Musings

Cat tales

Eloise

I set off this morning (HUMID-cubed), and Eloise came out to greet me…stretch, meow, rub. Eloise lives at a neighbor’s house.

Unknown name cat

Several blocks later, I was greeted by this cat, unknown to me. I think the cats were feeling a bit lonely, with a lack of holiday traffic…that is foot traffic…I could hear a drone from the tires and motors over on the Interstate. Where were those vehicles going? Hope not all to the beach!

Sebastian

Returning to the house, I saw Sebastian under our car. He was all squinty eyed from napping. I don’t think he cared how many people were about. He didn’t move when I strolled by. [He is from the same house as Eloise.]

BTW, three examples of how difficult it is to get a cat action photo in focus.

Happy Fourth! 🎇🎆🎇

Small, strange world

Early light

Soooo humid. And warm warm hot. So, out early, ahead of the full sun.

Cottontail

Me and this cottontail. Haven’t seen one in a while here in the city.

Mushroom underneath

Strange world, under this mushroom. This space is about a centimeter and a half high.

Critter visual tales

Squirrel chase

Nothing novel about a squirrel chase, but that morning light—golden!

Hawk ish

This hawk (I’m pretty sure) landed in front of me…unclear what the catch was. I left her/him to it….

Nova high five

Sit, Nova!

High five, Nova!

And here’s your treat!

Safety measures

Hot coals

This one’s obvious. And red.

Duck distancing

Here’s a duck family social distancing. Or maybe together-ing.

Anti slipstream

And me social distancing, by heading off to the right to avoid the slip-stream of these folks. In fact, the whole way up the west side of the lake I happily did not encounter another person, and thus I had to do no slipstream countermeasures. I’m thinking that’s a good name for a band [“Slipstream Countermeasures, on stage Friday…in 2021”]…perhaps too long?

Sweet day

Cow parsnip roots

During today’s Eradication Operation, I had to remove several larger plants (but still perhaps youthful and medium-sized)—sure enough, the roots resemble parsnips. Indian celery/rhubarb are other names for the cow parsnip. Yes, if you’re careful, there are edible parts. Don’t count me in, though.

Lupine lake

These are garden lupines gone wild, so I guess they technically are an invasive species. Pretty, pretty, however. I’m told you can eat the beans, as with other members of the Fabaceae family. This type doesn’t make the large seeds called lupini in Italy—which I ate not knowing they were lupines. Interestingly, they are beans with no starch. Some people’s body find these and other beans toxic. But I digress.

Sleepy bailey

Meet Bailey. I threw her floppy not-a-Frisbee over and over (she mostly returned it to my feet), waiting for her to tire. Then, I accidentally threw it in the PI way over in the corner of the yard, and that was the last time (I’m tooooo allergic). With no more tosses happening, she took a nap. Sweet Bailey. A great fetcher.

Learning curves

Trained grass

Perhaps a dozen times I’ve driven this route across the field…the first time there was no path—it was “virgin” grass. Each day, I’d drive it twice, over perhaps ten days. The grass height between the tires, where the tops are brushed by the underside of the pickup, is shorter than to the sides where it was untouched. Grass learns fast, it appears.

Vertical lupine

I hadn’t ever shot straight down on a lupine. [Got that out of my system, ¿no?]

False solomon seal

I got this one right: it’s false Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum racemosum). Edible; didn’t know that.

Distancing sky

Dined outdoors at proper social distance with the neighbors. Great sky. We got a special invite because the hunter-fisher-gatherer-gardener had success out on the lake this morning, and they shared. 🧡 A walleye, sometimes called yellow pike. In Canada, it’s a pickerel—although it’s not taxonomically a pickerel.

Under a blue sky

Corner work

See those broadleaves among the skinny vertical grass blades. My quarry. Hours of digging remain. This is what weed control can look like.

Pier perspective

Enough work. Off to Gitche Gumee on this blue-sky day.

HurricaneCreekmouth

For I don’t know how many years, the mouth of Hurricane Creek has taken a hard bend (sometimes east, sometimes west) before flowing into the Big Lake. This year it’s just a straight descent over the dark rust-red sandstone.

Refuge Canada geese

We also ducked (haha) in to check the Refuge, although it was “the heat of the day,” not considered the best for critter-watching. We saw the usual assortment…swans, geese, ducks, and a few other feathered critters we/I didn’t recognize. Several turtles. Two work trucks, yet no tourists whatsoever!

Swan duo

Most swans were bottom-up feeding, although we did see two sleeping (head under wing), and managed to catch this pair heads-up.

Chore assessment

Shell rippled

I was in a strolling mood early, and walked down to the lake, already with lapping wee-waves. Nice distortion by the water of the bivalve shell.

JITP

Heading up to check the forest edge where I knew more cow warships parsnips await, I found this wildflower lovely, a jack in the pulpit. First I’ve seen this year, but probably mostly because I haven’t been looking in the right places.

Ringfort construction

I see that the northeast field edge has a robust CP settlement, probably take five daily shifts to eradicate them…or all of them that I can see now that the grass is pretty darned high.

I decided not to put off ring fort construction further, and began generic weed eradication on The Botanist’s Mound. Detailed clearing the last few years has tempered the grass infection, and it went pretty fast. I wanted to go through the soil one more time for contaminants, however, so I left planting for another time. This took sufficient energy that I avoided CP digging today. High this afternoon into the 80°Fs, so you know I wasn’t out there for hard labor after midday!

Barberry visitor

The barberries are noisy with visitors. I could discern at least four species, including a large orange/black striped bumblebee. They were all moving so fast from flower to flower, and the blooms are on the underside of the branches…making it difficult to get a good shot. This’ll do.

Nascent grapes

And I found nascent grape clusters. I think much of the lengths and loops of the vine are no longer alive. Another chore to prune back the deadwood.

Having the purples

Purple lupines

The purple lupines are emerging.

Lilac buds

The lilacs are coming along more slowly.

Lilac admirer

Insect lilac-admirer.

Trillium senescene

Trillium senescence continuum.

You know the phrase “the blues”? I’m suggesting there’s a similar mood/mental condition that can be called the purples. There’s covid. There’s death and protest. There’re plenty of people not wearing masks. Enough to alter your mood. Mine, anyway.

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!