Jan 06

Cochineal Scale on Cactus (plus…)

Posted: under Plantlife, Wildlife.
Tags: , , ,  January 6th, 2010

When we first got the place, an SCA friend asked if any of the cactus had cochineal bugs on it.  At that time, I didn’t find any.  But Monday, January 4, I found this prickly pear thickly covered with the scale insects:

closeup-cochineal-scale240 Read the rest of this entry »

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Dec 30

New Species! (And Big Bird)

Posted: under photography, Plantlife, Wildlife.
Tags: , , , , , ,  December 30th, 2009

During migration and winter we have a lot of birds in the grass–birds that fly up and dive down a little distance away, birds that fly up and perch in bushes, birds that fly up and away and dive down over there. Most of them are sparrows of some kind.    Today one of the “divers” posed long enough for me to note salient characteristics and even get some slightly blurry pictures–good enough for an ID:


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Dec 27

Midwinter Walk

Posted: under Activities, Plantlife, Wildlife.
Tags: , , , , ,  December 27th, 2009

We had clear dry weather today to get some work done, and no choir duties.   Our first chore was moving water iris taken from the lily pond (which had overgrown with them) out onto the land, to see if they’ll naturalize in some of the temporary pools.  We were successful with a few transplants a few years back.

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Dec 18

Trees and Bees

Posted: under photography, Plantlife.
Tags: , ,  December 18th, 2009

Richard and Michael were up in the dry woods today to cut down our Christmas trees (we use Ashe junipers we’d want to get rid of anyway), and while they were looking for the right tree, they found a swarm of bees.   I wasn’t able to go out right away to photograph them, and by the time I did get out, mid-late afternoon, the bees were very, very, very active.    As in, those bees did not want anyone to come closer to where the swarm had been seen.

I’ve had bees (nice gentle Italian bees) and know that Africanized bees are in this county…so when a bee starts that “vrooom-vrooom” kind of humming/buzzing, I’m not inclined to argue with her.   I went on up the trail to Fox Pavilion.   The stonecrop is getting large enough to see; I love the delicate colors it has before its flowers open.

stonecrop-winter-forbs001 Read the rest of this entry »

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Dec 15

Mid-December Afternoon

Posted: under photography, Plantlife, Sky.
Tags: , , , ,  December 15th, 2009

A cold front cleared out the warm moist air of yesterday and gave us a brisk chill wind out of the north and partly-sunny skies.   So a long walk in the afternoon, producing (as usual) many interesting and beautiful things to see and think about.

First was a mockingbird’s nest in an osage orange or bois d’arc tree:

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Nov 29

Thanksgiving Week

Posted: under photography, Plantlife, Wildlife.
Tags: ,  November 29th, 2009

Thanksgiving Day gave us perfect weather and wonderful guests who enjoyed the beauty of the land…but no pictures.   The creek was too high to wade in regular shoes–beautifully clear, though, and today, with rain forecast to start tomorrow again, I thought perhaps I could make it across.  What are wet feet, after all?


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Nov 10

Temporary Natural Water

Posted: under photography, Plantlife, Water.
Tags: , , , , ,  November 10th, 2009

We have no permanent natural water on the place.   But when it does rain, we have a variety of temporary water sources, from the actual creek to the various overflow channels (some of concern because of erosion; others now pretty much “tamed.”)


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Nov 06

Details from Today’s Walkaround

Posted: under Activities, photography, Plantlife, Wildlife.
Tags: , , , , , ,  November 6th, 2009

Some grasses should be planted just for the way they look with sunlight slanting through them in the fall.


This is one.  It’s one of the Muhlys, but I don’t know which.

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Nov 04

Early November

Posted: under Plantlife, Wildlife.
Tags: , , , ,  November 4th, 2009

The dry-woods swale is slowly drying up:


The pale area is where water stood for several weeks.

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