Saturday, July 31, 2021

Bees & Flowers

I tried to get pictures of birds today.  I saw the Hummingbird but she was gone before I could lay my hand on the camera.  Same with the Flicker which is a kind of woodpecker.  It landed on the empty suet pellet feeder and then on the platform feeder and was gone.  The Nuthatch made repeated trips to the platform feeder but never stayed any longer than it took to identify it.  No chance of pictures of any of them.  And no hawk.

The flowers held still.  There were bees and bees on the Purple Coneflowers (echinacea).  I stood and watched them sorting through the centers of the flowers, collecting pollen for their leg sacs.

This Daisy had Japanese Beetles on it.  It was one of the few with them.  There aren't nearly as many beetles this year as there were last year.  There was a bumper crop then, they just about devoured my ferns.

The Butterfly Weed is still opening up new blossom heads.  I still haven't seen a butterfly on it.

The Black-eyed Susans (rudbeckia) on the side of the house have started to bloom.  Just a few flowers there.

While mowing the lawn I could smell the Stargazer Lilies but I couldn't see them.  Turns out that all of the flowers make the stalk top-heavy so it's lying down.  I lifted it up to take its picture.  I should get a string to tie it to the fence so it stands up.  Maybe tomorrow.

Today's toss was a tank top that I planned to wear to mow but I put it on and it's waaaay too big so into the toss pile it went.

The prompt today said to make a packing list for a trip to the Moon.  Tsk.  Such a silly prompt.  Let's see... a spacesuit, oxygen, crew members, food, my Kindle with a bunch of books and the charger.  That's all I could think of.  I don't want to go to the Moon anyway, I'll stay here on Earth, thanks.


Friday, July 30, 2021

Feeding the Birds

Today the feeders were where the action was.  No hawk to break up the monotony of songbirds.  The House Finches were out in force on the platform feeder.  It's rare to see a mature male with the pinkish orange face and breast.  Usually all I see are the pale brown juveniles from this season's nests.

A couple Goldfinches stopped by for a seed snack.

And the Cardinal bullied his way through the House Finches.  He's quick to lunge at the other birds to drive them away.

In the afternoon a male Downy Woodpecker showed up.  First he stopped at the cob corn in back to see if the squirrels left anything and then he swooped down to the suet cakes for a little peck at them.

One of the squirrels did his level best to nibble away the rest of the suet pellets.  By suppertime the feeder was empty.  I'll wait a day or two before filling it again.  I can't afford to keep it full, it'd beggar me.

Tonight at Friday Night Knitting I finished the Gramma's Favorite washcloth I started last night.  I weighed the yarn and calculated when to turn and start the decreases and managed to end up with about 14" of yarn left.  Not bad.

Today's toss was a couple of neoprene ankle wraps left from my broken ankle days and an old camera case.

The prompt today said that scientists have discovered a cure for aging and you can choose any age to be.  What would you choose?  I said 45.  I loved my 40s, the kids were old enough to be pretty self-sufficient, we were doing a lot of diving with friends, and we traveled at least once a year to a dive destination.  Good times.


Thursday, July 29, 2021

A Fun Day

I had a blast today.  Late this morning was the Vacation Bible School concert so I had to go to beam at LC and OJ as they sang about their week with all their new friends.  After the performance I got invited to lunch with them and the other grandparents.  They were off to the zoo after lunch and I got to go along too.  OJ invited me and it turned out I'm the only zoo member.  I got everyone in on my family membership so I got to treat.  The coolest thing was that we passed a group from a Boys & Girls Club only to discover that one of the kids' cousins was in the group.  He doesn't live in town so it was a real surprise to see him.  OJ was thrilled that we kept running into OZ all afternoon.  It was a good day.

This morning the Red-tailed Hawk landed on top of the fence and surveyed the area.  No squirrels or chipmunks to terrorize so it flew away.  I'm always glad to see it.

