Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bright Orange Dot

Another good title for this post would be "Why Dogs Don't Make Good Photographic Assistants". Although I took this photo when I was still about fifteen feet away, I know it's a Gulf Fritillary butterfly. I did get a closer look without my camera and , besides, my identification guidebook says "there is no mistaking this butterfly for any other." (I love it when ID guides make statements like that.)

When I first saw this bright and beautiful butterfly out in the garden, I just watched for a while. I figured trying to get into the house and get my camera would be pointless. The butterfly would be gone when I returned. However, when the butterfly just kept hanging around, I decided to try taking a photograph. I got the camera and headed back out into the garden. Bucket decided she just had to come and greet me and, of course, she chose to come running down the aisle where the Gulf Fritillary was alit. When the butterfly flew, I figured that was the end of that. However, the butterfly returned to the same spot a few minutes later. I picked up my camera to try again, but only got off this distance shot before Rusty decided to blunder down this particular aisle. This time the Gulf Fritillary did not return.

Preparing To Dig Sweet Potatoes

On Saturday Jo and I gave our sweet potatoes a haircut so we could dig them on Sunday. After planting the sweet potatoes, we covered them with welded wire hoops to keep the deer from eating the vines. Since the mesh in the welded wire is large enough for a rabbit to get through easily, we covered it with chicken wire to keep the cottontails out. Covering our sweet potatoes with wire worked. As you can see above, the vines didn't get trimmed to the ground by varmints as they have in the past. However, with sweet potato vines growing up through the wire, we couldn't the wire off without giving them a good trim. We decided to go ahead and trim away most of the vines while we were at it.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

BNSF Locomotive

A train ran right outside the park grounds where our last show was held, and when I say "right outside", I mean within about twenty-five feet. Fortunately, the locomotive did not make frequent runs. It passed by while we were setting up Friday afternoon and then returned a few hours later. It was pulling cars loaded with coal on the first trip by Sequiota Park, and returned without those cars. Obviously, there's a power plant not too far away.

Wednesday, 10/17/07

Not a good day for getting anything done outside, so I stayed inside and worked on catching up with some of my bookkeeping.

This morning we were in a cloud, with "fog" heavy enough that you might as well call it "mist". Conditions degraded to light rain during most of the afternoon, although we did get a heavier shower or two around six o'clock. The south wind has been building steadily. Thunderstorms were in our forecast, but they missed us. There was quite a bit of severe thunderstorm activity and even tornado warnings north of us in Missouri.

Obviously, we are on the verge of getting another cold front. It's supposed to slowly seep its way into our area on Thursday. It isn't much of a cold front and is only forecast to drop out low temperatures into the lower fifties Thursday night, and on down into the upper forties Friday night. Our high temperatures are still supposed to climb into the upper seventies or lower eighties during the day, though.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Leopard Frog

A leopard frog hiding in the asparagus bed out in the garden.

Tuesday, 10/16/07

Spent most of the day trying to get back into my daily groove (rut?) after returning from an art fair in Springfield (MO) this past weekend.

This afternoon I did a little cleaning up out in the garden. I cut down and removed the dried corn stalks and tossed them on the brush pile out behind the garden. We'd decided to save the dried out ears of corn that remained on the stalks for the squirrels. Evidently, the squirrels got wind of our plan and decided to go ahead and help themselves. This morning I saw a squirrel carrying an ear of corn across the yard. When I got out to the garden this afternoon, I noticed several bare corn cobs laying around the garden. And, when I started removing the stalks, I found no ears of corn that still had any corn left on them. They'd been shucked and eaten on the stalks. Nothing except a bare cob remained.

I really don't have a problem with the squirrels salvaging the corn we didn't get eaten, but now that the corn is gone and the squirrels have identified the garden as a source of food, I certainly hope that they don't move on to our remaining tomatoes.