Friday, May 31, 2013

This cracks me up, kinda

Since I captured a deer on the trail cam earlier this week, I've been trying to check the backyard often.  Even when I get up at night to make a trip to the powder room, I take time to look out back.
No Luck so far.

This morning when I checked the trail cam photos from yesterday, I found these three photos.
These were taken at 7:45 pm on Thursday.
Not only was I home, but I was sitting on the new porch for quite awhile watching storm clouds and talking on the phone.  Meanwhile, just behind me, I had two vistors.

You can see little nubs where antlers will be on this one and do you see his pal back in the woods?

No a very good picture zoomed in, but you can see his antler spikes.

I can't really tell if this is buck or doe, but hopefully he/she is munching on dandelions, I have an abundant supply.
So, now I will have to be more vigilant.
My new love
I'm not sure I ever knew what a Forget Me Not looked like, but when I saw this little beauty at a plant sale, I had to bring her home.  The flowers are so tiny, maybe the size of a Red Hot candy?
I'm told that the plants will spread and I surely hope so.
I've now found a friend who is digging these little babies out of her yard, so I am going to add to the population in my yard and hope for massive spreading.
Anything is better than all those dandelions!
My 'lawn guys' only mow every other week, which during most of the year, is adequate, but right now, after a lot of rain, my yard looks very shaggy and it may mean baling hay by the time the mowers arrive on Tuesday.  
I think I say this every year. 
It wouldn't be so bad, but my closest neighbor is one of those guys who mows more than once a week, has a monster riding mower with two huge cans on the back to pick up grass.  He sprays for dandelions and fertilizes.  These are all things that don't happen in my yard.
He sure makes me look bad.
I vowed when I moved here I was not going to put chemicals on my grass nor worry about it much.
I am successful. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Trying to make a buck

Memorial Day weekend was nice.
I spent one day at the Sandcastle and will post those pictures later.
On my way out of town on Sunday, I saw these two entrepreneurs trying to make a buck on Main Street.
They told me that their Dad had made the stand for them.
gotta love this
I had a glass of their Kool Aid and added to their bank.
Good Luck kids! 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Flowers and Birds continue to amaze me

The flowers of Spring bring such joy.

This Lily of the Valley is coming up where it shouldn't, but I surely can't yank it out of there, it's too pretty.

Always a welcome sight, the first tomato flowers of the summer.

My yellow tulips were nice this year.
I guess it's true, all tulips turn yellow after year one, so no sense to buy red tulips.
The birds in Wisconsin are really a sight to behold.  
Daily I am caught by surprise at how pretty they are, 
how amusing they act and 
how diverse the population seems to be.
Always one of my favorite birds to see is the Blue Jay.
Common but not that easy to catch at the feeder.

These two Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks were not very welcoming to this Baltimore Oriole.

Really, can't we all get along?

The orioles sure love the grape jelly, which I add to the orange after they have eaten the pulp of the orange.

Lots of Grosbeaks this year.

And more Baltimore Orioles than last year too.

I do love their bright orange feathers.

Indigo bunting

House finch and Indigo Bunting 'sharing' the space
My camera did not want to take a sharp image of these two, not sure why.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Trail Cam Activity

I noticed a middle of the night visit by a deer on the trail cam the other night, looks like maybe this one will be a regular visitor?  We'll see, but I would much rather see this than those nasty bears that act like rotten kids and wreck everything.
 Looks like I'll have to get up pretty early in the morning to see this little deer.

Look who else is stopping by...

I've seen bunnies in the yard all spring, and evidence of their nibbling on some plants.
I still love seeing them though.
Recently, the DNR published an article about the Germann Road fire and I loved this quote.  
The intent in that article was to suggest how to keep your home safe from fire while living in the woods, but I really think it is more global that that.   
I'm trying to remember this and learn to live in the woods without running off those that were here before I arrived.  (I have yet to embrace that idea with the bears though...)

If you are going to move into the woods, learn how to live in the woods

Saturday, May 25, 2013


I think I might have gone a little tomato overboard.
It started with Celebrity.  I grew this variety of tomato the first year I lived here.
I had a bumper crop that year and was able to freeze a boat load of tomatoes to use through the winter.
So, this year when I saw these for sale, I picked up four plants.

