September 2017

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elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, July 6th, 2017 08:14 am
This morning, young Carolina wrens in the "greenhouse" -- i saw one just fall of a shelf. No harm to the bit of fluff. They ended up nesting on the front porch in the hanging basket. One day i watered and a little later out shot a bird. And then at some point i was planning to take the basket down, turned it to peer in the nest and a wren peered right back. It seems the wrens have fledged in the past few days: Christine had noticed the clumsy hoppings around over the holiday.

Later in the morning a squirrel loped across the back "woodland garden" (oh, someday) and went up on the large stump. I think the salt we'd put there for the deer also attracted the squirrel.

Then, as i sat down to work, the young buck was in the front yard.

Yesterday, crooked ear (the doe) visited out my work window. When she started in on the (well nibbled) peppers i went out the front door to fuss. She knows she need not flee, but sauntered off to the corner of the yard and then melted into the woods.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, June 29th, 2017 09:00 am
I am feeling particularly ill-motivated this morning, probably because my "most important thing to do today" is my performance appraisal. I hate those. This year is particularly bad because of management and direction changes.

Last night Christine and i both arrived home from various outings after 8 pm. Between the late summer light and our "after work" tasks starting three hours late, i think i was up later than normal. When Christine let Carrie in the back yard, there was a deer. I joined Christine on the deck and watched the as the young buck watched us back -- and then went back to grazing in the thick clover. The deer tolerated our presence for quite a while, with Carrie, Christine and I moving about in the fenced yard. Eventually he gave us another long look, then left. His departure started with a deliberate walk, then a lope, and then there was a flash of him leaping as he entered the woods. With the fireflies flickering around him, it was a lovely magical experience.

This morning fledgling wrens are flitting about in the a azalea just out my window. I think they are fledgling from their exploratory hopping. I first noticed when one hopped into the cardinals' empty nest and explored it.

Bird boxes.

While the humidity will return for Friday and Saturday, the rest of the long weekend looks pretty tolerable.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 08:26 am
* Quaker History Roundtable: 20th Century American Quakerism - 9 hours video of the proceedings available at this time.

* Carolina wrens apparently make multiple nest starts before deciding on one. There was nesting activity at the same time in a hanging basket at the front. I just saw one hop from the nest, so i hope that's their choice. Their territory is 1/2 - 3/4 acres per some random website, it's conceivable two pairs would be about the house, but i'll assume it's the same pair.

* The cardinals fledged over the weekend. Sure didn't look old enough to manage that on Friday! I'm hoping they fledged and it wasn't depredation. I haven't seen Slugger or Louisa for a bit. -- Wait, there they are, foraging out my window. Hmm. I suppose they could have guided the fledglings into the woods where there's more cover?

* We had a day lily bloom yesterday at lunch but it was eaten by the time we went out for the dog walk. I suspect the young buck that cantered by my view.

* The peanut plants that were on the corner were nibbled, but not the ones more bounded by marigolds.

* We had over two inches of rain last evening and overnight. Some of the corn and the poppies are knocked over. I'm hoping that they'll lift themselves, but i suspect i'll need to stake up the poppies and reset the corn.

* I'm not focusing on work as much as i expect of myself. Trying to be gentle and observe.

* [ETA] Personal email box management seems to be effective. Struggling to get a few things NOT marked as spam, but i think i've come up with effective sorting that keeps different response efforts segregated.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Sunday, June 18th, 2017 11:13 am
I've spent some obsessive time developing filters for my personal email. I had had filters, but many were made long enough ago that i didn't really know what they were doing. I tried to name these more clearly. Meanwhile, in my "miscellaneous" folder i had 200 journal comments i meant to reply to, some from a year ago. Um, not going to happen - i mean to reply, but i think it's better to work on going forward, not the past. So all those went into the archive and now i "only" have 100 emails lingering.

More on digital backlog )

Friday evening i took Carrie over to my folks so she could run in their pasture - and run she did. Mom committed her usual "here, take all this" but this time the book was one i remember dearly from childhood: Euell Gibbons' Stalking the Wald Asparagus. I didn't know until just now that he was a Quaker, but the resonance with my inclinations becomes more clear. I'm tickled.

Saturday was muggy. One drips working outside, even without much exertion. I planted my peanut and melon seedlings, moved marigolds from thick plantings to other areas, and dug  up the last of my Huckleberry potatoes. I will buy those again. Definitely a good producer! I hope for the marigolds to be deer deterrents: no nibbling on those. I'll check to see if the peanut starts made it through the night. I also planted melons -- "Minnesota midget" muskmelons -- but perhaps i should add some seeds as the article i just found said they don't transplant well.

