September Summary + Tons of Photos

I blinked and September was gone.

The hubs and I left at the end of August to go do our big, annual migration south.

Not wanting us to forget home, this was on our front stoop while we were packing:

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The frog was still coherent and walking around, dragging the snake with him.  The snake was refusing to let go.  The frog had sustained some pretty gnarly injuries by that point so I figure he lost in the end and hope the snake was able to enjoy his meal.  Our plumber calls our home a house of horrors because of the wildlife (and random cats jumping from the ceiling while he’s working).  I really like having the critters around.  Yes, especially the snakes because they are masters of pest control.  I didn’t like it when one of the cats brought a live snake into the house though.  I could’ve gone without that adventure.

For the first leg of our trip, we stayed in a hand-built cabin with some friends in the mountains of North Carolina.  It’s gorgeous there.

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There were seven of us in total.   …and the first night, the well pump died.

Seven of us for a week without any running water.  Using the toilet was interesting and showering was unheard of.  There is a hot tub and it rapidly became our nightly ritual: bathing with friends in highly chlorinated water.  We’re pretty sure that by the end of our stay, it was more of a people broth.

We did try to keep our gross levels down.  We didn’t go fishing like we normally do or get overly sweaty.  The one hike we took ended at a waterfall, so you can be sure everybody was in the water and trying to scrub clean.

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Our friends eventually had to go back to their real lives but hubs and I chose to stay at the cabin for a few extra days rather than adventure onward.  Still no water, but it’s hard to argue with a real chance to relax.

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…except when a herd of deer walked up to me and scared the hell out of me.  I was sure I was about to get kicked but thankfully I startled them just as much and they ran off.

Before leaving NC, we spent the last day gem mining.  That area is really replete with all kinds of neat things.

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That’s my personal jackpot: a 298.5 carat emerald!  It’s obviously not gem quality so not worth much but I was over the moon.  How cool is that?!

When we did finally decide to leave the mountains, we went to visit hub’s grandmother in Alabama.  She has dementia now (and she’s about to turn 93, so it’s well deserved) but we always enjoy getting to see her.  She’s a little firecracker and even though she doesn’t remember we visited, she knows we’re there when we’re there…and maybe she remembers more than we think because she’s never forgotten who we are, including me, even though she doesn’t recognize some of her own family.

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This visit, she taught us how she and her husband used to dance back in the 1940s.  She still loves dancing!

After our day in Alabama, we ventured over to Atlanta to kick off our real agenda: ProgPower USA!  It’s nice having a music festival that allows us to see everybody.

Some of the highlights from the festival this year:

Pictured are Gloryhammer, Cellar Darling, Vuur, Sons of Apollo, Manimal, Bloodbound, Oceans of Slumber, and the queen of metal herself, Doro.  There were twenty bands total but those were my favorites.

Gloryhammer is one of hub’s favorite bands and he got right up front for their show — you can see him in a photo, hoisting a hammer.  The band later took that hammer, hit him with it a few times, hit each other with it even more, then signed it for him.  He was thrilled.

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If you know what he looks like, hubs can be spotted in every photo with a crowd.  He really spent a lot of time on the floor this year and I camped our favorite seats for when he was too exhausted to carry on.

We also ran into Manimal in the lobby and they (for some reason) agreed to let hubs pretend he was one of them.

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…but the best show in my opinion was Alestorm.  They didn’t put on a show, they put on a party.  People were dressed like pirates and waving around plastic swords.  A few people had bubble machines in the audience.  They hoisted the huge rubber ducky out into the crowd for us to bounce around then destroy like zombies.  There was even rapping shark.

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…and they were, of course, super hilarious and friendly.

They also signed my pirate ducky!  The drummer, of course, insisted that he was going to sign its butt.  I’ve had this ducky for over a decade and now it’s even more precious to me.

After four days of festival, we went further down in Georgia and spent a few days with a friend.  Then we headed back to North Carolina and caught the Judas Priest and Deep Purple concert with some of my family.  We saw 23 bands that week!  Crazy!

…and then hubs and I parted ways.  He had to recruit at his alma mater for work and I had to go to where I grew up and spend time with my family.

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A few cool things happened while there.  Mom and I went to a local museum and I FINALLY found out what the heavy old rock was that my dad and I dug up out of our garden when I was little.

