Archive for November, 2015

A Wow Sunset

I sat in my rocker/recliner by the picture window in our living room recently.


The sunset had just begun at 5:35 p.m.


Fifteen minutes later …


I hurried out in the front yard and started snapping pictures,


zooming out,


and zooming back in.


The clouds looked like a sandy barren landscape.


… just so many patterns to look at!


Then I changed a camera setting so I could extend this special time.


The view was so wide, I kept changing the angle of the camera.


I remained mesmerized.


The earth’s rotation became obvious with the clouds getting lower in the sky.


Obviously, I’ll continue to check the sunsets every night.

No Name Mushrooms

Buffy and I went for a morning walk through the woods at Stone Face.  The late October day was cloudy. No water ran in the creek. No flowers bloomed.

IMG_7930 red

These mushrooms practically lined part of a fallen dead tree.

IMG_7926 crop red

White shelf mushrooms also grew on the same log.

IMG_7937 crop red

I thought this configuration had an artistic appearance.

One of these shelf mushrooms had gills on the underside, and the other had pores.  I didn’t find either of these in any of  my six mushroom books.

It didn’t matter to me. I enjoyed them anyway. Besides, they don’t know what they are either.

I come from an artistic family and look at things from an artistic standpoint.

A Morning Surprise

I was slow-moving this morning until I went in the kitchen.


There, out the window, was a rainbow! It had been two years or more since I’ve seen one. I hurried out on the porch and took pictures.  A light rain was falling.


I got back on the couch to finish my breakfast, and there out the window was the other end of the rainbow. Again, I hurried out to take pictures. This time the best view was from under an oak tree. The two sides weren’t connected at the top.


Curious as I am, I hurried to the computer room to check the sunrise. Obviously, it wasn’t to thrilling.


The final image … a perfect way to start the day.

A November Picture

I was looking through my picture files late one night

when my eyes beheld a strange sight …


 a roly poly that had just molted. (An attempted rendition of the Monster Mash song. That hints at my age.)

 I just found interesting  information online on the roly poly, also called pillbug (Carmadellium vulgare).

1. Pillbugs are crustaceans, not insects.

2. They breath through gills.

3. The juvenile molts in two sections. This explains why I didn’t find any more of the shed.

4. The mothers carry their eggs in a pouch.

5. They don’t urinate and have the ability to pass the ammonia gas through their exoskeleton.

6. The pillbugs can drink the regular way and can also take water in through their rear ends.

7. Pillbugs tighten into tight balls when threatened.

8. They eat their own poop. This has to do with the loss of copper.

9. Ones that look bright blue or purple have contracted a viral infection.

10. Their blood is blue.

Teeny Mushroom

The word teeny came to mind when I found this mushroom.

IMG_8340 crop red

It stood approximately 1 1/4 inch tall.

IMG_8337 red

The word delicate also came to mind.

The only word that didn’t come to mind was a name for this mushroom, even after checking all of my mushroom books.

Sign of Yard Visitors

IMG_8320 red

I don’t actually have to see all the visitors to know who’s been in our backyard.

IMG_8321 red

A stand of sumac trees in the back our yard had recent attention

IMG_8324 red

   from a deer rubbing its antlers on the young trees to remove the velvet.

IMG_8326 640

It looked like this was done recently.

A Short Morning Hike

So many of the blogs I follow have posted ones showing beautiful fall colors. I greatly enjoyed each one and was quite envious.


I was on the road that led to Eagle Mountain, where Buffy and I hiked a lot. The road is treacherous now with washed-out places that could flip a vehicle. Needless to say, we haven’t gone up there in over a year.


Buffy has a hurt hind leg. My husband watched her while I drove a loop over to Stone Face. The turkey vultures were apparently gathering and heading southeast.


Obviously, they didn’t take time to pose for pictures. A wider angle picture would’ve shown nearly 40 of them.


If these aren’t called pixie cups, they should be.

IMG_8709 crop red

A fresh buckeye butterfly landed on the edge of the dry creek. It will soon migrate south, because they don’t overwinter as far north as southern Illinois.


Here’s another picture to show off the fading fall colors.

Hopefully, they will be brilliant next fall.

Lone Resident

A groundhog family lived under our barn for months. They raised four young.


Apparently the family dispersed, and only one adult lives here now.

It looks like it plans to spend the winter here.

Morning Surprise!

I opened the front door to see if it was still raining …


and there stood a bald eagle in the field across the highway.


I couldn’t see what it was eating on.


It didn’t allow three crows to share in its meal.


It had to be a mammal with a rib cage like that.


My husband estimated the distance to the eagle to be about 125 yards. I went back to the front door to take more pictures, and it had flown.


It wasn’t long before the eagle returned


… and another came for the deer meal too.


The light rain had quit.


 The eagle on the right pulled on a fresh deer skin


that someone had apparently dumped.


The eagle in the foreground looks to be a immature by its dingy-looking head.


This picture shows the remaining mottling on the underside of the younger one, and that its tail isn’t completely white yet.


They will return to feed as long as food remains. Others might come too.

Grass Spiders

October 2, 2015

IMG_8345 crop red

 For some reason, it surprised me to find grass spider webs this late in the season.

IMG_8351 crop red

I couldn’t find the entry tunnel for this one.

IMG_8354 crop red

I couldn’t see the spider until

IMG_8358 crop red

it came to the mouth of the tunnel.

IMG_8358 crop

Their eggs overwinter in an egg sac, which is usually outside the web, sometimes under the bark of a nearby tree. The spiderlings disperse in the spring and build small webs apart from each other.

They are a quick-running spider and depend on speed to catch their prey.

I was also intrigued with the reflections on the dense dew drop covering the webs.