I made a "potato salad" seasoned with lemon and mint, inspired by a NYTimes recipe. I tried to follow the pressure cooker recipe for cooking the potatoes: i think i could have cooked them less than the 7 minutes. Also, i wasn't thinking and vented the steam inside. Next time i'll carry the pot out and vent it outside. Despite the potatoes not holding shape, the flavors were a pleasant change from the usual mustard or mayo based potato salad preparations -- and, let me tell you, we do have plenty of mint.

I'm watching a pair of Carolina wrens build a nest in my "greenhouse" -- a rack of shelves for seedlings that comes with a clear plastic cover -- long since removed -- and is now covered with a sheet. I've mixed feelings about letting them nest there. It's tempting to watch them -- and let Edward watch them, but it is so close to comings and goings and i need to water those plants. But not so much the ones on the top where most of the nesting work is going on -- a seedling persimmon, some seedling button bushes.

We do have a go pro, we could be watching them....
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, June 15th, 2017 01:13 pm
Watching Louisa & Slugger care for their three nestlings, i think it's impressive that Cardinals have such an easy time managing diaper changing. They feed the nestling and then carry of a little white sack of waste.

I wish i could be sure they were getting all the bugs from my garden.

Particularly the scarily large spider. (Although he's probably doing me some favors. *shudder*)

--== ∞ ==--

In Carrie news, this morning she did some lunging at Luigi accompanied by a bark. Water bottle time. Now Christine's sure Carrie will never return to the front room.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, June 15th, 2017 07:05 am
Tuesday evening i harvested some very nice potatoes. Wet purple potato skins seem almost iridescent with a sheen that seems to change in the light. I stopped harvesting because a huge wolf spider seemed unwilling to move along. I'll pitchfork that hay out of the way tonight.

I saw a different doe yesterday, who moved through the yard rather quickly. I need to tweak the game camera because i think a movement like that deer's that would trigger the camera, but the delay would just capture an empty yard.

Yesterday evening as we watched some show, Carrie bounded of the hassock, baying alarm, "Foes at the door! Foes at the door!" Just beyond the deck was a young buck, maybe a year old. He clearly heard the ruckus, but wasn't alarmed, just alert. Carrie continued to growl and bark and warn. A bit territorial, not hunting. It was sweet to be able to observe the young deer, although i wonder how wise it is for it to be inured to barking. (Admittedly, we have double pane windows and good sound proofing here so i'm not sure how loud Carrie seemed to the deer.)

This morning i went out in the dawn. Flitting overhead were two bats: oh, more please!
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, June 6th, 2017 04:12 pm
I'm not sure how many deer i saw today. Just after lunch i looked up and a deer was grazing just outside my window. I was delighted and watched as she ate up a shrub i'm trying to kill and grazed on clover. Then she went and nipped up a plant i've been watching to find out what blooms it might have. The plant is going to have to go back to work on growing its reproductive organs again. (Some sort of aster, is what i expect.) I saw the deer stare down the eastern side of the house, so i went to another window and saw a second deer back in the glade. (So, two unique deer.) Then the first deer went to my corn. I went to the front porch and yelled, "Hay, that's my corn!" and the deer simply sauntered out of the patch. Hmph.

Later, another deer was moving around the garden and looked like it was nibbling on the hibiscus. This time the deer was gone by the time i opened the front door. Same deer? A third?

And then later i saw a deer skirting along the north edge of the woods, slipping in to shadow at the corner -- and then another deer dashed into the same gap.

So possibly five deer, or two busy deer. The same pair we've caught grazing on the west side of the house, perhaps?

I've not seen deer moving around in the day since last summer. Today's attempt at research on deer movements didn't help explain why this might be a seasonal behavior. The best guess i could make would be that the deer are bedded down somewhere near by. One writer mentioned that the deer don't seem to stay bedded down for longer than two hours before getting up, stretching, peeing, and nibbling before going back to doze. Yet, why would they only be coming to the yard now? Unless the woods are TOO much of a thickety-mess to manage in the summer?


Cardinal still nesting. A couple visits from Luigi to my work table today. The volunteer tomato plants in the raised beds look like they may actually be quite productive. The most sprawling plant clearly is one of those grape tomatoes. I hope it does well!

Hoping things will even off after the last bump on our home calendar last night. My travel and other disruptions are now over, and the horizon reveals some pleasures. Friday i will go on a road trip with my parents (or my Dad, at least). And i realized that we can make it to the eclipse without the trip funds we had begun to set aside, but spent on the move. Not to the Tetons, but the path of totality isn't that far away. I've gotten a hotel room for us in the western part of the state, twenty minutes from the path. I've picked out an ideal location, now need to figure out weather patterns and what fall back locations might look like.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Saturday, March 4th, 2017 10:24 am
Go here for video: https://flic.kr/p/SspKDn

Fox! First night, same path we saw the paw prints.

Also, yes, that's the garden plot one of the deer is in.