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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Great Crested Flycatcher

 
Just now, early evening, a bird flew onto the deck that I was pretty sure I have never seen before. It was big- as big as a robin. It had a yellow belly. It had a crest. I immediately suspected flycatcher because of that. However, If I've seen one of these before, I don't remember it. It's not so unusual, but you may recall that I'm not a very determined bird watcher.

great crested flycatcher

Lucky me! I managed to get the camera before it left the yard. And it focused on the bird. Hooray! So that yellow breast and the gray throat, size and crest, and range, pinpoint it as the Great Crested Flycatcher, Myiarchus crinitus.

great crested flycatcher

It was looking for tasty tidbits, but decided it didn't like whatever this was. Then it flew away. But what a gift!

great crested flycatcher

In other news: temperature was perfect. I worked in the flower bed all day. More tomorrow.

See Tyranus tyranus

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Green is a Lovely Color

 
Today I had a small vendor event, the first since March. I was happy enough with the results for a small, inexpensive show.

Drove past the NCT on my way there and back. Had to stop for a little walk on the way home. It barely counts as a "hike," but I got to stretch my legs and see the GREEN. Finally, green. Quite a change from all the brown of my early spring hikes.

North Country Trail

This is a macro of Star Flower, Trientalis borealis. The blossoms are white, but with the light shining through it looks only slightly less green than the leaves.

star flower

I'm a sedge person, you know. This is a very common one in dry woods. Carex pensylvanica (yes, only one n), Pennsylvania Sedge. The leaves are very narrow and it grows in little clumps like green fireworks.

Pennsylvania Sedge

The seed pod of False Rue Anemone, Enemion biternatum. If you think it looks a bit like a buttercup seed pod, well, they are all in the same family, Ranunculaceae.

False Rue Anemone

And some moss going all sexy. I haven't really even tried to learn many kinds of mosses yet.

moss sporangia

When I got home I worked in the flower bed for a little while. That was enough.

North Country Trail Miles for 2020 is at 204

North Country Trail, Lake County, from Timber Creek north about a mile and back.

See Familiar Section- Endurance Edition

Friday, May 29, 2020

The Sedum on the End of a Stick

 
Cleaned out the gutters today. The front one was completely full. I guess that nice black loose mixture of dirt and roofing crumbles made a great sapling nursery. There were 4 baby trees growing in it.

baby tree in a gutter

Now the gutters are cleared. And I accidentally learned that this is a really easy job give two conditions. It rained yesterday evening, so there was a layer of water at the bottom of the trough. That acted as a lubricant so the contents slid very easily. The end cap popped off when I put pressure against it. What a serendipitous moment! I just put the wheelbarrow under the end and chunk by chunk slid the whole mess out of the end of the gutter! Replaced the end. Done. Trimmed the tree a little more.

cleared gutter

But then I had four baby trees, right? So I planted them. I think 3 of them have half a chance of making it. The fourth is a quaking aspen, and they don't usually transplant well. But I had to try.

baby white birch tree planted

The temperature was right on the money for me! I was so energized. Mid-sixties. Light breeze. I just couldn't not try once more to reclaim my front flower bed. I got two patches done. Here's the one with my lovely yellow lily that appeared. But it won't bloom this year. Something already ate the top out of it.

weeded flower bed

Here's the other part I got cleaned up. Something already ate the biggest hosta. This is why I keep giving up flowers.

weeded flower bed

And the sedum on a stick? Home Depot has a potted sedum that I want quite badly. But I shouldn't spend money on plants. So, I'm telling myself that if I get this front bed completely cleaned up, I can buy that plant. We'll see if that is enough motivation. It might be.

I have a small, fairly local vendor event tomorrow. Let's hope that lots of people are so tired of not having anywhere to go that they will show up. And spend money.

See One Garden Fairy, One Garden Liar

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Sad, but Fascinating

 
The other day, Om was out cutting some grape vines and brush that keeps trying to grow up the side of the house. When he came in, I looked across the room and saw a funny dark thing on his pants. "What's that?"

emerging sphinx moth

I'm pretty sure it is a hawk/sphinx/hummingbird moth that has just emerged from it's cocoon. But the sad part is that if lepdopteria are disturbed before their wings have filled with blood and dried, their wings won't "unwrinkle" properly and they can never fly.

emerging sphinx moth

Well, darn. It was already disturbed, and it sure couldn't stay on Omer's leg indefinitely. I tried to get it to crawl on something without touching its wings, but it wouldn't move onto a hard surface. It did crawl on my finger. That allowed me to get a picture of the underside.

emerging sphinx moth

However, I'm still not sure exactly which moth it is. It doesn't have the white lines of the common one. The pictures I took of the dead clear-wing don't have those bands on the underside. There aren't all that many choices in North America. Without the wings open, it's really hard to tell what it will look like.