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I kept it because it’s insanely heavy for its size and was oddly shaped with some neat striation.  Even little me knew it would be interesting.  I’d always wondered what it was — especially since we regularly dug up arrow heads and all sorts of other fun things.  Turns out, it’s a kettle ball.

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I also visited my hair dresser.  Is it weird that I’ve only ever been to the same person?  She’s awesome, my hair is crazy, and it’s worth the wait between visits.

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I also saw some family.  I, of course, hung out with my Grandmother as much as I could.  She’s still a spry 84 and we had fun going out shopping and for Chinese.  I went to a party with a lot of my mom’s family that I haven’t seen in forever.  Hubs was able to join us for that party and he found it hilarious how aggressive a bunch of old, toothless hillbillies got over croquet.  >_>;  I was also asked to be the matron of honor in a wedding next year.  Guess I’m going to stay busy for the next few months.

…and on my greedy side, I got a sewing machine!

My aunt had been storing them in an old sea crate so they were in absolutely horrible condition.  I was able to check on my Granny Boo’s (mom’s mother) machine and I already have an identical model but mine was made in 1900 and the serial number on hers was from 1910.  Singer 66 machines are great but I only need so many and since I already had the one with Sphinx decals (and in much better shape, sadly), I chose to take home my Granny Sally’s (Granny Boo’s mother) machine.

I didn’t even know what it was, just that I didn’t have anything that looked like the outside.  The cabinet was solid oak and a chain lift.  The chain lift was rusted shut, as were the hinges.  Add in the warped wood from being in wet conditions for several years and it took me over a week to ease the new baby open.

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I brought the head home with me and mom is bringing me the treadle cabinet up at the end of this month when she and her husband are coming here for a concert.

I’ve never used a Davis VF before but I’m pretty excited.  The finish is crackled but I’ll see what I can do about getting her shined up again.  I did get all of the mechanisms to move so she’ll sew.  These models are really interesting, as there aren’t any feed dogs — the presser foot is what moves to advance the fabric.

…and then we got to come home.

Just in time for my favorite fall activity: apple picking!

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The trees were absolutely laden with apples this year.  I had already picked a bushel from this tree and you can’t even tell it.

All of those apples were quickly processed down in what hubs calls my “factory”.  Most of them were turned into applesauce then apple butter.  I love me some apple butter and I was on my last jar!

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…and of course it wouldn’t be fall without some apple cider donuts.  I made my own this year and hubs claims to like them even better than the ones he gets at the orchard.  I’ll call that a win!

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Bit all over the place

I think I’m going to be calling my newest art installation: Invisible Cat

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Our cat’s collar somehow got wrapped around one of the metal supports on their feeding dishes.  She went on a panicked rampage through the house, dragging the stand and destroying everything.  My room was hit the hardest; it’s her safe space.  She also picked the most stereotypical cat thing in the room to open and dump everywhere.  I’m almost proud of her.

Some of our friends just had a new addition arrive at their house in the form of a giant, bouncing baby boy.  Giant because he was almost 11 pounds!  I made them a lot of stuff for their little girl a few years ago, as we’d find out what they needed, but now they live forever away so I just made a small robot lovey (his dad is an EE that works with automation) for the little guy.  Hopefully it’ll get some use; I loved visiting them and bringing the girl a homemade toy every time and watching her play with it.  It’s nice to know somebody appreciates your work!  😛

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Sometimes, there’s a lot of satisfaction in proving somebody wrong…especially when that person is generally hateful towards you and never has anything nice to say.  Maybe I’ve just grown tired of being told to listen to “authority” or to “know my place”.  I’m not being mean or malicious about it but I just want everybody to know that he was wrong.

I can grow a tropical hibiscus in a zone 5.  Not only that, but I have two and they’re both flourishing.  They’re actually doing better than a lot of my cold climate plants this year — the rains and heat has been a bit unusual.

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I’ll move them inside this winter before it freezes and hope to keep them happy as larks for years to come.

Speaking of garden, we’ve been having mysterious holes appearing all over our yard this summer.  I’ve been keeping an eye out for chipmunks and voles but haven’t seen any of our usual suspects.  Plus, the holes weren’t right.  I still wouldn’t have been able to solve the mystery but I caught the culprit on film a few days ago.

