Monday, July 31, 2017

Resentment is Suicide - Monday, July 31, 2017

The line - "Resentment is Suicide" comes from "LaRose" by Louise Erdrich - and probably from elsewhere also. Nevertheless, truth.

Picked up "Homer" (my Honda Odyssey; get it?) from Wayne, Jamie, and Brian today with new brakes. I'm getting to be a regular there. They are becoming my favorite car people - ever.

I know, I know, Van Gogh and Bryant Tillman did great versions; nature also has her say - - - annually. Clicking on photos enlarges them.

I don't plant sunflower seeds; the birds always scatter a few seeds while feeding in the winter and voila! Scattered serendipitous sunflower surprises spring up around the yard.

Aunt Jean taught me butter and eggs (Linaria vulgaris), one of my first wildflowers, a perennial wild snapdragon  relative and look-alike. This clump was captured on camera on Lakeshore Road near Forester, Michigan. Tracy found one in distant Bloomfield Hills. Plants link us.

This "wild" clematis, Clematis virginiana, is growing on my cyclone fences moderating their harsh exclusiveness. My original plant came from an apple orchard north of Oxford decades ago and has followed me everywhere since. I brought a few plants here when I moved only to find some already growing near my bluff overlooking Lake Huron.  All of my plants are males meaning they don't produce seeds, only flowers. I think I'm grateful. They do rampantly thrive where planted; branches that touch the ground root easily, too easily. Other years the birds have picked and eaten the stamens from the male flowers. I let them. This year they have left them alone which makes the show last longer for which I'm happy.

Two "wildflowers" - Clematis virginiana and Silphium perfoliatum. They look nice together, eh? I love my huge perennial "sunflower. The flowers are not as large but they are more plentiful and are as equally loved as the annual true sunflower.

While I porch-read, my porch-geraniums are frequently visited by vigorously wing-humming hummingbirds interrupting my reading - thankfully. There's always time later for finishing that book.

One of my favorite onions with poppy seed heads.

I tried delphiniums years ago. They needed staking and rarely lasted more than two years. In "my garden" you have to be tough. Dogs, slugs, sundry woodland creatures are allowed to wanted rather freely. I don't fuss - with gardens or most visiting animal residents. Yes, I do protect from herons and deer, but allow some occasional rabbit  browsing. This is wild tall larkspur (Delphinium exaltatum - what a fantastic name); it doesn't look it but it's about six feet tall here and vigorous.

This spring I had population explosions of winter surviving goldfish and bullfrogs. Numbers are down now thanks to garter snakes. I do sometimes resort to transplanting the larger garters to nearby fields, forests, streams, etc. I choose their new adopting homes carefully.

I have eight bluebird or tree swallow homes around my home and this year all fledged baby tree swallows. House wrens have moved in to second-nest three of the houses and one pair of bluebirds is working on what is probably their second clutch in another house. This father bluebird had just finished a pond-dip.

I sometimes struggle: are single plant photos better or are multi-plant ones more interesting. Above phlox, platycodon (baloon flower), heliopsis, tiger lily, poppy seed heads, etc.? Below mostly heliopsis.

Flower favorites? 
Black-eyed susans have to be up on everyone's list, imo.

I've never had much luck with nasturtiums - until these few plants seemed to escaped pests and are doing OK. Is eating their flowers some kind of sacrilege?  They might be salad-bound.

Facing east overlooking Lake Huron.
No. This is a sunrise. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Monday, July 24, 2017

Finally we had some rain here - enough to keep me happy for a while. Although I have both a beach well and city water here, I try not to water the flower and vegetable gardens hoping that nature will provide what is needed.  So far it's working. The perennials are looking very good.

The flycatchers have fledged their young which are also now busy catching bugs, flying bugs. This youngster is resting on one of my favorite boulders. Yay! Clicking on photos will enlarge them.

Behind some dahlias is a wild white clover looking, to me anyway, 
like Fourth of July fireworks

Phlox, old fashioned Lemon Lilies, more Phlox

Hummingbird-Loved Crocosmia and Hostas

Phlox - finally mature

Monarda serendipitously with Hosta

Cranbrook Mini-Hosta


Sensitive Fern

Japanese Painted Fern

New Garage Sale Pink Lace-cap Hydrangea

Road Repairs July 19-20, 2017

Every few years the horseshoe shaped road shared by two permanent residents and three summer visitors needs some work so last week father and son, Cliff and Tim, graded the road down to below the potholes and then added 9 double truckloads of road gravel making the road about three inches higher. It looks absolutely great now. Clicking on photos enlarges them.

The small evergreen near "Starry Night" was moved from the forest four years ago when it was about 4 inches high. It's doing very good in its new home.


Last year I scattered wildflower seeds and planted a few wildflower plants on some barren, clayey, and dry soil. They look pretty good this year and so far the deer seem to be leaving them alone.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

- - - - served cold - Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Curioser and curioser . . . . .

