Horse Story

Here’s a little reprieve from the winter’s snow and ice. The photos were taken when Buzz and I were checking the nature preserve for invasive plants. We were near a horse pasture and they seemed to gravitate towards us – beckoning the others to come over and visit.

Hey Ed - Let's check this out.

Hey Ed - Check this out.

Mr. Ed beckons the others.

Ed beckons the others.

Oh Boy!

Oh Boy!

What's that thing you're clicking?

What's that thing you're clicking?


The Bee Tree

I was walking past my Peegee Hydrangia bush, which had grown to a very large size, and heard a distict buzzing noise. It was as though the entire bush was ready to ‘take off’. The humming was very loud. I looked at the flowers and noticed that upon each one were a variety of bees, hornets and wasps. I had never seen so many in one place. Every day I check back and there are hundreds of bees swarming the ‘bee tree’. We even saw the elusive honey bee. Oh, how happy that made me. The varieties were too numerous to count.

The Bee Tree (Peegee Hydrangia)
swarming with bees.

I don’t use pesticides in the yard so we have a lot of very interesting bugs, amphibians and birds. I also noticed a huge amount of toads and frogs in the yard this year. I love seeing the variety of critters that can thrive when the environment is inviting. Ours is a very friendly house for all the critters.

Monarch Butterfly Emerges

I saw several monarch butterflies alight upon my swamp milkweek.

Monarch Butterfly on Swamp Milkweed

The Swallows on the front porch

The Barn Swallows built a nest on the front porch this year. They built their nest out of mud and lined it with some some soft material. It was not built on a ledge, rather, it came straight out from the stucco – an amazing feat of engineering. I put a potty box underneath to catch all the dropping. The birds seemed very upset for a few days and I noticed that one of the babies had died. Buzz removed it from the nest. They seem fine now and almost ready to fly.

3 baby swallows in nest

3 baby swallows in nest

Momma Swallow checks on babies

Momma Swallow checks on babies

Baby Swallow in nest

Baby Swallow ready to fly the coop

The Monarch Caterpillar

I really like milkweed. It smells heavenly. It started coming up in the front garden a few years ago and I started to see monarch butterflies. The other day, as I was walking into the garage – I noticed one beautiful monarch caterpillar munching on the milkweed.

Monarch catepillar on milkweed

Monarch caterpillar on milkweed

Monarch Catepillar munching on milkweed

Monarch Caterpillar munching on milkweed

Here is an interesting time-lapsed video (on YouTube) of a monarch caterpillar forming a chrysalis.

The Wise Old Talking Tree

We were hiking up Oberg Mountain in Northern MN and stumbled upon this ancient talking tree. He is the wisest tree on earth and will answer any and all questions.

9 bags of trash, a ladder, a shovel and a shoe

Trash pick up around the loop was successful as far as garbage collection goes. Our neighbor, Denise Webber and her son Michael, a 7th grader, showed up to help. That was 2 more than Buzz and I were counting on.

It took almost 2 hours to walk a 2 mile loop. We picked up everything in sight. Thank goodness Denise is very meticulous. She even stopped to pick up tiny pieces of glass on the sidewalk. She and her son were both tireless workers. I found it amazing that people throw out everything from beer bottles to food wrappers to old tires without a care in the world.

Thank you Denise and Michael for your help. You are both great!