The Black-eyed Susans are blooming up a storm.  Their bright yellow petals make me smile.

Speaking of yellow, another of the Stella d'Oro lilies opened up a flower today.  I'm impressed that they keep popping up.

I finished up July Preemie Hat #3 this evening.  It isn't often that I knit one in a solid color and in white, no less, but this is the yarn that was handy when I needed to start the next hat.

I dug around in my knitting bag and found my car knitting bag that has lived in the house since March 2020 and decided to cast on a dishcloth.  This is a modification of an old pattern called Grandma's Favorite.  The person that published this version said that the original's unsquare corners and wonky angles drive her nutty so she change the pattern just enough to satisfy her need for symmetry.  It made me smile.  Somebody can always use a washrag.

Since I spent the majority of the day away from home I neither tossed anything nor wrote the prompts.  I woke up to find that my Garmin Vivofit had tanked overnight so I ran to Batteries + on my way home from the zoo and got new batteries installed.  It only took a few minutes and they just charged me for the batteries, not installation.  What a deal.

Oh, and the thunder that I heard last night was the extent of the storm here in Green Bay.  I guess that about an hour's drive south of here they got the wind and rain but we were spared.


Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Waiting For The Storm

All day long they've been threatening us with a severe storm and I think it's on the way.  It might hit us a glancing blow in an hour or so but I won't be awake for it.  Ooh, the first thunder.  Maybe it's closer than I think.

The Red-tailed Hawk was back in the birdbath this afternoon.  My assistants were here so they got to see it too.  They were impressed and I let them use my big camera.  Good thing it's digital, there were 13 out of focus shots of the hawk. 


The red day lilies are still blooming like crazy.  I was outside this morning to take this picture and heard a bunch of birds harassing the hawk in the neighbor's yard.


We saw a Hummingbird at the feeder at lunchtime today.  It's been a couple weeks since I've seen one and it was LC's first Hummingbird sighting.

 Today's toss was some small index cards with old writing prompts on them.  Since I don't have a writing group anymore I don't need to keep them.

The prompt today said to write a week's diary entries for a rock star.  What???  Okay, rehearsal, sound check, podcast, write songs with lyricist, concert, sleep.

I got an email from The Clearing saying that they're requiring vaccination proof.  I'm so relieved.  I was worrying about being in close contact with a bunch of people up there in September and not knowing.


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Not Much

 I had a pretty quiet day today.  It was too humid to play outside.

The echinacea is still blooming like crazy.  The Japanese Beetles are leaving them alone, for the most part, so they're looking pretty good.

This Downy Woodpecker started to enjoy a snack of suet pellets when another Downy Woodpecker showed up on the same feeder. They lunged at each other for a few feints then flew together, circled each other, and flew away one after the other.  Nobody came back.  *sigh*

Finally a male House Finch showed up.  Usually all that comes is a gaggle of juveniles and they're all pale brownish gray and dull.  Like all teenagers, they empty the birdfeeder in record time and fling seed all over the ground and patio.

Today's toss was another bag of shopping bags.  I confess that I saved one of them but the rest went away.

The prompt today said to spin around five times and write an ode to the first thing you lay your eyes on.  I didn't feel like spinning around so I wrote an ode to the arrow crab on the poster across the room.  I'm not repeating it, it's terrible.


Monday, July 26, 2021


I unhappily woke up too early this morning but that meant that I got to see the Red-tailed Hawk in the birdbath getting a drink.  It also dipped its bottom in the water but it was too shallow and the bird too big for it to really get wet.  Seeing it in the birdbath gives an idea of how big it really is.

Another Stargazer lily flower opened today.  These flowers last more than one day so maybe all of the buds will be open at once and the plant will look like a beautiful lily bouquet.

More honeysuckle flowers are popping out.


There was another yellow day lily open nestled in the leaves below the Stargazer too.

