Monday, May 31, 2010

Avenue of Flags

The Avenue of Flags is on display every Memorial Day and Veterans Day at Oak Grove Cemetery in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.
This project began in 1991 with 43 Veterans Burial Flags. As of Veterans Day 2009, 737 Veterans Burial Flags were being displayed.
Each Flag has a gold tag with the name of the Service Member and which branch of service and which War Era they served.
I learned of this display of flags from another blogger last year, she visited and had many wonderful photos to share with her readers. Thanks! Livin' It Up Country for sharing!
Far Guy, Madison and I went over yesterday. It is a site to behold, I have never seen so many flags in one area. It is hard to focus on just one flag when there are so many to see.
I saw flags, but I also saw burials and flag covered caskets, the slow ceremonial folding of the flag, taps being played for the last time and a family receiving a flag. There comes a time when there is no one that wants the burial flag anymore..and this project is a perfect place for those long ago service men and womens flags to fly for a few days each that they are never forgotten:)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Chance: My Sister

Yesterday my sister was in charge of me.  Far Guy went off to the Dentist with Far Side in tow..he needed to get a bad tooth pulled..Far Side needed to make sure he was going to be OK..hold his hand and get him back home safely. 

Since my sister was in charge.. we took the boat to the beach.  I never get to go there when there are lots of kids swimming, or when there are other dogs there..unless of course it is my sister's idea.  She didn't even make me wear a lead, the old fuddy duddies would have had that on me before I left the boat.   Far Side saw the photos of me playing at the beach and she was shocked..of course I was the entertainment at the beach for all the kids, I had a blast and my tongue was practically hanging in the water and I didn't want to get back on the boat.  I love water and kids splashing water for me to catch is my idea of a fine way to spend an entire afternoon. My sister is pretty cool.
 My sister also buys the biggest marshmallows I have ever seen in my life. They are humongous.
 One of my sisters offspring had marshmallow smeared on his pant leg.. Little Elvis and I cleaned that right up.

It was a good day, and got even better when we went to town and got an offspring of my other sisters..Madison is here for a few days..everyone was playing the card game "Spoons" while Little Elvis and I crashed under the table...just so you know, Far Side lost and all the kids said the loser had to eat a teaspoon of something right out of the Far Side sucked it up and closed her eyes while Madison put a spoon of something in her mouth..YEWW ..lemon juice..everyone was giggling so hard they woke me up.  I love my sisters, I am the closest thing to a brother they are ever going to get..and the best part is they have offspring that love me and they bring all their dogs to visit..and when they are in charge of me ..they have their own rules:)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Gone Fishing

Jen, Andy and the Grandboys are here, we are doing some fishing.  I am only taking photos and being the fishing cheerleader  "great cast"  "wow what a catch! "
 Adam and Andy
 Jen and her brother Chance.

It is an adventure trying to make sure the dogs are out of the way of the hooks, and watching the Grands expressions as they reel in their fish:)

Friday, May 28, 2010

For the birds

It was a good week for the birds.  I not only have to make time to photograph all the wildflowers but the birds distract me too.

Remember the little ugly robins..well they are all feathered out and one by one they fledged.  We think there were was huge and one day he pushed one of his little brothers or sister made it to safety by the woodpile.  The parents had an absolute cow, it was hours before they calmed down..the next day chubby left the nest and one bird was left.  Far Guy walked that way and saw the little guy leave the nest and fly into a they are off on their own.  We decided to leave the nest, one of my cousins happened by and he said that some Robins will reuse their nests as soon as the previous bunch has left the we will watch and wait and see.

One afternoon Far Guy was hollering..I couldn't make out what he was saying other than "Camera".  It turns out as he was sitting outside brushing Chance a Hummingbird flew into the window.  Chance was startled, and looked at Far Guy as if to say "Did you see what that stupid bird did?"

Far Guy picked up the stunned bird.   He had it cupped in his hands when I arrived on the scene.  Yup it was stunned alright, sometimes it takes a bit for them to come around.  Far Guy kept talking to it as I took some photos..
  Chance smelled it. 

