Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Fluffy Looking Moth


This handsome male Large Tolype Moth blends in nicely with our seasoned lamppost.

Friday, August 25, 2017

A Hunting We Will Go...

I pulled out Emilie's metal detector yesterday afternoon to see if I could locate the metal property maker that's since been buried, and I found it!

This got Emilie thinking, so off to Beaver Pond we went, a local fresh water swimming hole here in Franklin, for our first real attempt at treasure hunting.


After about 30-minutes here are our spoils -


Powerball, who needs a Powerball jackpot?!  We're well on our way to riches beyond belief...

Here's Your Sign, DAH!

We took a car ride to the Quabbin Reservoir on Monday.  We brought lunch and had a nice picnic overlooking the water.  We climbed the tower for an endless view is all directions, then made our way to the Windsor Dam and Quabbin visitor center, which also houses station C-7 of the Massachusetts State Police.


We made numerous stops within the Quabbin along our way.  Each location appeared to have picnic tables available for the visitors to use.  Ironically, the only picnic tables that were chained under lock and key were those at the state police station. You'd think that the other locations would be locked versus at the station where the state police are seem coming and going and milling around.  Weird right?!

I took the picture below at the same state police center.  I took it simply because I was in awe at what I was seeing.  Do you see it too?!?!  Look again.  See it now?!


So, the heavy ~12' long metal bike rack is chained and locked to a rotted wooden post.  Not to mention that if you removed the top fence rail you'd be able to lift the chain over the top of the post.  What are they trying to prevent from being stolen the post, the bike rack or both?!  At least put the effort in and slide the chain through the hole in the post before padlocking.  Make it appear that someone tried and was thinking versus just doing what they're told.  Let's hope that the decision maker here doesn't carry a firearm...

I See You. Oh, Where'd You Go?!


Is it an oxymoron that a motorcycle rider wears camo and then also a reflective vest?

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

RIBBIT!


We came across this Tree Frog leaving the neighbors house this past Friday evening.

He blended in nicely with the grass.  Almost invisible.

Nice to come across these little dudes and see there are some still around.

Aqua Coleus...

Yes sir that's a potted Coleus plant sitting at the bottom of our pool.

The pot and plant stands about 2' tall and is perfectly situated.


This is what I get for adorning the pool area with flowers. Although, not too close to the pool edge in terms of location, it was windy enough to topple the pot which then rolled into the pool.  Thank goodness it ended up in the shallow end.  It would still be sitting at the bottom had it slipped into the deep end.

And yeah, it made a mess, as you can image.

We've had a number of things, items, critters in our pool but this potted plant was a first!

Hosta Damage

Thank goodness that Hosta are a very hardy plant otherwise we wouldn't have a one. They're one of my bestest favorites too with so many varieties to choose from.  I'd guess we have over 15 different kinds throughout or yard.

The hostas we have along the back yard are prime targets of the deer, who appear to love them as much as I do but in a dinner kinda way. They do a number on them year after year eating them to the ground.  The ones in the deer 'safe' zones, and the ones that proudly display their leaves, are victims to another pest, the slug UGG!

The slugs eat the leaves, same as the deer, just at a slower pace.

Here's an example of deer damage -

 More deer damage -

 Slug damage -

More slug damage -

They've both worn their welcome out at the ole homestead!

I've Got Storage!


Hung my new leather bag.

A perfect fit too.

Although, it's not big enough to store anything large, i.e. a sweatshirt, it's big enough to carry the essentials which is equally as important.

P.S. Not my legs and feet...

My "Eclipse" Black-eyed Susans

What a unique looking Black-eyed Susan.



Admittedly, I do not know the variety or name of this beauty.  There are so many types and varieties available with many hybrids it's hard to tell.  Maybe I'll start referring to them as "Eclipse" echinacea.  So, I'll simply enjoy them while they last.

Once Upon A Time

A time capsule of sorts...


The (3) disposable cameras were packed among my dads "stuff" in one of the boxes in my garage.  The roll came from my old Canon AE1 camera.  All tucked away with unknown pictures of a time gone by.  I dropped them off for development and anxiously waiting for their return to see what they hold.

Walker Stalker Con Boston 2017

Emilie and I attended Walker Stalker Con last Saturday, which was held at the Westin hotel on Bostons Waterfront in the Seaport district.   It was our second year in a row attending - our newly established tradition.

We had a good time but unfortunately it wasn't as good as last years.  There weren't as many celebrity guests this year, alas. Seemed like there were more tweens this year too, and weird looking people.  Present company excluded of course...

The other aspect of this event that I dislike and disagree with is how this organization uses the fame and notoriety of the show to take advantage of it's viewers.  This includes the celebrity guests too.  The show pushes meet-and-greets with celebrities, picture taking including selfies, after parties, etc. all with exorbitant prices and all cash only.  The layout and organization of the event could also use an overhaul, with event staff more aware of their roles and responsibilities.

However, all that being said my daughter is a Walking Dead fan and we've begun a tradition that, I guess we'll see through.