I put it on the old wheel. Hours later, it was still there. It was alive, but its wings were not opening. It disappeared overnight- probably becoming something else's meal.

emerging hawk moth

In other news: I worked on the menus for my upcoming hike a bit. Should have done more, but I was a sloth. However, we finally got rain this evening, and the air is less heavy. Supposed to be cooler tomorrow which should help my work ethic.

See White-Lined Hummingbird Moth
See Clear-wing Hummingbird Moth

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Refrigerator Soup Day

 
I spent the morning in the kitchen. Dehydrated a couple of things for hike food, frosted the other half of the birthday cake before the rest of the evaporated milk went bad, and made refrigerator soup. This one isn't quite as good as sometimes, but it's fine. Good solid soup. The only thing that wasn't a refrigerator clearing item was a can of kidney beans. But it was pretty old. Good to use it.

soup

In other news: Om and I got all the rest of the old shingles cleaned up. All that's left to do is the second round of caulking in a few days and clearing the gutters. I also dug up a few more small autumn olive that had sprouted in the yard. And I may have figured out what the problem is with the mower. We shall see about that.

This sounds like I really did a lot. However, it was really hot again, and I mostly worked in little spurts with cold drinks in between. I have something quite interesting to show you tomorrow.

See Refrigerator Soup, Deluxe

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

99 and 44/100 Percent

 
Remember the Ivory Soap claim- "99 and 44/100 percent pure?" That may be good enough for soap, but it's not quite enough for a roof job. The ridgeline is finished, but I'll need to do a little more caulking in a couple of days.

new roof ridgeline

Here's the face I just finished. That is 100% done.

new roof

There is still a little bit of cleanup to do, but Om has been helping with that. A wheelbarrow that is not falling apart makes it a lot easier too.

roofing mess

And the gutters have to be cleaned out. But not today. Today was hot. The first really hot day this year. Heat and I are not friends. I managed to finish the ridgeline, and then I ran a couple of errands that couldn't be done on the holiday yesterday, but that's about it, except for sitting and sweating. My body needs to adjust a bit.

The sky was great! For a while it looked like a storm was brewing to the east, but then the gray all cleared out and turned into these impressive cumulonimbus clouds.

sky

I've really enjoyed being on top of the world as the surroundings green up and everything looks so fresh.

So, I need to take this job to 100%, or it won't pass the test. But I think there's actually 100% chance it will happen. Of course, then I still have to do that final face. Maybe this fall. That sure won't wait another 6 years. Those shingles are getting bad.

Fun fact: That one remaining face on this house is the only roof on our property that I did not do. Including the barn. Although, three of us worked together on that. A long time ago. Now, the whole barn is in danger of falling, but we can't afford to do a darn thing about it.

See Did She Do It?

Monday, May 25, 2020

Another Puzzle, Another Bad Accordion Joke

 
I finished another jigsaw puzzle yesterday. This one is called "The Music Room," and it has about 100 different instruments on it. There were several I had not heard of. It was surprisingly difficult, but not frustratingly so.

jigsaw puzzle with musical instruments

jigsaw puzzle with musical instrumentsI learned the long squarish one is called a Tromba marina. Yes, that means marine trumpet, but it was a one-stringed instrument played with a bow. The base is a tall hollow bell and it gives off a sound much like a trumpet that was used to speak from ship to ship. The string was only lightly touched to produce harmonics. It was used from the 15th to 18th Centuries. I'm going to just tell you about this one because is it SO interesting.


Here is a video of a modern recreation of one.



And here is a real piece of music played on one. The instrument shown in this video has two strings which was apparently a sometime variation. I like it!



And the bad accordion joke? The accordion is upside down! What the heck? I know most people don't like them, but the artist couldn't even picture it right side up?

jigsaw puzzle with musical instruments

In other news: I did errands (some will have to wait because it was Memorial Day), shopped for groceries, and worked on beta reading a book for an author friend. Tomorrow, I do the final little bit on the roof. (Had to buy one more bundle of shingles, and I treated us to a new wheelbarrow that isn't coming apart.)

See The Sound of Music

Sunday, May 24, 2020

The Child's World Encyclopia

 
I've been doing the 7 day book challenge on Facebook. But I've been wanting to tell you about these books anyway. Since I had to hunt them up to get the picture for FB, it was a good day to put them here too.

First of all, I guess this post is going to include a little bragging. At least I think that's how some people will see it. For me, it's just a fact, although I quickly learned that it was a fact that made me lots different from everyone else my age.

Here is the set of books, a children's encyclopedia called The Child's World. They were published in 1950, and I was given the set in 1952, when I was 4 years old.

