Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Orange. That reminds me....

there are drifts of gorgeous nasturiums around the vegetable garden in the back yard.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Another Mississippi Cafe meal, in Albany IL

What a classy little place. Clean and fresh; interesting array of antique photos on the walls, it's like a museum. Lots of selections on the menu.
Great food. Smiling, welcoming service and classiest of all, a serene, grey-haired gentleman who greets and seats you.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Orange Peel Fungi: no kidding...

here it is, in all it's neon glory. Click on image to see it better. Now, how could I not take a picture of this?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hubsy: Still keepin' the Fun in Fungus

We found a nice growth of Orange Peel Fungus (Aleuria Aurentia) while biking the Duck Creek Trail in Davenport, IA.
Brilliantly attractive, but not recommended to eat, since some orange mushrooms are toxic.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Regarding previous post...

oh, ok: there's a little pink bike on the porch, perhaps the back of a 'puter monitor in the window, a gas meter at the side and a satellite dish visible in back.... and i'm actually a busy person with little time on her hands!

Mt. Carroll, IL again... old house, probably from about 1860. You can see how several additions including a basement makes the home appear to flow down the sloping back yard. With no automobiles, telephone wires or air conditioner units in sight, the date could be 1909 instead of 2009.

Irises! Favorite early summer flower...

... the wonderous fragrance seems to bring back childhood memories for many people. The colors are so beautiful. This is one of our best.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Keeping Spring in Mind...

I got the bulbs for these years ago and can't remember what they are called. Some kind of jonquil. I call the "the popcorn daffodils"; they bloom late, last long and are pretty.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Early Spring Again....

back when the magnolia was in bloom. I like the lacy grey shadow of the maple tree.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Earthstar puffball fungus...

nicely located near a couple of fallen maple leaves for convenient color contrast; found not fifteen feet from the front door while weeding my hostas.
These fungi are found in Europe and N.A., from August through Novenber and they are not edible.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

More shots of my Cross spider friend...

Goodness...Spider Alert!

Moments ago, while searching out my car keys from the car where I left them (du-ah), I also found this (probably) gal looking for a place to deposit a sac of about 900 eggs (yikes) on the front stoop. The Cross Orbweaver, or Cross Spider; harmless but an exciting find!

Let's revisit the Springtime--favorite flowers...

At our first home in Madison, WI in the 1970's, there was a Bleeding Heart plant just outside the back door. I was so impressed by the lovely generous colorful display, that I now have several of these plants (including a white) in the yard here in Illinois. Not difficult to grow and very rewarding over the years.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Before the garden...

...the two pine trees to the right were old and diseased; after they were removed, there was ample space for the creation of a small vegetable garden.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Whole Family of Bug Lovers

...the youngest searches the grass for her current favorite critter, a little blue-grey moth. Don't worry, the policy is gentle catch, then release.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Back to Bird Alert...

Last week, a marsh hawk landed in the yard. I posted one photo of it, launching though the air after some lunch. Click on the image, and it should show more detail as he went after a gold finch. Btw, he didn't catch anything this time. I see this bird about the same time most days around here: I'm on his list, apparently.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Backyard Garden Bliss....

The sun sets on our first gardening season: lettuce, carrots, snap peas, soy beans, radishes,
zukes, broccoli, beets, and a bunch of various types of tomatoes, and some buttercup squash to come; may some green beans, too.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Another one: I like these...

Flower of an Hour Encore

Wildflower or Weed?

I depends on whether or not you like the plant.
The white flower with dark center is a member of the Mallow family, Flower of an Hour. The bloom closes by noon. Very pretty little things, actually;
a few come up by themselves in the yard.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Railroad bridge, riverfront....

Davenport, IA. The thing is, when you ride your bike on the Rail Trails a lot, like we do, this is the sort of scenery there is in the towns: the old rail beds went through areas like this.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Back to Mt. Carroll, IL...

...a small part of possibly the prettiest back yard in America...and it's for sale!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


...more colors, contrasts and textures of small town America

Grey/Silver/Black Composition Raw

Still in Elizabeth; Hub still in Museum. At this point I was looking for patterns and tones to play with: A freight yard near the Depot/Museum.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Garden decoration: item 2

A plain bit of sloping side-yard, pepped up with a nice little water-feature, solar lights and a funky pink bird done in lights; it raises and lowers it's beak automatically. Elizabeth, IL.


This shows a husband enthralled by the displays at the railway museum in Elizabeth, IL (as previously mentioned)...and sorry about the unsightly fashbulb reflections.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

More Marsh Hawk

..just before takeoff

Bird Alert!

A Marsh Hawk swooped over the yard today, looking for something to eat. Exciting to catch him in flight!

Elizabeth, IL near main street

Sat Aug 29, 2009
I love old weathered brick walls in sunlight and shadows; across the main street: the turret of another building.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Word for the day:

Evanescent: Vanishing, passing away, fleeting; tending to become imperceptible; scarcely perceptible or disappearing.

Elizabeth, IL---watch out girls...

there is a good railway museum in this town! Husbands/boyfriends will be entertained for hours with all the items on display. Meanwhile, the ladies wander the lanes of the village like lost souls; there are a few shops and restaurants.
I took a few shots, as usual, with the Nikon; this is the old Commercial Hotel across the road from the museum (former rail station, natch), built about 1894 and pretty much as it was then except it now houses apartments.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Big Dictionary's turn:

Querulous: full of complaints; complaining. This might'a been Wm. Faulkner's favorite word; in Sartoris the word appeared so often, I looked it up just incase it meant more than I thought.

Riverfront scene, Davenport, IA

...just a nice composition of blocks, light and shadow; as seen from the bicycle trail.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The mighty Mississip' seen from Davenport, IA looking toward Moline, IL near Arsenal Island--on a lovely day.

A word a day...from Big Dictionary

Purlieus-neighborhood or environs; a place where one may range at large; one's bounds, haunt or resort. (The word has other definitions referring back to feudal Europe). I'm reading the novels of William Faulkner this summer, which means I'm camped out with Big Dictionary at my side while I enjoy my book.

Barbie Billboard Break

Moline, IL attempts to renew vitality to it's outdated downtown center by encouraging people to patronize restaurants and night spots now located there. Good billboard! We enjoyed the BlueCat, a good little brew pub--great food, great beer.

Friday, September 4, 2009

From the Big Dictionary....

Celerity--swiftness or speed.

Mississippi Cafe in Albany, IL

...for people; located in the heart of town near the Great River Trail. A great place to stop for a meal or snack. They have yummy cheesecake and everything else!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

American Goldfinch Cafe

Goldfinchs love to dine on seed heads of plants like coneflowers, sunflowers and others; the birds are very energtic and also entertaining to watch.

Normally, I refrain form deadheading these flowers--leaves more for the birds.

Bird Restaurant

You can build it yourself, in your spare time....

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Back to Bugs....

Also, back in March 2009, this Milbert's Tortoise Shell found a sunny place to rest in the side yard.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Last night, I was reading into The Thermal Warriors - Strategies of Insect Survival by Bernd Heinrich. I read about ways that insects actively or passively warm themselves (or cool their bodies as well) I remembered I took this photo in March 2009 of a lovely Mourning Cloak catching some rays in the backyard.

Garden decoration....

hmmmm...cute, but I hate to see an antique school desk allowed to rot in the rain.

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...