I was hoping that it wouldn't die, and so was Far Guy..he had just come back from a dead body call anyway..I think he had enough death for one day.   After a little rest, the beautiful little bird flew away:)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Yellow Lady's Slippers

The mystery photo last Tuesday was indeed a Yellow Lady Slipper!   You are all good guessers!   Years ago Far Guy ordered tiny little plants from a laboratory in Minnesota called Spangle Creek Labs.  These plants are the result of those plantings.  

In Minnesota you can dig up and move Lady Slippers with the permission of the property owner.  I am not sure why you would do this..possibly in the case of building a road or a building site that was going to destroy the plants.   It is illegal to dig them from the ditch.  If I see you, I am going to get your license plate number and turn you in.  You will pay a fine, that and I am probably going to take your picture too.

The Yellow Lady's Slipper or Cypripedium parviflorum variety pubescens is one of forty-two species of native orchids in Minnesota.  I have only seen three, up until last year I had only seen two.  Who knows what the summer will bring. 

The Yellow Lady's Slipper plants out front in the really wild flowery gardens always bloom first.  We also have a patch of plants that were on this property along the back drive,  they will bloom in a few weeks.   The State Flower Cypripedium reginae or the Showy Lady Slipper usually blooms around Fathers Day until July 4th if the weather is not too hot.  The rare White Lady's Slipper or Cypripedium reginae forma albolabium blooms around July least that is when it bloomed last year, this year we will wait and see what happens:)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wistful Wednesday: Cousins 1958

This is a photo taken in 1958 or 1959.  It is Far Guy and some of his cousins. It was taken at Uncle Ronald and Aunt Beryls house on the mill pond at Osage.  There are two older cousins not in this photo, they must have been away at school, or off doing teenage boy stuff.  It is fun for me to look at these kids,  I only have known them as teens/adults..Far Guy is the kid in the front row with the vertically striped shirt.  The little girl on the far left, died in 1969,  I met her only one time at the State Fair in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1968.  She died from Malignant Hyperthermia during a routine surgery.  There was also an elderly Aunt who died from the same thing. It seemed to be a familial thing..only affecting women.

Far Guys Dad took this photo, he loved the Polaroid cameras, he always had it along with him.  He would wait the appropriate amount of time after taking a photo, checking his watch, then he would rip off the covering and put the goop on.  The photographs were all in boxes that were in the front closet. Many of them were curled up, you have to uncurl them to look at the photo.   He would get them out and look at them in the evenings, a few photos found their way into photo albums...most of them stayed in those boxes.  I have always wondered what happened to them, and had hoped that one day we would find them.  We never did, that closet was directly beneath a valley in the roof and one year the ice and snow caused a dam on the roof and there was a leak down into the closet.  The photos could have been water damaged and thrown away.  We have very few photographs of Far Guy after he was fourteen.  No Easter photos and no Christmas photos..the 1964 to 1968 photos are few and far between.

Reasons we don't have photos.

1. Someone forgot the camera, or even worse, they forgot the film for the camera.
2. They took lots of great photos and they were lost at the developers.
3. They thought the camera was loaded with film, when it was in reality ..empty..this happened to me in 1994 at Jennifer's Graduation.  A hard pill to swallow.  I still feel guilty about it, I was able to get a few photos from my Mom, and one from a friend. So we can still remember that day..but it just isn't the same.
4. Photos are destroyed, or simply tossed away..because they are not perfect.  To me an imperfect photo is better than no photo.
5. While leaving a Gas Station someplace in Wyoming, the camera that was sitting on the dash..flew out the window and landed in the street:)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wildflowers: May 25, 2010

Today I will catch up some with the wildflowers.
First the Buttercups or Caltha paulstrus that grows quite freely in wet areas here.  They are also called Cowslips and Marsh Marigolds.  I always look for these as a signal that winter is finally over, they start blooming in early May and bloom for most of the month.
I found a bunch of Leafy Spurge down by the river. It is Euphorbia esula..rolls right off the tongue doesn't it? It is a non native, it is an introduced plant from Europe.  Minnesota considers it a noxious weed.  It has a milky sap and is quite poisonous with it's laxative properties.  Think pooping yourself to death.

