Insect moments

Basil bee

When I took this, I thought bee. Now, I’m thinking perhaps hornet.

Got two pots of basil on our town-trek the other day, still unplanted because the garden mound (which will become a ringfort) needs to be dug up and weeds and roots removed. Perhaps tomorrow. Today was cool and would have been a good day for it, but I succumbed to Sunday Lethargy.

Dandy bee

Not the best photo of this BEE, but this frame (not really a frame) shows just how much pollen is sticking to the legs and belly. Must change take-off conditions and trajectory!

Flowery spring

Blooming orchard

The Guru flew Droney over the orchard despite it being pretty darned windy this afternoon. If you look closely there are two(?) horizontal bands below the center that are slightly distorted because Droney was working hard to remain stable as the wind flipped it around. Doncha love technology—sometimes!

Chive time

Chives are beginning to open. Ant aboard (dark, on left side between petals).

Fading trillium

Fading trilliums can get a dark pink cast. In my ignorance, I saw some in the woods the other day and thought the pinkish ones might be a different kind. Nope.


Lilac buds

The buds are open on the high branches of the lilacs. Buds are pretty, though!

Working edge

Here’s the working edge of the eradication program. I hope this is the densest spot, but I have to work my way along this edge of the woods to the farthest you can see in this shot. In nearly an hour of digging and hauling, I “cleansed” about 25×25 ft. I see the big broadleaves and think, “broad stems are easy handles, and it’ll go fast.” Nope. First, there are small specimens in between. And, roots make the digging difficult. And I try not to damage the ferns (too much). But, cooler today meant almost no blackflies, although the mosquitoes were not immobilized by the coolness and breeze. Always something.

Sandhill at refuge

After a rest, shower, and lunch, we took the wildlife drive at the refuge. Of course, we saw the big swans and Canada geese, and mallards, and maybe a golden eye. And a brown snake (best I can do—it was moving right along; that’s our second snake since arrival—the first was a copper-bellied water snake, of all things, and in the road…rescued by LaLaurel). We also saw this sandhill crane; neither of us could remember the last time we saw a sandhill at the refuge.

Refuge turtle

And turtles—one shiny-shelled one down by the water on the log, and several more up higher. The water level was rather high in the ponds, except for the one they’d drained. Deeeee-lightful visit.

Two expeditions

Lake MI at Manistique

We ventured farther afield…took US2 along the north shore of Lake Michigan. The lake is HIGH, backed up into the rivers that normally flow into it. Of course, until just recently it was very low, and many people are not old enough (raint-raint-bwaaah) to remember normal levels. Such is life in the time of climate change.

Hardware pickups

One chore was to stop at this hardware. One small tank truck, one SUV, and otherwise a line of pickups. And more pickups on the other side of the parking lot. An unconscious social statement? Probably pretty clogged inside (narrow aisles), but I didn’t go in.

First lupine

We drove into rain after the hardware, and it is still with us. After everything was unpacked, I finally got a bit antsy and put on boots and headed out for a walk…and found the first lupine in bloom. White! And not a single other plant that I saw even has a bud!


Some kind of pussytoes, the flowerheads weighted down by the rain. I just read in the cyber-land of miscellany that pussytoes (Antennaria sp.) are in the daisy family (Asteraceae), and these plants are connected underground, and so are one, or clones, however you want to describe it. Plants are not animals.

Chive bud

Speaking of plants and seasonal progression…I nabbed a handful of chive-tops to put in tonight’s salad, and discovered they’re already sending up buds. I almost missed that transition, too!

Two because: one to town, one around the property….


Eradication bucket

Having taken two days off from the Eradication Project, and noticing the morning was cool-ish, and that there was a breeze off of the lake, I decided to sally forth with shovel and pickup. And a carry-bucket, a new addition to my tools. In the bucket is one and only one of the (larger) cow parsnips. And it is smaller than one I dug up later. They are aggressive growers!