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This Northern Flicker (yellow shafted — you can see a bit of it peeking through the wings) was happily pecking at our yard for almost two hours…s/he left a nice, perfectly shaped hole in that spot.  As I said, we’ve had a lot of rain and some ant nests have popped up in weird places.  I’m really glad we don’t typically spray pests around the house.  I’d hate to hurt our residents.  The flickers had another nest this spring in our owl box — it was great fun to sit out there in the evening and listen to the babies chirp.  🙂

All over the place update

Well, it’s been about a month since I posted anything.  I’ll take that as a good thing — it means I’ve been insanely busy and blogging has been an afterthought entirely.

So what exactly have I been doing?

I went to my new neurologist and she took me off of the horrible Topamax.  It took a few weeks to phase out but it has been awesome having me back.  I spent over a year wandering around in a fog and not sure why or how to do anything.  All of the side effects faded about 2-3 days after I took my last dose, including the eye twitch that my former neurologist swore up and down couldn’t be a side effect because “this medicine is used to treat Tourette’s.”  The twitching was so bad it would actually wake me up…and it’s gone!!!

Also along medical lines, I had my first real exam with my dermatologist.  She said my morphea is really softening and looks lighter thanks to the medicines she has had me one and the eczema on my hands is almost fully controlled now.  Yay!  The full body exam revealed nothing other than a skin tag I asked to have removed…in my armpit…and she froze it off.  It felt like I was carrying a very pissed off bee under my arm for a while.  Otherwise, I was told I have remarkably clean and clear skin.   Who would’ve ever thought that?!

We did our spring migration south to visit with my husband’s friends.  It was the best gathering we’ve had in years there and it seems most everybody agreed.  It’s crazy how one person not being there caused all of the tension and drama to evaporate.

Our little dog has been having unusual episodes.  We took her to a doggy neurologist and had the follow up appointment.  She had a MRI (yah, wrap your mind around that for a minute) and it was determined that whatever is going on with her is a functional disorder — either partial seizures or a muscular disorder – so she’s on medicine now for it.  To completely determine what it is that’s wrong with her, we’d have to take her to Cornell University for an EEG.  The MRI was insane enough, but there’s no way.  They also did an x-ray of her chest while she was there because she has a slight murmur.  It checked out well and the vet said if we didn’t have videos of her odd symptoms, he’d never believe it because she’s perfectly healthy otherwise.

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Spring finally arrived and we have a robin nesting in the little vestibule outside of our laundry room door.  It was a blast watching the entire process, including the mama coming back to lay an egg every day.

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The chicks hatched yesterday!

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We’re all doing our best not to disturb them, so I only grab photos when the parents are off the nest and searching for food.  Hopefully in the next few days I can get a photo through the door’s window of the chicks being fed — it’s adorable.

Entertainment wise, we saw Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood (from Who’s Line is it Anyway?)  last week at an improv show.  Logan wasn’t familiar with either of them, but I’d spent many sick days as a teenager watching them on TV.  They certainly didn’t fail to impress and the show was hilarious.  I laughed so hard my sides ached.

I’ve been doing an insane amount of food preservation.  Our freezer is almost overflowing.  The good news is, that means we have fun meals!  I don’t take too many photos of food buuut:

Since we went south we came home with more country ham than anybody should legally be able to have and a really great batch of green tomatoes.  You know what that means!

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Fried green tomatoes.  Logan likes to top his with my pimiento cheese and bacon jam.  He’s not wrong in that combination.

Last night Logan asked for smørrebrød.  I haven’t made them since I lived in Denmark over a decade ago, so it was a bit of an adventure trying to find some of the harder ingredients around, especially the bread since I didn’t quite feel up to baking my own.  But I did manage to pull it off last night.  He wants to visit the Nordic countries even more now.

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I can’t say how happy I am to have a real fish monger in the area — I can get sole!  😀

Finally crafting things!  My favorite!

I set aside the sock because I was getting frustrated with the endless cycle of impossibly small cables.  I love cabling normally but this was getting ridiculous.  Instead, I decided to make a pair of mittens.  What’s with me and small needles right now?!

I chose Butterfly Mittens by Emily Bujold from Ravelry.

They’re Fair Isle, which I’ve never done.  I’ve also never made mittens.

Me, being me, I decided to change everything and make it harder.

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I’m mixing in intarsia in the round so I can make my butterfly a monarch.  AND I just finished altering the pattern so that the thumbs are by the butterfly’s wings, so the butterfly looks like it’s being held in the palm of your hands.