This afternoon I soaked the shawl I entered in the Fair in wool wash and pinned it out so that it'll be straight and blocked before I take it in.  The Fair judges who came to our Knitting Guild meeting in May emphasized that it was important to block our items.  That is one of the things they check for and I want to win a blue ribbon.

Today's toss was a handful of canvas shopping bags that were Mom's.  I don't know how they got shoved onto a shelf behind a box and forgotten but I found them and off they go.

The prompt today said to write a letter to be read in 100 years.  I wrote that I hope that they're not enduring another global pandemic because the last one was 100 years before now.  I hoped that people were more confident in the efficacy of the vaccine and more willingly got it so that people are safer and smarter in another century.  I heard on a podcast today that someone has started to call it the "pan-damn-demic."  I like it.


Sunday, July 25, 2021

No Hawk Today

I didn't see or hear the hawk today, dang it.  I hope it hasn't moved on to a different hunting ground.  I did catch a Goldfinch on the feeder this afternoon though.  Goldfinches are hard to take pictures of because they don't stay anywhere for long.


The Stargazer lilies have bloomed.  A few years ago I bought a whole bunch of this type of lily when they were on closeout at a grocery store parking lot greenhouse and this is the last one remaining.  I don't know if something ate them or if they just failed but I'm happy to have this last one to enjoy.  It's too bad we don't have smell-o-vision because their fragrance is intoxicating.


The butterfly weed by the blueberries is still blooming and I saw a Monarch on it the morning but, of course, it fluttered away when I got closer so here's where the butterfly used to be.

And the spiderwort is still blooming too.  It's tucked into the bee balm and daisies but I managed to isolate the flowers to show them off.

Today's toss was a pair of toddler puzzle books that everybody is too old for.

The prompt today said that you've been recruited to be a spy.  What's your first mission?  Eek!  I think I'd be okay as a courier, taking something from here to there, but I'd be a terrible secret agent because I'm a rotten liar and bad at keeping secrets.


Saturday, July 24, 2021


That's how the day started, with drizzle.  I heard rain in the night but by morning it was just spit and sputter until about 11 o'clock, then it was cloudy, then the sun came out and the temperature soared into the mid-80s and the humidity went up with it.  Ugh.

The Red-tailed Hawk spent time on the fence today.  I didn't see it down on the patio or on the birdbath where I saw it yesterday evening, only on the fence.  The chipmunks are still skittish and dart out to cram some seeds in their cheek pouches and then dart back into the shelter of the ferns.  And the squirrels are impervious.

I see the honeysuckle is starting to bloom again.  I wish it would bust out in blossoms so that the Hummingbirds would come back.  

This is a terrible picture but it's a Nuthatch on the suet pellets.  I got a better shot but the bird was behind the crook and Slinky and you couldn't tell what it was.  There were just slivers of bird visible.

Then later on a Downy Woodpecker visited the pellets too.

Today's toss was the rattan trunk that held all of the old writing books.  Now I have to basically put the stuff back where it was before I started tossing it.  The papers are staying in the recycling bin.

The prompt today said to write a song about a human falling in love with an AI (Artificial Intelligence).  Wasn't there a movie about that in the last couple years?  Anyway, I scribbled down some nonsense.

I spent a lot of the day reading the manuscript of my first National Novel Writing Month attempt.  I wrote it in Bonaire and it's a mix of travel journal and fiction.  What amazed me was how often Durwood wasn't able to do things, how debilitated he was by the heat and his lungs.  Sad.


Friday, July 23, 2021

Red Sundown

I went out to take pictures of the Red-tailed Hawk and saw the sun peeking between the trees and it was really red.  It didn't turn out so red in the picture but I'm putting it on here anyway.  The smoke from all the wildfires out west and in Canada has turned the sky gray way up high and it tints the sun as it sets.

This morning the Red-tailed Hawk landed on the back of a patio chair and glared down at the squirrel again.  I don't know why it doesn't make a grab at the squirrel.  Maybe it's too big?

