Jun 23

Cloud Pavilion: New Rain Barn

Posted: under Activities, Water, Wildlife.
Tags: ,  June 23rd, 2011

On land with no permanent water source, rain harvesting is the only way to provide reliable supplemental water for wildlife.    (Well, you can lug it in on your back or a cart or trailer, but that’s no fun at all when temperatures top 100F day after day.)   And rainwater is a healthier source of water for some (most?) wildlife than treated city water, even if that were affordable and available.  Supplying supplemental water is a key activity in the support of wildlife, critical in times of drought.   So, over the years, we’ve built “rain barns” to capture and store rainwater for this purpose.   We also do rainwater collection off existing roofs (house, carport, horse barn) to provide water for the horses, water garden, and a few trees.

Fox Pavilion: 610 gallons storage max

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Oct 03

Monarchs in Fall

Posted: under photography, Wildlife.
Tags: , , ,  October 3rd, 2010

Some years we get spectacular drifts of Monarchs migrating south, and some years they come in little groups of three or four…not many at a time.   Today I went out on a day of blue sky, bright sun, brisk north wind, just to see what was out there.

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Jul 31

After Rain

Posted: under Plantlife, Wildlife.
Tags: , , , ,  July 31st, 2010

Significant rain in July is uncommon, and we picked up inches and inches–after the very dry spring and early summer, this was a relief to us and to everything that lives on the place.

Switchgrass head-high in July

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Jul 20

Strange Cousins

Posted: under photography, Wildlife.
Tags: , ,  July 20th, 2010

Today when hanging up the wash, I spotted something small on the end of a clothespin that was hanging upside down from the line.   It was the same mottled dull gray-brown as the clothespin itself, and it was between the V of the angled ends.  I carefully removed the clothespin from the line and put it on the table, then went to get my camera.   After a fruitless search for the macro lens (I put it somewhere safe.  Very safe.   Too safe)  I had to use the zoom lens, which is a sort of zoom macro but won’t focus closer than about 18 inches.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Jul 09


Posted: under photography, Wildlife.
Tags: , , , ,  July 9th, 2010

Today, after the rains of the past two weeks–and then a hot sunny midday–we had more species of odonates at the lily pond than I’ve seen yet this year.   And the males all wanted a landing site on this stick:

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Jul 01

More Pond Life

Posted: under photography, Plantlife, Water, Wildlife.
Tags: , , , , , ,  July 1st, 2010

When I went out yesterday about noon, I found four of these lovely pink waterlily flowers open:

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Jun 29

Death in the Afternoon

Posted: under Mortality, photography, Wildlife.
Tags: , , , , , ,  June 29th, 2010

We had thunder and rain this afternoon for several hours, but around six, sun broke through enough to illuminate the newly refilled lily pond.  I went out to see what was going on with pondlife.   Two male Neon Skimmers, Libellula croceipennis, were harrassing  the four or five male Blue Dashers, Pachydiplax longipennis, and also pestering the two female Neon Skimmers who were ovipositing in the pond.

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Jun 06

More Prairie Flowers

Posted: under photography, Plantlife, Wildlife.
Tags: , , , ,  June 6th, 2010

A few pictures from a week ago,  May 30, and also from yesterday, June 5, as what’s blooming and in what abundance changes rapidly–especially in the hot, dry weather we’re having.  (We did get 3/10 of an inch of rain.   It barely wet the ground.)

Variegated Fritillary, Euptoita claudia, on Gaillardia

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May 28

One Flower, Many Critters

Posted: under photography, Plantlife, Wildlife.
Tags: , , , ,  May 28th, 2010

The basketflower, Centaurea americana, looks much like a thistle at first…but the stem and leaves are not prickly at all.    It’s a favorite of Black Swallowtail butterflies (and Giant Swallowtails, if there’s enough moisture for the flowers to last into summer) and many smaller butterflies.  And also other insects.

Beetle flying toward Basketflower already occupied by Black Swallowtail

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May 24


Posted: under Activities, Climate Change, Water, Wildlife.
Tags: , , , , , , ,  May 24th, 2010

Young Rana berlandieri with last of its tail showing.

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