I went to my lawyer today to update my trust because it has been quite a while since I've done that. We made the necessary changes and the revisions will be sent to me after the Port Huron to Mackinaw Sailboat race this coming weekend. My lawyer's boat is entered, I have its name, its category, the start time, etc. so I'll be able to watch as he goes by my home. What fun!! As always, clicking on photos enlarges them.


Speaking of my lawyer and wills, estates, taxes, etc. - no sooner had I left his Sandusky office and gotten into my car to drive home when I got a text about a rumor, well, actually more than just one rumor.


I have chosen successor trustees who know how much I love and depend on my animals, dogs and cats.They feel the same about their animals as I do about mine. If necessary, they will find loving and caring homes for my best friends; each animal gets a bequest (money) to provide for its care after I'm gone. The money for the animal's health and well being goes to the people who will adopt and care my animals. I am positive my friends will do that for me, they are animal lovers like me. I may outlive some of the animals in my current pack - I hope that I will never be without animals in my life. Where else can one get unconditional love? Parents are supposed to love their kids unconditionally; most do.


I don't understand the evilness of some people. There are, apparently, according to the text I received, rumors that my pets are to be put down after I pass. Who, I mean WHO would start such horrible, horrific rumors AND what business is it of anyone's what my financial and testamentary plans are - alive or dead. What kind of sicko would start something like that and, just as important, what kind of person passes that along without, I say WITHOUT, asking me - not that it's really any of anyone's business. My friends know. My lawyer knows. The rumor mongers. WHY!? Does it make them feel powerful. Do they really need to put others down in order to elevate themselves?


Perhaps that's why I haven't heard from several folks in a long time - perhaps they believe the rumors. That explains things. I could go on but will stop there with that one.


There's another one though.

This one says that no one should breed to my Kit because she has bad teeth. For anyone reading: - Kit was returned to me about a year ago. She had not been paid for. I accepted her back and she has become one of my family now. Initially I wasn't going to breed her. But as she got over her shyness and fear and as I grew to love her, I decided that if I could find the right male, I would breed her at least once.


So gradually I started getting the necessaries done in order to possibly breed her. I got her eyes CERFed and her PennHIP hip test done and she passed both tests. The CERF was done at a show in NOVI. Dr. Wm. Schultz in East Lansing did the PennHIP. When I picked up Kit he said that he had a look at her teeth while she was anesthetized. I did not ask him to do that and I did not think of doing that but he did it and I'm now very, VERY glad he did. Those of you who know Dr. Schultz appreciate all he does. He spontaneously told me that there was nothing wrong with her teeth. The upper and lower teeth are close but good. I trust him. I know others do as well. I know there are dogs out there with missing teeth. I realize that there are dogs with overbites and underbites (probably not the correct terms). Kit is not one of them.


That probably explains why some people have not even responded to me when I've asked them if they might be interested in letting me use one of their males for stud service with Kit. They could have asked. I would have told them exactly what I just wrote above. They apparently decided to accept the rumor.

Sunset - Peace, perfect peace!

There is, I suppose, nothing that can be done to stop the evil of rumors once they've been started.

I recently heard a story on one of the BBC productions about rumors. It went something like this: - A boy asked someone how to stop a rumor. The person told him to take a pillow out onto the football (soccer) field, open the pillow case up, dump the feathers out, and leave the field. Then return to the field, gather up the feathers, and put them all back in the pillow case. It's as hard to fix a rumor as it would be to re-stuff the pillow case with all the feathers.

I was recently misquoted. Here's one of my many aphorisms: "We all do better when we all do better." We, in an ideal world, should all help one another. We all have a very short time on our world and we are all on it together. We will all be gone in 100 years. For this incredibly short time shouldn't we try to help one another.

I'm adding recent photos to soften this a bit, maybe. Sorry for the rant.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Ctenucha virginica - July 12, 2017

Wandering in the yard I saw a butterfly with an orange head, a startlingly blue body, and black wings held flat on the body when at rest. It was flying rapidly and looking for flowers to drink from. Atypically for a butterflies, it was not moving erratically, not fluttering, but moving in almost straight lines but rapidly. Can one say a butterfly is making a "bee line" for flowers? Clicking on photos enlarges them.

Thanks Google! It's a moth, not a butterfly even though it flies in the daytime. As a caterpillar it feeds on sedges - which I have in abundance. ("Grasses are flat; Sedges have edges; rushes are round - " as Dr. Brown my Botany professor said.) Ctenucha also apparently drinks nectar from a wide variety of flowers; here it's partaking of nectar from a white clover.

Take a glance at the website below. (You might have to copy and paste into a browser but it's worth doing.) It's a very pretty diurnal moth.

Yarrow, Coreopsis, Ratibida

Larkspur buds, Hydrangea, Digitalis ambigua, 
Penstemon, Stachys

Larkspur, Digitalis ambigua, Hydrangea, 
Penstemon, Stachys, Yarrow

Clematis Jackmanii

Monarda (Bee Balm, Bergamot) and white clover


Evening Sky

Morning Moon