The Black-eyed Susans are really beautiful.  For some reason I expect them to be bigger, like the daisies, but they're more medium sized and kind of dainty.  I like 'em.

At Friday Night Knitting I finished July Preemie Hat #2 with just about a foot of yarn left.  I could have knitted one more round on the body of the hat before the decreases but didn't want to chance running out.  Just another game of yarn chicken that I won.

Then I started July Preemie Hat #3.  This one is a size bigger than #2 and in plain white yarn.  I'm running out of variegated yarn to knit them with so I'm reduced to using plain solid color yarn and this white is what I had at hand.

Today's toss was an old copy of a manuscript.

The prompt today said that you come home to find that someone has moved into your house and thinks it's theirs.  What happens next?  Oh lordy.  I call the police and pull out my driver's license and copies of bills to prove that this is my address, not theirs.  There are photos of me with family on the walls and no mail comes for anyone not in my family.  This is a real Twilight Zone moment.  I'm not sure what else to do.  The whole idea creeps me out.


Thursday, July 22, 2021

One At A Time

I went out looking at the same old flowers but decided to take pictures anyway.  The red day lily is the prettiest, I think, with its brick red petals around the bright yellow throat.  There are five or six plants with this color flowers, four on one end of the retaining wall and two on the other end.

The salmon pink one is a close second.  There's only one plant with this color flowers and it's right next to the red ones.

I spied a variety of bee on this daisy.  There was a different bee on another flower, one with pollen sacs on its back legs, but that one turned out blurry so there's just this one.

I don't know what kind of moth this is but I admired its antennae.  They look like little fern fronds.  I would have liked to see its wings but it was on the outside of the patio door and I was on the inside.

The Red-tailed Hawk was on the patio umbrella when I opened the curtains this morning and then it flew over to the trellis in the garden.  It stayed around for a while and then flew away but came back around suppertime.  When it was gone a very skittish chipmunk ventured out to the fallen seed under the feeder but it didn't stay long.  I don't blame it.  But there was a squirrel out there again while the hawk was on the umbrella.  It must think it's too big for a meal.  I have to warn you, as long as I can take its picture I'll post one every day so be ready.

Today's toss was the last of the writing books from the rattan trunk.

The prompt today asked how you'd like to be remembered.  Sheesh.  The other day it asked about tombstones and now this.  Kind of a fatalistic trend, don't you think?  Anyway, I said I'd like to be remembered as being kind.


Wednesday, July 21, 2021

I Was Wrong

The hawk came back today and I got out the Audubon bird book and properly identified it.  It's a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk.  It's the bird I've been hearing in the early morning and it took a dump on my patio chair so I had to go out and scrub it.  Jeez, bird, thanks a lot.  The amazing thing is that a squirrel scampered across the patio while it was up there on the umbrella and all it did was watch the squirrel go by.  I thought maybe it'd swoop down and try for lunch but it didn't.

The red lilies were looking good today.  All four plants at the end of the row on the retaining wall had lots of flowers on them.

The yellow lily had a single flower



as did the orange "Tiger" lily in front of it.  This clump of lilies is just about done flowering but the last remaining stargazer lily plant beside it is just about ready to bloom.  I'll keep watching for it.



The daisies and bee balm are still going strong.  Every time I look out at them I smile.

Today's toss was a couple writing books from the rattan trunk.  I also found an altered book that I pasted pictures and poems in that I'll keep.

The prompt today said to list five red items.  Let's see... my car, blood, Santa's suit, a fire truck, Dad's roses.  Easy peasy.

I got a haircut today so now I'm itchy.  And I broke a nail cleaning the grass out from under the mower deck.  I planned to clean it right after I mowed but the mower was too hot so I waited a couple days.  Does everyone but me know that you're supposed to clean the mower?  I never knew that but LJ told me I had to so the grass doesn't build up and stop the blade.  I learn something new every day.