The pretty little Wood Anemone or Anemone quinquefolia has a single white is a plant that is native to Minnesota and is also called Mayflower.  These are found quite readily in our woods.

One of my favorite colors..yellow..the Common Dandelion or Taraxacum officinale.  It is actually many tiny flowers clustered is in the eye of the beholder on this one.  We have many of these non native plants in our yard..

The last one is called Scrambled Eggs.  I had never seen it before.  I searched through a bunch of my books, I cruised the net and finally I put a photo up on the Minnesota Wildflowers Facebook site and it was identified.  Corydalis aurea or Golden Corydalis or Scrambled Eggs.  I found this plant last week when we were planting trees.
This is what the area looks like where it was found.  It was in a small flat topped mounded area, it is on my baby brothers land.  Far Guy thought it might have been one very large ant hill..and it could have been..but there were no active ants.  It has spurred tubular flowers with finely dissected blue green leaves.  This is an endangered plant in some other states but not in Minnesota.

I like finding new plants, but they haunt me until I get them identified and named and can make some sense of them.  Yes, it may be an obsession..there may be a name for it..obsessive compulsive wildflower disorder or OCWD :)

Now for a little fun..what kind of flower is hidden ..being a shy sort of flower..but native to Minnesota and one of my favorites?  It is hidden by one of its petals..what do you think it is..I will reveal it on Thursday!


Monday, May 24, 2010

Wildflowers: May 24, 2010

Today I will show you some white flowers..

The Sweet Grass or Hierochloe odorata or Holy Fragrant Grass is in the front wildflower gardens.  The Native Americans burn this grass as a purifier before their ceremonies because it keeps out evil spirits.  It smells a little like something illegal when it burns.  Sweet Grass is a native plant in Minnesota.  I would bind up some of the stems and put them in the trunk of my car (If I had a trunk) or lay them in a damp basement( I don't have that problem either) Far Guy says Sweet Grass smells like vanilla.  He has planted it here and there throughout the yard, when I mow sometimes I get carried away and mow it down..I wonder what the evil spirits think about that?

Common Chickweed or Stellaria media is a non native plant. The little bloom has only five petals but they are divided so it looks like ten petals.  This little plant blooms most of the summer.  This one is found lots of places..this one is from the cemetery.  In the late evening it looks like hundreds of little stars are hiding in the grass.

Wild Strawberry or Fragaria virginiana is a native plant, if you can nab this tiny little fruit before the birds eat them you are really lucky.  Wild Strawberries have very intense flavor.  I am allergic to them, so I just let the birds have them.  Wild Strawberry is found on the edge of the woods..and in the woods.
 Our Trillium May 21, 2010
Last but not least the Trillium or Trillium grandiflorum. We have one of these plants, and it has one bloom every year. Far Guy planted it next to the woods one year when he was really into native plants.  It blooms in the early spring.  Supposedly seeds are dispersed by ants, and the seeds that they don't eat will grow.  I have heard about the Trillium in bloom in Minnesota..but I have never seen huge expanses of them in the woods until Saturday.

Trillium grow only in areas with deciduous trees, apparently they do not grow well in Pine Forests, I am not sure if it is a soil thing or a light thing, or a combination of both. (Some plants need the extra light in the early spring when the trees don't have their leaves yet).  We stopped along the edge of the road so I could get a few photos..I was watching so intently for them that I totally missed the bear that ran across the road:)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Airshow 2010

Yesterday we travelled up north.  We went to the Air Show that was being held up at Grand Forks Air Force Base  just outside of Grand Forks, North Dakota.  We picked up the grand- girls in the morning.  They were excited about the Air Show and Noah's Birthday..he was eleven yesterday.
Noah doesn't like to be the center of attention, but I think he had a pretty good day.  I did remind him that eleven years ago when his Grandpa and I walked into the hospital an hour after his birth, we could hear a baby screaming at the top of his got louder and louder as we walked down the hall..finally there he was ..his Dad was giving him his first bath..what a beautiful sight..our first Grandson!  Eleven years later he is almost as tall as his mother..I predict that sometime during this eleventh year he will surpass her!

