Hummingbirds are so amazing!
In May 2021 some species of songbirds began to be afflicted with a deadly disease of some kind. This started in Virginia and moved west. Indiana birds began to die in late May and by early June the Indiana Department of Natural Resources put out the warning to stop all bird feeding in private yards. We posted about that. We both really missed our almost daily birdwatching time our back.
By the first week in August the DNR published the news that 76 out of Indiana’s 92 counties were bird disease free, and could resume the use of bird feeders.
Our cute little Nuthatch is back
We soon refilled our two seed feeders, and also refilled our hummingbird feeder. (DNR also had said to stop using hummingbird feeders as well.) It has been a couple of weeks since we started feeding our avian friends again, and slowly lots of the birds are coming back to our yard. We haven’t seen all of the species we had seen before the “lockdown”, but perhaps that is to be expected. We are grateful that we can again enjoy birding from our backyard swing!
Took a picture of a couple of mushrooms yesterday. Within the image was a little red wild strawberry. Once the photo was enlarged and the red berry zeroed in, the details of the berry came into focus.
That looks eerily close to COVID
Immediately the shape of the berry looked very familiar. Yes, that shape has been displayed just about everywhere since, oh, sometime around March 2020. It does look way to much like the renderings you see of that damned COVID-19 virus.
OK, promise this will be the last time for the fungus among us headline…
The clover leaves will help you judge the size of these mushrooms
Once again the wet conditions seem to have offered a good environment for the growth of a couple of mushrooms. These two popped up under our yard swing. The shade may have helped.
A nearby park received moderate flooding over the past few days from heavy rains. This park has seen a lot worse: the swing sets in the background have been in water 2 feet deep before. Some geese found it good grazing where a walking/bike path was covered. A group of ducks also enjoyed the shallow water. One duck honked off one of the geese, however. Fortunately the video ends before serious goose vs. duck conflict occurs.
Welcome to our tomato growth pictorial
Flower petals still hanging on the bottom
More possible starts here in addition to the two already growing
A little further along (yes it rained last night)
These two look like they are going to make it
These were the first two that showed up
This year we bought two plants instead of growing from seeds. The last photo is from a different plant from the other images. The header at the top of the page is actually of a “volunteer” plant that just showed up in the backyard. It seems to be doing well and will soon earn the right to have its own tomato cage.
Last Wednesday we went out to the Indiana Grand Racing and Casino to see what was going on with the day of the 27th running of the Indiana Derby. The Indiana Derby is touted as the premier thoroughbred race in the state. There was a full race card with 12 races and several high stakes races with purses totally nearing 1 million dollars.
The parade of entries
Ready to run…
Looking at the parking lots and garage, it was obvious that there were tons of people at the facility. We parked in the garage, having to go to the top (5th) level to find a parking spot.
We went into the casino for a bit first. Complimentary drinks and the AC were a draw for sure! Not having a tremendous amount of luck at the slots, we headed to the track. The first floor was packed, with folks at the large bar and at the many tables looking at the screens with tracks from all over. Many were placing wagers with tellers or at pari-mutuel kiosks.
We sat out side for a while, at least there was shade from the building. We stayed for four races, and then decided it was too hot even in the shade. It wasn’t the best time we have had at the Indiana Grand, and headed home to the AC!
The recent rains have made for an ideal environment for this pair of mushrooms to sprout
By 1870 Shelby County Indiana had 154 miles of new gravel roads. It was time for the county to start building bridges at principle crossings of rivers. By 1880 there were 10 “substantial and elegant” iron bridges with additional bridges planned each year thereafter.
The bridge’s new home, seeing bicycles and pedestrian traffic only
The Clover Ford Bridge over Buck Creek was constructed in 1889 by the King Iron Bridge & Manufacturing Company of Cleveland, Ohio. The cost of the bridge, Shelby County Bridge No. 13, was $3,384.50. The bridge served many years but was closed due to structural issues in 2011.
Beautiful and sound reconstruction
Deemed historically important, it was refurbished in 2018 and moved to the Blue River Memorial Park in 2019. It is now part of the Blue River Trail that traverses Shelbyville. USI Consultants was the company that oversaw the relocation of the restored bridge, as well as designing the new Shelby County Bridge No. 219 which replaced the old Shelby County Bridge No. 13 over Buck Creek.
We were on the hunt for a Geocache at a nearby park when we saw this praying mantis on an asphalt walking path. It didn’t move when I got down with the iPhone for a close up.
This afternoon Sher and our son and I went on a ‘hunt’ for a Geocache at a nearby park. We had looked it up last night on a map, and there it was! So off we went.
Explanation of how the swale works
This Geocache was not one of those hidden boxes or log books. This one was a feature at the park. We went in search of a Water Quality Bio-Swale. Yes, a feature that is designed to collect pollutants from rain fall runoff.
That’s the swale in the background
It actually looked like an ordinary swale for rain runoff. This one had a more complex design than you normally expect. There was a thick layer of sandy soil in the low part of the swale which filtered any pollutants. A layer of gravel at the bottom surrounded a perforated drain pipe in which the storm water runs off to a nearby river.
The story of Indiana’s state tree
The swale banks were planted with trees native to Indiana. One of the park volunteers was mapping the location and species of each tree while we were on site. He informed us that there will be individual ID signs on each tree and a brochure with detailed info coming soon.