Friday, July 31, 2015

Nighty Night

The Americana chicks are now almost four months old.  Hopefully they begin laying in another month or two.  In the mean time they decided to change their sleep location.  Up until the other evening I've had to go out each night after dark and move them from along the pen fence and put them in the crate.  If a critter came a calling during the night they'd have no problem reaching through the fence and getting a hold on a chick.

However, the other night when I went out to put them to bed I could only find one of the three.  A sudden panic began to creep in until I looked up.  Low and behold two of the little ladies somehow decided that roosting atop the pen fence was better.  Perhaps they're right because a coon or fox will be unable to reach them, however, an owl or hawk would have little problem.

So until I can move them in with the adults, nightly trips to put them to bed are in order.

Oh Deer Oh Deer, I'm Seeing Double

Oh snap!  Looks who was out and about the other morning.

There were two adults each with their very own spotted fawn.

The fawns were running and jumping all over the neighbors back yard.  They were fun to watch.  Call me selfish but I'd rather them stay over there and eat the neighbors flowers versus ours.

Curious little buggers for sure.

Alyssa you guys left too soon...

Franklin Sunset!


Emilie has captured some beautiful sunset pictures off the deck here at the old Franklin homestead .

A Catbird Is So Much Better Than An Actual Cat!

Our resident Catbird.

Seems this dude is constantly on the move, seldom resting in one place.  Go go go.

We have a love hate relationship - I happen to love this bird but hate that they eat our strawberries, blueberries and now our raspberries.  I guess we have enough to share.

*All photos above taken by Miss Emilie Frye.

Hey Who Goes There?!

July 21 - Mother deer on watch but no babies in tow or at least out in the open.

Clearly, they're around and closer than I'd like.  One look at our beans and sunflower. Fortunately, so far at least, they've only been nibbling so not too much damage.  Fingers crossed that it doesn't get any worse.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Mom -

I can't believe it's been 10-years today

Seems like only yesterday, yet where has the time gone

I miss you

A Mess of Cucumbers!

Oh baby baby!!

With many many more on the way.


Home Gardener's Most Dreaded Pest!

All you gardening enthusiasts can you tell me what the small black dots are (they're actually green)?

Here's a hint - They typically appear in late July and early August.


Here's another hint - They're found in the tomato garden, at the base of your plants.

How bout now?

OK, another hint - They're a voracious eating machine that can and will cause an impressive amount of feeding damage!


Last hint - They seemingly grow before your eyes; doubling, tripling and quadrupling before you very eyes!

They're caterpillar poop and it's a tell tale sign of the dreaded Tomato Hornworm!!

And I found (3) monsters in our tomato garden this past Sunday.  Here's one pictured above.  I suspect there's more but it was too humid and I was too spent by the time I made my way to the tomato garden.

Normally I would feed these dudes to the chickens.  However, since Emilie is away till Thursday I need to keep them around.  Of course they can't stay in the garden unwatched and unregulated, so I've moved them into an insect container along with some tomato plant clippings. They've already eaten every last leaf and it's only Tuesday, not to mention the poop mess they're leaving behind.  Thursday can't come fast enough...

Bucket-O Blueberries

Here is our first Blueberry picking of the season.  Not a whole lot but not too bad just the same seeing that we only have two bushes.

In years past the birds would eat them before the ripened. The Catbird is the worst of the bunch but I've see Robins help themselves too and I'm sure there are others.

This year I covered both plants with bird netting, which seems to have done the trick.  Although, I need a larger piece of netting as this one doesn't quite cover completely.  As a result I had to free a young Robin that got trapped inside.  When we were away an unlucky Catbird got trapped also, that didn't turn out so well for the bird...

Bucket-O Baseballs


Spent a little organizing and cleaning in the garage this past weekend. Dusted off all our baseballs and neatly stacking in a milk crate, all 73 of the them!

Make me an offer...

Marco Island Animal Adventures

We had a terrific time during our Marco Island get away!

The beach and ocean, the 4th fireworks, good food, cold beer, seeing the two cousins together, getting to spend some long overdue time with my brother and his family and of course seeing my dad!

Here are some of the pictures we took of the local wildlife we encountered on our drive through the Everglades along Rt.41 and at Marco Island -

Our fist stop was at the Big Cypress Oasis Visitor Center in Ochopee, where we were greeted by several BIG alligators just cooling their heals in the canal

We spotted several Florida Softshell turtles, also swimming and floating in the canal among the gators, this one below being quite large too -

Ironically, we had just passed a street sign that read, "Gopher Turtle Crossing", and right on queue what did we spot, a Gopher Turtle about to cross.  We pulled the cars over, jumped out and took some pictures.  We then turned the critter around, pointing into the underbrush and said mush!

No, this slick, slithering dude is NOT a Florida Cottonmouth. Some of the locals might lead you to believe as such, rather, this is an Everglades Racer.  We spotted it outside the condo on our way to the pool.  Alyssa and I tried to catch it but were unsuccessful.

CRIKEY, is that a grasshopper?!  It sure is! Known as the Lubber Grasshopper, Floridians have little trouble recognizing this insect.  When alarmed, Lubbers spread their wings, hiss and secrete a foul -smelling froth.  However, this dude did no such thing as resident Floridian, animal enthusiast and also my niece Alyssa, picked it up, held it and let it crawl on her arm and head, EWW!

On our way to the beach for the July 4th firework show, just after dark, and in the middle of the walkway we came upon a little insect hanky-panky.  A pair of Two-Stripped Walking Sticks "cuddling", EWW!  We snapped a quick photo, then moved them into the brush along the walkway and out of harms way of foot traffic.

Of course there were many, many lizards all over, which Emilie was able to catch time and time again.  Then there were the incredibly noisy, either, Barking Treefrog or perhaps it was the Cuban Treefrog.  Whichever it was they were LOUD.  Also, when the tide went out, the sandbar had what seemed like and endless supply of the beautiful Sand Dollars!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

2015 Cucumbers Have Arrived!

Oh boy, our cucumbers are ready for picking!

We've picked six so far with many, many more just around the corner.

They're delicious too!

Quabbin Reservoir Resident

I took the first two pictures back in June 20.  The first is a photo of an Eastern Phoebe bird nest.  This nest was built under the overhang of a building, above a doorway and on a side wall.

This is the mother, which flew off when the door was opened.

This third picture was taken on July 11, just over a month later, and as you can see there are a couple babies busting out.