As an Air Force/NDANG family we have had the occasion to attend many airshows.  Each one is unique.  The first one we were  at was back in 1973 was at Buckley Field in Colorado.  Trica was just one year old, we sat on the hood of the pickup in a field.   In later years, I hauled two little girls by the hand one hot summer day, when the tarmac was so hot you couldn't sit down, and your feet got hot in your tennis shoes.  I made them go when they were preteens..they were so bored. Finally Far Guy and I went by ourselves, one year I mowed our entire lawn in Harwood, North Dakota while watching the Airshow..this year all our Grands went and they had a really good time!  So we have come full circle on this one..we have seen the Air Force's Thunderbirds and the Navy's  Blue Angels. We have attended with our children and now with all our Grandchildren.

Grand Forks AFB did an absolutely wonderful job welcoming the thousands of visitors to the base. Everyone we encountered was friendly, going above and beyond the call of duty to make everyone feel welcome.  It was lots of walking, and I am a little tired today..a good tired after a good day.
 Chance stayed with Miney and Little Elvis while we were at the Airshow...he is tired today too..I wonder how long he serenaded the neighborhood.   He can howl quite mournfully, and he gets Miney howling too..I am not sure about Little Elvis.  When we returned Chance was really angry with Far Guy and gave him the cold shoulder..but he was really happy to see me. Talk about a spoiled dog:)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Chance: Hidden in the Woods

Hey it is I the handsome blogging Border Collie.  I am supposed to tell you about what was hidden in the woods..not that I was ever allowed to see it or anything..Far Side said I ran right by and didn't notice a thing.
 It all began while planting those little trees.  Far Side was driving the three wheeler with the wagon, and Far Guy was riding along hanging on for dear life and I was blazing a trail.   We had a system going.. Far Guy stabbed that big thingy into the ground to make a hole for the tree and then he puts the tree in and steps on both sides of it to cover the roots..then Far Side waters the newly planted tree.  Well let me tell you, it was warm and I laid down and was hidden in the woods.  Far Side said that I was supposed to be the snake dog, she had one of those once, she was a Sheltie named Misty..she hated snakes and would kill them for Far Side.  One scream out of Far Side and that dog would be there shaking a snake...she was fearless..not Far Side ..the snake killing dog.  Anyways I am supposed to kill them, and if I am not up to the killing part I should just be good at the scaring them away part.  Scaring them away is fine with old fraidy cat Far Side.  She said I spent way too much time off exploring instead of protecting her..and then I was resting again, hiding in the woods.  One time I even went back home by myself and took a nap in front of the step.

We got to one area that was really wet this spring, I didn't notice a thing. My nose was going ninety miles an hour..nothing ..nadda.   I am the leader, Far Guy follows me, then Far Side on the three wheeler, everything alive and slithery should be cleared out of the way by then.  She gets off the three wheeler takes one step and screams..just a little blood curdling scream.  Far Guy thought it was a ssssnake..she sssaid "it isss aaaa duucckk."  Well she ain't afraid of no ducks.  So I kept going, Far Guy turned and said, I am leaving with the dog.  She just stood there and took photographs..she was talking to something..she said it was a Mama Duck..she told it, "We are leaving, sorry to bother you Mrs. Duck, stay calm and stay on your nest."  When Far Side says "STAY" most things including me usually stay. 
After a few minutes Far Side started up the three wheeler and moved out of the duck nesting area.  Now she feels like a real wildlife photographer..she mumbled "See, it is a good thing I am always prepared! " Since she wears that stupid camera around her neck night and day, how could she miss. Far Guy says the camera is part of her uniform..the other morning he was outside hollering for she came outside in her jammies..with her camera on..he was hollering "You better get dressed we have company."  How was she supposed to know..of course the neighbors laughed and accused her of sleeping with her camera on.  I think she does take it off at night!  I am supposed to tell you that she saw the Mama Ducks eyes blink when she accidentally screamed bloody murder and the duck turned her head is a Mallard Duck, they are ground nesters and sit on their nests for 28 days.:)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wildflowers: May 21, 2010