Nothing like having to completely rewrite and chart a pattern, eh?  Her instructions and stuff are fine but just didn’t give the result I wanted in the end.  I didn’t realize this until I got to the butterfly and had to tink back a bajillion microscopic rows.  The designer promises to change the instructions for a palm-held butterfly in an update — it’s a bit deceptive on the Ravelry page because people have changed it before and are featured in the photos, so it looks like it’s an option when it’s not.

So far I’m loving the color work, even though I was worried about it at first.  I’ve never had to float yarn before because all of my pieces with two colors have been double knit.  Lots of fun stuff in this one!

I’m using Cascade 220 yarn because it was cheap, 100% wool, and had the colors I wanted available.  It’s not the best or softest yarn, but it’s working well with these mittens so far.

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Hopefully I’ll remember to update in a more timely manner (and catch up reading blogs!) next time.

We’re going to three shows this weekend, (Mastadon, Hammerfall/Flotsam & Jetsam, and Apocalyptica) so I’m in for another busy one!

This and that

The Northern Flicker has been hanging around a ridiculous amount lately — the Flycatchers moved out while we were on vacation, so I suspect that has something to to do with it.  For a woodpecker, it sure spends most of the day pecking at the yard instead.  Which, to be honest, is fine by me since they eat more ants than any other bird.  Ants have been a real problem in the area this year, so keep on patrolling our yard, little buddy.

I cut my finger open sewing binding with a thin needle.  Is that even possible?

I was using the dreaded “silk” blanket binding as a quilt binding — sewed it on the front and folded it over to the back instead of sewing it on raw edge with the machine — and my normal quilting needles were going to make holes that were waaay too big, so I used a really slender needle that taught me a lesson or two about the strength of my skin.

I own thimbles.  Why didn’t I use one?

I am really, really dumb sometimes.  That’s why.

On the bright side the baby quilt is done and ready to be chucked in the wash!  Hooray!

I’ve also started a new project with some PMC3.  It’s related to the vacation and it’s for a gift, so I can’t say what it is right now, but it’s nerve wracking.  Not only is the stuff ridiculously expensive but I’m also working with limited materials.  If I mess this up, there is no going back.

Also, Joule decided she had to help and almost immediately stuck her paw in the slip I made of the clay then swipe at the irreplaceable items I was working with.

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I bought the clay at the cheapest price I could find it and it was still a hair over $2 per gram.  That little bitty container was $31.35!  *dies inside*

Whoever thinks crafting and making things yourself is cheap or easy is wrong.  X_x

At this point, it’s not even relaxing!

It’s a good thing our special delivery of Scotch arrived today.  Woohoo!  We got some for a gift for somebody and Logan decided to go ahead and get some for himself too.  Four bottles to be exact, from different regions of Scotland, so all of them have very different flavor profiles.  I didn’t get them from the site I linked them to, but I love the descriptions of them there!  The Kilchoman is the only one that came with a pretty box and Glencairn glasses though, so it’s the only one I photographed, the others are still in their inflated bubble mailers — Talisker (tastes like a kipper, Logan loves it), Dalwhinnie (my current favorite, as I’m not a fan of smoke and I like the kick of spice), and Singleton of Dufftown.

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Too bad we’re saving opening it until the cabin in September with the guys.  *sigh*  I’ll re-evaluate my favorite then, as we’re planning a tasting and will try all four back to back.

It may make no sense but before the trip to Scotland, Logan was was a “chocolate milk” type of alcohol drinker.  If it wasn’t creamy and cloyingly sweet, he wouldn’t drink it.  He somehow developed a taste for single malt (fine by me, I enjoy sipping a good Scotch as well) there, so we had some shipped to us.  He’s has also started trying other alcohols I already had at home and, so far, had discovered he likes pecan pie whiskey and will tolerate apple pie moonshine.  I have no hope of ever getting him to try fruit-flavored drinks, but at least we’ve branched away from creams!  I think next I’ll get him to try Firefly vodka.  That stuff is dangerously good if you like tea, which he does.*

*Neither Logan nor I drink often.  Hardly ever, really.  We usually drink just two or three times a year, so this year has been a bit different for us.  My neurologist told me to drink more, which was unusual medical advice (but prudent in my case, as it seems to be working for the reasons he advised).  Logan has gone along with the ride.   …we’ve still both only had maybe half a dozen drinks this year, even though this post probably makes us seem like raging alcoholics.  XD

 

 

“Title”

The bad news is in:

Logan’s plum tree has root rot.  The rain has been so unrelenting this year that I’m really not surprised.

