Friday, April 29, 2011

Hypercompe scribonia

The Giant Leopard or Eyed Tiger moth caterpillar.

I came across this cool looking caterpillar yesterday when out feeding the chickens. It's pretty good size a far as the caterpillars I'm used to seeing. It's similar to the "Woolly Bear" caterpillar that we're so used to seeing around here come fall. One of the main differences that I've noticed is that this dude is super shy and stays rolled up in it's tight little ball. It does come out but only after it's been left alone for a while.

The moth, from the research I've done, looks equally as cool and can have a 3" wing span. I think we'll hold onto this dude to see if he'll cooperate for us, like the Monarch caterpillars do, and let us watch the Caterpillar to cocoon to moth process.

I've already gone out and picked him some young, fresh, tender lilac leaves, so we'll see how it goes.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

GO B's GO!!

Horton hears a WOO! Bruins win game 7 vs Canadians 4-3!

and move on to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Bring on the Flyers!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Objects May Appear Closer...

So, I was in the front yard on Friday afternoon cleaning up some of our flower beds. Redefining, widening and general cleanup in preparation for mulch, which is my next project.

We live on a somewhat busy and pothole riddled street, so there is always noise emanating from passing vehicles with booming and rattling and down-right God awful noise taking place. Sure is a good thing that the town doesn't allow you to posses roosters! They're just too noisy...

Anyway I digress, as I was saying I was feverishly working away when a new sound came from the street. This was the sound of something falling off a passing vehicle. Now, I've been the lucky recipient of various items, i.e. landscape barrels, various tools from axes to wrenches and some not so handy or usable items like deer hoofs. So, I stood up, as best I could as it takes a little longer these days, and made my way to the sidewalk to see what jewel lay waiting for me.

There lying smack dab in the center of the south bound lane and perfectly parallel to the center yellow line was a large steel or aluminum landscape shovel. The type you might find being used at a horse stable to clean out the stalls.

Well, now I get a little giddy because I don't own such a wonderful shovel but that giddiness was short lived as a little old lady, driving a dark green Saturn with hands at 10 and 2, plowed right over it! Yup, she plowed right over it, never slowed, never swerved, no effort or attempt whatsoever was made to avoid the object in the middle of her lane (she had plenty of time too, as she came along a minute or so after the shovel came to rest). The shovel was dragged several yards, which then flipped and flopped and clicked and clanged until coming to rest on the center yellow line.

I don't know what the condition of that shovel was, as the owner realized it fell of his truck and had turned around to retrieve at about the same time as it came to rest on the center yellow line. Oh well, wasn't intended for me and I'm OK with that. However, what I was left with and still find myself thinking about, hence this posting, is how oblivious this little old lady was to an object in the middle of the road and how she made NO effort to slow or avoid it. I find this very disturbing and very scary! What if it was a child, or a dog, or log, something she could have done some real damage too, not to mention damage to herself or her automobile?!

This incident was eerily similar to another incident a couple years back where an old man was driving a big black Cadillac that did the exact same thing only driving in the opposite direction and this time running over a wild turkey that had been hit just a few minutes earlier. Again, the scary thing in both these incidents is that neither person slowed and tried to avoid the object or stopped following; both drove right over the items and continued on their merry way.

I don't know about you folks but I do my best to avoid hitting or running over anything lying in the road. Unless it's a squirrel, hehehe...I'm kidding

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Kale, Broccoli and Lettuce In!

I finally found some time to get some veggie plants in the ground a couple evenings ago - (4) kale, (2) broccoli and (3) lettuce. Since we're still not out of the wood in terms of frost here in New England, I cover plants with old pots each night before dark and then uncover in the morning. So far this is working out just fine and the plants are doing fine.

Minimizing Our Opossum Damage

Opossum relocation is SO much easier than skunk relocation. There's no challenge or risk - kinda boring. In this case, all that's needed is a opossum and you're in business...

Step 1 - trap opossum:

Step 2 - load and transport:

Step 3 - release opossum:

and off you go!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Our Handsome Feathered Visitor

Our visiting Eastern Bluebird

The last couple of years we've always had a handful of Eastern Bluebirds stop in for a visit in early spring and this year was no different. This stunning little man was flying solo the other morning and stopped in for a snack on our bittersweet berries.

At one point he even stopped in and poked around at our bird house open house. Boy wouldn't it be nice if he took up residence here for the summer. Alas, we've not seen him around for over a week now, so I suspect he's found himself another place. Perhaps, I should consider hanging several Bluebird house to increase our chances...