Child's World Enclopedia

The first volume is "Stories of Childhood." I'm including one picture from each volume. There were various types of illustrations. I've pictured an example of most kinds. Some of the pages had full color pictures. This was a delightful story about a horse that wouldn't go anywhere without its favorite hat. But there were a lot of traditional familiar stories as well.

Child's World Enclopedia

Volume 2 is "People and Great Deeds." This is basically history. Here is a page from the story of Sacajawea.

Child's World Enclopedia

Next was "Plant and Animal Ways." So here we introduce biology. There are lots of color pictures of various kinds of birds, mammals, insects reptiles, and various kinds of plants, in addition to all the black and white illustrations. Almost every spread has some illustration. I chose a picture of a map that shows migratory bird routes.

Child's World Enclopedia

Volume 4 is "The World and its Wonders." This includes all sorts of science lessons. Each book has a number of full-color plates of extraordinary detail. I'm showing you one from this volume because I think I spent more time studying this picture than any other in the entire set of books. I was amazed at everything that went on inside one thin leaf.

Child's World Enclopedia

Next is "Countries and their Children," which is cultural studies. It takes the reader to places around the world showing how people live and play, their art and customs. Here is a photo of Asian art works.

Child's World Enclopedia

Volume 6 was for the parents, but I read it anyway. It's called "Mother's Guide." It's basically a guide to child rearing.

Child's World Enclopedia

OK, here's the odd fact. I could read when I was two. I was already tired of Golden Books by the time I was 4.

Now for a story. I remember the day Granny brought me these books. I remember sitting on the floor and reading. The part I do not remember is my mother's perspective. She told me this long after I was grown. Apparently, they could not get me away from those books. I read for hours and hours and would not even stop to eat lunch.

I do know that I enjoyed reading these books on my own for several more years, and I also liked having them read to me because I could ask more questions that the articles didn't answer.

Gotta admit... I teared up a little bit at getting these books out and looking through them. These are probably the most influential books of my childhood.

See Best Books Read in 2011

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Did She Do It?

 
It was a gorgeous day. Can't ask for better than this.

blue sky

But the question is: Did I finish the roof? Close enough. The answer is that the ridge is not quite finished, but I got enough done that it won't leak unless we have a hurricane, and it's not supposed to be very windy. I just finished, at 7:27. Spent a lotta lotta time up there today. Put up 9 bundles of shingles. I wasn't sure I could still do that, but I guess I can. Had to eat some extra food.

new shingles on a roof

Now for a shower and then nothing else of consequence today. I am delighted to kiss the gnats goodnight. They must have little buzzsaws for mouthparts. I had to put on my hiking headnet to finish the last two rows. They were just brutal.

See Who Will Win the Race?

Friday, May 22, 2020

Who Will Win the Race?

 
This is how far I got today. Pretty darn good. Is it enough? We shall see.

new shingles on half a roof

If we are talking about the race with the roof across the street, I already lost. They put on all the underlayment and all the red metal roofing today.

new red metal roof

Interestingly enough, The Amish must be doing the roof themselves (this is going to be an Amish/Mennonite store). How do I know this? Take a look. There is one woman up there who was working right along with the guys. I don't know how they can do stuff like this in a dress. But GIRL POWER!

woman on a roof

More to the point is- will I win the race with the weather? Forecast says I still have tomorrow. Do you think I'll make it? I was able to work a lot today because it wasn't as hot. I lost quite a bit of actual roof time because I was waiting around at Home Depot almost an hour for them to find the skid of 52 bundles of shingles that their inventory claimed they had. They finally found them.

No other news today! I worked my tail off.

See It Must be Roofday

Thursday, May 21, 2020

It Must be Roofday

 
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Roofday. Right?

I was not sore at all from yesterday. I can hardly believe it myself. And I got over a quarter of the new shingles on. This is going well. That was my goal for the day. Don't worry- I trimmed back that tree. The shadow makes it look like it's still very close to the roof.

new roof

And, look what's happening across the street. They have closed in the section between the buildings, and today, with a whole crew of workers and a nailgun (or 2 or 3), they put the plywoood on that whole huge roof. I don't think they can see me through our pine trees, slogging away with a jar full of used nails and a hammer, but I bet they would be laughing at me if they could. I'll bet they'll only spend one day covering it all, too. I wonder if it's going to have red metal like the rest of it.

construction site

And this happened. It was getting too thin and ratty, and I just wanted to wash all the tar gunk out of my hair easily. I may grow it again in the fall.

braid of hair

In other news: Yes, there actually is some other news. I did a load of laundry and dehydrated two pieces of hike food.

See I Done Good
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