Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday - Bald Eagle with Prey

Frequently we see our eagles flying in front of the house here. This morning some angry crows tried to chase this juvenile eagle away - unsuccessfully. Clicking on photos enlarges them.

The geraniums survived the winter in the garage and were just put out last week to recover. They all are old varieties from the 1800s. Even when they are not in flower, they are interesting because of their foliage. Kata lurks in the background.

The daffodils are up and finally starting to open. It's a gray morning; they are brighter in life than they are in the photos.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday, April 24, 2016

I had just finished planting some plants received near the end of last week when I noticed several boxes by the garage door - more plants!

This morning's first light: -

I has mistakenly thought that some paintings were going to be delivered yesterday but it's this coming Saturday they will arrive. The timing is good because the sitting room and pole barn might be done, completely done by then.

I Ching


I have two cats, both are rarely seen by visitors because they don't like company. I Ching, one of those cats, has incredibly thick and soft hair which forms enormous tangles that must be cut out using scissors. Surprisingly she doesn't seem to mind. I think she probably sleeps better after they're gone. That's what she does best: Sleep.

A First Light from Last Week

For several weeks I had been experiencing some discomfort in my groin area and thought little of it. Finally this morning I took a trip to the ER of the hospital in Sandusky and they discovered a rupture. I'll try and make an appointment this week to have it looked at and have some surgery done. I do a lot of work up here and love doing it but I must have pushed beyond the limits to cause the rupture.  Was it when I cut down and moved some ash trees killed by the emerald ash borer, or was it when I move my wood pile from one spot to another, or maybe when I moved a large heavy oak dining room table from one room to another, or maybe when I moved five easy chairs from one room to another. Dunno!

I love this time of the year. Plants that have been sleeping hidden underground are now starting to reappear and I am renewing my acquaintance with them. Trying to remember their names after many months isn't always easy. There are also many, many newly sprouting seedlings of plants scattered around. I love those volunteers because you never know what they will look like after growing.

I told myself that I was going to try very hard this time not, NOT, to plant two plants in the same spot. In the past I've often done that. It's easy to forget where a plant is growing when it's dormant so I have more times than I can count planted another plant on top of a forgotten dormant plant. Maybe that makes things more interesting. From the same spot at different times of the year you get different flowers. Sadly - maybe sadly - I continue to plant more than one plant in the same space.

I have not had visitors since last September. I wonder if any will ever come again.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sunday, April 17, 2016

I'm not good at reading signs. I wonder what this meant.

They're not finished but both the sitting room and the pole barn are getting close, very close.

Last winter the Sanilac Conservation District sent out a notice advertising trees and shrubs for the yard. Who could resist? Not me. So I ordered several things. On Friday I went to the Sanilac County Fairgrounds to pick up my order. and spent much of the morning on Saturday planting ten persimmon trees (yes, they said they do well in Michigan!), ten hazelnuts, ten elderberry bushes, a large package of wild flower seeds, and a package of tree planting gel. I have ordered some of those things from nurseries, catalog nurseries, in the past and had miserable luck so I wasn't expecting much. The prices were incredibly low so I figured, why not? They were large bare root plants and easy to plant. I'd never used the gel before and it was so cool.
Immediately after everything was successfully in the ground the USPS delivered an order from Jung's - the Yellow Rose of Texas, several Rhododendrons (Hellikki hybrid, Helsinki University, Dandy Man, and Pohjola's Daughter) and some Haskaps (Borealis and Tundra and a pollinator). The sun was shining, I planted and Daren worked on the sitting room and the pole barn.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Bluebirds and Tree Swallows

The tree swallows and the bluebirds are back and claiming nest boxes. Yesterday was sunny and warm (fifties), today and tomorrow are supposed to be also. Clicking on photos will enlarge them.

I have new neighbors to the north; they are doing amazing things to the interior and exterior of their summer cottage. Their guys seem to be working a tad harder than my guys. Nonetheless, the walls are now painted in the sitting room. The walls in the West End are up and soon the floor will be sealed and I can move furniture back in. I often wonder why I'm doing this; best not to think too much, eh?

