Shadow picture

Sometimes ordinary things turn into an interesting object to see. This happened with these window blinds that acted as a canvas for the “painting” of the shadow of leaves.

Tulip tree mysterious growth

Last spring  (2020) the state DNR offered free tree saplings. We got some, including Tulip poplars.  The Tulip tree is the State tree of Indiana. We planted three, and they have done very well, and have grown from sapling size to about 4 feet tall.

May 28, 2020

September 6, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve noticed some interesting growth on the trees. On the trunks are single individual leaflets. They are close together, one on top of the other and on opposite sides of the trunk. I have never seen anything like this. Any foresters out there that can explain if this growth is normal in Tulip tree growth?

Never seen growth like this…

Tulip trees were plentiful in the hardwood forests of the Midwest prior to European settlement. The trees were harvested for railroad ties and fenceposts, so state some historical records. George Washington planted Tulip trees on his Mt. Vernon estate. Growing to 90 feet in height with large diameter trunks, the poplar trees provided excellent quality lumber. They do flower when mature, but the flowers are in the tops of the trees so are hard to see.

Our backyard bird feeders are back in service

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!

Wild strawberry or COVID virus??

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.

Fungus still among us

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.

Short video of five geese, seven ducks and moderate flooding

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.

Little and elusive

I was lucky to even see this little green bug. Talk about camouflage. He kept moving around hiding on the branch (like squirrels do on tree trunks) as I tried to get this image. 

He’s about a half inch tall

After doing a search on a bug identification site, I came to the conclusion that this guy is a planthopper. No, not a leafhopper, but a planthopper. According to the experts, planthoppers have fewer leg spines and a “more interesting head” than leafhoppers.  I didn’t make that up. Thank heavens, at least my bug has an interesting head. Whew…

How they are growing

Welcome to our tomato growth pictorial

 

Flower/pollination

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.

Spotted on my bike ride this afternoon

Today while very humid, was really a decent day for a bike ride. Part of my diet regime is also a renewal of exercise. Bike rides in the neighborhood fit that bill nicely. No fancy multi-geared hand brake bike here. Nope, I have a simple coaster brake bike. Works for me and best of all I know how to ride it.

There is always something to see while pedaling around the area. Today’s ride definitely served up some neat observations. Here goes! I’ll share some photos of the flora, fauna and other stuff I saw.

A citizen added a touch of patriotism to this sign at a boat access ramp

Originally a WWII concrete practice bomb, they once lined the road with chains stretched between them

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The concrete practice bombs had two of the iron loops enabling them to be loaded in the bomb bays of the planes. They were used during WWII at Camp Atterbury at Edinburg Indiana, and repurposed for the road side chain marking. The wooden sign is next to a boat access ramp leading to Big Blue River.

A big ol’ groundhog was eating apples from nearby tree

City maintained, note the volunteer maple saplings in the center

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like I mentioned, bike riding is a big part of my new diet and exercise ‘program’. I have been riding at least twice a day with a goal of at least 3 miles each ride. I know compared to real serious riders, that’s not much, but for me it is an accomplishment, and I’m trying to increase my distances each day.  So today I have pedaled 5.25 miles, consumed one shake and one salad. Don’t know about tonight’s supper yet. Probably another shake. Blood pressure is still down.

The beard sail

One funny thing happened to me today during the ride. It was the first time I was pedaling at, for me, a rapid rate and wham! here came a strong headwind. It made my beard feel like a sail, and actually created quite the resistance.  Felt really strange.