Dandies n flutterbies

I thought the lake-breeze would send most of the blackflies tumbling away. Wrong. And we’re in the peak days, so more than the last time. Ah well, I put in a short hour, and was glad I did not have to stay longer. Also I had sweated through my shirt-collar, so I did not feel guilty.

Trillium CU

Love trilliums.

Another hot, dry day

Lupine droplet

I heard rain when I got up in the wee hours, but fell quickly back asleep and didn’t know how long it rained. The rain barrel had a damp film, but no drops, so it didn’t fall for long. But, here’s a drop, so a few lupines made a catch. Have no idea why the water seemed pale yellow. Probably some obvious effect known to physics and not to me.


Such lovely little flowers, such a delicate blue.

White birch denizen

Spider hanging with two big birch buddies.

Siberian apple

Somewhat large blooms for apple…as I recall, this is a Siberian apple (NOT a crabapple), good for blooming and lousy for apples…it was planted to pollinate, so I guess that bee knows where to find pollen! The apples are so unpalatable that the deer even (mostly) avoid them, the Botanist told me.

I seem to remember that the orchard has rows of pollinators; I have no idea if they go north-south or east-west. Vaguely I think north-south, but I may be making that up.

Bird story

Morning ducks

You expect if you revisit the same spot at different times the light will be different and other things, too. In this case, morning ducks…

Afternoon loons

…became a pair of afternoon loons.

I almost think I can see that the foliage is more leafed out, but that’s probably my imagination. Happens fast here, however. [Sorry, the loons ride low in the water, so they are difficult to spot…persevere.] 😀

Changeable sky

Eradication underway

After coffee and whatnot, this was my morning exercise…more eradication of cow parsnip. And a few odd burdocks that I came across. Quit when sweat rolled off my nose and the mosquitoes joined the blackflies. Enough!

Dog geese

And at the end of the day, after a fantastic meal shared at the proper distance, I went down to the water to get a shot that I hoped would capture the way the distant shore was alit. Kinda. The geese took off when they saw me coming; the dog came later and didn’t chase them, although that’s what it looks like. Later I saw her biting the waves breaking on the shore. Young dog behavior. BTW, two pairs of adult geese, each with four goslings. 💩

I selected these two shots and then realized the sky was so different. And between: bright sun. The last three days we’ve been hearing we’d get some rain during the past 24 hours, but nooooo—rather dry, except the way-too-high water in the lake. 😧

Plant choices


With the work of the last few years, and especially the tree-trimming=light-intensification of last year, well, and weed removal, the rhubarb is coming back! This variety courtesy of the Botanist makes strong pink rhubarb sauce, not any of that greenish or brownish stuff you may have been offered elsewhere. I may even be able to make a small pan of it!

Ramps bloodroot

Those long leaves are ramps, and the notched leaves are bloodroot. I’ll be digging some ramps for dinner tomorrow. But, I left them today, because I was digging cow parsnips—or perhaps giant hogweed—both are phytotoxic and invasive, and I should have done this removal last year. Then I wouldn’t have had so many daughter plants to remove. Eradicate. That human thing: choosing which plants to encourage and which to…disappear.

Spring is about plants*

Sour cherry

Sour cherry. Only we rarely get to eat the cherries. The birds unerringly know when the fruit is on the cusp of ripeness, and they swoop in and take the whole crop in a couple of hours. Done and done.


Spring beauties. Love the color variation in the centers…is it the age of the blooms, or…??

Young maples

The Uncle Dave maple is always hopeful (if I am allowed to anthropomorphize). The newly germinated are ready to go for years, but are unaware that the lawn mower will axe their dreams.

*Spring is about all kinds of creatures, but plants are much easier to spot and photograph (see title). Also spotted: huge vee of Canada geese; minnows in the upper Tahquamenon. And in recent days: a rafter/flock of wild turkeys—seemed like all females? [We were moving fast.]