We found the Pussytoes in the cemetery, but there are many patches of these in the ditches.  Pussytoes are really Antennaria neglecta, they are a plant native to Minnesota, their flower heads resemble a cats paw.  They are an allelopathic plant, which means they give off a chemical into the soil that discourages other plants to grow near them..  I tried to capture this in the photo..Creeping Charlie comes very close to being friends with this unsociable plant. Creeping Charlie or ground ivy or Glechoma hederacea grows in large carpets of color, it is a non native plant.  He is very pretty from a distance.

Hoary Puccoon or Lithospermum canescens is a native plant, one of the four puccoons found in Minnesota.  This one has roots that can be used to make a red dye.  This one makes his appearence in the ditches known by his bright orange color.

Prairie Smoke or Geum triflorum is a native plant, one of those true Prairie plants..he holds his head down until his soft long hairs emerge and sway in the breeze..then his smoke like bloom is held upright. 

The Iris, the one on the left we found in a public garden in town.  The tiny one on the right, and I do mean tiny was blooming in the cemetery..before they mowed it down.   I know this for a fact as I went back the next day to see if it was wasn't. It was about the size of a fifty cent piece.   These are probably not really wildflowers.  Years ago people planted real flowers at the they brought plants from their home gardens to share:)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Planting Trees in the Spring of 10

The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.
                                                                                             -- Nelson Henderson

Who enjoys planting trees?  Well old people because they want to leave something useful behind and little kids because there is something really cool about planting something that can grow to be taller than they are. They can carry a tree in one hand all by themselves, plop it into the ground, splash some water on it and before you know will grow into a tall stately tree.
Yesterday, we got a call early in the morning,..the seedlings were ready to be picked up.
This is the cold storage room..there are thousands of seedlings in this room..Future Forests.

Last winter I led my brothers into this planting project. I just wanted a few trees..maybe a hundred.  I could order many would they each like?  They decided we should plant a whole bunch of them. Since our land all adjoins, it is a cooperative effort.  My baby brother who lives in Oregon footed the bill.  My other baby brother has a tree planter thingy and Far Guy and I started planting yesterday. Hopefully in the next few days, everyone in the neighborhood will help with the planting!
Far Guy and I load up the three wheeler and the wagon and meander through the woods, planting as we go, giving each newly planted seedling a drink of water and moving on.  We haul the water in covered buckets in the wagon..that way we don't slop water all over.  I get a little pitchy..that is not bitchy..did you know that Avon's Skin So Soft removes pine pitch? Did you know if you pray really hard..just before going to plant..God moves all of the snakes out of your way least it worked yesterday..and I have faith it will work again today.   Just in case I am going to continue wearing my red magic snake repelling boots.
These are White Pine seedlings or Pinus strobus.  They can grow really tall and live to be very old trees.  No we won't see them grow to be huge stately trees, but someone else will...someday maybe someone will say..remember back in the spring of 10..:)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wistful Wednesday: The Violin

Years ago Far Guys paternal grandparents played music together.  Grandpa played the Violin ( he also played the trombone) and Grandma played the piano.  I never heard Grandpa play, but I did hear Grandma play the piano.  The violin was silenced when Grandpa died in 1968 a year before Far Guy and I were married.