Celebrity #1 got nipped by a late frost, but she's coming back.
Celebrity #2, not really thriving, also has a little frost damage on the leaves.
Celebrity #3 is doing great, maybe up against the garage is a better climate.
Celebrity #4 also is thriving.
Last year, I had great success with Husky Cherry Tomato plants.
They produced until the hard frost finally got them.
The folks and I ate sweet cherry tomatoes all summer long.
So, when I ran across these plants this year, I went for it.
Husky Cherry #1, growing fast
Husky Cherry #2, already has a flower.
Husky Cherry #3, also flowering already.
My favorite greenhouse, Blue View Greenhouse, here in Rice Lake, has really nice perennial and annual plants.  They post on Facebook and when I saw that their vegetables were all marked down, I headed out to see what I should buy.  Last year, I had grown their patio tomatoes and again, nicely successful.
This year, I was attracted to patio sized tomatoes, variety Sweet Neats.  Large cherry tomatoes, she said golf ball sized.  Both red and yellow were available at the sale price.
I had 3 empty large pots, so grabbed 3 of the Sweet Neats.  Two are red and one is yellow.
Sweet Neat #1, not sure if it is red or yellow because the marker got moved.
Already we see flowers on this plant.
Sweet Neat #2, this one had both a yellow and a red marker, so time will tell.
Sweet Neat #3, this one is marked as red.
So, ten tomato plants later, I am done.
If all of these plants produce, I'll be eating lots of tomatoes, freezing lots of tomatoes and sharing tomatoes with friends and family as well.
Now we see what Mother Nature has in mind.
And later in the summer, I'll take updated beauty shots of each.
(By the way, those red pans are my secret weapon this year.  I got them from a seed catalog that 'claims' that tomatoes will ripen faster with the color red under the plant.  Also, the 4 depressions into the dirt are supposed to deliver the right amount of water to only the root of the plant.  Time will tell.)
I have admired sister in law Lois's hosta gardens since I moved here.
This year I am finally getting some hostas to grow, and I'll post some photos later.
And I fell in love with these big hostas that I saw at Menards.
I bought one pot of these hostas and split them into two plantings under the front door deck.
The dirt here is crappy, but I'm hoping that they will grow in sandy, rocky soil.
I loved the look of these large hostas so much, I went back for more.
These three are looking for a place to land in my yard where they will thrive.
Maybe tomorrow I'll decide where they will make a home.
Now, it's the time of year to start watering and encouraging all the plants to grow.
My driveway yellow tulips are almost done for this year, but at least they look nice for Memorial Day weekend.
I hope you'll take time to remember our service men and women this Memorial Day Weekend.
We honor those who gave their lives in service to their country
we salute those who continue to serve, at home and abroad.
Thank You.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My 5 year hiatus ends

It had been 5 years since I had played a round of golf.  I think I played the week before I left Colorado in September of 2008 and then my next tee time was last week in Cochrane, WI.  Roche & LeAnna were home visiting their family in Waumandee.  I took the opportunity to stay with Kris, Lora & Anders.  Kris and Lora live so close to Waumandee, it made for nice visiting options.
I arrived on Tuesday afternoon, the wind was blowing and it was in the 90s.  I met up with Roche, LeAnna and their brother John at Walnut Grove GC in Cochrane.  I rode in the cart with Roche and drank beer and tended the pin, while the other 3 golfed.  But on Wednesday, I was brave and played 18 the Roche and LeAnna.  Walnut Grove is a nice course nestled in a hilly farm community.  I enjoyed the scenery and my golf wasn't too bad for a 5 year gap in play.
I can't believe I didn't take a single photo, I might be slipping.
My visit with Kris, Lora and Anders was great.
I really enjoy spending time with this family.  The atmosphere at their house is always mellow and relaxed.
Anders is getting to be a big boy and it is interesting to hear what he has to say.
I arrived later in the evening on Tuesday, Anders had just had a shower, but when I got there, he dropped his towel and grabbed a plant to hand to me as a gift.
A person can't grab a camera quick enough to capture a scene like that.
Naked 4 year old handing geranium to Great Auntie...
What a nice treat from Anders.
The next day, Anders was headed off to a field trip with his school class.  His Dad, Kris, was one of the chaperones.  I like that sometimes Dads can do this kind of duty with kids.
Ready to leave for school and his field trip.
After everyone had headed off for their day, I took a trip to Buena Vista Park just above Alma, overlooking Lake Pepin and the mighty Mississippi.
I always appreciate this view, regardless of my many visits there.
This day I was listening to the birds and watching to see what I could see, when I was delighted to see a rare bird, the Red Headed Woodpecker.
Not the best of photos, but the best on that I could get.
This is a bird I have only seen once before, so it was quite a thrill to see 3 or 4 of them in the park.
There were plenty of robins around as well.
The view from this overlook is spectacular and a little frightening.
Lake Pepin
Anders is really fun to be around.
He and I sat on the deck chatting.
Anders was telling me how old he was and how old the adults are.
 Daddy & Mommy are 12.
Anders is 4, almost 5.
Great Aunt Wanda is 60.
 Anders was very proud that he could count all the way to sixty.
And yes, I feel old sometimes.

Like most little kids, Anders wanted to 'show me something'.
He's a brave kid so of course he has to stand on the tire swing.
The next day I headed back to Buena Vista to see if I could see the Red Headed Woodpeckers again, it was a sunnier day.
I could hear woodpeckers hammering away in the woods, but saw none.  There were others in the park with dogs and kids, so I think that kept the birds in the woods.
A sunny view of Lake Pepin
There were several Chipping Sparrows around.
They don't seem to be too worried about a few people.
It is a view worth revisiting with lots of seating to spend some time.
You never know what might fly by, I saw several Buzzards/Vultures circling below.
Panoramic shot of the overlook
It is always fun to see a bluebird, and completely unexpected I barely captured this beauty.
The view across the river from the Buena Vista lookout.

This park is visited by many, but on many days, it is a private spot to spend some time.

Nuthatches were busy
 On my drive home from Kris and Lora's, I took a different route.  I drove East on County Road N out of Pepin and made my way to Durand.  On the way I passed the Tiffany Bottoms Wildlife Area.  An area chock full of birds and other animals.  
I only paused long enough to take a few pictures, but I hope to go back and explore a bit.
Over looking Tiffany Wildlife Area.
 The woods are covered in trilliums now and I stopped to take a few pictures.
If you've never seen trillium season in Wisconsin, it is hard to explain.
Sometimes it looks like snow on the grown when there are so many blooms.
I love these flower.
A true miracle of spring.
It was a great trip.
Always fun to visit with the Rosenows and it was nice to be with Kris and Lora while we waited to hear the news of our cabin.  We have spent time there together and were concerned and then sure we had lost it and finally joyful to hear that the firemen had saved The Sandcastle.
Life is Good.


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