We’re going to try digging it up tomorrow, if the weather cooperates, and cleaning up the roots to see if it can be transplanted somewhere else and saved.

The bugs and other fungus are having a riot of a time this year, so if we ever have a good 12 hours of no rain we’ll try spraying what we can.  I don’t like using any -icides but sometimes it’s necessary and it would seem that this year would be the case.

We’ve actually only mowed the yard fully once this year because of the rain — Logan is working on the second mowing this weekend but it has started raining on him both days while he was out there.  It’s kind of ridiculous.

Two more of my roses are blooming though, so I’m happy about that!  The Cherry Parfait and the Blueberry Hill.

 

It’s hard to tell from the evening sun, but the Blueberry Hill is a light lavenderish color when it first blooms.   You can, however, tell the poor rose has had more than its fair share of something gnawing away at the leaves.

We also have some lilies, other than ditch lilies, opening at long last!

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Something is chewing at them too.  Bah and humbug!

Guess that’s why we keep the Flycatcher around, as bug control.  One of them brought a dragonfly  (okay, so I’m a fan of dragonflies) back to the babies tonight while I was puttering around checking on things and Logan was mowing.

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Logan finally got to hear the chicks calling — at least one of the babies is adorably vocal almost all the time now and I got a short recording of it before it took the dragonfly into the box.  I really cannot wait until they start flying.  Fingers crossed that I’ll actually get to see one!

Critter overload

Yesterday was the 4th anniversary of Joule’s “Got’cha” day.  She was so itsy bitsy back then.  ❤

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…and today is Mitzi’s 6th birthday.  She won’t sit still for a photo tonight, so I’ll share a photo from her Got’cha Day instead too!

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I, apparently, have a thing for snuggling up with my critters.

It still happens.

Thorin had his annual check-up today.  Usually Mitzi would go on doggy day too, but since she had dermatitis, she got her physical two weeks ago with the cats instead.  Thor got a clean bill of health as he always does.

Normally we don’t let the big guy sleep with us — he’s too big and furry, even for a king size bed.  Last night, though, I let him up knowing he had a vet trip today.  He’ll also get to sleep with us tonight as a reward for letting the vet cut his nails.  He doesn’t know that’s the reason but I’ll do anything I can to keep positive associations rolling around vet days.

Thor normally sleeps at the foot of the bed when he’s allowed up, but he’d weaseled his way to the middle and was sideways across the bed, licking and sucking on my hand.

I laughed hysterically but he wouldn’t quit, and Logan woke up and took a photo of it.  Afterwards, Thorin kept giving Logan shifty eyes like “please, don’t make me stop.”

WTF, dog?!  No shame.  My hand was slimed.  So gross.

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I guess it was technically Mitzi’s birthday then, so there’s her annoyed for being woken up look at 2 a.m.

She does not like sharing her bed with another dog.

Our lady Flycatcher was up to her shenanigans again too.

She’s so regal, isn’t she?

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She proved that she doesn’t need a man to look out for her.  I’d thought about calling her Maria after the Westside Story gang-fight he’d initiated the other day, but after yesterday, I’m thinking she’s probably more of a OITNB Frieda.  Logan doesn’t watch OITNB but I may have to gather some Frieda clips just for this reference; she’s one of the few characters I watch the show for and I think he’d appreciate her as well.

She beat the absolute tar out of a robin.  No word is in yet on whether or not he is the one that has been singing endlessly for days near her box.

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I honestly thought she may have killed the poor guy at first, he was laying in the grass for a good 10-15 minutes, with his beautiful red breast up and shining.  Then he finally flopped over and sat there panting and fluffed and frazzled for another good 10 minutes like in the photo.  He finally started checking his wings and seems to be a bit tender on his right one, but finally started hopping around and flew away about an hour later.  I’m glad he did finally fly away; I was about to go check on him and then would have had to contacted the local wildlife rehabilitation expert if the little guy really did have a damaged wing.  I believe a lot of nature just needs to do its own thing but I would have felt the need to intervene if a critter was hurt in my backyard and I could’ve done something.