The violin stayed silent.  No one played it, Grandma longed for someone that would learn to play it, someone that would take lessons, someone that she could hand it down to.  The violin stayed silent for thirteen years.  We took the treasured violin and had it repaired and restrung, the old fellow that repaired it said that he thoroughly enjoyed restoring it because it was a pleasure for him to play such a fine sounding instrument. 
 Trica 1982 
Our oldest daughter Trica began Violin lessons.  The rest of us should have invested in ear plugs..luckily our dog Snuffer was old and deaf.  Finally after many lessons she could actually play some songs.  On weekends she would play for her Great Grandma.  Great Grandma sat quietly and listened, sometimes she would dab at her eyes with her hankie. She would always clap her hands at the end of the song.   Trica began by playing short little songs like Mary Had a Little Lamb..eventually playing some hymns that Great Grandma really enjoyed. The Saturday afternoon concerts went on for some time.. then in 1983 there was no one to play for anymore. Trica did play a few times for her Grandfather..but after Great Grandma died, it was like the violin music that flowed so freely was all sent along to heaven with her. 

The violin rests, wrapped safely in the old brown velvet material, inside the case.  In 1997 when Trica and Richards house was destroyed by fire and smoke, the violin was saved.  It is still resting..some day perhaps it will be unwrapped and restrung, and the horse hair bow strings will again be covered in rosin ..and the music will flow freely again:)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wildflowers: May 18, 2010

After the recent rains, the wildflowers began to bloom.  Wildflowers are one of my passions.  My daughters would say obsessions. Far Guy would say "No wildflowers should be forgotten.. or husbands."  Chance doesn't care he just knows he gets to go for a rides, sometimes several times a day.
 Everyday is an adventure this time of year..once the wildflowers begin to bloom ..there are so many. How in the world will I find enough hours in the day to capture them all?  The graveyards that have not been mowed are wonderful places to look right now.  The carpets of color are absolutely smashing.  That and I like graveyards because they are so quiet and calm.

I am kinda stuck in a know a situation..a crossroads.  I am stuck between wanting to show you everything I see, the little things that you may miss if you are travelling down the road at 55 mph..and boring you to tears..well maybe not quite that bad..but you all know what I mean.

So today we will start this series, at the beginning where all good things should be started. A little peak into May Wildflowers in bloom in central Minnesota. These will all be plants found in the wild, in yards, in the ditch, and along the edges of fields.  They struggle along with what rain falls naturally, they compete with weeds for their survival..and people who mow them down. Everyday will not be flowers, but there will be lots of them!
 I love Phlox subulata, since it is one of the first things blooming..and because it is so beautiful.  There are three different colors that grow wild here, what I will call lavender, rosy lavender and white.  White is less common.  This plant is also call Moss Phlox or Creeping Phlox, the leaves are small and needle like, and most of the time prickly.  There are many varieties of this plant that are available commercially.  It is a good choice for erosion control because the roots that grow form a very dense mat, it also looks lovely planted along a pathway or in a rock garden. It is a great example of a hardy groundcover that also grows as a wildflower:)
** As always click on any of the photo to enlarge them!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Aubrey is Two!

Saturday was Aubrey's birthday party.  Aubrey is two and she is one of my great nieces..she lives next door.  She is not making any consonant sounds yet only vowels..but she can squeal pretty loudly at her brothers! 

She knows some sign language, her Mother has taught her some of the words..all done, more and thank you.  Aubrey has had three surgeries, the first  to repair her cleft lip, the second  repair her cleft palate and then the third to repair a hole that appeared after the second surgery..   One of those times tubes were placed in her ears so she wouldn't get so many ear infections. 

She has a speech pathologist that works with her during the school year. Minnesota has lots of programs in place to help children that need a little extra help. She will be going to see her speech pathologist once a week throughout the summer.

Aubrey understands everything you tell her, she follows directions really well.  She is a very smart little girl, sometimes she is frustrated by her inability to communicate.  Sometimes she looks at you like you are the dumbest person on the face of the earth..I think it might be "the look" and she has it perfected!

She is also entering the terrible twos..or the terrific twos..depending on the day and her mood.
My Dad (Aubrey's Great Grandpa)  with the two youngest children in our family..Aubrey and Brooke (they are cousins) ..can you see where they get their beautiful blue eyes from?
 My Mom ( Aubrey's Great Grandma) and Aubrey.

