Archive for the ‘Misc.’ Category

Resting Owl

I was taking a slow walk around the backyard yesterday afternoon.

  It was a calm, quiet day

with only a few birds: robins, a blue jay, a cardinal, and … an owl.

 Only the owl wasn’t really an owl. It was a broken limb in the sweet gum tree in our backyard.

It looked like an owl resting near the end of the limb.

I do so like owls of all kinds.

“Blue Crystal and other Discoveries

A “blue crystal” … I’m not sure what the light’s reflecting from.

This piece of wood’s mostly covered with a variety of lichens and a couple of teeny pale red mushrooms.

A yellow-bellied sapsucker went first to the pine tree. You can tell the holes they drill by the way they’re in straight and horizontal lines. Sap flows from the holes and the sap suckers feed on it.

Clouds also add a variety of their shapes

Spring’s slowly arriving, and the spiders are already beginning to work on their small

 and large webs.

A Rare Find

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My son was stationed at Fort Riley, and took my husband and I fossil hunting in the Niobrara Chalk of Kansas in October of 2003.

The chalk formed from an inland sea that divided North America during the age of dinosaurs.

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This is my husband. We found jaws, teeth and bones either sticking out of the chalk and laying about.

Keith had told me that if I found anything good that was embedded in the chalk, to leave my fossil bag by it, and come and get him. Otherwise I’d never find the fossils again. (Besides, I had no idea how to safely remove fossils from the chalk.)

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Luckily, he told me that, otherwise I definitely wouldn’t have found these 31 vertebrae again. The chalk had eroded down enough to completely separate them from it.

(The biggest one measures an inch in diameter.)

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What makes them so rare is that they’re shark vertebrae.

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 Shark vertebrae are made of cartilage, not bone, and are rarely preserved.

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When I went to find Keith, I found him 15 feet high on a small ledge cutting out a protosphyraena  fin (swordfish). Obviously, I had to wait until he was done.

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Later after cleaning the fossil and reshaping the chalk, he gave it to me on Christmas. The fin measures 11 1/2 inches long. It’s now displayed on a bookcase in my living room.

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Anyone wanting more information on the chalk and fossils of Kansas might visit:

http://oceansofkansas.com/

and

 for protosphyraena:

http://www.oceansofkansas.com/protosphyr.html

Moon Variations

I was outside last night with my camera and was trying to get good pictures of the moon. The pictures weren’t good or interesting until….

I started experimenting. It was a full moon.

I would move the camera slightly to getthe interesting effects.

It didn’t take much movement to get the variations in the moon.

It surprised me to get the long “moon” with very little movement.

Now I wait until the next full moon so

   I can experiment more with my moon pictures.

Oh, What a Sunset!!

I took 28 sunset pictures, all in ten minutes.

We live on the east side of the highway and the west side of the sunset.

It was amazing how fast the clouds moved, changed colors and changed shapes.

Please overlook any wires in the pictures. I had no choice.

The unusual cloud kept its shape. I wonder why and how.

The sunset colors gradually grew darker.

There must be a reason for the changing cloud shapes.

I wonder if the clouds need to be somewhere else at a certain time to put on the same differing-cloud show?

 

 

Buffy

 This is definitely a disjointed blog, and

a sad day.

Buffy, our 12-year-old chocolate lab, passed away over the weekend from complications of old age. She was a big girl, weighing almost 100 pounds.

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Actually, she was our son’s duck and goose hunting buddy when she was younger. When she got older, she became my hiking partner.

  We hiked a LOT! … and camped occasionally too.

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   Southern Illinois has a wide variety of places to hike, and we visited and revisited several of them over the years.

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Lately Buffy was sick enough that we only went out when she wanted to take a short walk in the backyard.

This picture was taken when we were both much younger.

My days now are ……

Unexpected Composition

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Our triple window in the living room faces west. Sometimes I just snap pictures from where I sit on the couch and watching TV.

This picture has a combination of varying elements: 3 plants outside the window. The distant treeline on the other side of a large cornfield. Then there’s the tree in our front yard. The sun nears the horizon, its shape altered by elements listed above.

I was quite surprised when I saw the picture. It doesn’t look anything like what I saw in the camera. I know it’s a plant under the sun. The yellow edges the outside of the sun and adds the vertical yellow line through the middle of it.

Like I wrote: I have no idea how the elements resulted in the picture. I’m so glad they did

Another Face

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I always take pictures of the full moon (some, like this one, from in the house). The trees blocked the last full moon until bedtime. So, I took the camera in the bedroom and later took pictures through the south window when the moon peaked through the trees. I didn’t realize until the next day, when I was looking at the pictures, that I photographed what looked like a moon spirit …

The man in the moon does exist!

Changes

I sit on the couch, staring out the picture window across the room from me.

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Thinking. I am sad and adjusting.

I found out recently that I’m in the early stages of Alzheimers. It became more apparent this morning when I was reading through blogs. I always have several done that I can pick from to post. Others I write and post when completed.

Anyway, it became apparent that my Alzheimer’s occasionally affects my writing. There I sat, reading and rereading, trying to make a change in one, but couldn’t come up with a way to change it that suited me.

I will definitely continue to write blogs. Anxiety is one of the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s.  My meds keep my stomach upset most of the morning. The anxiety keeps me from driving at this time.

So, basically, I will blog what I find in our 2-acre yard like I have been doing. I am knitting a lot, making diamond-shaped washcloths for Christmas presents.

Anyway, I will continue to write blogs. I enjoy them too much not to.

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The rose above is a family heirloom that grows in my butterfly garden. My great grandfather gave it to my grandmother when my mother was born in 1929.

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p.s. I heard about two positive results this afternoon about coconut oil and its affects on Alzhiemers.
You might research it. I haven’t had time yet.

Evening Loop of Backyard

I start a loop walk of my backyard before going in for the night.

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Widow skimmer (Libellula luctuosa) rests in the love-in-the-mist.

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Love-in-the-mist (Nigella sp.) is an annual

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and has an interesting seed capsule.

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A crustose lichen grows on the old pear tree. I refuse to cut down what’s left of the tree’s skeleton.

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This moth posed for only two more pictures after this one. A little light orange shows on the tip of its abdomen and on the leading edge of its forewing.

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I found this oddity in the grass. The white fluff was all I saw at first, until I started to pick it up … there was a dead caterpillar attached to it … it looked dead.  If anyone knows what the white fluff is, I’m interested in knowing.

IMG_4190 The buds on this leek are barely beginning to opening on the first of June.

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It is a perennial. This one stands five feet tall and soon will display its flowers.