We've had really bad weather - like most of the mid-west - and I've wondered if the spring daffodils would be damaged. Looks like they've managed to survive. Aunt Kit's birthday is today; Kathy has told me so many stories lately about her and my own Mom and it's been revealing and healing to hear them.

Photos of the sitting room: -
West and North Walls
East Wall
South Wall

Monday, April 11, 2016

Michael Alston - Dreadlock Mike

Daren was by this afternoon to work on the interior walls of the sitting room. Tomorrow, hopefully, the painter will come to start on the walls; that's the plan. The exterior will have to wait for better weather. The day was sunny and lovely, spring-like for sure until Daren showed up; then clouds and colder weather returned. It was still a gorgeous day. Clicking on photos enlarges them.

The house north of me has had workers all winter. Today they peeled off two outer layers covering the house, a layer of aluminum siding and under that a layer of gray tarpaper. I think they are going to replace the white siding with blue vinyl. Nevertheless, I thought the house looked interesting when it was "only" wood.

Daren is planning on sealing the concrete floor on the west end of the pole barn on Wednesday as long as it's dry and not cold. Then I can, 24 hours later, move the stuff I've been storing in the east end back to where it came from. Yay! It will be in time for summer visitors.

"Dreadlock Mike" - Michael Alston was a wheelchair bound man who was killed on July 28, 2013 by a hit and run driver while he was crossing a street in Detroit. Mike was a fixture at Tiger games outside Comerica Park. Painting of Mike by Detroit artist Bowen Kline.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sunday, April 10, 2016

February 10 Oops, It feels like February but it's April!!

I have a Murder of Crows that stops by almost every day in the afternoon.  There are dozens and dozens of them swooping, perching, cawing. I LOVE crows. The dogs? Not so much; they do not like them. Clicking on photos enlarges them.

I honestly thought a few weeks ago that I could stop filling the bird feeders but with the really cold and snowy weather we've been having, I've had to take two recent trips to Tractor Supply for niger, sunflowers, and suet; today I will take a third trip. Thank you but enough. Please.

By more and more scientific accounts, we are currently in a new era - the anthropocene because of the huge die-offs of species of plants and animals. How odd, eh? That our species could kill off so many others changing the course of events. The world will survive.

Last Sunday was my birthday and I got one card. I guess a disadvantage to growing old is that friends and relatives grow apart - literally and figuratively, move to 'better' climate areas, get old and forgetful, and just simply die off. It would be nice to make new friends; hard to do I guess. I look old but still feel almost all of the time like I'm in my forties. (Of course I avoid mirrors like crazy.)

Thankfully I have my dogs, cats, and a bird; we are growing old together.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Yesterday was a bright, sunny day so I decided to take a trip down to see Terry at Rose Frame Shop; one of my first purchases, a large Saff etching, was beginning to burst its frame and needed to be fixed before something bad happened. It was a GREAT day for driving surrounded by horrible weather before and now after.

One day last week, the sky wasn't blue but the clouds were! Clicking on photos enlarges them.

It's fiercely blowing this morning - again. Greg and Daren should have come yesterday because the weather was really quite nice but no, they're here today instead. They have a knack for coming up to work when the weather is really, really bad. I'm beginning to get anxious about having the projects finished; it is so hard for them to make progress with all the bad weather we've been having.

I think that even the dogs are tired of this. It's like February here now. The poor early spring flowers like crocuses, snowdrops, winter aconites, species irises, wind flowers, etc. were all open, the daffodils were up and budded ready to burst. I wonder if they will be frozen. Ah, if so, then next year. It's hard NOT to believe we are being punished for not replenishing the earth like warned to do.

I've made recent two trips to Tractor Supply to re-stock sunflower and niger seeds and buy more suet for my pampered wild birds; I thought I'd be finished feeding by now. I know they're grateful but really!

Sunrise from last week before this latest cold snap, snow even then. The wind has been howling; hope the freighters, which had been reappearing, are safe in a harbor somewhere.