Friday, August 11, 2017

Blue Screen of Death


When was the last time you saw one of there Microsoft "problems", the "blue screen of death"?!

Well, that's my work computer after a reboot, UGH.

Fortunately, after a power off and a bit of rest, it came back up with no problems.  However, clearly there's something going on here and if Murphy has anything to do with it, the next time I won't be so lucky.

We Have The Spirit!

JoAnne and Emilie, out and about on their RI scavenger hunt this past weekend, came across these beauties - Cheyenne Spirit echinacea.

Although, we have oodles of Purple Coneflower all over our yard, we didn't have these beauties...until now.

Of course the only downside to echinacea is that the deer love them too, and I'm not taking about enjoying their colors either.




It's only been a week since we planted and with nightly watering their doing great!

I Like Me Some Allium!



Picked and enjoyed out first Red Onion of the season!!

Sure made my hamburger taste SO much better!

Many more still to pick, as they did very good this year.

WHAT Do We Have Here?!

I spy with my little eye...

Fresh dropping.  Turds.  Poop. Fecal matter. Waste.

These, although kinda gross, are a dead giveaway that an unwanted critter is hiding in my tomatoes.

These dung dropping are produced by the dreaded Tomato Hornworm!  These dudes can ruin tomato crops in record time, if not found in time.  They have a fierce, seemingly never ending appetite.

Since they're so hard to find on the tomato plants themselves, I rely on scanning the ground around each plant and once the excrement is found the search begins.

Here's another tell-tale sign of dining Tomato Hornworms -


AH HA, there you are -


A chubby one too - 


After spending thirty minutes or so I was able to locate these four dudes.  I'm fairly certain there are more out there, so the hunting continues.  

No need to worry about these four below, they became a special and welcomed treat for our chickens.


This is an exercise I find myself doing every year.

Find The Critter

Can you find the critter in the below photo?


I was cutting it a little too close, literally!

Whilst pruning the forsythia I startled a baby robin out of it's nest.  Boy-O-Boy what a ruckus followed, which in turn startled the bajesus outta me!  The parents, who were well aware of my presence meddling in their neighborhood, immediately came to their chicks defense.  All kinds of racket and carrying on, with puffed out feathers and an occasional dive bombing fly by.

I tried to assure them all that I was unaware of the little and would move along to finish another day but they didn't believe me until I was well out of the area.

Phyciodes tharos

A female Pearl Crescent butterfly taking a rest on a beautiful Black-eyed Susan.

We have all kinds of insects; flying and crawling, all over our flowers.  It's a great time of the year to spend walking the yard and taking it all in.



*It's quite difficult to tell Pearl Crescents and Northern Crescents apart. So, it is possible that my identification is incorrect. However, since I've taken this photo in Massachusetts, where only Pearls are present, I'd feel fairly confident about my ID.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Some Are a Buzz Over Bee Balm!

We have oodles and oodles of Hummingbird Hawk-moths this summer.

They seem to enjoy the Bee Balm the best and seem to visit each and every flower.

These pictures show a Hummingbird Clearwing moth



Mr Marsupial on a Walkabout

Say hello to my little friend.



Our Unique Platycodon!

Here's a sampling of our Balloon flowers!

We have solid white, solid purple and a cool variety of these two colors mixed.

The honey and bumble bees love them too.







I can remember when the kids were younger, much younger they loved to pop these once ballooned up.  Of course my head would pop when they would do that...

A Wedgie Dog

Shhhhh, Trixie-dog is wedged in and trying to nap...

2017 Garlic Harvest, A-Yum!


Harvested our Russian Red garlic about a month ago.  I was a little disappointed in this variety.  I let them turn or ripened to about the same stage as previously planted varieties, i.e. German White and Music, however, many of the bulbs were rotten when pulled out of the ground.  The sizes of the bulbs were considerably smaller than previous mentioned varieties.

None the less, I hung them in the garage for several weeks to dry.  I spent a little over an hour last weekend removing the stalks, roots and outer bulb layers for each.  Out of the 76 cloves planted we netted about 51 tasty looking bulbs.

The bulbs that survived, although small, look wonderful and smell terrific.  The ultimate proof will be in the tasting.  Can't wait!!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

"Dennis"

Here is a picture of a Rose of Sharon that was given to us by Dennis last year.  Dennis was a very close friend of, and who grew up with, Uncle Tommy.

Uncle Tommy was a gardener who always had a yard full of beautiful plants.  At some point before his passing Uncle Tommy brought Dennis, who lived down the Cape, a Rose of Sharon plant.  A sapling, one from his yard.  

Fast forward several years and Dennis gifted us a sapling from the grown sapling that Uncle Tommy had gifted to him.

Sadly, Dennis passed away in the Fall shortly after gifting us this Rose of Sharon.


I was moved the the other day when I noticed this first single bloom adorning the Rose of Sharon.  To which JoAnne called it "Dennis"

Flower Photos

Random flower pics from our yard this summer!

Echinacea, and Rudbeckia -

Catnip -

 Monarda and Queen Anne's Lace -

Rudbeckia -

Double Daylily -

Broccoli flowers =

Monarda -