Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Way Forward

Sometimes the way forward is just too seductive and beautiful to ignore.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Party Hour

I am an introvert.  I find that wedding parties can be fun if taken in small doses.  So, in the middle of the reception in the barn at the farm, I notice the sun is setting.  I quietly excuse myself and grab my small camera as I rush down the stairs and past the lower dairy room which just minutes ago had been filled with wedding guests drinking and eating orderves.

I rush to the field at the back, where sheep and one horse are calmly stuffing their tummies before the end of the fall day.  The cool front which collided with Hurricane Matthew has made the meadows green again so late in the summer.

I turn to the road where the sunset is just beginning to paint everything golden.

And while the guests back at the barn have not started their dancing, I notice that the grasses are busy doing their head bobbing just across the road.  He guys, the party is out here.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Double shot

Double accident.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

After Storm

We are awaiting another hurricane.  The odds are in our favor that it will at least push by us if not resulting in a complete smash-up.  We have a really busy weekend and will be out of town on Sunday through the next week.  We just finished about 3 days of gray skies and rain leaving behind almost 5 inches of water.  The plants are loving it as are the mushrooms.

So I walked out into the squishy moss and over the spongey grass and took some photos.

This is the time of year that the grand oaks throw down their nuts for the deer and squirrels as fall closes in.

And I stepped back to get better focus I almost stepped on this little lady.  She also was coming out after the storm had ended.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

"Orenge" You Glad It's Fall?

Plastic plates orange in color in a plastic red bucket with the sun shining through.
Orange...the word that poets never use when trying to rhyme.

Orange...the color that few people can carry off in a clothing theme.

Orange...the color that is used when on the roadside so that a driver will not hit you.

Christmas tree lights through a heart filter and given an orange hue.
I do not ever remember anyone saying it is their favorite color.  But it is the color fire in the cold.  It is the color of the setting sun at the end of a day.  It is the color of that juicy fruit.  Before the 15th century the color existed in Europe without a name.  Then when Portuguese merchants brought the first orange trees to Europe from Asia along with the Sanskrit term naranga, the name for the color of the fruit became the name for the color.  It evolved from the Old French orenge from pomme d'orenge.

I love fall because of all the shades of orange.

This zinnia was the only one with such an orange color and only one flower has blossomed all summer from the plant.  I love the peachy color.

I finally saw only ONE monarch in my yard.  They fly through at the end of September and cross the Chesapeake Bay a few miles from me in early October on their way south.  I did see more up in the Smithsonian gardens in Washington, DC and that gave me hope.  They are the perfect orange color.

Above a photo-painting of my orange cosmos which I photograph endlessly as it bobs in the breezes.

None of our trees have faded to orange, but this tulip tree leaf came a little closer than most.

I do love the warm and snuggly colors of fall as the air gets cooler and orange gets to take center stage.

Monday, September 26, 2016


I put that title because some folks need preparation for a discussion of one of the largest families on the planet, insects. Early fall is the time they are most abundant as their food supplies, plants and animals, have reached peak levels. 

I cannot take a walk in the woods without encountering a spider web across my arm or across my face.  I do not do the crazy dance when I run into a web because spiders do not bite humans unless they are cornered...such as inside a shoe or glove. They rapidly climb out of the way when you encountered their gathering net.  Spiders are designed to catch small insects and 99.9% of the time cannot penetrate your skin! "Only about a dozen of the approximately 40,000 spider species worldwide can cause serious harm to the average healthy adult human. In North America, there are only two groups of spiders that are medically important: the widow group (which includes black widows) and the recluse group (brown recluses)." This quoted from an arachnologist who actually has had brown recluses crawling on his arm and studied spiders for decades and has never had a spider bite!  Therefore, avoid putting your appendages into dark places, but do not worry about everywhere else!!  So take a deep breath and look at the beauty that moved from our BBQ when we wanted to use it and had to break its web to outside the window of our dining room.  It spent about three weeks staying there and collecting and eating those nasty stink bugs that crawl on our walls in the fall and early winter before moving on.

I am pretty sure this is a Black and Yellow Argiope that is a common orb web spider. Orb web means it spins a web like a circle.  In the early morning when the dew is still on the webs I can see these webs 20 feet off the ground between trees.  They are so mathematically beautiful and we have them in our gardens as well.  I run into their webs fairly often.  The female can get pretty big and thus scares mankind.

Some spiders are great at camouflage.  There is a spider in this cosmos seed cluster above because it moved when I took the photo.  I cannot find it now as I study the photo!  Anyway, there are tiny spiders and big spiders and if you are outdoors in a good non-paved environment they are EVERYWHERE!  Yet, you are not bitten, are you?  You do not actually see them, do you?  They are very important to us, so call a truce if you are a bit arachnophobic.

These dramatic caterpillars I did declare war on.  They were completely eating all of my milkweed plant, which is the only one I plant for the Monarch larva.  These caterpillars are the larva of a plain brown moth which is abundant.  I would have left them if they only ate a small part of the plant, but no such luck.

This little guy on the petal of the cosmos is some beetle that eats other bugs.  Hopefully he eats bugs that eat my cosmos.  I did not know he was there when I took a picture of this glowing cosmos flower.

And, of course, we all love the butterflies.  No one swats them away or does the crazy dance when they fly in our face!  This little skipper butterfly is in abundance in my yard.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Little Green Guys

I had a volunteer parsley plant appear in one of my pots this spring.  I kept forgetting to harvest to add to my meals and then I went out last week and saw this.

I counted twenty little green black zebra swallowtail caterpillars.  They were hugely busy.  

Then as the plant became more decimated some of the little green guys moved on elsewhere to find shelter for their cocoons, I guess, unless a bird or two picked them off.

They left behind lots of little green peas of poop, which probably are pretty good for that potting soil!