Monday, August 31, 2009

Mt. Carroll, IL....

So blissfully peaceful, on that quiet summer afternoon, that kitty-cats dozed on the sidewalks.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Iron fence....

(the fence was probably in place years before the need for the stop sign at the intersection)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Someday...I will photoshop

Meanwhile, the wires are the wires: they convey valuable electrical and telecom services to the home which fronts this small-town backyard scene in the idylic little town in NW Illinois.

The truth is the truth, and will be seen: if not now, then eventually.

Where there are songbirds in Springtime, there will also be bird pooh...

...sometimes front and center!
Once, I helped paint an iron fence; I learned that I would rather have a picture or the memory of an iron fence than the fence itself.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Enough already with the bugs!

Somewhere in NW Illinois, on a sunny afternoon, shadows and
textures of a small-town American backyard.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's a stink bug!

Whenever I see a bug that interests me, I photograph it, then look it up on the internet; same as one might look up an unfamiliar word in the dictionary. I do the same with plants, butterflies, etc. Lifetime Learning: keeps me out of taverns. So, this stink bug: looks like a shield-shaped chip of jade. Very pretty, did not stink and this is the only one I've seen here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Great Black Wasp: a better look

the shimmering bluish-black helps it look especially evil...yet, unless you are a katydid or a cicada or you chase it with a fly-swatter, they say it is non-aggressive.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Great Black Wasp visits Gooseneck Loosestrifes near the garage

sphex pennsylvanica--actually, I don't care a lot about these latin names for their own sake, but it is a learning opportunity. I was amazed when this bug came swooping into the yard; it's a good inch and a half long and looks like you don't want to make it mad. Turns out, it kills cicadas as food for developing young. That would be exciting to watch, like gladiators or motha fighting godzilla in an old monster movie.

Friday, August 21, 2009

High Summertime around the backyard birdbath...

I think flower gardening is "in my dna"; my grandmother always had perennials. She learned from her Aunt Emma; Aunt Emma learned from her Aunt Amelia, it seems. My garden gene
kicked in late, so I learned from my neighbor; my yard is like an
overflow lot for items she needs to divide. Mostly, I love the color that starts in early March with the Snowdrops and ends about November with whatever or what-have-you that manages
to hang in there and give us one more bloom. The various perennial seeds provide the local birds with lots of food; sunflower heads are a favorite of the goldfinches, for example.
It really helps to have a continual "drip" of fresh water in the birdbath.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Humble but elegant Hollyhocks

Althea rosea, according to my big dictionary.
That's an extremely pretty name, isn't it? Begs you to think of glowing sunny childhood summer's, filled with play and fun and watermelon and lightingbugs and all that stuff.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


It was a cool spring and early summer, here. Consequently, the harvest from the backyard tomato farm just kicked in. August 12. Yesterday we had our first BLT's of the season, with home-grown, vine-ripens tomatoes, and lettuce fresh from the garden patch. Not so bad.
That was lunch yesterday. Then dinner. And lunch again today. BLT: nature's perfect food.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Another grasshopper enjoying pollen this summer

The 'hoppers like to hang out in the daylily flowers, climbing delicately around to find and eat the pollen.
They appear quite cute, with a big
yellow mess of pollen on their tiny faces.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Piper is not feeling well.

In fact, it's far more challenging than to do as she would do, and make small, gentle humorous observations. Just be upbeat.

Among the founders of tamahay , girls' summer camp, and also Hub's sister; a lady of
intelligence, fortitude and determination: she answers the nurse's question about the level of post-surgical pain--a quietly whispered 4 (on the 1 to 10 scale). We gasp; that's about 13 for the
rest of us!

We visited for two days: long enough for several wonderful visits and long enough to be thoroughly impressed by the sheer, sublime excellence of the Mayo Clinic system, St. Mary's

Hospital in particular.

With this healthcare debate raging in the political arena, it seems timely to comment: no way could the Federal Government match up with this venue. And yes, I know the military hospitals are excellent, but not available to the general population.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Coral Rose in June

The Spring was cool, but finally the roses bloomed; this was the first of the season.

The Last Butterfly of our Season was Freed Today...

He is a spunky male version of a Monarch--see those little black spots on the under wings--that means he's a Boy. He was anxious t...