I have the plans. I have the lumber and supplies. It's on the list, just need to bump up it's priority. At this point I have till early Spring 2012, plenty of time...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

What If The Mower Had Nut Allergies?!

Did a little yard work at my dad's yesterday. Actually, my son Christopher did most of the work, I was just helping him out. Anyway, while he was raking I decided to pull the riding lawn mower out of the shed to see if I could get it to start. Since I didn't disconnect the battery when I last used it in the fall, it didn't have enough oomph to start. If that was going to be the only problem I was in good shape. A jump from my auto would do the trick and sure enough it did - fired right up, yippee! However, as you can see from the picture above, looks like some varmints were setting up house under the hood. Perhaps, this is there way of letting me know they're not too pleased with me removing and trashing all of the shed "stuff", which was essentially their hiding places, playground and homes. Nothing that a couple snap traps and some peanut butter won't resolve - it's go time!

Overflowing Compost Bin

Take a gander at our heaping compost pile! It shouldn't take too long for this to become ideal plant food.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spring Cleanup 2011 Underway

Yesterday was a very productive day at the old homestead in terms of lawn care. This yard work also illustrates just how out of shape I truly am, which I measure in pain, soreness and stiffness - and yup, all three symptons have arrived and set in as expected. The following tasks were completed:

  • Cleaned out garage to pull out lawn tractor

  • Cleaned the chicken/rabbit pen and removed 1.5 loads of bedding to compost

  • Thatched the entire lawn

  • Swept the entire lawn

  • Spread several loads of thatch in the animal pen

  • Mowed the entire lawn (more to pick up remaining thatch)

  • Spread Scott's Turf Builder w/Halts Crabgrass Preventer on entire lawn

  • Spread (1) 40lb bag of lime on front lawn

With this all behind me it's off to the next chore of which there are many. I'm thinking edging and mulch, hmm....

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring Cleanup and Play

Similar to, "Where's Waldo" but not Waldo rather Emilie. "Where's Emilie?" Follow?!? We used our pool's solar cover to winterize and protect a number of our large items that we had no place to store over the winter, i.e. patio lawn furniture, wheelbarrow, yard cart, etc. Now that Spring is upon us he was time to uncover and move the stored items to their summertime locations. Emilie was entertained with making a fort with the cover and resting underneath, as it was chill that day.

Here She Comes Poking Through!

Look, look, our rhubarb is awakening and making it's way out, waahoooooo!

I'm planning on transplanting to a more suitable, out of the way place. When that happens I will be splitting the plant up into smaller individual plants that I can then plant in various locations around the yard.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Road Trip

Took a drive to Hamden Connecticut this past Sunday - Quinnipiac University to be exact. The school was hosting a field hockey tournament and Sacred Heart University (SHU) was one of the division 1 schools participating. It was a nice, warm day and I got to spend the day watching Stephanie play some ball but more importantly I was able to spend some time with her too! Quinnipiac is kinda of the beaten path and let me tell you it's beautiful down there for sure. Of course, I wouldn't be me if I didn't bitch about something, so here goes - Connecticut drivers are assholes. That is all.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


To Much Information I know, I know... I made yellow snow yesterday! This in an of itself isn't that surprising and with the exception of maybe a few parking lots were the snow was plowed super high all other snow is gone. However, there was still a pile of snow behind my dads shed where the sun almost never reaches. I had to go, the house was locked, so, I made yellow snow!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Yummy


Thank you sir may I have another?!

New to Me.

Before - After - Here is my new wheelbarrow. Well, new to me, as it's actually used and as you can see in somewhat rough shape but free is free. Is free really free? If you look closely the tires are two different sizes. How much does this matters remains to be seen. The handles needed to be replaced, which was done last weekend. Of course what looks to be a simply task turned into more of a Frye task, meaning more work, time and money than originally thought. Anyway, I'm into this free wheelbarrow for about $30.00 now, which is still a great deal plus it's gi-mun-ga in size.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Vlad Recommended & Stephan Approved!

Black bread with Sunflower seeds My co-worker Vlad, who is always making suggestions on books, shows, food, alcohol, etc, has come up with another winner - this delicious bread recommendation. Although, it's not Russian bread it was purchased at the Russian store he frequents. A tad pricey at $4.99 but it's loaded and I mean loaded with sunflower seeds. Can't tell if it's a pumpernickel or rye based but toasted with some butter, along with a nice hot cup of coffee is the to die for. We're discussing other tasty items that are available via this Russian store, some of which I just might be willing to try. Stay tuned...

Friday, April 01, 2011

UGH, More Snow!

Come on over and take a load off - have a seat! April fools'! What a dirty trick of Mother nature, tsk tsk tsk