Aubrey has come a long way in the two years since she was born.  Surgery by surgery her smile is being restored, she will see her specialist again in six months..there is a surgery that can help with her speech..will she or won't she need it..only time will tell.   They may put a tiny camera up and down her nose to see if her palate is working correctly if there is no improvement in her speech in the next six months.  For now, we as a family surround this little girl with lots of love:)

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Yesterday, tall handsome almost perfect son-in-law handy Andy and his lovely wife our youngest daughter were here..I got him to climb another ladder and take a photo of the robin's he clung precariously on the old red ladder..he said well there are no eggs.. I was so disappointed..then he said ..they have hatched!
Kinda ugly little things, we left the red ladder next to this one..perhaps later in the week I can get another photo. I am sure the Mama bird loves them..every day they will get more beautiful as they get more feathers.
The grandboys brought friends to go fishing out on the pontoon. Far Guy went along. They got some nibbles, but no fish. Four youngins casting fish hooks off the same pontoon..I expected a fish hook incident..luckily no one was hooked.

One day this week Far Guy went to get a fishing license. He got a husband wife combo license. I offered to give the gal at the Bait and Tackle Shop my drivers license. She said "NO, I don't need it." .."Fine".. then in front of God and every man in the just before fishing season packed store she practically screamed "HOW TALL ARE YOU?" Duh..I was just a little taller than she was.. I replied "Six feet." Then she shouted "HOW MUCH DO YOU WEIGH?" I replied "120". Yup, I sue me. It is highly unlikely I will go fishing anyway..and highly unlikely that I will ever encounter a Game warden either...and if I do I am just going to have to tell him the whole story or go off to jail for impersonating a tall thin person.

I wasn't having a very good day that day..the garage sales were not great..then we went to an estate sale..where I found three boxes of Shiny Brites, in their original boxes..and some odd balls in a shoe box!! At two dollars a box I was happy. The worm had turned..I was once again a happy person..just for a moment.. Turned out to be at a close relative of one of Far Guys old girlfriends, and she, his old Girl friend was collecting the money. The Catholic with big feet. That is what Far Guy's Mother used to call her. (Far Guys Mom used to remind me all the time that I was a much better girl friend for him than the Catholic with the big feet, I often wonder what she would have called me, probably the Lutheran with big boobs.. ) Far Guys old girlfriend is almost six feet tall and she is awfully thin ..almost anorexic. She went on some speil about how the Shiny Brite boxes were worth just as much as the I cared about her and her opinion.  Anyway, I left with the Shiny Brites and my husband.

Just to top off my rather miserable day, we drove around the neighborhood. The "Digging Lady" was in her yard..and Far Guy offered to stop so I could have a friendly chat with her and perhaps invite her over to dig up some of my flowers..some days I think he rather enjoys rileing me up. He knows exactly what to expect after all these years:)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Robin's Nest

For many years, Far Guy has been sharing his ladder every spring.  He is a real sweetheart, during the nesting season his very tall stepladder which he stores under the overhang of his garage becomes a nesting site for a Robin.  This far south-east corner of his garage, is nearest the woods, it is a nice dry spot and probably warm too.  Every year shortly after the Robins arrive the female robin begins to build the nest, she is not the neatest builder either.  She uses long coarse grasses for the outside, then makes a real mess lining the nest with smeared mud followed by softer Chances hair!

The male robin must be just a supervisor.  He leaves her alone to build her nest, and to lay the beautiful blue eggs that will hatch fourteen days after they are laid.  He does help to protect the young, and the nest and brings food deliveries, he takes on more responsibility when the chicks have fledged about fourteen days after they hatch..because his mate is off building another nest for the next brood.  Robins do not reuse their nests for the next brood, they can raise three broods from April til July.

Our Robin is sitting on her eggs now,  Chance can get closer than I can..too bad he cannot take a photograph!

One thing we have noticed about birds, once they raise a batch of babies successfully in one spot..they return year after year.  After the young have fledged, Far Guy can destroy the nest and hose down his garage. If the timing is right he could even use his ladder before she begins to build another nest on it:)