The Moon

I wasn’t going to write anything tonight because I’m almost finished reading a really good book, but then I went to the kitchen to get a drink of water at about 8:40, looked out the kitchen window, and there was the moon! I don’t get to see the moon that often here for all of the trees and cloudy skies, so I was excited! This is the view I saw from my deck:

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And a closer shot of the moon:

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Coleus

It felt good to be outside at Mom and Dad’s home, for a short time. The mosquitoes are really viscious right now given all of the rain. I got bit four times in a matter of a couple of minutes, and that was with staying off the lawn and out of the gardens. So I took faraway photos, except for this coleus, which is thriving with all of the rain, too:

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Cleaning Rant, Queen Anne’s Lace

Okay, I *try* to be really good about using cleaning products that are environmentally friendly for everything I do around my home. . . except for one area. . . the bathroom. I *hate* all bathrooms, I don’t discriminate. In cleaning the bathroom, I am the most non-environmentally friendly person around. I get out the arsenal of cleaning products that really work great when it comes to cleaning. I spray *everything*, I scrub, I spray *everything* some more, I scrub some more. I feel bad about using these products, but after I’m done, I’m happy with the bathroom, for a few minutes, that is. I would clean that room twice a day if I had nothing else to do, that’s how much I hate it. Which leads me to public restrooms. My Mom tells me that when she was young, public bathrooms had people that worked in public restrooms to keep them clean. They smelled good, for a bathroom. There used to be pride in keeping things clean. Not nowadays. And not only that, but some peoples’ habits are disgusting. The flush then the walk out without washing the hands makes me almost throw-up. I’ve heard and seen people of all walks of life do this. I’m not a germaphobe, but there are some people that need to realize they need to wash their hands and wash them thoroughly. My nightmares usually consist of a gross, dirty bathroom. I’m serious. No I don’t need help, I just need a sparkling clean bathroom that *smells* clean when I gotta go. You can’t fake me out with those sprays. Oh, and when the furnace man is here for the once a year clean/check, he always has to use my bathroom. I won’t even go there.

I think a self-cleaning bathroom would be amazing. I’m ranting because I just got done scrubbing the bathroom. And now I’m going outside to get away from the cleaning product smell.

But before I go, here’s another photo I took on July 13, 2006 of Queen Anne’s Lace:

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Admin Stuff, Chinese Chestnut

I finally decided to update my websites and blogroll and added two new categories of blogs – one for Needlework and one for History – just a couple of my *other* interests. I own the For My Family blog, which is a blog, ummm, for my family, so unless you’re my father, mother, brother, cousin, aunt, uncle, or relative in some other way, you’ll probably find it a big snore. The other blog I write for is OHA Making History – which is the Onondaga Historical Association Museum & Research Center blog that I started for them a few weeks ago (like I didn’t have enough other stuff to do). But I like the history – of places, people and nature.

So as to not be a complete bore with this administrative stuff, here’s a photo I took on July 13th of Mom’s Chinese Chestnut tree (Castanea mollissima):

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I’ve seen this tree for years, but never really noticed these yellow white flowers – I think they’re so pretty!

Scarlet Tanager, Hairy Woodpeckers, American Goldfinch

I sat outside for a while tonight until the bugs started getting to me (they seem to bite when I’m taking a photo). The birds are around but they’re relatively quiet. I was excited when I saw this Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea) – sorry about the fuzzy photo:

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These woodpeckers are Hairy Woodpeckers (Picoides villosus). Thanks Susan! Sorry again about the fuzzy photos:

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Here’s a female American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) in the Rose of Sharon:

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The rabbit is getting bigger:

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I enjoyed watching a bee collecting pollen from the petunia flowers:

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The bee backing himself out of the petunia:

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The male and female Northern Cardinal flew through the yard tonight. I captured the male Northern Cardinal:

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It was really good to be outside again to watch nature, except for the biting bugs.

Interesting Insect – and the Winner is. . . Western Conifer Seed Bug

This interesting bug greeted me as I came home from running errands today:

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I don’t know whether he’s a good bug or a bad bug, I’ll have to get my insect id books out. It’s looking like this insect may be a Bee Assassin Bug (Apiomerus spp.). So to me it is a bad guy since it kills Honey Bees. If anyone can confirm this, I would appreciate it!

I wrote to the Entomology Professor at school and he identified this leaf footed bug, Order Hemiptera as: Western Conifer Seed Bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis). Thanks Rob!

