion (and a small hill). I also think it's interesting that there is no inlet or outlet from this wetland. (Note later- I found another basemap that shows an intermittent stream connecting to my cemetery creek. This makes more sense.) Perhaps I'll try to walk across it some winter when things are really frozen solid.

The base of the "V" shows where I was standing and the direction of view for the picture.

wetland map

See Spring- Auto Load in Slow Mode
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Friday, June 23, 2017

Flowering Plant, No Flower

This is a case of me simply procrastinating about looking something up. These grow throughout our field. I've known it was one of the wild garlics (hey, it smells and tastes like garlic- I've even cut up some stems to cook with), but I didn't know which one. I could never seem to find it in flower. You'd think after ten years or so I might catch on.

field garlic

Anyway, this week I tried to look it up, even without a flower. Well, guess what! Although it's a flowering plant, it often has no flower at all, just those little green tails growing from the bulblets. So I'm not totally unobservant. It can have flowers, little white ones, but mine apparently don't like to expend that much energy. It propagates by dropping the bulblets.

It's field garlic, Allium vineale.

field garlic

Here's the bad news. It's alien. Here's the really bad news. It's considered an invasive problem species because when livestock eat it, it taints the milk and meat with garlic flavor. Bummer. I had thought it was kinda cool-looking. Now I'll have to learn to not like it. I can keep on eating it, but I can't eat fast enough to get rid of it.

See Ramps (another Allium)
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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Peony Surprise

I've apparently never showed you my peony before. That's not the surprise. It doesn't usually bloom.


In fact, in the 46 years we've lived on this property (and the peony was there when we moved in) it has only bloomed in the years I remembered to fertilize it just when the leaves were coming up. You know me well enough to guess that was not very often. I did pretty well the few years I worked hard at flower gardens, but that's not too recent.

The big surprise is that I did not fertilize it this year and got three blossoms anyway. Not bad for no effort.


That said, of all the peonies there are in the world, the double pink ones are my least favored. When I was a kid we had a long strip bed of them that were alternated white and deep red. That I liked. In fact, I went back to that house once between owners and "stole" a dark red one. Guess what. When it came up and bloomed it had reverted to pink. I didn't know they would do that. Needless to say, that was a bummer.

So, I played with the picture. This peony I could almost like.


If I ever get back to Ann Arbor at the right time of year, Nichols Arboretum has a spectacular peony garden. That would be a photo op, for sure.

See Single Peony
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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Can Numitor Skip to Numenor?

OK, I'm just being silly with the title, but this little guy's name is Ancyloxpha numitor, and I need some way to help me remember. Of course, I can't think of anything that will help me with Ancyloxpha. I can't even find out what that means.

Anyway, this is the most common of the skipper butterflies, called least skipper or least skipperling. But it's not the one I got pictures of before. So this one is ordinary, but the picture is pretty good. I'll settle for that.

least skipper

Numitor?- a descendant of King Aeneas the Trojan, and grandfather of Romulus and Remus. Numenor?- one of Tolkein's mythical lands... probably an allusion to Atlantis.

Skippers are very small butterflies with big eyes, so it's pretty easy to say, "It's a skipper." But there are several thousand species if you want to get more specific. I'll be lucky to remember this common one. But it's not too hard. The underside is solid orange, and the top wing doesn't have as much of a point as other skippers. I had to look at quite a few pictures before I figured out what they were talking about, but now I get it.

Anyway, he's cute, and this seems to be a week for "bugs."

In other news, after I got my second wind after work, I packaged up a book order for 2 copies of North Country Cache, rode my bike to the post office, mowed the lawn (not by the road yet), went and got mower gas and stopped at the bank. The yard looks really nice from a distance. We won't talk about all the ground squirrel holes, the sprouting autumn olive, the broken aspen tree I can't trim by myself, the weeds and divots. I just plan to enjoy the cool greenness for now. Wonderful weather today. I'll take every cool summer day I can get.

mowed lawn

See Hesperiidae (another skipper)
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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Good Day to Be Green

This seems to be the week for insects. If this little one hadn't been bright green and sitting on a blue trash can, I probably wouldn't even have seen it. Its body is only a little more than an quarter-inch long. But look at those antennae!

grasshopper with long antennae

It might be a young grasshopper, but with those antennae, it might also be a young katydid. Young for sure- no wings yet. It's a pretty good match for the picture of a fork-tailed bush katydid nymph. At any rate, it made me smile.

See a full grown katydid
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