Birding

I’ve turned into one of those people.

I never understood bird watching until we lived here in bird central.  Our backyard has such a crazy amount of diversity when it comes to birds that it blows my mind.

I mean, there were a lot of birds where I grew up too, but I don’t remember anything like this.   …and I even helped count a hawk migration once.

Today our Flycatchers were causing a bit of a raucous, so I peeked outside to see what they were up to.  They’re quite the loud and territorial lot right now.

I was rewarded with what can only be described as a gang fight on my deck.  If only they had fingers to snap…

I’ve learned my lesson and keep my camera near at hand and managed to get a few photos of the birds they were ganging up against because I had no idea what it was that had angered them so much.

I think we have a new friend in the neighborhood!

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It’s not the best photo, as it’s after they scattered and this one was hiding in a tree, but I *think* it may be a Northern Flicker!  I have a few other, blurrier, photos that also seem to corroborate that guess based on patterning and colors.  This photo showed the most — the chest plumage, the bit of red on the head, the yellow-shafted variation peeking through at the wings.  The call sounds right too based on what’s on Audubon…they certainly were making a lot of noise too.

Can you swim in the air?

Seriously…can you swim in the air?

It’s so humid right now that that I think I could.  I felt like I was gargling water instead of breathing when I was outside this afternoon.  X_x

Thankfully it was just for a little while — we had some bulbs dropped off to plant around our ugly septic cover.  I hope this will finally be enough to mask that hideous thing.  They’re supposed to be giant lilies with black centers and red tips.  We’ll see how they turn out next year when they grow…if they grow.

While I was slogging outside in the humidity, I thought I’d grab a few more photos.  Because, why not?  🙂

 

We have berries on the way!  Most of our strawberries have several berries in addition to more blooms.  We really need to throw a net over that area before the birds have a feast.  The blackberries are already so loaded (and they’re still most blooms) that they’re drooping to the ground!  The black raspberries are starting to grow nicely and should start to be turning color soon.  I’m excited, those are my favorite of the three.  🙂  I didn’t see any berries on the currant, but wasn’t really expecting much from its blooms this first year.

 

Some of my roses are opening up too.  I wish I could share scent, the red ones are absolutely divine.  The little pink and white “Freckle Face” ones are just cute.  🙂  The purple spiderwort are also in full bloom and the rest of my peonies are finally open!  The other peonies smell better, so I clipped a few and brought them inside, but I like the color of the yellow the best (and it doesn’t have the best smell, so I leave it outside to look pretty).  I’m not sure what the golden flowers are right off, but they really are spreading around and I like how brilliant and bright they are.

…and for the last photos, the Flycatchers decided to come out and play a bit more today!

 

The males and females look incredibly similar but I’m pretty sure it’s the male hanging out near our old tomato cage.  The one I think is the female is staying much nearer the box and not really wanting to leave — she mostly stays at the hole and watches for food now and just darts out to grab a dragonfly or some other tasty bite then heads back in and starts her guard again.  I included the other photo of her on the top of the box (she was just hopping out to go grab something) to show the wing patterns on their back.  They’re such lovely little birds.

After those photos, I’d been outside long enough and retreated back to the land of a portable air conditioner.

On the bright side, the heat has finally decided to take a break so it’s no longer in the 90s!  Hooray!  We’ve been making excuses to get out of the house the past few days to escape it.

On Thursday we went to a retirement party for one of Logan’s coworkers.  The guy is kind of a legend for a variety a reasons and most of them aren’t what most people would want to be known for…but he owns up to them in an awesome way and wasn’t ashamed at all when almost all the toasts were about poisonous gas lockdowns at nuclear power sites stemming from his love of burritos.  I thoroughly enjoyed meeting him and I don’t say that about many people.

We also went out to see Riverdancing.  It was a fantastic show, though I hate to admit I think my favorite parts were the tap dancers and the Russian dancers.  They really added some spice and flare.  The Irish dancers were phenomenal though.

 

 

Mornings are for the birds…

I finally found the little jerk that has been singing since the crack of dawn every day this week.

I mean, he has a lovely voice…but it’s all day every day.

If you’re not familiar with the American Robin, he’s been singing an almost exact replica of Song #1 like a broken record on the Audobon Field Guide (bottom of the article on the right are where sound clips are).  I love, love, love that site!