As I opened the front window I saw this next bug (it looks like some kind of fly) sleeping on the Echinacea:

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It wasn’t too bad at all going out today since it was sprinkling. I put on my workout pants (since they’re soft) and everything worked out fine. Yay! I can go outside again. But I still will be careful of the sun because there are still some blisters, and lots of skin healing to go.

Oh, Here We Go Again

I was hoping to never have to show my rain guage again. I was awakened at 5:22 AM to lightening and thunder so I had to get up and close all of the windows. This is the rain guage at 9:30 AM – and it’s still raining – more gentle now (hopefully it stays gentle):

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When I went down to the basement the pans that I left there from the last onslaught were full and the floor was slightly wet in a couple of places. I’m glad I left the pans there from last time, “just in case.” I was hoping there wasn’t a “just in case” time, though!

Here’s a couple more of my zinnias I took yesterday – I was trying for photos while the sun was hiding, but it came out during the second zinnia photo:

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Sun shining:

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My cosmos are getting bigger and prettier:

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Here’s some of my white Echinacea:

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I was going to attempt venturing out today to buy groceries, go the bank, return overdue library books (I don’t like doing that, but I couldn’t help it this week), but the rain is causing roads to flood, and where I need to go are places prone to flooding. So maybe this afternoon, we’ll see. . .

My Favorite Breakfast Cereal

Alright, I know this is a nature blog, but as I’m sitting here writing I’m eating my most yummiest, favorite breakfast cereal. I’ve made this recipe for my friends, and it is now their favorite breakfast cereal. They actually eat it at any time of day. And so do I! In fact, I had it for a snack last night. So I thought I’d share it here:

Easy Breakfast

From Light and Natural Cookbook

Ingredients:

  • 1 large unpeeled apple – diced
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I use pecans)
  • 1 cup soy yogurt (I use Silk Vanilla Soy Yogurt)
  • 2 Tbsp. wheat germ
  • Ground cinnamon (optional – but I use this generously)
  • Ground nutmeg (optional – I’ve never tried this)

Directions:

Stir the apples, oats, maple syrup and nuts into the yogurt. Sprinkle with wheat germ. Top with cinnamon and nutmeg if desired. Garnish with fresh fruit.

Serves 2.

I hope you try this and enjoy it!

Pigeons

Okay, I know Pigeons aren’t everyone’s favorite bird, but I like to observe all nature and its activities. Mom and I observed Pigeon activity at the motel we stayed at in Arizona in March, 2006. We were on the second floor, these pigeons were below the roof & above the third floor. This mother is feeding her little fuzzy baby – it’s too cute!
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She regurgitates into her babies’ mouths. Here’s a better shot of her, but less of her fuzzy babies:

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And here’s a better photo of one of her fuzzy babies:

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There’s a guy that cleans the pool area and wipes down the furniture every day – I’m sure he cleans up a lot of pigeon poop. I know that’s nasty, but I’m kind of glad they let these pigeons live there.

More on . . . Guess What!

Poison Ivy! Big surprise, huh? I promise, I will get off this subject soon! It’s interesting, I received a special report from the National Gardening Association yesterday in my email entitled Garden Without Fear of Poison Ivy / Oak. Hmmmm, too bad they didn’t send that out sooner. I probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to it at that time, but yesterday I did. I’m familiarizing myself with the other two poison plants: Poison Oak and Poison Sumac so I don’t “accidentally” run into those, either. Oh, and poison ivy can have not only three leaflets, but five leaflets. Just more stuff to remember to stay far away from when I’m outside working or hiking.

I also found out from Susan Wittig Albert that poison ivy can be just as nasty in the wintertime when it is just an innocent looking vine (or shrub) with no leaves dead or alive on it. Thanks Susan! Here’s a photo I found on the web of a close up of the poison ivy vine in the winter:

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From the WildManSteveBrill.com website. I’ve seen this before, but when I’ve seen it, it hasn’t been as “hairy” as this one shows it to be.

I just found out some bad news about a family member today, my aunt-in-law has cancer – so I feel really bad for her, my uncle, my cousins and my Mom. Don’t you hate “those” phone calls.

Off to read some more, which is what I’ve pretty much been doing all day. I’ll attempt the great outdoors this evening for as long as I can take it. It was another wonderful day weatherwise – high of 89 degrees F with a slight breeze. I hope it’s nice where ever you are!

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