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.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Buck Twothed

Even if you are a large and mighty six-point buck in gorgeous velvet, you can still be caught on camera looking silly.

buck chewing

How did this happen, you ask?

The first requirement is that you provide free snacks in the form of green apples. Be sure plenty of them are in reach of creatures that can stand on two legs, even if four is their preferred mode. (this picture was last night when he had a doe with him.)

buck taking apples off a tree

He took the time to check on what I was doing (even at a very long camera range) with the apple still in his teeth.

buck with apple in mouth

Then chewing can commence.

So I came to the other side of the house, and junior size was prancing through the back yard. Even though he's only about half the size of the big guy, he's got four points. But I think he doesn't know what being a buck means yet. He didn't even pretend to be in charge.

small buck

Sorry about the quality of some of the shots, but at least I got something with which to tell the story.

See Four or Six?
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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Yet Another Lovely Invasive

It's hard to tell you how much I dislike this plant. It's multi-flora rose, Rosa multiflora. There's a scientific name you can probably get your head around.

It's alien; it's invasive, and it's obnoxious.

multi-flora rose

Seems like I've been combating it for years. Not on my property, thankfully, but it has to be cut and dug out from all the places where native plants are trying to be preserved. It will overrun everything in sight. The same thing applies to trail work because it grows so fast and is so nasty to get caught on it's hard to keep it in check. It's full of thorns and you really have to cover up to work in it.

And yet, it's so pretty. Darn.

multi-flora rose

You can easily see why it's called multi-flora.

See Wrinkled Rose
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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Mushroom House and More

I didn't take many pictures on my Cincinnati hike. It was hot and I was using all my energy to walk. However, there were a lot of great older houses near the river.

I particularly liked this stately apartment building. The picture is horrible, with wires and cars, but I wasn't waiting around until I got a better shot. Notice the semi-enclosed court in front and the concrete pillars that contrast with the brick. I'm thinking classic 1930s.

1930 apartment building

I also really liked the eclectic stone work along the driveway for this home.

stone sided driveway

But the best was this place. It's become something of a tourist attraction and is known as the Mushroom House.

Mushroom House, Cincinnati

See Cincinnati Spur
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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

To Stan Hywet Once More

I'm taking you back to Stan Hywet in Akron, Ohio one more time. I want to show you longer views of four themed gardens. I should have asked how many gardeners they employ. It must be a crazy number.

The first garden you see after you enter (there are flower beds everywhere, but I'm referring to a semi-enclosed space with a particular theme) is the Rose Garden. Actually, I'm not a big fan of roses, but the avenue of trellises made a nice visual line.

Stan Hywet Rose Garden

Directly in back of the house is a Japanese Garden. This is placed in a naturally lower area, but I think some of the rocks that turn it into a bowl were moved there on purpose to create the space. It was quite lovely.

Stan Hywet Japanese Garden

The walled English Garden was where I learned the names of several plants because things were labeled pretty well. There was also quite a lot in bloom. The reflecting pond was nice, and I tried some interesting shots, but they all turned out rather average.

Stan Hywet English Garden

The last place we visited in the afternoon was the conservatory, filled with tropical plants and cactus. Outside that was the Children's Garden. It was loaded with bright colored flowers and various places to play, including a splash fountain. It wasn't set up in a way that you could get a picture of the whole space. So I'll just show you this playhouse with plants on the roof.

Stan Hywet Children's Garden

The deer have eaten most of my flowers. There are almost no buds left on my day lilies, and the hosta are all chewed. I think I should give up trying to raise my own flowers and get hired by some place that has extensive gardens like these, with plenty of money to care for them.

See Stan Hywet
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Monday, July 25, 2016

Views of the Day

I had to go to Grand Rapids today, and of course couldn't chance being late, so the interstate was my route going there. However, coming home I got to play one of my favorite games... just take a road going in the right direction and see where I end up.

There was one stop I had to make on the way, so the road had to wander there, but it wasn't time constrained, so I had a blast.

I loved this small wetland beside the road.


And you know I found a couple of really good back roads. This is 132nd Avenue (between Pierce and Baseline if you are local and care). These pretentious names on seasonal roads always crack me up.

back road

Another stop at the White River was on the agenda. I needed to collect information for my newspaper column.

White River

And finally, I discovered another place to get a nice view. This is on 128th Avenue, just south of Clock Rd, looking north.


This is two-week old news now, but I quit the job that had me driving all over several counties. Increasing constraints with no increase in pay... anyway. So, I won't be out and about as often, unless it's for something I want to do.

See Exploring Hesperia's Parks
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