Wednesday, June 30, 2010

so near and yet so far

I can see these hickory nuts in their spiny packages from the side deck.

I've only seen them in pictures until they're on the ground--usually empty shells--because you really can't see them looking up into the trees. Also, I've never lived near so many hickories before.

I'm looking downhill from the deck into the tops (and sides) of trees.

The question: how do I get to these before the squirrels, raccoons, and possums? It's a really steep bluff. I  haven't been all the way to the bottom, but going down a little way requires holding onto trees while setting your feet sideways, and coming up must be done on all fours. Not a good position for searching for nuts on the ground. Plus, squirrels, raccoons, and possums all climb trees.

Monday, June 28, 2010

still June

The hostas are blooming. These are divisions of some that my grandmother was given by a friend in the 1940s, and I have no idea what variety they are. She called them August lilies, and I thought they ought to be called July lilies, but this year they're blooming before it's even July.

This is just as the last light of the day leaves them.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

blackberry update

I walked down towards the creek this morning to check on the blackberries, not expecting many to be ripe.

Not many were, but most of them will be in about a week. Most of the ones that were ripe were out of reach of someone with bare legs and bare arms. In a few days I'll go back wearing boots and long sleeves.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


When I was little, the field across the road, a creek bottom where the neighbors' pony grazed, was full of Black-eyed Susans at this time of year. I loved the names of things--flowers, birds, spices--but when I finally saw some up close I complained to my mother that they ought to be called Brown-eyed Susans.

I meant to get a shot of them growing in the grass up near the pond, but my neighbors cut the hay before I got around to it. At least that long-ago pony assures me the hay won't poison the horses. Or cows. I'm not sure who they feed it to.

Now that I have them growing on my own land I get to enjoy them indoors, and I admire the way they look against cherry. I love the little yellow crowns on the brown centers.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

solstice measurements

Here's the sun at twelve-thirty Eastern Daylight Time (not too far from local noon) on the first day of summer.

That's the window wall on the left. The sun reaches almost sixteen inches inside. (And the windows are about fifteen feet tall in the center of the peak.)

At winter solstice, the sun hit the front door at midday, about twenty feet from the south side. (I didn't think to take a picture six months ago.)

(Looky! A post related to the supposed subject of this blog!)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sunday morning walk to the creek

I went down the hill to the creek last Sunday, to see what I could see. It was very hot, and I didn't care for the combination of camera strap with tank top on sweaty shoulders, so I only had the phone (useless though it is far downhill, it goes with me every where outdoors) with its pitiful 1.3 megapixels.

I met this fellow before I got very far from the house.

He'd never seen a phone before. Was it edible? Would it eat him? He wasn't sure.


Then I came to a locust tree that had bent over too far in the winds.

All that green leafy mass is horizontal tree across the "road."

Farther down the hill, near the old foundations, the daylilies were in bloom, despite getting little sun.

I love the way they never stop trying.

Still farther downhill, the blackberries are plentiful this year, but these are as close to ripe as I found; most of them are still green. I hope I can catch them at the ripe stage before the birds and deer finish them all.

I went all the way to the creek, through chest high grass (I was wearing knee boots along with the tank top, in case of snakes) and found less water in the creek than I expected after as much rain as there had been.

It took me all week to find the half an hour to upload the pictures and write about them. Tomorrow I must go check on the blackberries' progress.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

redbud seeds

I didn't manage to capture the actual transition from this:

(redbud post from April)

to this:

I believe it's the very same branch, too, although shot from a slightly different angle (avoiding abundant poison oak.)

They get bigger and turn brown when they're ripe. They don't seem to be haute cuisine bird and squirrel food, but they do get eaten.

Monday, June 7, 2010

something is hungry

This is what all nine of my broccoli plants looked like this morning. A little munching on a few leaves over the weeks since I planted them, but doing well.

This is what two of them look like now:

A third one is gone because I weed-ate it before I realized what it was.

The pepper plants were untouched. So far. What evil lurks?

Friday, June 4, 2010

turkey sighting

Yesterday as I drove to work, I saw a turkey hen by the side of the road, and lined up on each side of her were seven babies, hardly larger than robins. As my car approached, she walked away from the road into the woods, and the little ones fell in behind her in two columns, just like a marching band.

If I'd had a camera with me, they'd have been gone before I could reach for it.