I sure do hope he finds himself a lady friend soon so he’ll stfu.  >_>;;

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He’s perched just a few feet above our owl box where the Great Crested Flycatchers still are.  I only get a rare glimpse of them as they’re coming and going, which is a real shame because they’re gorgeous…but I can hear them voicing their outrage at somebody else being so close…and babies are starting to join!  Based on that, I would expect to have little ones start flying in about another week or two, tops.  I wish the box wasn’t so far off the ground (guess I have to be glad it is or they wouldn’t have nested there) so I could actually see them but for now, I can just be glad they’re there and hope they hang around for a while when they start flying. 🙂

Bunnies

The cable guys came by and maybe fixed our internet today.

We’ll find out when it rains.

They ran new cable through the house.

…then out of the house to the nearest hookup.

…then the guy had to call in a bucket truck because when he went to patch it in there, the cable was black and rotted, so they had to run more to the telephone pole forever away.

It was a bit of a saga and we ended up playing with our pole chainsaw while they were here to clear tree branches out of the way.  Just in case.  😀  Gotta love power tools!

As a bit of hilarity, the cable guy openly admitted he uses the rival telecom as his ISP.  I’m jealous; we don’t have their services here.

The guy also had a gold tooth.  It was incredibly fascinating.  Almost as fascinating as the weird chick I was behind in the grocery store after a metal show that had clip in metal fangs.  …but this guy’s tooth was definitely a permanent thing.  I didn’t know gold teeth were still a “thing”.   >_>;   He was definitely around my age, possibly younger, unless I’m horrible at judging ages now.

Also, bunnies!

We’ve dubbed these two Hazel and Fiver, from Watership Down…we’re lazy and always name the pairs Hazel and Fiver, though.  The one by the tree is probably a female, but I always thought Hazel as being more of a girl’s name anyway, so there’s that. 😛

A few years ago, we had a litter in a bunch of hosta by an old stump.  I do hope that happens again.  There are few things more fun than watching a whole bunch of baby bunnies play in your backyard every morning.   😀

These two aren’t very afraid of us; none of the rabbits have ever been too startled by us and the one last year would even play with our little dog, Mitzi.  The one by the tree is a little more fidgety than the larger one, but s/he is hanging out more in the open every day now and doesn’t run when I go outside or get near.  The bigger one isn’t scared at all and invited himself right up onto the deck a few days ago to hang out and sun.

Thankfully, our dogs don’t chase the rabbits…only the pesky squirrels that steal food from the bird feeders.

Having the wild rabbits around is also bittersweet.  It really, really makes me miss having pet rabbits.  I’ve had three (Logan has had them as well — he loves rabbits to the point his childhood stuffy is “Brown Bunny”).

When I was in 1st grade, I bought a little blue rabbit I named Bluebell.  She had the absolute worst attitude and would fight with my iguana all the time.  She lived until I was in 10th grade.  I’m pretty sure pure sass kept her alive.

When I went to college, my 4th roommate and I somehow lucked out and landed the best RAs imaginable.  We ended up being friends with them and they let us break just about every rule possible, including the “no pets in your dorm” rule.  Sooooo, of course, we had a pet hamster, a pet rat, about a billion fish, and the sweetest rabbit you could imagine.

He was a lionhead named Chester.  The female RA would actually take him to hall meetings and the male RA would hang out in our room just to hold the rabbit — once when the cops investigated our dorm, the RA was in our room with the rabbit hidden in his shirt.  Oops?

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I miss Chester.  He used to go wild for blueberries, especially blueberry yogurt chips, and he’d even lick blueberry chapstick off your lips.

I also rescued a little rabbit named Rosalyn as I was leaving college.  I saw her in a pet store when I stopped to get some feeder shrimp and the owner had them in a cage too large for them and her foot had been twisted in the cage wires, so she was always bit lame.  The kits were WAY too young to be away from their mother, so ended up taking her home.

My mom ended up bonding with Rosy and fed her with an eye dropper until she ended up huge.

Unfortunately, we lived in a rough area for critters.  Ultimately, a bear ended up breaking open the rabbit hutch a few years later and both Chester and Rosalyn “escaped”.  I found Rosy’s body about a week later near the house but never did find any sign of Chester.  I choose to believe he’s still running wild in the fields. >_>;