Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Second Look--October 1, 2014

Here are a few things I saw this week 
during a Second Look.

By the time I got outside this week for a Second Look, dusk was approaching. Consequently, it was hard for me to get many good pictures with my unsteady hands and point and shoot camera. Nevertheless, I enjoyed my look.

It's easy to see from this balloon flower bud why it is called a balloon flower.

This is the first mum so far to bloom.

As the mums are beginning to bloom, the sedum is turning darker red while some has already turned brown.

Japanese Maple. Most of our maple trees produce seeds during the early summer. However, the Japanese maple produces them in the early fall.

Poke berries--a favorite of many birds and animals.

Praying mantis hiding in the grass. I've wondered why some praying mantises are green and some are brown. After a bit of research, I couldn't find a definitive answer. In our area, we have several different kinds, and apparently different kinds have different coloring. One site said that if there is good moisture, they are green and if it is dry, they are brown. Another said that as they age they turn from green to brown.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Thankful Sunday--September 28, 2014

I am thankful for a visit from Theodore
(and so are the cats).

Theodore was home from school this weekend and it was a pleasure to see him. He brought his dirty clothes which I encouraged him to do because it is so much cheaper for him to wash them here. And the added bonus was his basket of smelly clothes was a favorite place for the cats to hang out.

Friday, September 26, 2014


Blogging is more difficult these days than I would like. On first thought, I'm not sure why. When I think about it, I have many ideas I want to explore or things I have done that I want to share. But the problem seems to be that my mind is too busy as well as my life to focus. It's not crazy busy like I have 100 bushels of apples to process or I have three events scheduled every day at the same time, but it's busy all the same.

It's busy with important life issues. There is a very, very sick relative and a very needy elderly parent who are using much of my energy. There is also planning for the next stage of life. The empty nest has brought thoughts of what my husband and I want to do--where we want to live, how we want to live, when we want to retire, what we can afford, etc.

It's also busy with everyday things like doing the laundry and fixing the lawnmower. Going to work and taking the cats to the vet. Cleaning the fridge and freezing tomatoes. Paying the bills and tutoring the girl next door. You know, the things that provide the rhythm for our days.

And I am lucky that I also have some time to spend on things that truly make me smile. Watching the birds. Exploring my yard. Lunching with friends. Visiting with my kids. Sitting on the couch with my husband and watching a silly TV show. 

Where am I going with all of this? I'm not sure. I have no great conclusions except that life goes in cycles and sometimes you feel restless and unfocused. And sometimes you don't.

So there you have it. The beginnings of my exploration into why I feel unsettled these days. Now it's time to go to work. Thanks for listening to my ramblings.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Second Look--September 24, 2014

This week I did a Second Look in the morning--not my typical time because I'm really not a morning person. However I decided it was time to try a different perspective on things in honor of the official  beginning of Fall. When first I went out, the air was cool and the sun was up but there was still fog in the valleys and dew on the grass. The birds were fairly quiet except for the cawing of some noisy crows and the drumming of a persistent woodpecker. As the sun rose higher in the sky, these were joined by more melodious sounds of other birds. The bees and other insects appeared to be waiting for the day to warm up before they began their activity because I saw very few of them compared to later in the day. The plants are continuing to change as some leaves are turning red while others are going straight to brown. However, there still bits of color from summer here and there.

Here are a few things I was this week 
during a Second Look.

Dew covered most things including this balloon flower.

Fungus on rotting stump.

Honeysuckle berries. The birds love these, but they can be poisonous for humans.

A few of the coreopsis are still blooming, but most are turning to seed.

Roxanne geranium

At first I thought the inchworm on this coneflower was a stick, but it appears that it was just still "sleeping."

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Thankful Sunday--September 21, 2014

I am thankful for pen and paper.

Out of all of the ways we have to record things today, for me nothing beats a good, old fashioned pen and paper.